Author archive: Norma Jean Shaw

Local News
Local artist Sarah Miller is a hit at MAGfest convention
January 16, 2018

Artist Sarah Miller signs a print for a fan at the MAGfestConvention, held recently at the National Harbor, MD. / Photos provided by Sarah Miller.

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – If you haven’t heard of local artist Sarah Miller yet, that may change in the near future. The digital painter recently displayed and sold her artwork at MAGfest, a music and gaming convention held annually at National Harbor, MD.

Ms.Miller’s illustrations were quite popular amongst the thousands of people who flock to the yearly event to celebrate a shared love of visual and game art. She nearly sold out of some of her work, she said, which she markets under her business name, Sarah Miller Creations.

“It was an amazing weekend and I am still just beyond humbled from the support and love my work received,” Sarah said of the Jan. 4-7th, 2018 event. “I got to meet so many wonderful people, talented artists, and even some famous voice actors! It was an experience I’ll never forget.”

Sarah’s colorful portfolio focuses on character design and fantasy illustrations, and explores a variety of imaginative and surreal concepts. Her artwork–as well as her print shop–can be found online: Sarah Miller Creations.

National Media Services was happy to supply Sarah with the prints she needed and can’t wait to see where her creations take her in 2018, according to Mike McCool, company owner.

Seeds of Power, by artist Sarah Miller.

Local News Town Events
Free community breakfast Saturday open to all, aims to identify, assist homeless
January 15, 2018

A volunteer serves a meal at a previous event. /File photo.

FRONT ROYAL – A free community breakfast will be held on  Saturday, Jan. 20 from 8 a.m. to noon at the  Calvary Episcopal Church, Parish Hall (2nd St. behind Church) at 132 North Royal Ave. in town.

Linda Allen, coordinator for the event, said in a media release,  “All are welcome. We want the breakfast to be a meet-and-greet vehicle to strengthen the community, pool info on how we can identify and assist those going through a homeless experience, and get word out about the ‘Point in Time
Count,’ which is the collection of data HUD uses to allocate funds to our region.

These funds go to housing assistance, mental health services, and shelter placement. Funds are allocated by the ‘Continuum of Care,’ which doles out the money to local, approved organizations.”

The purpose of the ‘Drop-In Café’ , which operates under the nonprofit Center for Workforce Development, is to feed, listen and talk with those experiencing hardships.

Ms. Allen said that in cooperation with other organizations, the group will  “assist in submitting local and state forms to connect individuals to resources for financial help, food, and job training.”

She said the group can also assist with  resume writing, helping the homeless keep medical appointments and manage medical records,  provide
assistance in finding jobs and can provide clothing and sleeping bags, if needed.

“The short term goal is to keep people warm and dry. The long term objective is to develop a shelter for women and families as well as a thermal shelter during the winter months,” the release states.

Linda Allen said in an interview Monday morning that, “This winter has been particularly brutal.  We have homeless who are living outside and something MUST be done!”

She says that donations of items such as tents, warm socks, gloves, thermal underwear, personal care/hygiene items for men and women and gift cards (from local stores where needed items can be purchased) are currently needed and greatly appreciated.  Monetary donations are also appreciated, and tax-deductible, as the Center for Workforce Development is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

For more information, or to volunteer or arrange pick-up of a donation, contact Ms. Allen at 540-550-0110.

Local News
National Park Service waives entrance fees on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 15, 2018

Mary’s Rock/ Photo provided by U.S. National Park Service

The National Park Service is celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day by waiving entrance fees.

The “fee-free” day on Monday covers entrance fees, commercial tour fees and transportation entrance fees, though camping and tour fees may still apply.

National Parks in Virginia waiving fees on Monday include:

•Assateague Island National Seashore
•Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
•George Washington Memorial Parkway’s Great Falls Park
•Prince William Forest Park
•Shenandoah National Park

A full list of National Park sites is available on the Find Your Park website.

Community Events
Thermal Shelter planning meeting slated for Thursday evening
January 10, 2018

FRONT ROYAL –  A meeting to discuss the creation of a thermal shelter for the homeless of Front Royal and Warren County will be held Thursday, Jan. 11 at  6:30 PM at the New Hope Bible Church at 80 N. Lake Ave, Front Royal.

Kathy Leonard, homeless liaison for the effort, said, “We are gathering the forces to make this thing happen! If you would like to be part of the solution, join us!”

