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2020 graduation plans under way; School Board Oks more reno costs

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Graduation plans for the Class of 2020 are ongoing by Warren County Public Schools (WCPS), as are renovation costs for A.S. Rhodes Elementary School.

The Warren County School Board during its May 20 regular meeting unanimously voted to approve and provide authorization for the interim superintendent to sign an upgrade agreement with the Front Royal Electric Co. totaling $17,859.54 for labor, overhead, equipment, and materials. The work will be performed by the Town of Front Royal’s Department of Energy Services.

The renovation design for A.S. Rhodes Elementary School included the upgraded electrical service, which will support the new HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and other related building systems, according to WCPS Maintenance Director Greg Livesay.

WCPS Maintenance Director Greg Livesay bring Board up-to-date on renovations at A.S. Rhodes Elementary School. Photos and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

“This requires a larger transformer, additional utility pole and the necessary underground primary conductors and wiring between the utility pole and transformer,” explained Livesay, who attended the meeting remotely. “This work can only be accomplished by the utility provider, Front Royal Electric” and was not included in the original base bid.

Fork District School Board member Catherine Bower motioned to approve the request while Happy Creek District School Board member James Wells seconded the motion, with School Board members Kristin Pence (South River District) and Ralph Rinaldi (Shenandoah District), who attended remotely, and Chairman Arnold Williams, Jr. (North River District) also voting to approve the item.

Livesay said that the estimated installation for the new services are expected to occur in early June, which would allow the electrical subcontractor to maintain its schedule for providing the new electrical.

During the work session portion of the School Board’s meeting, WCPS Interim Superintendent Melody Sheppard provided an update on commencement discussions regarding the Class of 2020, which to date has been unable to hold traditional celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Melody Sheppard discusses graduation options with the Board.

Sheppard reported that a May 12 survey was sent to all high school seniors at both Skyline High School and Warren County High School detailing two types of graduation ceremonies being considered for the Class of 2020. According to Sheppard, the two choices were:

1. Individual Graduation Ceremony, which would be held during the first part of June and would allow a scheduled time for each senior to graduate. Each senior would wear a cap and gown and parents would be invited to attend. Seniors would walk across the stage and accept their diplomas and pose for photos. A video compilation of the individual graduation ceremonies then would be distributed to all seniors.

2. Traditional Graduation Ceremony with a contingency plan that would take place during the first weekend in August. The ceremony would be held in the football stadium at each high school. The graduates would sit in chairs spaced 6-feet apart on the field. Each graduating senior would be allowed to invite four people, who would sit in groups on both the home and visitor bleachers in each high school stadium. There would be plans in place to ensure social distancing. Part of the contingency plan would be that if a traditional graduation ceremony could not be held due to the number of people allowed in one place, WCPS would hold individual graduation ceremonies during the first part of August.

The survey, which ended on May 17, asked the high school seniors to weigh-in on which ceremony they preferred, Sheppard said, noting that almost 50 percent of them chose option #2.

Sheppard said she meets on Thursday with the Graduation Committee to continue discussing the plan and related safety protocols. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office also would be involved with the outdoor graduation ceremonies to help with crowd control, she said.

In other action items, the Warren County School Board unanimously approved a resolution regarding its need to hold closed meetings for interviewing WCPS superintendent candidates.
Section 2.2-3712 of the Code of Virginia allows public bodies to announce such closed meetings at a prior open meeting. Such announcements are good for 15 days. The School Board intends to start interviewing candidates later this month.

The School Board also unanimously approved additional teacher and instructional assistant positions to support the increase in Virginia Preschool Initiative slots awarded by the Virginia Department of Education.

“This will allow us to serve 130 students versus the 92 we are now able to serve,” said WCPS Special Services Director Michael Hirsch. “This will generate $114,000, which will cover the cost of the teacher and instructional assistant salaries and benefits at a total of $94,491.”

Additionally, the School Board unanimously voted to approve the donation of a 2003 International School bus (unit #64) to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

Bus #64 is well past its service life and was removed from the fleet, WCPS Transportation Director Aaron Mitchell told School Board members on Wednesday night. “The floor needs to be replaced and the cost to replace it makes it no longer financially viable to keep it in the fleet,” he said, adding that the air conditioning units also need to be replaced.

