Archive for: January 19th, 2018

Local News
New bridge at Morgan’s Ford opens Monday, Jan. 22
January 19, 2018
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ROCKLAND – A new bridge spanning Morgan’s Ford in the Rockland area of Warren County opens Monday, January 22, County Administrator Doug Stanley unexpectedly announced Friday. The opening is about 4-1/2 months ahead of the originally-forecast early June target date. Stanley made the announcement to applause at the regular Friday luncheon meeting of the Rotary Club of Front Royal.

VDOT photo. Work in progress

Stanley said finishing touches still need to be made to the two-lane span, locally known for 85 years as “Morgan’s Ford low-water bridge”. However, the plan is for the new bridge to open to traffic Monday morning, re-connecting the Fairground Road area of Rockland with Happy Creek Road to the south. It will restore an alternate and more direct route into and out of town for residents of the Rockland/Milldale area north of town and the Shenandoah River.

The estimated $10-million project replaces the historic single-lane bridge over the Shenandoah River which closed in April 2015 when new construction began. In early December Stanley said the structure was “running ahead of schedule” and indicated a possible opening prior to the end of 2017. While that target wasn’t achieved, three weeks into the new year and over four months early isn’t bad either.

In a press release issued late Friday afternoon, VDOT noted that contractors will continue work on the Route 624 bridge project through late spring. That work will include “a final layer of asphalt on the bridge approaches, installation of final pavement markings, aesthetic treatments on the bridge railings, grading and seeding on both sides of the bridge, and construction of a parking area on the south side of the river.”

VDOT also observed that motorists can expect single-lane traffic and flagging operations as needed during the final months of the project. That work will generally occur Monday thru Friday and VDOT urged motorists to plan for potential delays and remain alert as they travel through the work zone.
The new bridge and Route 624 to the north will have a restriction on trucks exceeding 30 feet in total length. This restriction will remain in place even after the construction project is complete, VDOT noted, stating, “Truck drivers should continue to use alternate routes.”

On January 29, 2016, the Virginia Department of Transportation awarded a $4,886,508.07 contract to Orders Construction Company Inc. of Saint Albans, West Virginia. The project had a fixed completion date of June 1, 2018.
Additional information about the Route 624 bridge replacement project can be found  here.

Legislative Update
UPDATE: Goodlatte Statement in Support of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
January 19, 2018
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, delivered the following remarks on the House floor in favor of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 4712):

Today, thousands of people are rallying in the nation’s capital to be part of the March for Life and to join a celebration of hope and compassion for those who do not yet have a voice.

And many millions more have viewed videos of representatives of Planned Parenthood, which performs some forty percent of all abortions each year.  Those videos, recorded undercover, sadly portray a much darker side of our society.  They show discussions of the exchange of money for the body parts of aborted babies.  They also include discussions of instances in which, during the course of an attempted abortion, a baby is born “intact,” and then shipped to a lab for the use of its body parts.  Congress must move immediately to protect any children born alive during the course of a failed abortion.

The bill before us today provides that in the case of an abortion or attempted abortion that results in a child born alive, any health care practitioner present must exercise the same degree of professional care to preserve the life of the child as he or she would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.  The bill also provides that the child must be immediately transported and admitted to a hospital.  If a baby born alive is left to die, the penalty can be up to five years in jail.  If the child is cut open for its body parts, or some other overt act is taken, the punishment is that for first degree murder, which can include life in prison or the death penalty.

Babies are born alive during failed abortions.  The House Judiciary Committee heard direct testimony by two grown women who, as babies, survived attempted abortions.  The mother of one of them, Gianna Jessen, was advised by Planned Parenthood to have an abortion.  But as Ms. Jessen testified: “Instead of dying … I was delivered alive in an abortion clinic in Los Angeles.”  Her medical records state clearly that she was “born alive” during an abortion.  She continued, “Thankfully, the abortionist was not at work yet.  Had he been there, he would have ended my life with strangulation, suffocation, or leaving me there to die … I was later diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, which was caused by a lack of oxygen to my brain while surviving the abortion.  I was never supposed to hold my head up or walk.  I do.  And Cerebral Palsy is a great gift to me.”

