Archive for: March 8th, 2018

Interesting Things You Need to Know
Scholarship available through A1 Auto Transport
March 8, 2018

One of the largest auto transport companies in the U.S., A1 Auto Transport has announced that all eligible students of Virginia can earn their way into the A-1 scholarship program. The scholarships may come in the sum of $250, $500 or $1,000 per year. All students that enter must maintain a 3.0 GPA and be registered at an accredited college, post-secondary school or university.

Eligible students in Virginia must write out an essay of at least 1,000 words. This essay must relate to the auto transport industry. For instance, it may discuss topics such as motorcycle shipping, international car shipping, enclosed transport, door to door delivery, or any other service offered by A-1 Auto Transport. Essays cannot be published elsewhere online and must be 100% original.

The deadline for all essay submissions is March 10, 2018. Students submitting essays may do so at Students must include their full name, mailing address, name of school, phone number, and email address along with their written essay on auto transport.

By the end of March 2018, the Scholarship Committee at A-1 will review the submitted essays and post all potential winners on the website for a voting process. Once voting has ended, the winners will be announced on A-1 Auto Transport’s website. Students with winning essays are also notified through email. The scholarship money is sent directly to the financial office of each student’s school.

To find out more and learn about A-1’s scholarship program, visit:

Local News
Opera returns to Front Royal’s Osteria Italian Kitchen April 13-14
March 8, 2018

FRONT ROYAL –Highlights from Bizet’s opera “Carmen” will be staged at the Front Royal restaurant Osteria 510 Italian Kitchen next month, the fourth in a continuously sold-out classical music series.

Local favorites Melissa Chavez, soprano, and Nicholas Carratura, tenor, with accompanist Jan Wagner, will again anchor the dinner-theatre type show. Wagner is the director of orchestral studies at Shenandoah University.

A four-course dinner is offered by restaurant owner Vincenzo Belvia. The artists perform between courses with one of them explaining the words to the Italian language arias as the show progresses.

According to “impresario” David Freese who approached Belvia with his “night at the opera” idea two years ago, three out-of-town artists will perform “Carmen” with Chavez and Carratura.

The two nights of music, April 13 and 14, begin at 6 p.m. and are open only to those with reservations. Tickets for the dinner and entertainment are $60 and may be reserved by calling (540) 631-1101

Local News
Boone’s legacy: Public memorializing K-9 with contributions to FRPD program
March 8, 2018

Sgt. Bryan Courtney and Boone / Courtesy photo

FRONT ROYAL – On Monday, March 5, the Front Royal Police Department lost a beloved, valuable member of its team when K-9 Boone, died two days past his 12th birthday, following a short illness.

Boone came to the FRPD in 2007, following his graduation from the U.S. Homeland Security and Border Protection Canine School. He was partnered with Sgt. Bryan Courtney, and the two became the department’s first K-9 narcotics team.

Since Boone’s death, area residents have reached out, expressing interest in making a donation in his memory. Sgt. Courtney said such tributes would be fitting and would help the station staff two K-9 officers.

All donations will be used towards the purchase of a new K-9, according to a press release from the Front Royal Police Foundation.

“In 2018, the board had already been especially focused on helping the department purchase a new K-9 along with training for the handler, a kennel and any other equipment needed for the K-9 as well as other equipment for the newly-built Front Royal Police Department,” the release states.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution in memory of K-9 Boone may mail a check, with “K-9 fund” designated, to:

Front Royal Police Department
Attn: Front Royal Police Foundation
23 E. Jackson St.
Front Royal, VA 22630

The board members of the foundation stated in the release, “Despite the loss of Boone, the Foundation will work tirelessly to ensure that the FRPD has the necessary funds to maintain a viable, effective K-9 program…the board members feel that the most meaningful way to honor the life and service of Boone is to ensure that K-9 officers are ongoing, contributing members of the Front Royal Police Department.”

Chief of Police Kahle Magalis said another K-9 was already scheduled to arrive in early summer, with the intention of letting Boone enjoy his well-earned retirement.