The vehicle has been parked and was set for disposal when WCPS found out that the sheriff’s office needed a vehicle that could be transformed into an incident command unit, Mitchell explained, noting that the sheriff’s office would be responsible for the cost of converting the bus.

The School Board’s next meeting will be held on June 3. To view the entire School Board May 20 meeting, watch the Royal Examiner video below.

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Governor Northam to remove Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond

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Governor Ralph Northam today, June 4, 2020, announced plans to remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee located on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. The briefing today started with comments from Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, beginning with the words, “It’s time.”

The Governor directed the Department of General Services to safely remove the statue from its pedestal and house it in storage until an appropriate location is determined.

Speakers joining the Governor at today’s announcement include City of Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, Reverend Robert W. Lee IV, Robert Johns, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, Attorney General Mark Herring, and Zyahna Bryant.

Governor Northam is acting under his executive authority and Section § 2.2-2402 of the Code of Virginia, which provides the Governor the sole authority to approve the removal of a work of art owned by the Commonwealth upon submission of a plan to do so. The Robert E. Lee monument was erected for and is owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia and is considered a work of art pursuant to Section 2.2-2401 of the Code of Virginia.


The Governor’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

Good morning, everyone.

I want to thank everyone watching from around Virginia and around the country, and I want to thank the many guests who have joined us as we chart a new course in Virginia’s history.

Today, we’re here to be honest about our past and talk about our future.

I’m no historian, but I strongly believe that we have to confront where we’ve been, in order to shape where we’re going.

And in Virginia, for more than 400 years, we have set high ideals about freedom and equality, but we have fallen short of them.

Some of America’s most hopeful and forward-looking moments happened in this Commonwealth and in this capital city. When Americans first dreamed of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—they dreamed here in the Commonwealth.

Virginia adopted a Declaration of Rights before the United States declared independence. It said that all are “equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights.” It specifically called out freedom of the press and freedom of religion.

And in a church on a hill 15 blocks from here, Virginia’s first elected Governor helped launch the American Revolution when he cried, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” That was Patrick Henry, and I now have the job that he once held—72 governors later.

These are our greatest legacies as Americans. But there’s a whole lot more to the story, because those inspiring words and high ideals did not apply to everyone, not then and not now.

Because at the bottom of that same hill, one of the country’s largest slave-trading markets was coming to life. A place where Virginians would sell men, women, and children for profit. Americans buying and selling other Americans.

This is just as much the American story, and it’s one that we are only just now beginning to tell more fully.

Through 400 years of American history, starting with the enslavement of Africans, through the Civil War, through Jim Crow, and Massive Resistance, and mass incarceration, black oppression has always existed in this country, just in different forms.

The legacy of racism continues not just in isolated incidents like we saw in Minneapolis a few days ago—and I want to acknowledge that our country will honor the life of George Floyd in a memorial service in about three hours.

The legacy of racism also continues as part of a system that touches every person and every aspect of our lives, whether we know it or not. But hearts are in different places, and not everyone can see it—or they don’t want to see it.

When I used to teach ambitious young doctors, I would tell them, “The eyes can’t see what the mind doesn’t know.” That’s true for all of us.

So, it’s time to acknowledge the reality of institutional racism, even if you can’t see it. Public policies have kept this reality in place for a long time. That’s why we’ve been working so hard to reform criminal justice laws, expand health care access, make it easier to vote, and so much more.

But symbols matter too, and Virginia has never been willing to deal with symbols. Until now.

Today, Virginia is home to more Confederate commemorations than any other state. That’s true because generations ago, Virginia made the decision not to celebrate unity, but to honor the cause of division. You’ll see this if you look around Virginia and our capital city.

The statue of Robert E. Lee is the most prominent. Lee himself didn’t want a monument, but Virginia built one any way. Lee once said, “I think it is wiser not to keep open the sores of war, but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.” Those are wise words indeed.

