Freedom Unmasked – You Win Some…(episode 3)
February 19, 2018

Listen this week as every athlete on the Freedom team gives a recap of a tough loss they experienced, the lessons learned and how they plan on moving forward. They speak honest and from the heart, no excuses.

We have a cheer gym here in Front Royal that is doing some amazing things. Each week Jenspiration goes out to film the cheer squad, Freedom, in action during practice. The videos are authentic and show real situations the team experience. They do not always agree but work together to resolve disagreements. The athletes know, working “together” they can accomplish anything! Divided they are limited….

All Star Legacy Front Royal is a positive program for our children to experience tumbling and cheer at all ages and levels. Watch the real stories of Freedom Unmasked on the Royal Examiner!

“FREEDOM” isn’t FREE, it’s paid for by many. – a reminder from Coach Rogers
Created by Jenspiration, LLC

Legislative Update
Goodlatte Requests FBI Briefing on Florida Shooting
February 19, 2018

On February 14th, 17 lives were tragically taken in a shooting at a high school in Florida. Several others were injured. The events that unfolded there are absolutely devastating. Our hearts and prayers as a nation are with the students, teachers, staff, and their family members as well as the entire Parkland community during this very difficult time. Students should feel safe in their schools, and our country must continue working to deter gun violence by helping those suffering from mental illness, ensuring that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database has all relevant information, and enforcing our nation’s gun laws.

In the wake of this tragic shooting, authorities have sifted through the past of the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, to determine whether there were warning signs that he was capable of such monstrous actions. There were. On Friday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy and I sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting a briefing on why FBI protocols were not followed regarding tips the agency received on Cruz. We are seeking to understand these protocols and know why they were not followed in this case.

Stopping by Page One in Luray

On Tuesday, I had the chance to visit Page One in Luray. Page One runs a thrift shop and food pantry, which serves many families in Page County. They are staffed by a dedicated group and have partnered with several organizations in the community. Recently, Page One purchased a new building so that they could continue growing their good work. This is a great example of a community working together to help meet its own needs. Thanks to Connie and Lois for the tour!

Protecting Athletes from Abuse

With the Olympics underway, I’m sure many of you have marveled at the skill and talent of America’s athletes. It’s truly remarkable! At the same time, many of you have likely followed the disturbing stories of abuse in the USA Gymnastics organization by Dr. Larry Nassar. The sentencing of Dr. Nassar highlights the need for serious reforms to protect young athletes and hold predators accountable.

Recently, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act was passed by Congress, and last week it was signed into law by President Trump. This bill mandates that amateur athletics governing bodies immediately report allegations of abuse, including sexual abuse, to law enforcement. It also establishes best practices for preventing abuse and provides governing bodies with guidelines about reporting abuse. These changes respond to the needs of victims and will make amateur athletics safer for future Olympians. I was proud to support this bill and help work to see it signed into law.

The Next Generation of America’s Leaders

Recently, I announced my nomination of several young men and women from the Sixth District to compete for an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, or U.S. Naval Academy. America’s military has produced some of our country’s most distinguished leaders. These individuals have expressed an interest in following in their footsteps, and I applaud them for their willingness to protect and defend the United States.

At our nation’s service academies, students have the opportunity to receive a quality education and training to become the next generation of leaders. I am confident that those selected for an appointment will serve the United States with distinction. For a full list of the nominees, please visit Goodlatte.House.Gov.

In Case You Missed It…
• On the road again: Goodlatte Responds to General Assembly Members on I-81

• NEW: Thomas Cullen Nominated as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia

• VIDEO Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently testified before the House Agriculture Committee on the “State of the Rural Economy.” I agree with him that reforming the system for agricultural guest workers and ensuring a stable, legal workforce for farmers and producers is one of the most important issues facing American agriculture.

• What is the Securing America’s Future Act? Click here to learn more about my bill that closes many gaping loopholes in our existing immigration enforcement laws, makes important reforms to our legal immigration programs, secures the border, and provides a legislative solution for the current beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

• WATCH: Last week, I joined America’s Newsroom on Fox News to discuss the latest on immigration reform efforts in the House.

