Archive for: December 2017

God Exists – Free seminar starts Jan 7th at 2pm
December 28, 2017

Christian Evidence Seminar

Sundays • 2pm • Front Royal Church of Christ
(140 West 15th Street | Front Royal, VA 22630)

The Church of Christ in Front Royal will be hosting a workshop presenting Christian Evidence, “God Exists”. There will be 10 lessons covering many introductory type questions most people have concerning God. How did we come to the theory there is not God or God cannot be proven. Subsequent topic will be “Cause and Effect” Design, Morality and Creation VS Evolution to name a few.

Each lesson is designed to provide factual information to the reader in simple to understand format. Interested persons may preview the lessons here.  Audio recordings will be added as they become available.

We invite all to come to our special service time 2:00 pm each Sunday afternoon January thru March for a honest discussion of the facts concerning the existence of God.

We pray you enjoy, and profit from, the Christian Evidences Study Courses. May God bless you all.

Local News
WATCH: Valley Forge – “The Crisis”
December 28, 2017

The story of George Washington at Valley Forge is told by Abel Johnson. Johnson’s history lessons aren’t about dates and data. Dressed as a man named Abel Johnston, a Revolutionary War veteran who happened to be Johnson’s great-grandfather six times removed.

The program tells of the horrid suffering 240 years ago of soldiers fighting for American Independence. The speaker is the Rev. Larry Johnson, the great(x4) grandson of a Revolutionary War Soldier from North Carolina.



What Matters Warren
Town Tip Thursday December 28th
December 28, 2017

After flying as an air ambulance pilot in Latin America for several years, local Front Royal resident Tom Zinn came home wondering what to do next. The image of a 3 sided triangle came to him one day which inspired him to create the Trimyd.

The Trimyd is made from 35 marbles. It is sold as a kit that you can put together as a fun family project or a quiet reflective process naming intentions as the marbles are fastened one by one. Be as creative as you wish! There are clock inserts available and many more insert ideas on the way.

Visit Trimyd Enterprises on Facebook or learn more at
Trimyds Enterprises

Interview with Beth Medved Waller and Tom Zinn

Town Notices
ALERT: Peak Shaving Friday Dec 29th
December 28, 2017

Due to the very cold weather,the Energy Services Dept. will do peak shaving tomorrow, Dec. 29th from 7am until 9am. You can help by putting off heavy electrical usage until later in the day.

Peak shaving is a technique that is used to reduce electrical power consumption during periods of maximum demand on the power utility. Thus saving substantial amounts of money due to peaking charges.

Peak shaving also helps the utility provide maximum base load power without starting an expensive to operate peaking generator. In the long-term peak shaving lets the utility reduce its investment in costly new power plants. Their customers who install on-site generating equipment share in those savings, by receiving reduced power rates year round.

Peak demand typically occurs between 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM during the months of July and August, which is the same time non-industrial consumers typically demand the maximum power for family activities and air conditioning.

For Front Royal, the peak demand in during the winter months. The Town Energy Dept will use several techniques to reduce the peak demand on our electric grid.

Typically power companies have a tiered rate structure which involves not only the amount of electricity consumed, but also takes into account when the electricity is consumed. It is common for a facility participating in peak shaving to experience a net energy savings of between 10% and 30% of their electricity bill.

Peak shaving systems use generators and paralleling equipment which allows the generator to monitor the electric grid, startup as necessary and synchronize frequencies with the grid. An added benefit of this equipment would be backup power in case of rolling backups and grid outages.

Use a frugal month to catch up after the holidays
December 28, 2017

The holidays are often filled with extra spending on things like travel, gifts, and food and many people end the year feeling weighed down in the financial department.

Popular blog Frugalwoods suggests that people make January an ‘uber frugal month’ by spending as little money as possible. Although the challenge sounds rather simple, it will require a bit of preparation.