So, what happened? Virginia leaders said, we know better.

Instead of choosing to heal the wounds of the American civil war, they chose to keep them on display. They launched a new campaign to undo the results of the Civil War by other means.

They needed a symbol to shore up the cause. And it’s quite a symbol. The Lee statue was built in France, and when it arrived by boat on the James River docks, it took 10,000 citizens—and a whole lot of rope to haul three large crates out into the tobacco field where it would be installed. Some business people put it out in the field, so they could eventually build a housing development around it, and make money. It worked.

This happened in May 1890, twenty years after Lee died and a generation after the Civil War ended. 150,000 people came out when the statue was unveiled. But from the beginning, there was no secret about what the statue meant. Almost every one of those 150,000 people waved Confederate flags that day.

John Mitchell was the editor of the Black newspaper, the Richmond Planet, at the time. He wrote, “The emblem of the union had been left behind—a glorification of the lost cause was everywhere.” It was a big day, and more big days followed throughout the old south. And as the statues went up, so did lots of new laws. It was all part of the same campaign.

Here’s just one example: New laws limited the right to vote. In the years after the Civil War, more than 100,000 African American men were registered to vote in Virginia. But once this campaign took off, that number plummeted by 90 percent, to barely 10,000.

That worked too. Because the people who wrote these laws knew what they were doing. They wrote other new laws to say that once a statue goes up, it can never come down. They wanted the statues to remain forever—they needed the statues to stay forever, because they helped keep the system in place. That also worked. Those laws ruled for more than a century.

But voting matters, and elections matter, and laws can be changed. And this year, we changed them. This year, I proposed legislation to let cities and counties decide what to do with monuments in their communities—take them down, move them somewhere else, or add additional context.

That law takes effect in four weeks, and then local communities will decide. I know Richmond is going to do the right thing.

But the Lee statue is unique. It’s different from every other statue in Virginia—both in size and in legal status.

You see, the state owns it, unlike most other statues. That was another part of the plan to keep it up forever. It sits on a 100-foot circle of land, a state-owned island, surrounded by the City of Richmond.

The whole thing is six stories tall. It towers over homes, businesses, and everyone who lives in Richmond—from elegant Monument Avenue to the public housing neighborhood of Gilpin Court. The statue itself weighs 12 tons, and it sits atop a large pedestal. A pedestal is a place of honor. We put things on pedestals when we want people to look up.

Think about the message this sends to people coming from around the world to visit the capital city of one of the largest states in the country. Or to young children. What do you say when a six-year-old African American little girl looks you in the eye, and says: What does this big statue mean? Why is it here?

When a young child looks up and sees something that big and prominent, she knows that it’s important. And when it’s the biggest thing around, it sends a clear message: This is what we value the most. But that’s just not true anymore.

In Virginia, we no longer preach a false version of history. One that pretends the Civil War was about “state rights” and not the evils of slavery. No one believes that any longer.

And in 2020, we can no longer honor a system that was based on the buying and selling of enslaved people. In 2020!

I want us all to tell the little girl the truth. Yes, that statue has been there for a long time. But it was wrong then, and it is wrong now.

So, we’re taking it down.

Now, I know some will protest. Some will say, Lee was an honorable man. I know many people will be angry.

But my friends, I believe in a Virginia that studies its past in an honest way. I believe that when we learn more, we can do more. And I believe that when we learn more—when we take that honest look at our past—we must do more than just talk about the future.

We must take action. So, I am directing the Department of General Services to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee as soon as possible. It will go into storage, and we will work with the community to determine its future.

Before we turn to the next speakers, I want to acknowledge all the elected officials, scholars, members of our advisory boards, and other guests who here.

In particular, I want to acknowledge members of the family of Barbara Johns: Mr. Robert Johns and his grandson Mr. Tyrone Mayer, Jr. You all know their family’s story.

In 1951, a 16-year-old girl, Barbara Johns, stood up and led a protest—a student strike against substandard conditions at Robert Russa Moton High School in Prince Edward County. She pushed and pushed, and two great American attorneys took up her cause. Oliver Hill and Spottswood Robinson filed suit, next door, in the federal courthouse at the bottom of the hill. That case became Brown v. Board of Education, and it eventually threw out segregated schools in the United States of America.