• Tax season is here! The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to those who qualify. Click here to learn more or find a VITA site near you.

Welcome to Washington!

As co-chair of the Congressional Independent Colleges Caucus, I enjoyed welcoming several representatives from independent colleges and universities in the Sixth District to D.C. earlier this month. Pictured here is Dr. NL Bishop, President of Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke, and his wife, Sylvia. I am fortunate to represent so many excellent schools in the Sixth District.

B12 for proper brain functioning
February 19, 2018

The super vitamin B12 is a multitasker. It helps regulate how you feel, how well you think, and even appetite.

Vitamin B12 is known to help the brain produce chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine, which regulate mood and anxiety.

When people don’t have enough B12 they experience symptoms such as fatigue, mouth or tongue soreness, constipation and a loss of appetite. They may be confused, have poor memory or feel depressed.

Although certain cereals and breads are often fortified with B12, animal proteins are really the only natural sources. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 2.4 mcg of B12 daily from three ounces of beef or three cups of milk. Foods rich in B12 include liver, meat, eggs, poultry, shellfish, milk and milk products such as cheese and yogurt.

The stomach acid needed to absorb B12 declines with age, disease and behavior. Heavy drinking and even potassium supplements block absorption. So can heavy use of antacids. Diseases such as celiac and Crohn’s may render people unable to absorb adequate amounts of B12 from food.

Stent patients should beware of sleep apnea, study warns
February 18, 2018

Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type of sleep problem, has long been linked to coronary artery disease, stroke and other heart-related problems.

A new study takes these findings further, linking OSA to blood clot formation in stents in heart patients.
The condition, called stent thrombosis, is a life threatening problem.

Writing in the August 2017 issue of BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, researchers found that patients with OSA had a 7.34 times greater risk of stent thrombosis than patients without OSA.

People with OSA frequently snore and gasp for breath during sleep. They can be excessively sleepy during the daytime and have insomnia at night. They also have frequent incidents of nightmares.

OSA affects the cardiovascular system by disrupting the balance of clotting and anticlotting factors, leaving the person predisposed to blood clotting, according to Duke Medicine.

OSA increases the risk of stroke for both men and women, but men with OSA have double or triple the risk. OSA is a treatable condition. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is one treatment.

The new study also suggests that in stent surgery on OSA patients, cleaning out plaque before inserting a stent might reduce rates of later thrombosis. The researchers also advised using the largest stent possible and following up with the most potent antiplatelet drugs to inhibit clots.

Workplace 2018: Consider the clear path
February 17, 2018

Tim Ferriss spoke to 100 of the world’s best thinkers and doers for his book, Tribe of Mentors, and some of their thoughts grabbed his attention and held on.

One of the ideas that he says he will think about forever was a quote from Chase Jarvis, the hyper-kinetic photographer and CEO of

Jarvis said simply this:

“What would this look like if it were easy?”

After that question come a half dozen others that probe the essence of work and productivity. Blogger Jonathan Vieker asks:

Why is this done in the first place?

What is slowing down the process?

Could I eliminate steps?

What can I do differently?

These are questions that can clarify both work and home tasks to simplify and create the clear path. In office settings, many paper-based tasks remain. Perhaps these could be digitized, simplified or clarified.

Local Government
Fatal kennel fire applicant granted second delay by county planners
February 17, 2018

Lorraine Smelser, left, ponders the consequences of denial of a second Tenney request of a 30-day delay in a planning commission decision on re-forwarding a recommendation on her breeding kennel permit to the board of supervisors. Ralph Rinaldi is to far right. Photos/Roger Bianchini

FRONT ROYAL – Wendy Tenney, operator of a breeding kennel destroyed in a fatal fire in which 16 dogs died last year, has been granted a second extension on consideration of a request her kennel conditional use permit (CUP) be re-approved. A letter from Tenney attorney Jay Neal received 10-1/2 hours prior to the February 14 Warren County Planning Commission meeting explained his client was not yet prepared to present the requested materials asked for by the county planners on January 10.