Legislative Update
Goodlatte & Gowdy release key takeaways from FBI briefing on Parkland School shooting
March 8, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy’s request for a briefing, yesterday members of the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee met with FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich on how the Bureau handled tips about the shooter who murdered 17 students, teachers, and school officials at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Below are several key takeaways from the briefing.

Opportunities were missed.

· In September 2017, the FBI received an Internet tip from a video blogger about a threatening comment posted to a YouTube video the blogger had posted. The comment stated, “I am going to be a professional school shooter,” and was posted under the username “nikolas cruz.”

· The Internet tip was routed to an FBI office in Mississippi, which, after interviewing the video blogger and conducting social media searches, closed the case in October 2017 because it lacked personal identifiable information on the user who posted the threatening comment. The agents tasked with the case could have requested assistance from YouTube to attempt to identify the user who left the comment, but determined that the United States Attorney’s Office in that region was unlikely to agree to such a request.

· In January 2018, a friend of the Cruz family called the FBI tip line to report Nikolas Cruz’s troubling behavior and disturbing social media posts. The caller noted that local authorities in Parkland had also been notified of Cruz’s threatening behavior. According to Deputy Director Bowdich, the caller provided sufficient information to the tip line for the FBI to launch a probe. He noted, however, that the call taker did not ask any standard investigative probing questions during the call.

· Following the tip, the call taker spoke with a supervisor but their conversation was not documented. At the time, the call taker was able to connect information about Nikolas Cruz to the September 2017 tip about the threatening YouTube comment. Despite these connected dots, the call taker and supervisor decided to not pursue the matter further and the case was closed. Further, the FBI did not contact local authorities in Parkland even though the caller stated that Parkland police had also been notified about Cruz’s disturbing behavior.

· Despite multiple opportunities, the FBI did not share information with state and local authorities. Better information sharing between federal and local law enforcement may have prevented the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

FBI admits failures and will take corrective actions.

· Deputy Director Bowdich admitted there were failures and that corrective actions will be taken. The FBI has launched separate reviews of the September 2017 and January 2018 tips regarding Nikolas Cruz.

· According to the Deputy Director, a preliminary report recommends stronger oversight of the tip line and better training for the tip line’s call takers and supervisors. The preliminary report also recommends better documentation for the interaction between call takers and supervisors.

· The House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will review the final report once it is issued to ensure all finalized recommendations are implemented. It will also review our laws to see if information sharing between federal, state, and local law enforcement can be improved to enhance public safety.

· During the briefing, members also expressed concerns about whether the FBI has the capability and authority to screen social media for certain phrases, such as “school shooting.” The FBI plans to provide information to the Committees on this matter.

Crowdfunding Dos and Don’ts for Small Businesses
March 8, 2018

For startup entrepreneurs experiencing difficulty—or exasperation—in trying to get financing for their businesses via traditional means, crowdfunding offers an alternative.

Crowdfunding can be an effective way to raise capital—and public awareness—when launching or growing a small business. Rather than approaching a single lender to make a significant loan to your business (which you will most likely need to personally guaranty), crowdfunding platforms give you a way to leverage your network of friends, family, social media connections, and the public at large to obtain significant capital in small increments.

It’s a collective online effort that can expand your professional network and introduce your business to potential customers.

Crowdfunding for businesses presently comes in three primary forms:

  • Rewards-based crowdfunding (such as via Kickstarter and Indiegogo)
  • Equity crowdfunding (such as via CircleUp)
  • Peer-to-peer lending (such as via Lending Club)

Equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending are governed by a complicated web of federal and state securities laws, while rewards-based crowdfunding is generally exempt from those laws. This article focuses primarily on rewards-based crowdfunding.

According to SCORE mentor and Portland Maine business attorney Chris Dargie, rewards-based crowdfunding has rapidly become an accepted way to raise capital for small businesses.

“Traditionally, companies raised capital by issuing debt or equity,” said Dargie. “Rewards-based crowdfunding introduced a completely new alternative. The model has shown that the public is willing to contribute capital to worthy projects without any expectation of future profit, which is quite revolutionary.”

To help make a rewards-based crowdfunding effort successful, Dargie offers these dos and don’ts:


  • Understand the differences between rewards-based crowdfunding, equity crowdfunding, and peer-to-peer lending. With rewards-based crowdfunding, you are only promising your backers some sort of token incentive and the risks are more limited.