That is how you make change—you push on the outside, and you push on the inside too.

We’ll hear in just a moment from a few of the people who are making change happen.

My friends, I believe in a Virginia that studies its past in an honest way. I believe in a Virginia that learns lessons from the past. And we all know our country needs that example right now.

America is once again looking to Virginia to lead. But make no mistake—removing a symbol is important, but it’s only a step.

It doesn’t mean problems are solved. We still need change in this country. We need healing most of all. But symbols do matter.

My friends, we all know it’s time. And history will prove that.

Now, I would like to introduce the Reverend Robert W. Lee IV. We’ve been talking about his great-great-grandfather.

More from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Martin Falbisoner / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

The Robert E. Lee Monument was the first and is the largest of Monument Avenue’s monuments in Richmond, Virginia. In 1876 the Lee Monument Association commissioned a lithograph of a painting by Adalbert Volck. The lithograph, depicting Robert E. Lee on his horse, was the basis for the bronze statue created by French sculptor Antonin Mercié. It was noted in the National Register of Historic Places that “the horse is not a representation of Lee’s famous mount Traveller. The sculptor did not find the size of the actual horse to be in keeping with the overall composition and therefore created an ideal mount with the necessary requirements.”[3] The cornerstone was placed on October 27, 1887. The statue was cast in several pieces separately and then the assembled statue was displayed in Paris before it was shipped to Richmond, where it arrived by rail on May 4.[4] Newspaper accounts indicate that 10,000 people helped pull four wagons with the pieces of the monument. The completed statue was unveiled on May 29, 1890. The statue serves as a traffic circle at the intersection of Monument Avenue and Allen Avenue (named after Otway Allen, the developer who donated the land to the association). Lee stands 14 feet (4.3 m) high atop his horse and the entire statue is 60 feet (18 m) tall standing on a stone base.[5][6]

The site for the statue originally was offered in 1886. Over some opposition, the offer was accepted and later withdrawn when opponents complained that the $20,000 for the Lee Monument was inappropriate because the site was outside the city limit.[citation needed] Richmond City annexed the land in 1892, but bad times economically caused the Lee Monument to stand alone for several years in the middle of a tobacco field before development resumed in the early 1900s.[5]

The Lee Monument is a focal point for Richmond. (Most popular online maps depict the “Lee Circle” as the center of Richmond, although the United States Post Office uses the intersection of North and South Foushee Street where it intersects with East and West Main St as 0 axis Point of all address in the Richmond region, hence the true address center of Richmond. The Virginia Department of Transportation and the Virginia State Police use the state Capitol building as its center.) In 1992, the iron fence around the monument was removed, in part because drivers unfamiliar with traffic circles would run into the fence from time to time and force costly repairs. When the fences came down, the stone base became a popular sunbathing spot.[7] In December 2006, the state completed an extensive cleaning and repair of the monument.

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.[1] It is located in the Monument Avenue Historic District.

Visit the website here to find out more about the Monument Avenue Historic District in Richmond.

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Crime/Court

Local arrest made after purchasing pickup truck with fake check

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On June 1, 2020, David S. Twigg Jr. was arrested for using several forged and one fake check to purchase a 2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty Pickup Truck from a local Auto Dealer. Information obtained as part of this investigation has implicated Twigg in similar scams in West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and other parts of Virginia. A record check of Twigg returned an active arrest warrant out of Norfolk Virginia for a larceny charge.

If you have information on this individual, please contact Investigator Jeremy Seabright at 540-635-4128.

Photo courtesy of Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

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Governor Northam announces Phase Two guidelines to further ease public health restrictions

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Governor Ralph Northam on June 2, 2020, signed Executive Order Sixty-Five and presented the second phase of the “Forward Virginia” plan to continue safely and gradually easing public health restrictions while containing the spread of COVID-19. The Governor also amended Executive Order Sixty-One directing Northern Virginia and the City of Richmond to remain in Phase One.