Just think of that for a moment.  Ms. Jessen says cerebral palsy is a gift to her because it came with the gift of life.  She forgave her mother long ago, and gives praise each day for that gift of life, which she enjoys to its fullest to this day.

Ms. Jessen presented a picture at the hearing showing the results of the sort of abortion she survived.

I urge all my colleagues to support the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, so others who survive failed abortions can have the same chance to be as thankful as Ms. Jessen.

Click here to watch this floor statement.

UPDATE: Goodlatte Celebrates Passage of Judiciary Committee Bill to Protect Babies Born During Abortions

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives today passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 4712), which ensures that babies who survive an abortion procedure receive immediate medical care and are admitted to a hospital. This bill also establishes criminal penalties for physicians who fail to provide care to abortion survivors, and protects mothers from prosecution.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement in support of this legislation:

“Today, as thousands of men and women participate in the March for Life, I am pleased that the House of Representatives has voted to protect the sanctity of human life. In the House Judiciary Committee, we have heard testimony from abortion survivors who, despite the traumatic circumstances surrounding their birth, have gone on to live fulfilling, meaningful lives. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act requires that babies born alive during an abortion procedure receive medical attention, which would save the lives of vulnerable infants who cannot defend themselves. As a husband, father, and grandfather, I was honored to usher this important legislation to the House floor. I call on the Senate to take this bill up immediately.”

Background: Goodlatte spoke on the House floor in favor of H.R. 4712. You can watch his full remarks HERE.

 

Local News
Middletown dental hygiene students seek to help Jamaica underserved
January 19, 2018
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Brandy Boies (LFCC Rotaract Advisor), Cal Coolidge (FR Rotary member), Jessica Mahon (LFCC Rotaract President), Uswa Arain (LFCC Rotaract Vice President), Rick Novak (FR Rotary President). Courtesy photo.

A half-dozen or so members of Lord Fairfax Community College‘s Middletown Rotaract Club – that’s sort of potential Rotarians among young people who aren’t quite ready yet for full Rotary membership – have embarked on a humanitarian project among poor people of Jamaica.

Financially, they bit off more than they could chew, and that’s where the Rotary Club of Front Royal, through member Cal Coolidge (yes, he is a distant relative of the late president), stepped in.

The aim is to send five second-year dental hygiene students to Jamaica for a week in May to provide “essential dental services to underprivileged and underserved” in and around the town of Negril where there exists a five-year-old church-built free ophthalmic and dental clinic for the needy. The dental part of the operation is headed by Strasburg Rotarian Kathy Kanter and is a project of the Negril Rotary Club.

The LFCC group of young students estimate the total cost of the effort is $6,000. Until they made a pitch at a Front Royal Rotary weekly meeting a few weeks ago, the club was finding it tough to raise even a third of the total required. Coolidge stepped in and got his brother and sister Rotarians to cough up another $2,550, but the dental hygiene students remain $1,512 short, and the deadline to go or no-go the week of May 14-21 is fast approaching.

So…any one or any organization willing to step forward and help get these young folks to Jamaica for a week of free dental work among the needy this spring, please  click here to donate or mail a check to LFCC Rotaract Club, 173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown VA 22645, designating donations to “dental mission trip.”

Crime/Court Local News
CAUGHT: Escaped inmate captured in Winchester
January 19, 2018
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Matthew Perry Michael was captured at a Winchester motel Thursday evening, officials say. / Photo from RSW Regional Jail.

FRONT ROYAL — Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail inmate Matthew Perry Michael, who walked away from his work-release job with the Warren County Parks and Recreation Department on Wednesday, Jan. 17, was captured at a Winchester motel Thursday evening.

A Friday morning media release from  RSW Superintendent Russell S. Gilkison states that on Jan. 18,  “Warren County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from Winchester Police Department and Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, located Matthew Perry Michael in a motel room in Winchester, Virginia and took him into custody without incident.”

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.

During the course of this investigation additional charges were placed on Michael for communicating in writing to kill or do bodily harm to a family member, a violation of the Virginia State Code 18.2-60.

