Archive for: January 2018

Arrest Logs
POLICE: 7 Day FRPD Arrest Report 01-18-2018
January 18, 2018
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Local News
Updated Schedule: Samuels Public Library Adult Programming
January 18, 2018
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The Bridge Project

Samuels Public Library invites you to come out and join Associate Professor/Director of New Media Arts, George Mason University, Mary Cooley and Freelance Artist and Educator, Beth Hall for the Bridge Project Postcard Workshop on Saturday, January 27th at 10 A.M. Write, Paint, Draw, or collage on 5×7 Postcards to celebrate the connections we make (or would like to make) to people who seem different from us. Help us explore all the ways people in the Blue Ridge connect with others across time, place, race, gender, age, political orientation, sexual orientation, religion, culture, and ability. Post cards will be incorporated into a wooden slat bridge and displayed at a celebration event.

Library Closings

The Library will be closed Monday, February 19th in observance of Presidents Day. The Library will resume normal hours Tuesday February 20th.

From No Return

Samuels Public Library Commemorates Black History Month! Join us on Thursday, February 15th at 6:30 P.M for a presentation by renowned anthropologist Stephen Lubkemann.

In December 1794, the slave ship São José sank off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, tragically killing 212 of the 500 slaves confined aboard. Stephen Lubkemann traces the story of the ship, its harrowing demise and the remarkable efforts of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture to recover the wreckage and related artifacts from the depths of the Indian Ocean. Mr Lubkemann also will discuss the Slave Wrecks Project as it works to recover an important, but often neglected, past and explores its living — and troubling — legacies in the United States and across the globe.

General Education Development

Samuels Public Library invites you to register and attend the General Education Development course. This course will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 A.M-12:30 P.M (except on school holidays or closings). The GED course is completely free. Let this course be the stepping stone to your success.

English as a Second Language

Samuels Public Library invites you to register and attend the English as a Second Language course. This course will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. The ESL course is completely free. Learning English will not only enhance your quality of life but open many doors and present new opportunities

Hello Computer

Samuels Public Library invites you to attend our beginning computer class for total computer novices. It is a four week course that covers turning on a computer, using a mouse, setting up email and using the internet. Classes are held on Tuesdays from 1:00pm-2:00pm.

Exploring Computers

Samuel Public Library invites you to attend our intermediate computer class and improve your skills. Each month explore a new computer program or application in a safe, friendly environment with other intermediate users. Classes are held on Thursdays at 1:00pm-2:00pm

Genealogy Nuts: Shake Your Family Tree

Samuels Public Library invites you to a workshop for beginning to advanced genealogists. Discover your family roots with a team of genealogists who together have researched more than 50,000 names. Classes are held Wednesday nights at 6:00pm.

Advanced PowerPoint

Advanced PowerPoint has been cancelled for the month of February and will not be meeting Saturday, February 10th or 17th.

SPL-Books and Beyond

Samuels Public Library invites you to join us for the Books & Beyond Book Club on Wednesday, February 21st at 10:00am, where Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury will be discussed.

What the Tech!

Technology can be tricky! Samuels Public library invites you to come out and join us Thursday, February 22nd at 4:00 P. M. so you can ask our teen volunteers for help with your personal devices. Bring phones, smart devices, tablets, laptops or e-Readers and plenty of questions. Let our teens update you on the latest tech tips and tricks! Be sure to register so we have enough teens to help!

Town Notices
Criser Road Trail project
January 18, 2018
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The Town of Front Royal Criser Road Trail project is adding sidewalk along Criser Rd on the South side from South Royal Avenue to Apartment Building.

Lantz Construction Winchester is the contractor and will have shoulder closures at times.

Due to weather, project has been extended through February 16 in the hours of 7:00am – 3:30pm.

Motorists are asked to use caution while driving in this area and be aware of crews working.

Public Works 540-635-7819

As part of the Criser Road Trail Project, Lantz Construction will have temporary lane closure at Route 340 and E Criser Road-East bound lane on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 9:00 am until complete (approximately 2 hours)-weather permitting.

