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10 ways to reduce how much you consume



Your consumption habits can have a considerable impact on the planet. This year for World Environment Day, which takes place on June 5, consider taking stock of your daily practices to determine how you can adopt a greener lifestyle. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Always ask yourself if you really need a product before you buy it. Avoid purchasing items that are likely to end up at the bottom of a drawer.

2. Extend the lifespan of your appliances by getting them repaired by a professional. You may be able to fix minor issues yourself with the help of an online tutorial.

3. Learn how to recognize quality materials and design, so you can choose products that will last a long time.

4. Rent or borrow equipment that you only intend to use occasionally. Keep this in mind before you purchase tools, cleaning equipment, and sporting goods.

5. Buy used goods such as clothing, toys, tools, and cell phones whenever possible.

6. Choose products that are made or grown locally or that have other eco-friendly features.

7. Sell or give away items you no longer want. If something’s still in good condition, there’s no reason it should end up in the garbage.

8. Avoid single-use and over-packaged products. In particular, steer clear of plastic bags, paper napkins, throwaway cutlery and single-serve snacks.

9. Minimize your consumption of beef, dairy products, and processed foods, as these require high amounts of energy and resources to grow, produce and package.

10. Cut back on food waste by making a grocery list and checking expiration dates on the items you buy.

To learn more about World Environment Day, visit

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The Cracked Acorn: Shadows



After many years of faithful government service, a long-time frontiersman and explorer are about to be unwilling to retire. The government has decided that they no longer want to provide a health plan and support the underwriters. Yes, once again it is costly to grow old and be around too long.

Of course, I am joking and really touching on the decade-plus aged Hubble telescope. It could have been in the cargo bay of the ill-fated Challenger but missed its ride into the heavens. Even after its launch in 1990, it required a refit of special lenses.

I recall in a Sunday school class that the teacher spent much of the hour trying to define where heaven is, up above or down below or all around us (for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12).

The Hubble telescope has opened up new vistas for those who are eager to date the universe and see distant stars, galaxies and postulate new theories about the worlds beyond our planet. In the past we have had to settle with puny efforts to see and guess at what is out there, now we can think of possible planet-like earth that we could eventually reach and find someone to greet with a “Howdy!” and “Have a nice day!”. The Hubble will leave us with lots of answers for which we yet have to find the questions. Its replacement (James Webb Space Telescope) is to be more powerful and will delight all those who want to find out why we are here and what will be our ultimate situation years and years from today.

What does all this add up to be: (from my vast warehouse of sometimes useful trivial anecdotes0

“There was a person blind from birth, who never could have ever thought of seeing…as told to him by others who could see, what it was like to SEE. Experimental processes by doctors suggested that his sight ‘might’ be restored. So, it happened and when the bandages were removed, he cried, “I can see!” What are you seeing, the doctors asked? “Shadows!” and tears flowed.

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon, and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? Psalm 8: 3-4

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. II Corinthians 5:1

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people. Revelation 21: 1-2


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Kids’ Corner: Chocolate trivia quiz



If you love chocolate, here’s a little quiz to see how much you know about this popular treat.

Multiple choice
1. What’s the name of the tree that grows cocoa beans?
a) Cacao tree
b) Choco tree
c) Coco tree

2. What kind of fruit does this tree produce?
a) Cocoa beans
b) Cocoa-pods
c) Cocoa balls

3. Where is most of the cocoa in chocolate grown today?
a) South America
b) West Africa
c) Southeast Asia

True or false
4. White chocolate doesn’t contain any cocoa.
5. The Swiss invented cocoa powder.
6. The Germans created the first chocolate bar.

1. a) Cacao trees grow in tropical climates and can be harvested twice a year.
2. b) Cocoa-pods look like small footballs and can contain up to 40 cocoa beans.
3. b) Today, more than 70 percent of the world’s cocoa comes from the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, and other West African countries.
4. True. It’s made of cocoa butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla.
5. False. It was a Dutchman named Coenraad Johannes van Houten. He patented the process of removing the butter from roasted cocoa beans in 1828.
6. False. It was three English brothers named Joseph, Richard, and Francis Fry. They discovered that it was possible to create molded chocolate by adding cocoa butter.