Most of Virginia is expected to enter Phase Two on Friday, June 5, as key statewide health metrics continue to show positive signs. Virginia’s hospital bed capacity remains stable, the percentage of people hospitalized with a positive or pending COVID-19 test is trending downward, no hospitals are reporting PPE shortages, and the percent of positive tests continue to trend downward as testing increases. The Governor and Virginia public health officials will continue to evaluate data based on the indicators laid out in April.

“Because of our collective efforts, Virginia has made tremendous progress in fighting this virus and saved lives,” said Governor Northam. “Please continue to wear a face covering, maintain physical distance, and stay home if you are high-risk or experience COVID-19 symptoms. Virginians have all sacrificed to help contain the spread of this disease, and we must remain vigilant as we take steps to slowly lift restrictions in our Commonwealth.”

Executive Order Sixty-Five modifies public health guidance in Executive Order Sixty-One and Sixty-Two and establishes guidelines for Phase Two. Northern Virginia and the City of Richmond entered Phase One on Friday, May 29, and will remain in Phase One to allow for additional monitoring of health data. Accomack County delayed reopening due to outbreaks in poultry plants, which have largely been controlled through rigorous testing. Accomack County will move to Phase Two with the rest of the Commonwealth, on Friday, June 5.

Under Phase Two, the Commonwealth will maintain a Safer at Home strategy with continued recommendations for social distancing, teleworking, and requiring individuals to wear face coverings in indoor public settings. The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase from 10 to 50 people. All businesses should still adhere to physical distancing guidelines, frequently clean and sanitize high contact surfaces, and continue enhanced workplace safety measures.

Restaurant and beverage establishments may offer indoor dining at 50 percent occupancy, fitness centers may open indoor areas at 30 percent occupancy, and certain recreation and entertainment venues without shared equipment may open with restrictions. These venues include museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and outdoor concert, sporting, and performing arts venues. Swimming pools may also expand operations to both indoor and outdoor exercise, diving, and swim instruction.

The current guidelines for religious services, non-essential retail, and personal grooming services will largely remain the same in Phase Two. Overnight summer camps, most indoor entertainment venues, amusement parks, fairs, and carnivals will also remain closed in Phase Two.

Phase Two guidelines for specific sectors can be found here.

Phase One guidelines sectors are available here.

Visit virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.

The full text of Executive Order Sixty-Five and Order of Public Health Emergency Six is available here.

The full text of amended Executive Order Sixty-One can be found here.

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Crime/Court

Sunday night house fire ruled arson – occupant charged

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On Sunday, May 31, 2020, at approximately 10:20 pm, the Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services was dispatched to 121 E. 14th Street, Front Royal, for a reported residential structure fire.

Fire, Rescue, and officers from the Front Royal Police Department arrived at the scene and observed an active fire in the basement with a significant amount of smoke coming from the doors and windows of the first floor. Firefighters initiated a rapid search of the residence and determined no one was trapped inside the home. The fire was quickly extinguished, however, the residence was rendered uninhabitable with an estimated $80,000 in damages. One of the occupants of the home has received assistance from the American Red Cross.

An investigation by the Warren County Fire Marshal’s Office determined the fire was caused by an act of arson and requested assistance by the Front Royal Police Department Criminal Investigations Division.

As a result of the investigation and consultation with the Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office, Lauren T. Roberts, a 33-year-old Front Royal resident, has been charged in connection with the fire incident. Ms. Roberts has been charged with a single felony count of Virginia Code § 18.2-77 Burning or destroying a dwelling house. Roberts was transported to the Rappahannock, Shenandoah, Warren (RSW) Regional Jail where she was held without bond. The court date for this offense is on July 28, 2020, at 9 am in Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Lauren T. Roberts. Photo courtesy of RSW Jail.

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is asked to contact Fire Marshal G. Maiatico at 540-636-3830 or Detective M.R. Ramey with the Front Royal Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 540-636-2208.