Before starting, analyze all of the currently expected spending for the month. Then, divide those expenses into a discretionary list and a mandatory list. Rent, for instance, is non-negotiable, while a Starbucks latte can be easily skipped. Entire areas, such as entertainment, need a plan to decrease spending by substituting free or cheap options for the normal routines. Plan to stay frugal for the whole month for maximum savings. In the end, with the frugality meter reset, it will be up to participants to decide which behaviors they want to keep using in the future to save money over the long run.

According to Bankrate, using these no-spend periods isn’t just about saving money but also learning to control impulses. Being able to separate actual needs from simple wants will go a long way toward creating sustainable spending habits as well as provide an excellent jumpstart to a more frugal lifestyle.

For people that can’t manage a full month, blog Believe in a Budget recommends starting with a week or even a day. Their favorite, the no spend work week, allows a person to focus in on miscellaneous expenses that pop up during this time such as the before work coffee, expensive lunch at a restaurant, and unnecessary trips to the grocery store after work. It might feel a little strange bringing a bagged lunch to work, but it is also a great way to find more money for savings and investing in the things that are truly important.

Local News Seasonal
A Christmas visit to RSW Jail reminds us of the holiday’s true meaning
December 27, 2017

Inmates in one cell block gather around the trio of Christmas evening visitors after hearing a message of love and redemption. Courtesy Photos/RSW-Russ Gilkison

WARREN COUNTY – Well it wasn’t Santa and reindeer, but it WAS a Christmas evening visit that brought a message of hope and seasonal cheer to inmates of the RSW Regional Jail. And if not a contingent led by a famous red-nosed reindeer, it was led by an almost-equally-famous animal of Hollywood fame – Warren County’s own Grace the performing mule, along with trainer Stevie Foster and musician Kirby Covert.

Grace, whom actor Robert Duvall told this reporter rates “right up there at the top” of all the famous leading ladies he’s worked with over a stellar movie career, was accompanied by Foster and guitarist Covert on a mission of faith, redemption and Christmas joy.

Grace is lit up like a Christmas tree under the watchful eye of handler Stevie Foster.

RSW Superintendent Russ Gilkison explains that Foster and Covert visit the jail weekly and that Foster has included RSW in his Christmas jail visits with a message since its opening.

“Stevie has been visiting inmates on Christmas day for 20 years and has been coming to RSW on Christmas since the opening in 2014. This marks the first year for Grace the mule to accompany Stevie on his annual visit,” Gilkison told Royal Examiner, adding of the visit, “Grace, adorned with garland and lights, performed a few tricks like counting out her age by stomping her hoof and smiling for the crowd, bringing holiday cheer and laughter to the jail on a day that is usually quiet and somber.

“This was followed by Kirby Covert playing his guitar and singing Christmas songs such as ‘Silent Night’ and ‘New Star Shining’. Stevie would then say a few words about his personal story of drug and alcohol addiction, spending Christmases away from his family until he final gave his life to Jesus Christ and turned his life around. Steve then lead them in prayer and let them know this could be their best Christmas, if they would make the choice to let God into their lives to help them.

“I saw many men and women with tears in their eyes and then a smile on their face as Grace would do a final trick waving a handkerchief goodbye as we moved on to the next housing unit.”

Kirby Covert sings a holiday message during visit.

Gilkison shared the thoughts of a father of one of the RSW inmates after speaking to his son following the visit.

“I would like to thank you and all involved for the special Christmas luncheon served, the commissary gifts, as well as the visit by Steve Foster and his Amazing Grace. I spoke with (his son) last evening and he explained all that happed yesterday and it was the first time in months that he had a sound of excitement in his voice.

“I’m sure yesterday’s events had a positive effect for all involved and did give hope to those that could not be home with their families. I also want to thank you personally for taking time from your family to accompany Mr. Foster and Grace during their visit.”

Thanks to Superintendent Gilkison for sharing this story with us; and a special thanks to Steve Foster, Kirby Covert and Grace for reminding us what the true meaning of Christmas is all about.

Community Events Local News
Little Caesars Love Kitchen to serve public lunch at Winchester Rescue Mission on Friday
December 27, 2017

The Little Caesars Love Kitchen will make a stop in Winchester on Friday, Dec. 29 at the Winchester Rescue Mission. / Courtesy photo.