Investigator Pugh obtained information that Michael was at the Clarion Hotel, located at 711 Millwood Avenue in Winchester VA. With the assistance of Winchester Police Department and Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Michael was taken into custody without incident for the above charge and the outstanding escape charge.

The investigation also identified Albert Byrd, Jr. from Gerrardstown WV and Courtney Rose Barrett from Hagerstown MD as being involved with the escape of Matthew Michael. These subjects were located during the apprehension of Michael and were charged with the following felonies:
18.2-473. Aiding the escape of a prisoner
18.2-22. Conspiracy to commit a felony
18.2-19. Accessory after the fact

Both subjects are being held without bond at Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected. Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator Brad Pugh at the Warren County Sheriff’s Office 540-635-7100.

According to Superintendent Gilkison, Michael is now being held without bond on Felony Escape and Felony Threats by Phone. The investigation is ongoing and further charges are pending.

Legislative Update
Virginia Lawmakers Urge Senate Not to Leave CHIP Recipients in the Lurch
January 19, 2018
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to extend funding for the federal government and reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years.

Reps. Scott Taylor (Va.-02), Thomas A. Garrett, Jr. (Va.-05), Bob Goodlatte (Va.-06), Dave Brat (Va.-07), H. Morgan Griffith (Va.-09), and Barbara Comstock (Va.-10) issued the following statement after voting in support of this legislation to keep the federal government open and provide health coverage for Virginia children:

“Senate Democrats have a decision to make. Hold funding for the government hostage or take a vote to reauthorize CHIP and provide health coverage to nearly 9 million low-income children in the United States. We supported this legislation because we need to keep the government open and keep working on the American people’s priorities. Funding for Virginia’s CHIP program, known as FAMIS, is nearly exhausted and roughly 66,000 children and 1,100 pregnant women in the Commonwealth rely on this program to keep them healthy.

Now isn’t the time for games of political brinksmanship. Shutting down the government does not accomplish the goal of funding CHIP or continuing important discussions in Washington. On behalf of the Virginia families we represent in Congress, we ask that the Senate act now to reauthorize CHIP. We hope Senator Schumer and his colleagues will join us in supporting the bill passed by the House tonight.”

Business
Two Critical First Steps Before Setting Up Payroll For Your Small Business
January 19, 2018
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Hiring employees for your small business can help lighten your workload. But it also creates the need to manage something you didn’t need to worry about when you were handling all aspects of your business by yourself:

Payroll.

Even if you have just one employee, you need to do payroll accurately and in compliance with all legal and regulatory responsibilities. If you don’t, you could incur costly penalties from the Internal Revenue Service.

Before you hire your first employee and put processes in place to handle payroll, make sure you pay attention to two important details.

  • Register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

The IRS requires that you have one before you hire employees. You can apply for an EIN online at www.irs.gov or contact the IRS to establish one. Your EIN will be used for reporting taxes and other documents to the IRS. You’ll also need your EIN when reporting employee information to state agencies.

Also, check to determine whether or not you’ll need state or local ID numbers to process taxes.

  • Know the difference between an employee and an independent contractor.

Laws and requirements are different for them when it comes to withholding and paying taxes and in how you conduct your working relationship.

A few key differences include:

  • Generally, employers provide employees with all the equipment, supplies, software, and tools they need to perform their jobs. Independent contractors use those that they own.
  • Employees typically have their work hours set by their employers, whereas independent contractors control their own work hours.
  • With employees, you the employer will need to withhold income tax and Social Security and Medicare tax from their paychecks. You’ll also need to remit federal and state unemployment taxes. When hiring help, employees must complete IRS Form W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate) so you can withhold the proper amount from their pay.

Conversely, independent contractors are responsible for directly remitting tax payments; you do not withhold taxes from their compensation. Ask them to complete IRS Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification), which certifies they are not employees.

  • Independent contractors send you an invoice for services rendered.

After you have these key action items checked off your list, you can concentrate on other details such as deciding on a pay period and either choosing a payroll system or outsourcing your payroll administration.

For more information about payroll requirements, visit the Understanding Employment Taxes page of the IRS website. Also consider contacting your local SCORE chapter to get insight from a mentor who can point you to the right resources and guide you as you grow your business.

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 www.score.org.