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Veronesi Holding S.p.A. to invest in new production facility in Rockingham County, creating more than 150 new jobs over the next four years



RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam announced on September 30, 2021, that Italy-based Veronesi Holding S.p.A., a leading manufacturer and producer of cured meats, will establish its first U.S. production operation. This investment in Rockingham County will create more than 150 new jobs over the next four years. The company plans to explore the possibility of working with smaller Virginia farms for its American production needs.

Located on 75.8 acres in the county’s Innovation Village, the new facility will be used to age, process, and package the company’s products for distribution, increasing its cured meat and charcuterie customer base in the U.S. market. Governor Northam and his staff met with company officials in Italy during his first international trade and marketing mission in July 2018.

“We are pleased that Veronesi Holding S.p.A. chose Virginia, the home of nearly 900 internationally owned businesses, to grow in the U.S.,” said Governor Northam. “The Commonwealth’s sophisticated infrastructure and world-class transportation network are key assets that attract global businesses looking to expand into new markets. We welcome one of Europe’s leading food and beverage companies to Virginia and Rockingham County and look forward to its success in the Commonwealth.”

Veronesi Holding S.p.A is an Italian privately traded company headquartered in Verona, Italy with more than €3.1 billion in sales in 2020 and 9,000 employees. The company is among the top five Fast Moving Consumer Groups in Italy and is the largest vertically integrated poultry and hog producer in the country. Its products range from feed to fresh meats and cured meats. Veronesi has grown through its brands, AIA and Negroni, which are regarded as top names in the Italian agroindustry throughout Europe and across the globe. Negroni has been a leader in the premium delicatessen meats market for over a century.

“Veronesi Holding S.p.A.’s new U.S. operation is a substantial addition to Virginia’s diverse food and beverage processing sector and is a perfect fit for the Shenandoah Valley,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The state-of-the-art facility in Rockingham County will enable the company to build on its centuries-old legacy of high-quality products, and we thank Veronesi for choosing the Commonwealth for this major investment.”

“Virginia’s centuries-old agricultural industry is rich and diverse, making the Commonwealth the perfect new home for a company like Veronesi, which has a long and diverse agricultural history of its own,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “Like Virginia’s world-class wines and Veronesi’s premier charcuterie, the company and the commonwealth are indeed a perfect pairing. I look forward to connecting Veronesi with Virginia farmers so they can write a new chapter of quality and tradition in both of their agricultural histories.”

“This is a very ambitious project for us and it marks an important step for our company,” said Veronesi Holding S.p.A Chief Executive Officer Luigi Fasoli. “We want to start a new chapter in our history and establish in this country our first-ever production site for cured meats abroad, offering Americans all our expertise with the maximum freshness and quality. It is with great enthusiasm that we chose Virginia, where we found all the necessary ingredients to live our American dream.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Rockingham County, the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, and the Port of Virginia to secure this project for Virginia. Based on the company’s planned investment of approximately $100 million and the creation of more than 150 new jobs over the next four years, Governor Northam approved a $3.8 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Rockingham County with the project. Veronesi Holding is eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program, as well as a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit for new, full-time jobs created. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“Rockingham County is excited to work with Veronesi as the company establishes its agricultural presence in the Shenandoah Valley and Virginia,” said Rockingham County Board of Supervisors Chairman Rick Chandler. “This new project adds to the diverse agricultural industry of Rockingham, and we are thankful for the investment into our community and more than 150 new jobs.”