WINCHESTER, VA – The Little Caesars Love Kitchen will roll into the Winchester Rescue Mission on Friday, December 29, to serve a free pizza lunch to community members.

The big-rig doubles as a mobile kitchen and travels across the United States, feeding the hungry and homeless, as well as disaster survivors.

Little Caesars local franchise owners donate the resources necessary to make each Love Kitchen serving a success. An estimated 50,000 franchisees, their employees and corporate colleagues have volunteered over the years to support the program in their local communities.

Brandan Thomas, Executive Director of the Winchester Rescue Mission, said, “It’s a real treat to have Little Caesars come out and support us. It shows the guys the community is behind them.”

The pizza chain reached out to the nonprofit organization that serves homeless men after they “saw the work we were doing and wanted to partner with what we were already accomplishing, “ Thomas said in a Wednesday interview.

The Mission doesn’t typically serve lunch, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help spread the message of love to those in need. Free pizza will be served at noon at 435 N. Cameron Street. Everyone is welcome to eat.

The Winchester Rescue Mission serves between 2,500 and 3,000 meals each month.  Dinner is served at 5:00 p.m. daily and is open to any man, woman, or child who is in need of a meal.

“Our nightly dinners continue to grow,” Thomas said.  “We pride ourselves on being a safe and welcoming environment for everyone in our community.  We have very generous volunteers who’ve been able to keep up with the high demand this winter.”

As word of the Love Kitchen is spreading throughout the area, members of the community have stepped forward to offer additional help.  Some have donated sodas to be served with the pizza.

Others have brought new coats to the facility to give to the residents.  Items needed include: warm socks, gloves, hats, coats,  and gift cards to purchase items.  A list of the Mission’s most needed items can be found here: Current Mission needs.   Donated items can be dropped off at 435 N. Cameron Street between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

More information about the Winchester Rescue Mission,  which has been serving the community since 1974, is available at

A chief goal of Thomas’ is to educate the public about the issue of homelessness.  Often, he says, the public tends to view a homeless person as lazy, drug-addicted or worse.  It is more likely that the person has experienced one or more circumstances that combine to contribute to homelessness.

Many Americans these days are only a paycheck or two away from dire circumstances, and the loss of a job, or having an illness without sick-days to provide for missed work hours can be enough to create homelessness.

“These people are no different than you or I, “ Thomas said in the interview.  “They are often the victim of multiple circumstances.”

While no solid figures were available for the current homeless population in Winchester-Frederick County, a count last year put the number somewhere north of 200.

In addition to his role of nearly two years at the Mission, Thomas serves as Pastor of the Canvas Church, which meets at the Virginia Ave. Elementary School.  In fact, he relocated to the city of Winchester to begin the church.

Little Caesars has two trucks in operation, which are in service 365 days a year. The restaurants on wheels have served more than three million people, according to the corporate website.

The Love Kitchen has been recognized for its charitable efforts, receiving The President’s Volunteer Action Award Citation from former Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The Reagan administration also awarded the Love Kitchen a Presidential Citation for Private Sector Initiatives.

Study: Social media causes fatigue in kids
December 27, 2017

Despite the convenience of full time online connection, it is likely causing youth extra stress and fatigue.

According to Dr. Bratt of the Academy of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis, social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can wear people out because of its continually updating nature. Notifications pour in at all hours of the day and night, and the fear of missing out creates a false sense of urgency among users. Absorbing all of the information can make a person feel overwhelmed, and over time this leads to anxiety and trouble sleeping.

Further research in the Journal of Youth Studies recently analyzed the night-time activities of school children ranging from 12 to 15 years old; specifically how often they were checking messages on social media. In the study, 20 percent of subjects said that they ‘almost always’ woke up in the middle of the night to check their accounts. These same students were three times more likely to say that they were tired during school and were also not as happy, on average, as the rest of the children. Researchers at San Diego State University have shown that this reduction in quality sleep can lead to lowered performance in school because students are not able to concentrate and pay attention as easily.