Whereas with equity crowdfunding, you are giving up equity and the risks can be substantial. With peer-to-peer lending, the business is taking on debt that it is legally obligated to pay back.

  • Pick the right platform for your rewards-based campaign. You should not automatically default to Kickstarter or Indiegogo, as there may be better options. Remember, crowdfunding is a form of marketing, and you want to be where your customers are.
  • Follow through on your promises. Watchdog groups and state and federal consumer protection bureaus have begun to shift their attention to deceptive crowdfunding campaigns.

“There is an inherent risk of consumer fraud in these campaigns,” said Dargie, “and businesses should be prepared to deliver on their commitments if they want to minimize their risk of legal liability.”


  • Fail to manage the expectations of your campaign’s backers. Delays in business are a fact of life and usually only become a problem when the company fails to keep its backers in the loop.
  • Launch a campaign without the liability protection of a properly formed business entity.

 “You don’t want to be left holding the bag personally if your business has spent all the money on development and has nothing to show for it at the end, and the backers want their money back,” said Dargie.

  • Forget about taxes. Proceeds raised from rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns are usually treated as taxable income to the business. For this reason, Dargie advises businesses to consult with their tax advisors before embarking on a crowdfunding campaign.

Before you decide to launch a crowdfunding campaign for your business, consider reaching out to the local SCORE chapter near you. SCORE mentors have expertise in all aspects of starting and running a business and can help you determine the effective ways to reach your business’s goals and objectives.

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
Sick and injured native wildlife get second chance at new hospital facility
March 8, 2018

This short-eared Owl was treated for an injured wing and returned to the wild, but not before he made the cover of The Ridgeline newsletter. Courtesy Photos/Blue Ridge Wildlife Ctr.


BOYCE – The Blue Ridge Wildlife Center’s new hospital in Boyce admitted more than 1,800 patients – mammals, reptiles and amphibians – last year, according to the veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Riley, DVM, who attended them.

Statistical data provided in the BRWC’s most recent newsletter, The Ridgeline, indicates that Warren County produced the third highest number (186) of wildlife patients in the 22 Virginia counties served by the Clarke County animal hospital. Frederick (539) and Loudoun (385) had the highest numbers while Clarke received treatment for 161 sick or injured wild animals.

The year 2017 was the first full year of operation in the new million-dollar facility that lies just off Route 50 at 106 Island Farm Lane. The building is a short distance from the original, aged house the Center operated from for many years.

Intake at the hospital started 2017 low, 29 in both January and February, peaking at 362 in May and staying busy the summer months of June (305) and July (304) then dropping off to 50 and 62 in November and December respectively. Of the total, 50% (916) were birds, 42% (774) mammals and 8% (137) reptiles and amphibians. Injured turtle admissions (120) increased 55% over the previous year. Among 916 birds delivered for treatment, the hospital received 100 more injured raptors (220) than in 2016. Many showed signs of various degrees of lead poisoning. The cause, and suggestions what can be done about this, is another story for another time. She explained the spring/summer spike being “due to the large number of babies.”

Admittance to the hospital is not good news for all our wildlife friends: those that have a very poor prognosis are humanely euthanized to limit their suffering. However, the good news is, according to Dr. Riley, those patients which made it through the first 24 hours at the center had a survival rate of 74%. Riley points out that the center is open 365 days a year “and there are very few days we don’t receive at least one patient.”

During the winter “downtime” BRWC held its first hospital “open house” Jan. 13. Board Chair Linda Goshen described a “truly spectacular day.” Said Goshen in a Letter from the Chair, “We had planned for 200-300 people … at the end of the day, approximately 1,500 people, most unfamiliar with BRWC, had walked through the building and learned about our mission … it was a good day for wildlife, too, as more members of the community are aware of who to call when they come upon a wildlife emergency.” The hotline is (540) 837-9000.

The BRWC is a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization established to provide quality rehabilitative care to native injured and orphaned wildlife … in Northern Virginia. The center also provides environmental education programs for people of all ages.

This Virginia Opossum was treated for an ugly wound at the base of his tail. He was released, fully healed, right back where he was found.