In a Facebook posting advertising the meeting, Leonard wrote, “Please feel free to forward this to anyone and everyone that you think may be willing to help. Your attendance to this meeting does not commit your participation. But, you will have opportunities to commit your participation.”

Please bring your calendars, schedules, notebooks and decision makers. This will be both an informational meeting and a working meeting. It’s COLD

For more information about the meeting, or ways in which you may help the homeless or volunteer,  contact Kathy Leonard  at [email protected]

Local News
Jan. 9 is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
January 8, 2018

FRPD Chief Kahle Magalis accepts an honor from Warren/Page N.A.A.C.P. President A.D. Carter in the Blessing of the Badge ceremony in Nov. 2017. (Courtesy photos)

Across the United States, on January 9, citizens will use the day,  National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.), to honor and thank Law Enforcement Officers.  National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day grew out of negativity directed toward law enforcement nationally, according to Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), an organization begun in 1984 to honor and remember fallen officers and to assist their families.

Law Enforcement Officers of every rank and file have chosen a career that puts their life on the line every day for their communities.
They’ve answered a call to public service that is demanding and often unappreciated. On National Law Enforcement Day, the community has an opportunity to thank the officers for their service and offer a token of respect.

In a number of communities, such as Front Royal, there is not an atmosphere of disrespect and distrust for law enforcement officers that sometimes occurs in other parts of the country.

Front Royal Police Chief Kahle Magalis said, “We are very fortunate to work in a community that is supportive of law enforcement. We are so appreciative that the citizens of Front Royal and Warren County are in tune with our mission. It is always refreshing to hear those words of encouragement from the public.”

On January 9th of each year citizens who appreciate law enforcement and are discouraged about the negative attention being given to law enforcement are encouraged to take time to show their support. Citizens can show their support in a number of ways:

• Change your profile picture on social media to the .jpg image provided at
• Wear blue clothing in support of law enforcement.
• Send a card of support to your local police department or state agency.
• Share a story about a positive law enforcement experience on social media.
• Ask children in your community to write letters in support of law enforcement.
• Participate in Project Blue Light – Proudly display your blue light in support of law enforcement.
• Use the hashtag #LEAD2018 when sharing posts on social media.

The Talbott family delivered these cookies to the FRPD to say “thank you” for the kindness shown to them by an officer. 

Most importantly, if you see an officer, thank him or her!

Local News
Shenandoah Farms house fire displaces occupant Monday
January 8, 2018

Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze at a Shenandoah Farms home on Monday, Jan. 8. Courtesy photo.

WARREN COUNTY – A home in the Shenandoah Farms area of Warren County was destroyed by fire Monday morning, according to officials with Warren County Fire and Rescue.

A media release from Warren County Fire Chief Richard E. Mabie’s  office  says that  at  9:16 a.m. Monday, Warren County Fire and Rescue Units were dispatched for a reported house fire at 439 Young’s Drive in Shenandoah Farms.

The release states that, “Fire and Rescue units arrived on the scene to find a single story, single family home with fire throughout the first floor and through the roof.”

No one was home at the time of the fire according to Chief Mabie.  It took firefighters about 30 minutes to bring the blaze under control, with firefighters remaining on scene for several hours to ensure the fire was fully extinguished.

The lone occupant of the home has been displaced as a result of the incident; he is receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Warren County fire marshal’s office.  There were no reported injuries to firefighters or occupant. The fire caused an estimated $180,000 in property and contents damages.

Firefighters from Warren County Fire and Rescue responded on the call with mutual aid assistance and 22 personnel.

Clarke County provided a Tanker truck to assist with extinguishing the blaze  and Fauquier County (Upperville) provided an Engine and Tanker on scene.


Warren County man arrested for shooting into occupied dwelling
January 2, 2018

Frederick County deputies responded to reports of shots fired on Jan. 1, 2018 in the 100 block of Star Tannery Road.

FREDERICK COUNTY, VA – A Warren County man was arrested and charged with reckless handling of a firearm and shooting into an occupied dwelling following an incident just past midnight on New Years Day.

Captain Aleck Beeman, a spokesman for the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office says Michael Priola, 26, of Browntown, was arrested and charged after admitting to firing “around five shots from a .40 caliber pistol.”

Deputies responded to a 12:03 a.m.  call in the 100 block of Star Tannery Road for a report of shots fired into a residence.