A recent study from the Council on Communications and Media found that social media can also trigger negative emotions that can lead to a lowered sense of well-being, jealousy, and perceived social isolation. This isolation has even caused what some researchers have dubbed ‘Facebook depression’ because of how teens and tweens have been shown to exhibit the classic symptoms of depression after spending a considerable amount of time on the site. Depression can lead to other health issues including a lack of sleep and fatigue.

Crime/Court Local News
Frederick County Sheriff’s Office: 7-11 robbed at gunpoint Christmas evening
December 26, 2017

Frederick County deputies responded to an armed robbery at the 7-11 on Millwood Ave. Christmas night. /File photo

Frederick County, VA – A 7-11 convenience store on Millwood Pike (U.S. Route 50) was robbed at gunpoint on Christmas night, just after 9:15 p.m. according to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.
Captain Aleck Beeman stated in a media release Tuesday afternoon that the clerk reported that a white female brandishing a silver handgun entered the store and demanded money.

The clerk told deputies she handed over the money from the cash drawer, after which the suspect left the store and ran to Delco Plaza.
The suspect reportedly jumped into the passenger seat of a smaller black truck that was parked in Delco Plaza. The truck left the area heading east on Millwood Pike.

Captain Beeman said no one was injured during the robbery, and an undisclosed amount of money was taken in the alleged incident.

The suspect is described as a white female, approximately five-feet, five inches tall, with a smaller build. She was last seen wearing black pants and coat, a white beanie hat, black sunglasses and a green scarf covering her face.

Anyone who may have witnessed the alleged robbery or has information regarding the incident is encouraged to call the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office at 540-662-6162, or Crime Solvers at 540-665-TIPS.

Information that leads to an arrest could result in a reward. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Local News Seasonal
Rotary Club of Warren County: ‘Letters to Santa’ project a big success its first year
December 26, 2017

FRONT ROYAL – When the Rotary Club of Warren sets out to do a project, they aim high. This year, for the first time, the civic group decided to help Santa Claus out by answering some of the huge stack of letters the old gentleman receives from children each year.

According to Rotary member and organizer, Felicia Hart, the project was even more successful than the Rotarians had imagined. “What a huge hit! The Rotary Club of Warren County definitely helped Santa out this year. For our first-year offering, we produced, personalized and mailed 422 letters – to kids of all ages.”

Ms. Hart said Letters went to “kids” of all ages, ranging from 9-months to 72-years-old. Letters were mailed letters across the Shenandoah Valley, to Front Royal, Strasburg, Winchester, Harrisonburg and as far away as Coral Cables, FL.

Rotary members who helped with the letters noted that there were “so many positive comments from moms, dads and even aunts who wrote the requests and then witnessed the children receiving and opening their letters, which included holiday stickers.

Hart said, “We even got a thank you letter back from the child with the stickers attached.”

Some of the letters were personalized by the Rotary members, by completing a P.S. with information supplied by parents – everything from working on keeping a neat bedroom, to start using the “Big Girl Potty” to being nicer to a sibling.

This was the parent’s opportunity to “leverage” Santa’s advice, Hart said. She reported that club members had a wonderful time not only reading the letters and the kids’ requests of Santa, but hand-writing the P.S. to the recipient.

This project was such a hit, the club has already decided we will definitely be doing it again next year.

The Rotary Club of Warren County meets on Wednesdays at 7 a.m. at the Front Royal Golf Club.

Some of the club’s service projects have included: the community playground in Linden, a van for the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging, a greenhouse for Blue Ridge Opportunities, renovation of spaces for the Phoenix Project and upgrading the playground for E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School
The Rotary Club of Warren County also supports C-CAP of Warren County, St. Luke Clinic, Samuels Public Library, the United Way and the Humane Society of Warren County.

Additionally, the group grants three annual scholarships to students at Skyline High School and sponsors Interact Clubs at Skyline High School and Randolph-Macon Academy Middle School.