Town Notices
Town has lifted the status of Voluntary Water Conservation
January 18, 2018
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The Town of Front Royal Public Works Department has observed that the average stream flow rate of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River has increased; therefore, the Town has lifted the status of Voluntary Water Conservation for its municipal water system users.

Thank you for your assistance in conserving the Town of Front Royal’s water resources during the most recent periods of low river flow. Please continue to monitor your local media sources for future reports of water conservation efforts in the Town of Front Royal if the average stream flow rate decreases.

If you have any questions about water conservation efforts and would like to learn more about conserving water usage, please contact the Public Works Department (540) 635-7819.

Joe Waltz
Town Manager

Town Events
Dozer: Pet of the Month
January 18, 2018
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Dozer is a 2 year old Pitbull terrier with brown and white markings. Dozer is already neutered and up to date on all his vaccines. He is a big, strong boy with tons of energy! Dozer needs a home without cats but can do well with other dogs and older children.

 

Our Westminster Dog Show Raffle is still going on!

Tickets are $10 a piece for a chance to win $500! Your ticket will be randomly assigned a dog breed and if that breed wins Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show, you’ll win the $500!

Tickets can be purchased at the shelter located at 1245 Progress Drive, Front Royal VA. Winner announced February 14th, 2018.

Crime/Court
RSW inmate walks away from work-release jobsite
January 18, 2018
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FRONT ROYAL –  A Hagerstown, MD. man serving a sentence at the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail apparently walked away from his work-release assignment Wednesday afternoon, according to officials.

Matthew Perry Michael walked away from his work-release job with Warren County Parks & Rec. Wednesday, officials say.  Photos from RSW Regional Jail.

A media release from RSW Superintendent Russell S. Gilkison states that on January 17, at around 3:00 p.m., the RSW Regional Jail received notice that RSW Community Custody Work Force inmate Matthew Perry Michael was missing from his work assignment with the Warren County Parks and Recreation Department.

At 6:25 a.m., Michael was transported, along with other Work Force inmates, by Warren County Parks and Recreation personnel to their work assignments at the Warren County Maintenance Shop. The RSW Regional Jail staff was notified around 3:00 p.m. that Michael could not be found. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office was subsequently contacted and a warrant for escape was obtained for Michael.

Matthew Perry Michael, 36, was convicted of Probation Violation on October 16, 2017, by the Warren County Circuit Court and sentenced to 1 year and 11 months, with eight months to serve. He had been following a two-year supervised probation program after receiving a suspended sentence for a Felony Grand Larceny conviction in 2015, according to online court records.

Work Release and Public Work Force was authorized by the Warren County Circuit Court.  Michael was scheduled for release on April 24, 2018.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Matthew Michael is encouraged to contact Investigator Brad Pugh at the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at 540-635-4128.

Michael has this tattoo on his right bicep.

 

Right wrist tattoo.

 

Left arm.

 

Left forearm.

Local Government
Planning Commission vote on breeding kennel permit delayed to Feb. 14
January 18, 2018
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Attorney Jay Neal tells county planners his clients, seated in back of room, are not adversarial in seeking reissuance of a commercial kennel permit following a March fire that killed 16 dogs. Photos/Roger Bianchini

At the request of a Woodstock-based attorney representing Wendy Tenney, a recommendation on her request for the extension of a Conditional Use Permit for a commercial-breeding kennel was postponed to the February 14 meeting of the Warren County Planning Commission.  At the planning commission’s January 10 public hearing Tenney attorney Jay Neal sought the delay on a vote to allow him more time to review background on the permit and planning staff’s initial recommendation it be revoked in the wake of a March 6, 2017 kennel fire in which 16 dogs died.

The Warren County Board of Supervisors sent the matter back to the planning commission and staff for further review after a November 7 hearing on that initial recommendation Tenney’s kennel permit be revoked.