“The Shenandoah Valley Partnership is extremely excited to welcome Veronesi to Rockingham County and the Shenandoah Valley,” said Shenandoah Valley Partnership Executive Director Jay A. Langston, Ph.D. “Its brands have a very high reputation for premium charcuterie, thus its expectations for a location were equally stringent. The need for robust food and beverage infrastructure is exceedingly important, particularly for the successful launch of an international brand in the U.S. Working with Rockingham County, we have shown that the depth of our international-level infrastructure has allowed global success to grow here in the Valley. We are excited to welcome the company to our international food and beverage sector.”

“When a worldwide brand like Veronesi Holding S.p.A. decides to build its first U.S. production facility in Virginia, it sends a very positive message about our business climate,” said Virginia Port Authority Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Stephen A. Edwards. “We are ready to collaborate with Veronesi Holding, help build its business, and serve as its gateway for trade in the U.S. This is another example of what a pro-business environment that is supported by a world-class port can achieve.”

“Thanks to Veronesi Holding for working in partnership with the Commonwealth, Shenandoah Valley Partnership, and Rockingham County,” said Senator Mark Obenshain. “We welcome this new business to the Shenandoah Valley. This project will provide more job opportunities for our citizens and partnerships with small farms, which will be an enormous benefit to our region.”

“This is an exciting announcement for the Rockingham County and Harrisonburg communities,” said Delegate Tony Wilt. “Veronesi Holding S.p.A.’s desire to make such a substantial investment right here in the Shenandoah Valley is once again a testament to the strength of our workforce, the high quality of life that we have to offer, and the importance of the agriculture industry to our future success.”

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Fake companies abound on social media



One of the ironies of social media today is that while Facebook and other social media companies automatically slap a challenge notice on fake news, their own advertising is often fake, with no such fact check in sight.

Advertising fraud on social media takes a number of forms: Brand theft, product misrepresentation, and fake reviews, to name just a few.

Social media users are ripe for the picking. Facebook is one of the largest superstores in history, with billions of shoppers and millions of small businesses pitching products. Small business ad revenues, nearly $70 billion a year in advertising for the company.

The fact is if you have a few bucks, you can advertise on Facebook and no one will look into your business at all.

According to an FTC study, 94 percent of scam victims said they saw an ad on Facebook or Instagram.

Brand theft is an old scam that finds new life on Facebook.

Advertisers use the pictures from real products and then claim you can order them at prices well below retail. Clothing is often fraudulent. If you went to your favorite clothing store and saw a brand name nightgown for sale at $60, you then have an electronic cookie on your computer. When you go to Facebook, you will likely see the same photo of the same nightgown advertised on a Facebook ad for $20. The difference between the two? The Facebook ad is a fraud, and you won’t get the product, it won’t be the same product, or the site will contain a worm or virus that steals your credit card info. Using PayPal doesn’t help. In fact, one hint of a scam is the store takes only PayPal.

Meanwhile, the fake company will list hundreds of positive reviews. Beware. These reviews are often solicited. Users get an email that says: Give us a positive review and we will send the product free. After the review is submitted, reviewers never receive anything.

According to Time Magazine, scammers set up dozens of companies with silly double or triple-word domains. Some examples from the Time article:, BoldWon, GoShoes.

According to Buzzfeed and Time, most of the clothing scams originate in mainland China.

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Town Talk

Town Talk: A conversation with Commonwealth Attorney John Bell – New laws as of July 1



In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Commonwealth Attorney John Bell about some of the new laws that took effect on July 1, 2021.

Click here for a list of the new Virginia laws that took effect on July 1, 2021.

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied, but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to

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7 tips to make your move easier



Moving requires careful planning and months of preparation. To efficiently sort and pack everything, you’ll need to be organized. Here are a few tips to help you keep things in order and make your move easy to manage.

1. Use small boxes since they require less effort to carry. It’s also helpful if they’re all about the same size. This will make it easier to stack and load them onto the truck.

2. Pack the clothes hanging in your closets quickly by slipping large plastic bags over them. Simply cut a hole in the bottom to fit the hangers.