At the January 10 public hearing Tenney’s attorney sought the first 30-day delay on an official recommendation by the planning commission to allow him more time to review background on the permit and the planning department’s initial recommendation it be revoked. At the January meeting Planning Commissioners Ralph Rinaldi and Hugh Henry asked that Tenney produce a building plan for a new kennel structure and a business plan for future kennel operations.

Of the status of that request on February 14, Neal wrote Planning Director Taryn Logan, “Wendy’s idea of a business plan was basically a listing of the conditions of her SUP (sic, CUP), but we discussed what I felt the PC is looking for – accurate business details about the operation – and I’ll need to meet with her to get all of those details.” Neal also cited issues with determining a contractor to build a new kennel since he reported according to his client price quotes “seem to be all over the place”.

While the vote to allow another 30-day extension was unanimous, it was not without some dissent and asides about past Tenney communications to the county government in the wake of the March 6, 2017 kennel fire.

“I don’t think we should do another 30 days – she certainly has the capability of writing something as she has shown. I’m through with it, but I’ll go along with whatever you all think,” Shenandoah District Planning Commissioner Ralph Rinaldi said of the requested extension.

“She’ll probably file a lawsuit as the next step if we don’t – I’m willing to go 30 more days,” South River Commissioner Lorraine Smelser told her colleagues.

Not my fault – yours!

Communications from Gethsemane Mountain Ranch kennel proprietor Wendy Tenney to county officials in the wake of the fatal fire have been contentious at best. In a series of letters Tenney aggressively shifts blame for the fire on county officials and codes, declining to accept any responsibility for what happened in her kennel despite county staff findings she illegally heated the kennel and that heating was the source of the fire.

Among county warnings about violations at her kennel prior to the fatal fire was a concern by animal control about use of a space heater in the kennel with frayed wiring believed caused by dog chewing. Of that concern, Tenney wrote County Planning Director Taryn Logan on October 20, “(Animal Control) Deputy Gomez expressed concern of using a space heater, yes, and told of a sheep barn burning recently because of the use. I expressed concern of having to use a heater in the first place, but explained that it is a condition of the kennel CUP permit holders as I was told from the beginning, so what choice do any of us have?”

The referenced zoning regulation highlighted in a staff response concerning heating in kennels states, “Animals shall be confined within an enclosed soundproofed, heated and air-conditioned building from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.”

A letter to Tenney four days after the kennel fire from County Planner Matt Wendling expresses “condolences over your loss” adding “but this could have been prevented by addressing matters brought to your attention during previous visits by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office Animal Warden Deputy Gomez.” Wendling observed that, “County Planning staff has found no electrical permits for the accessory structure which housed the dogs.”

County Emergency Services Officer Raymond Cross filed the official report on the fire. Cross contacted Tenney upon arriving at the fire scene. He reported her telling him she had been awakened by “fire personnel knocking on the door.” She told him that the fire crew had managed to save three larger dogs, but that seven adult dogs and nine puppies had been lost in the fire. Cross then proceeded to investigate the scene.

“I was able to follow the burn patterns back to the area of the electrical space heater and found the wires and some components of that. I did speak with the male at the scene in reference to the breaker this power was on and he advised that he was unable to locate where it came into the panel and if it even did, again his friend wired it with no county inspection or permit,” Cross’s report states.

Contacted for this story while off duty, Cross said without his 11-month-old report in front of him he could say only he was fairly certain the referenced “male at the scene” was Wendy Tenney’s husband.

However, in her October 20 letter to County Planning Director Logan defending her operation, Tenney wrote, “And again, for the record, the night of the fire I was in complete compliance according to Warren County Code. And, my dogs were up as it was after 10 p.m., according to code; and they had heat, according to code. They couldn’t escape and it Killed Them. They died adhering to Warren County Code.”

However, the above-referenced county zoning regulation regarding HVAC to a kennel does not appear to cite space heaters or illegally wired electric to facilitate their use as the preferred means of providing adequate heating and cooling to kennel animals.