The planning staff agenda summary cites a December 2016 pre-fire visit by a Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officer Laura Gomez at which a space heater being used to warm the kennel was observed with a frayed wire believed to have been caused by one or more of Tenney’s breeding stock of Australian Shepherds gnawing on it.

A post-fire letter from County Planner Matt Wendling dated March 10, four days after the fire, notes that no electrical permit for the kennel building had been found by planning staff.

Other issues cited from either county staff visits or neighbor complaints prior to the fire were:

  • accumulated trash and feces in the kennel;
  • septic drainage toward neighboring properties and a consequent strong odor coming from the kennel property;
  • a failure to license kennel dogs over a two-year period 2015-16;
  • exceeding the maximum number of 11 permitted dogs by housing as many as “approximately 19” adult dogs;
  • inoperable barking suppression collars;
  • and repeated cancellations of scheduled county staff or animal warden visits without effort to reschedule.

Wendling wrote that the accumulation of combustible trash and debris in the kennel “certainly contributed to the rapid combustion of the structure as observed by both staff and (Animal Control) Deputy Gomez.”  Subsequent communications between Mrs. Tenney and planning officials indicates growing tension as Tenney denied she was alerted to any serious problems prior to the March 2017 fire.

During the January 10 discussion County Planning Director Taryn Logan noted that Mrs. Tenney felt she was “being targeted” by planning staff in the wake of the fire and resultant canine fatalities.  Logan disputed that notion, telling the commission that it was the department’s responsibility to review anyone’s permit for a judgment on whether it was in the best interest of the “health, safety and welfare” of the community (not to mention of the canines being housed there, she might have added).

County Planning Director Taryn Logan told commissioners her staff has not singled Tenney out for any scrutiny that would not be applied to any permitting application.

On August 31, 2017, a certified “Notice of Violation” letter from the planning department was sent to Tenney giving her 60 days to state why her kennel permit should not be revoked.  Two months later when planning staff and a county animal warden arrived for an unscheduled site visit the week prior to the November 7 board of supervisors hearing on the revocation recommendation, Tenney denied the group access to the property.

Among recommendations for the extension of Tenney’s kennel permit is submission to any scheduled or unscheduled site visits by county planning staff or animal wardens.

Tenney’s permit to operate a kennel for up to 11 adult dogs on her 3.17-acre property was originally issued in November 2012 under the county’s old ordinance.  That ordinance was updated in January 2013 to cover three different types of kennels: Boarding, Commercial and Non-commercial.  However, the Tenney permit was grandfathered in under the old, more general guidelines.  In the wake of the supervisors’ failure to act on the staff revocation recommendation in November, Tenney continues to be licensed under her original 2012 permit.

Staff recommendation on any permit extension cites a maximum number of 10 adult dogs.  However, in recounting conditions for extension of the Tenney kennel permit staff noted that the family kept one survivor of the fire as a pet.  That dog would not be counted among the 10-dog limit suggested for a new permit,” Logan said.

In introducing himself prior to asking for a delay on a vote, attorney Neal said his clients were not “adversarial” but did dispute public accounts of the kennel operation as “a train wreck waiting to happen”.  Neal said that the Tenneys homeschooled their children, so the kennel business was a convenient commercial use that the family enjoys.

During discussion of the requested delay in issuing a recommendation to the board of supervisors county Planning Commissioners Ralph Rinaldi and Hugh Henry expressed a desire to see both a building plan for a new kennel structure and a business plan for future kennel operations.

No one other than Tenney attorney Neal spoke at the January 10 public hearing.  With the public hearing adjourned, any member of the public wishing to address conditions of a permit extension could speak at “Public Presentations” near the start of February 14 meeting.  A final determination on extension or revocation of the Tenney kennel permit would come after another public hearing before the board of supervisors.

The family of applicant Wendy Tenney, center, listens to Jan. 10 discussion of whether her kennel permit should be revoked in the wake of fatal March kennel fire.