3. Clearly identify each box by room and indicate what’s in it. Label the sides rather than the tops of boxes, so the information is visible when they’re stacked.

4. Keep track of screws, handles, and other small components from disassembled furniture by placing them in a sealable bag and taping it to a corresponding piece of the same furniture.

5. Take pictures of the back of your electronics (television, DVD player, video game console, etc.) before you unplug them. This will make it easier to reconnect them at your new place.

6. Prepare one or more boxes with all the items you’ll need upon arrival such as cleaning products, dishcloths, and toilet paper. Remember to include pajamas, sheets, a toothbrush, and anything else you’ll need for your first night. If possible, place these boxes in your car rather than load them onto the truck.

7. Make sure you have cool drinks and snacks on hand to offer to your moving crew.

Happy moving!

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:


Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Family Preservation Services

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Groups Recover Together

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Main Street Travel

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Mountain Trails

National Media Services

Northwestern Community Services Board

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Examiner

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Salvation Army

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Studio Verde

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

5:30 pm Cookies with Santa @ Strokes of Creativity
Cookies with Santa @ Strokes of Creativity
Dec 2 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Cookies with Santa @ Strokes of Creativity
Santa is coming to Strokes of Creativity. Bring your kiddos by and visit with Santa this Thursday evening, December 2nd. We will have a cookies to decorate with icing and sprinkles (while supplies last). Make[...]
10:00 am Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Dec 4 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie at Strokes of Creativity. Tickets: CLICK HERE Cost: $80 for 6 weeks Dates: Thursdays – Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 4 Time: 10 am[...]
1:00 pm The Nutcracker 2021 @ Skyline High School
The Nutcracker 2021 @ Skyline High School
Dec 4 @ 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The Nutcracker 2021 @ Skyline High School
Italia Performing Arts is pleased to announce its own student production of the seasonal ballet The Nutcracker, to be presented in Front Royal, VA, on Saturday, December 4th, 2021. 1:00 and 5:00 pm Tickets: $35[...]
4:30 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 4 @ 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meets in the Historic Area behind Mount Bleak. Discover our International Dark Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and[...]
4:00 pm Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Dec 5 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Sunday, December 5, 2021 4:00pm First Baptist Church of Winchester 205 West Piccadilly St. | Winchester, VA 22601 COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks are required for attendees Friday, December 10, 2021 7:30pm Front Royal United Methodist Church[...]
6:30 pm Annual Christmas Concert @ Riverton United Methodist Church
Annual Christmas Concert @ Riverton United Methodist Church
Dec 5 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Annual Christmas Concert @ Riverton United Methodist Church
Riverton Church Symphonic Winds present their Annual Christmas Concert at Riverton UMC on Sunday, December 5, 2021, at 6:30pm. Donations collected to benefit local homeless ministry.
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 8 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
7:00 pm Clara, Little Mouse, and the Gol... @ Skyline Middle School
Clara, Little Mouse, and the Gol... @ Skyline Middle School
Dec 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Clara, Little Mouse, and the Golden Key @ Skyline Middle School
Dancing By His Grace Classical Ballet Ensemble presents Clara, Little Mouse, and the Golden Key, featuring selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet, at the Skyline Middle School in Front Royal, Virginia. Join us for our original[...]
7:30 pm Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Dec 10 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Friday, December 10, 2021 7:30pm Front Royal United Methodist Church 1 West Main Street | Front Royal, VA 22630 COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks are required for attendees Sunday, December 12, 2021 4:00pm Trinity Episcopal Church 9108[...]
2:00 pm Clara, Little Mouse, and the Gol... @ Skyline Middle School
Clara, Little Mouse, and the Gol... @ Skyline Middle School
Dec 11 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Clara, Little Mouse, and the Golden Key @ Skyline Middle School
Dancing By His Grace Classical Ballet Ensemble presents Clara, Little Mouse, and the Golden Key, featuring selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet, at the Skyline Middle School in Front Royal, Virginia. Join us for our original[...]