The victim reported to deputies that neighbors across the street had been firing guns at midnight, after which he found a bullet lying on his kitchen floor.  The bullet, Captain Beeman said,  had apparently entered the wall, come through the kitchen cabinet and fallen onto the floor.

Deputies then questioned the neighbors, who stated that during a New Year’s Eve gathering,  a guest had gone outside and fired several shots from a pistol.  Michael Priola, a Warren County resident, stated that he had fired around five shots from a .40 caliber pistol.  He was arrested and charged with reckless handling of a firearm and shooting into an occupied dwelling.

Priola was held at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center until sober and then was released on a $5000 unsecured bond.

Avoid hypothermia and frostbite during frigid January temperatures
January 2, 2018

With temperatures across much of the country predicted to remain south of freezing for at least another week, it is important to take extra precautions to prevent cold-related health issues, such as hypothermia or frostbite, from developing.

Hypothermia, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), is an abnormally low body temperature, and  a dangerous condition that can occur when a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. When the body temperature drops too low, it affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well.

Stay safe this winter by learning more about Hypothermia, including who is most at risk, signs and symptoms, and what to do if someone develops hypothermia.

Frostbite is a bodily injury caused by freezing that results in loss of feeling and color in affected areas, according to the CDC. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, with severe cases leading to amputation.

Stay safe this winter by learning more about Frostbite, including who is most at risk, signs and symptoms, and what to do if someone develops frostbite.

For more information about winter weather safety, emergency preparedness, healthy living and more, visit the CDC.



Local News
Mother of 2010 Warren County High grad Glenn Mikulak offers scholarship in his memory
December 30, 2017

Glenn Mikulak built a replica cruise ship after a trip to the Caribbean

– Glenda Mikulak was mother to a most extraordinary son. In sprite of the challenges of having Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and being confined to a wheelchair, Glenn Mikulak lived his life as fully as any other boy—right up until he died at the age of 18.

In his short life, the 2010 Warren County High School student touched many lives, including his late grandmother, Linda F. Hogoboom, as well as the students and teachers at his alma mater.
In fact, Glenn’s model of an eight-foot, six-inch replica of a cruise ship on which he sailed, is housed in the library at WCHS. Glenn was inspired to build the ship—dubbed the “Glennship” — with 10,000 K’NEX pieces while still on a cruise with his family.

Everyone who met Glenn knew he had a brilliant future ahead one him; he had planned to become an engineer. His mother is certain he would have achieved his goals, had he lived and gone to college.

That is why Glenda Mikulak decided to create the Linda F. Hogoboom Memorial/Glenn Mikulak Scholarship—to provide a $500 award to one college-bound senior at both Warren County high schools who has helped special needs peers and has a desire to contribute to society. Royal Examiner Editor Norma Jean Shaw chatted with Ms. Mikulak in front of her son’s creation, the “Glennship” recently…

Click to download application.

Local News
Official: Osage Street fire under investigation, seeking public’s help
December 29, 2017

Warren County Fire & Rescue personnel tackle a camper fire Thursday afternoon on Osage Street. / Courtesy photos.

FRONT ROYAL – Investigators from both the Warren County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Front Royal Police Department are seeking information regarding a Thursday afternoon fire on Osage Street that destroyed a mobile camper and damaged a nearby parked vehicle and apartment building.

In a media release Thursday evening, Fire Marshal Gerry R. Maiatico said that on Thursday, (December 28) at 4:38pm, first responders were alerted to a reported camper fire in the 300 block of Osage Street in town.

Arriving units found a mobile-type camper fully involved with fire which threatened a nearby apartment building. Maiatico said crews were able to quickly contain the blaze, but not before it destroyed the camper and damaged a nearby vehicle and apartment building.

Firefighters worked in bitter cold temperatures Thursday to contain a camper fire, before it could spread to a nearby apartment building.

Maiatico  said bystanders, along with Front Royal Police Department officers, helped evacuate the apartment building.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Maiatico stated in the release, saying that “while the fire was quickly contained, this fire incident could have quickly spread out of control and could have easily posed a serious threat to the occupants of the neighboring apartments.”

No one was injured in the incident.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Warren County Fire Marshal’s Office at (540) 638-3830 or Detective David Fogle, with the Front Royal Police Department, at (540) 636-2208 or [email protected]