Legislative Update
House Judiciary Committee Approves the Disclosing Foreign Influence Act
January 18, 2018
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee today approved the Disclosing Foreign Influence Act (H.R. 4170) by a vote of 15-6. This bipartisan piece of legislation updates the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) to improve the transparency and give enforcement authority to the Department of Justice. Representative Mike Johnson (R-La.) is the chief sponsor of H.R. 4170.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued the following statement:

“The House Judiciary Committee voted today in favor of transparency and accountability. By closing the dangerous loopholes in the Foreign Agents Registration Act, this legislation gives the Department of Justice the crucial enforcement tools it needs to investigate foreign agents, identify fraud, and hold violators accountable. I appreciate all of the hard work that Representative Johnson has put into this bipartisan bill, and I urge my colleagues to support it.”

Background:

A 2016 OIG report regarding the Department of Justice (DOJ) National Security Division found that DOJ lacked a comprehensive enforcement strategy and the tools necessary to address abuse of foreign lobbying efforts. H.R. 4170 addresses the ambiguity in the existing law and increases transparency and oversight in DOJ enforcement efforts.

Community Events
Lord Fairfax Community College welcomes Disney Institute to Middletown, VA
January 18, 2018
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Middletown – For the eighth straight year, Disney Institute is bringing its renowned professional development course, Disney’s Approach to Employee Engagement, to Middletown on March 29, 2018. Sponsored by Lord Fairfax Community College Workforce Solutions, the one-day event will help area professionals explore how to adapt training strategies that ensure employees are confident in their roles by creating a holistic plan that drives employee engagement. This day of Disney Institute training uses business insights and time-tested examples from Disney parks and resorts worldwide to inspire individuals and organizations to enhance their own customer experience using Disney principles as their guide.

Disney’s Approach to Employee Engagement gives participants the chance to explore how corporate culture insights and time-tested examples from Disney parks and resorts worldwide can provide relevant illustrations and engaging stories to help organizations deliver the type of long-term results they are capable of delivering.

The Disney Institute at LFCC has been a big draw, with more than 1,300 participants from 13 states participating in prior institutes. Last year saw the biggest crowd ever, with 244 attendees.

Early Bird Registration is $445 and includes all course materials as well as lunch and light snacks. Price goes up to $495 after February 15, 2018. Employers, ask us about BOGO – Buy One Get One Free & Group Ticket Pricing. For more information or to register, call 540-868-7021 or visit LFCCWorkforce.com/DI

About Disney Institute
As the trusted, authoritative voice on the Disney approach to customer experience, Disney Institute uses business insights and time-tested examples from Disney parks and resorts worldwide to inspire individuals and organizations to enhance their own customer experience using Disney principles as their guide. For nearly three decades, Disney Institute has helped professionals discover ways to positively impact their
organizations and the customer they serve through immersion in leadership, service and employee engagement. Unique to Disney Institute is the opportunity to go behind the scenes in a “living laboratory” to observe firsthand how Disney methodologies are operationalized and how they can be adapted and applied to any work environment.
To learn more, visit www.disneyinstitute.com or call 321-939-4600.

Legislative Update
General Assembly Session Update – Senator Mark Obenshain
January 18, 2018
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We are almost one week into the 2018 General Assembly Session and it has been a productive one thus far.

The Senate of Virginia began with the same 40 senators on Wednesday of this past week.  All 40 senators are in the same seats and are members of the same committees on which they served last year.  That is about the only thing that hasn’t changed in Capitol Square since we concluded the 2017 session.

The House of Delegates is very different than it was last year.  They have a new Speaker, Kirk Cox of Colonial Heights, who was elected on the opening day of session.  And, they have 19 new delegates.  Of those new delegates, 16 are Democrats and 3 are Republicans, and the House’s partisan balance is now 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats.  That’s a lot closer to the 21 Republicans and 19 Democrats in the Senate.