Even so, in an April 25 letter to the members of the Warren County Board of Supervisors Tenney cited her perception on procedural issues and processes to claim the County, not her, was responsible for the fire and death of 16 dogs on her property. At the point of her ire was County Planner Matt Wendling, author of the March 10 staff letter to Tenney four days after the fire. She cited a lack of harsh, certified-letter reprimands about alleged permit violations prior to the fire as an indication she had been

in compliance when the fire occurred. Tenney also referenced the planning department recommendation to revoke her kennel permit as indicative of an innate prejudice against the county’s small landowners. The Tenney property is 3.17 acres.

“I realize that as being an owner of only one property in the Agricultural section of the South River District may make me appear less than significant in your eyes, but I can assure that what is being done to me and my family is very relevant to others within the county,” Tenney wrote the supervisors. She urges the county’s elected officials to act of their “own volition” rather than upon the recommendation of their planning department and its research into her operation, research she terms “harassment”.

In concluding the March 10, 2017 county planning department response to the fatal kennel fire, Wendling wrote, “Again my condolences in regard to the loss of life and if you have any questions regarding this matter and any correspondence I will be available to assist you. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation of the County’s position in this matter.”

See what YOU did!

Above, on Jan. 10 attorney Jay Neal told county planners his client is not adversarial in seeking reissuance of a commercial kennel permit following a March 2017 fire that killed 16 dogs; below, Wendy Tenney, center, her children and mother listen on Jan. 10.

In her response to Wendling’s post-fire notice of 60 days in which to respond with reasons her kennel permit should not be revoked, Tenney assails the county planner personally while describing in detail the condition of some of the dogs that died in the fire.

“Mr. Wendling, although you expressed your condolences in your letter to start revocation, I am having a hard time believing that you understand the grief that my family and I are going through … you will never understand that Grief has no understanding in a hurting heart … Your condolences mean naught to a teenager that just lost his pet and saw him laying where fire consumed him with enough pressure of heat to split his head open. My closest one to me was lying there with her feet and ears burned off. All of the children had a favorite dog. One was so bad that only the county dog tag/license that you pushed me so hard to get, that was under him told which one he was. If you really want to be understanding, and help and assist, let me rebuild and get on with my life, because this was a big part of it,” Tenney wrote, signing off, “In God Almighty’s Hands”.

In her attorney’s January 10 comments to the planning commission, Neal contended his client was “not adversarial” and disputed what he called public accounts the Gethsemane Mountain Ranch kennel operation “as a train wreck waiting to happen.” Neal noted the Tenneys home-schooled their children and said the kennel business was a convenient commercial use that the family enjoys.

A history of warnings

Citing multiple violations of conditions of her original conditional use permit in the wake of the fatal fire, the county planning department forwarded a recommendation to the board of supervisors that her kennel permit be revoked. Issues cited in that revocation recommendation included:

· The warning from Animal Control about a space heater in the kennel with frayed wiring from believed dog chewing

· No electrical permit for the kennel building

· Accumulated trash and feces in the kennel, the former cited in rapid spread of the March 6 fire

· 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

· Repeated cancellations of scheduled county staff or animal warden visits without effort to reschedule

However in the wake of the series of letters to, or copied to, the county’s elected board criticizing its planning staff’s assessment of her operation and county codes related to kennel permits, the county supervisors returned the matter to the planning commission for further review after it came before them on November 7, 2017.

And so on March 14, 2018, just over one year after 16 dogs died in the Gethsemane Mountain kennel at 63 Limeton Church Road, the Warren County Planning Commission will try to ascertain why its initial recommendation of revocation of Wendy Tenney’s conditional use permit for a breeding kennel should be reversed.

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

What Matters Warren
Town Tip Thursday – Best Exterminating Services
February 16, 2018

Click to watch Beth Medved Waller’s first FACEBOOK LIVE Town Tip Thursday with Best Exterminating Services–they have MANY tips to offer about pest, termite and other insect extermination! Watch to learn about how to identify termites, bust some myths about the little insects and discover how you can have a FREE assessment!  Check out the WHAT MATTERS tab here on the Royal Examiner online for more Town Tip Thursdays and WHAT MATTERS Warren interviews.