The opening day of session concluded with Governor McAuliffe delivering his final State of the Commonwealth Address.  We heard two speeches from newly-elected Governor Northam.  He delivered his Inaugural Address after taking the oath of office on Saturday and on Monday, he addressed a joint session of the House and Senate, outlining his plans and priorities for the 2018 session. I was disappointed in the tone of his speech before our body – I was hoping for a more bipartisan approach as we seek to enact substantive reforms this Session.

Despite the closer margins in the House and the start of a new Governor and new Democrat administration, I will continue here in the Senate to work with my conservative colleagues to prioritize legislative issues that will make life better for Virginians. I continue to serve as Chair of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee and on Monday, we began to hear bills in committee. I was dismayed to see that the outside influences of Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group, among others, continues to make significant attempts here in Virginia to push through overburdensome gun control laws. On Monday we got off to a fast start. We heard dozens of new bills that would impose new restrictions on law abiding Virginians to keep and bear arms. Together with a majority of my colleagues, I was proud to have stood up for our Second Amendment rights.

Education reform is one of the most pressing issues in which I believe. We have children in our district and around the Commonwealth who are trapped in failing school divisions. We must do more to ensure that every child has an opportunity to receive a quality education. That is why I have proposed a bill to create regional charter school divisions. The charter school model, allowing for more autonomy and innovation in the administration and the classroom, has been successful in states around our nation, both Red and Blue. I have listened to opponents and have carefully drafted the bill so that it will focus on regions with truly failing schools. However, we have met opposition, even to this model. We have just nine charter schools that serve 2,000 students. If we are serious about providing a lifeline for children and parents in failing school divisions then that has to change. I hope that our new governor, along with my colleagues in the Senate and the House, will join me in passing and signing this important piece of legislation.

Voter fraud is another issue of great importance to me. I have proposed Senate Bill 523, which establishes electronic pollbooks that contain photographs of voters. This commonsense piece of legislation will encourage cross-agency collaboration by requiring pollbooks to contain photographs of registered voters that are a part of voter photo identification cards or a voter’s Department of Motor Vehicles record. This will make the system more efficient but more importantly will improve the integrity of our voter system. If there is a photo from a state approved database, then a voter is not required to show another form of ID. Additionally, I have proposed Senate Bill 521, wherein local electoral boards are required to investigate the list of registered voters if the number of registered voters exceeds the population of voting age citizens in that locality. It makes no sense to me that in some localities, the number of registered voters actually exceeds the number of eligible voting age citizens. I hope this bill will improve our system by requiring an investigation when there are more registered voters than individuals of voting age.

In addition, I am working on a number of initiatives to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion on Interstate 81. This interstate has been overlooked for too long by state legislators and administrations alike. We must make substantive reforms to ensure that drivers can travel on this critically important interstate safely and efficiently. One bill I have proposed directs the Department of Transportation to conduct a pilot program establishing zones where trucks are required to travel only in the right lane. Ideally, these zones will allow the left lane to remain clear for passing vehicles, directly reducing congestion and keeping traffic flowing. This bill, by establishing the pilot program, is a part of a bigger effort and emphasis on improving Interstate 81. More on I-81 later.

To see the full list of over 20 bills I have patroned, please click here.

As bills begin to make it out of committee and onto the floor of the respective houses of the General Assembly, I promise to continue to fight with my fellow conservatives in the House and Senate to protect those beliefs for which I have always fought.

Each week, I will be sharing with you updates on the session and my legislative initiatives which I hope will continue to make life better for my constituents in the Shenandoah Valley. We have a new building here in Richmond while they tear down and build a new GAB. We are housed in the Pocahontas Building for the next four years and we’re settling in nicely here. If you are in Richmond during General Assembly, please stop by our new office, Room 502 on the 5th Floor – East Side. If you have issues you would like to discuss or if you would like to arrange a tour, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 804-698-7526 or email me at [email protected]. My legislative aide, Jenni Aulgur, and I stand ready to assist you in any way we can.