Best Exterminating owners, Harriet and Gary Harris, have been doing business in the Shenandoah Valley since 1976 and are the leading exterminators in the area. Mention this video for $15 OFF YOUR INITIAL SERVICE!

HOW to Contact Best Exterminating:
Phone: (540) 635-8930

484 Remount Road
Front Royal, VA 22630

​Town Tip Thursday, A What Matters Initiative
​Interview by Beth Medved Waller, Associate Broker, KW-Solutions, Keller Williams Realty


Need Funding For Your Small Business? SBA Loan Programs Might Be The Answer
February 16, 2018

Starting a small business takes time, hard work, and money. Depending on your type of business and your present financial situation, you may find you need to reach to outside sources for funding.

One resource you can turn to for assistance in obtaining a loan to start or grow your business is the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). While the SBA does not directly lend money to small businesses, it can facilitate loans with third party lenders. Various banks, credit unions, community development organizations, and microlending institutions throughout the U.S. partner with the SBA to provide funding to small businesses without access to other financing options with reasonable terms.

SBA sets specific guidelines for loans, which are made by its partners, and it guarantees that they’ll be repaid by the borrowers. This benefits small business owners by giving them access to much-needed funding, and it eliminates some of the risk to the lending partners.

To qualify for an SBA loan, your business must meet certain criteria regarding business size, financial standing, and others. You must also meet the credit qualifications of the lender.

Several advantages of SBA loans over conventional loans include:

  • Lower down payments
  • Longer repayment terms

Two SBA loan programs that benefit many small businesses are:

7(a) loan program

These loans can be used for various purposes (such as satisfying short-term or long-term working capital needs; purchasing equipment, machinery, and supplies; buying real estate; refinancing existing debt; and more).

Microloan program

This program provides loans up to $50,000 to help businesses with lower dollar financing needs. According to the SBA, the average microloan is approximately $13,000. You may not use microloans to pay existing debt, but you can use them for working capital and purchasing inventory, supplies, furniture, equipment, machinery, etc.

There are other SBA loan programs as well. For information about them, visit the SBA website’s Loan Programs page. You can also find more details about obtaining financing for both start-ups and existing small businesses on the SBA website’s Borrowing Money For Your Business page.

If you want to explore more potential sources of financing for your business, check out the SBA’s Loans and Grants website page. And consider reaching out to your local SCORE Chapter to speak with a mentor who can direct you to lending institutions and organizations in your community. They can also help guide you as you prepare to approach lenders for funding.

Since 1964, SCORE “Mentors to America’s Small Business” has helped more than 10 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners through mentoring and business workshops. More than 11,000 volunteer business mentors in over 320 chapters serve their communities through entrepreneur education dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses. For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800-634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Visit SCORE at

Local News
Race for Education draws career counselor with a heart for mentoring students
February 15, 2018

FRONT ROYAL – Sergeant Career Counselor Michael Pizzuto, a Sergeant in the U.S. Army goes above and beyond when it comes to working with the high school students in the area.  He can often be seen in the halls of both Warren County  high schools , as well as high schools in surrounding counties.

In fact, because of the friendships he has formed with area students, Pizzuto has signed up for the 11th Annual Edward Jones Race for Education.

The event, which supports two programs for Warren County high school students, will be held Saturday, March 10.

Half of the proceeds go to the First Dollar Scholarship, which helps students who want to dual enroll in college or workforce development classes.

The other half of the proceeds are divided between the two high school Cross Country teams, which provide funds for attending travel competitions, awards ceremonies and the purchase of uniforms.

Royal Examiner talked to Sergeant Pizutto  about the upcoming event:

Register for the race here.

Interesting Things You Need to Know
Do you know where this was in Front Royal?
February 15, 2018

Here’s a picture of the Morgan Duck Ranch which started operation in the late nineteenth century.

Do you have pictures of Front Royal/Warren County to share? Let us know.