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Royal Comfort Shoe Center relocates and trades spaces with the OPEN HOUSE meeting space on Main Street

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WHAT MATTERS Warren—Despite the plethora of challenges faced by retail establishments the past few months, Mark and Yuliya Poe, owners of the Daily Grind and Royal Comfort Shoe Center, have taken a leap of faith that has strengthened their dedication to their Main Street businesses and to the community in which they serve. As of last month, their establishments are now adjacent to each other in the Middle of Main building and the doors of The Daily Grind now open into the delightfully appointed Royal Comfort Shoe Center. The couple can now share resources and staff as the shoe center benefits from a better location closer to the heart of historic Main Street.

More than just a shoe store, the Center offers custom fittings, consultation, and a wide range of high-end footwear. Opened in 2018, they have expanded to now offer 250+ different styles of well known and leading brands in the comfort shoe industry including SAS, Vionic, Propet, Thorogood Boots, Naot, Jambu, Samuel Hubbard, Taos, Sanita, Crocs, Drew, Clarks, Aetrex, Birkenstock, Florsheim and New Balance, and they are constantly adding new brands. In addition to high quality, comfortable, stylish footwear and orthotics, they offer specialty socks as well as shoe repair and shoe lifts (all work is completed in-house). Owner Mark Poe is also proud to provide his guidance from his expertise as a Certified Pedorthist (C-Ped). His decades of experience in the industry ensure customers find the footwear that best supports their individual needs.

The entrepreneurs did much more than embrace relocation and expansion during these trying times surrounding the COVID crisis. They have dedicated their former shoe center storefront at 114 E. Main Street to become the new OPEN HOUSE space and will continue to fulfill the mission of the community meeting space Beth Medved Waller began funding four years ago. In mid-April, as Waller prepared for another month of investing her $2,000 per month commitment to fund the OPEN HOUSE space (unused due to the quarantine since early March), she did some sobering soul-searching. As much as she loved providing the free meeting space, she forced herself to face the reality that she had already invested $4,000 in a building that was sitting empty and would be for the considerable future. “One of my favorite WHAT MATTERS Initiatives was sponsoring OPEN HOUSE. It always warmed my heart to drive by Main Street and see wonderful people of our community gathered and meeting. Great connections, service, ideas, and memories have originated within the space throughout the years. But I couldn’t justify spending thousands more to fund an initiative that would likely be dormant for many months,” said Beth.

Yuliya Poe, who has been the neighbor to OPEN HOUSE for years as she operates The Daily Grind shared, “When we learned of Beth’s decision to close OPEN HOUSE, we offered to immediately take over her lease. We respect the commitment she has for the community and loved what she was doing with the space. When we ran into her in the hallway, and she proposed using her furnishings at OPEN HOUSE to convert the former shoe center location into a meeting space for the community, we did what we do—followed our hearts. Within 24 hours, plans were being made to turn the former shoe center space into a non-profit center and carry on the mission she started.”

Stay tuned for updates about the new OPEN HOUSE, which will be sponsored by their businesses and expanded to offer even more to the Front Royal/Warren County community. And when you find yourself ready to click on Amazon for your next shoe purchase, or drive to neighboring zip codes to open your wallet, be sure to stop by The Royal Comfort Shoe Center instead and give your feet the benefit of friendly local expertise and your heart the privilege of supporting a business that gives back to our community (and of course you’re welcome to enjoy a cup of Daily Grind coffee while you shop). Learn more on Facebook or call 540-749-2741. They are open Tuesday-Friday from 10 to 5, and Saturday from 9 to 2.

WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE

Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and YouTube.

Learn more Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com – check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or beth@whatmattersw2.com.


About WHAT MATTERS:

WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.

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Governor Northam COVID-19 update briefing – June 2, 2020; addresses protest, Phase 2 starts Friday

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Governor Northam joins the Virginia Emergency Support Team to share the latest updates on the COVID-19 response. Here are the highlights:

The Governor began the June 2 briefing by discussing the protests across Virginia. His message to protesters is “I hear you,” and that he pledges to stand with them. Several spoke with the Governor including 70th District Del. Delores McQuinn, Shirley Ginwright with the Virginia African American Advisory Board, and Jim Bibbs, chief human resources officer for the Virginia Port Authority.

The Governor announced most of the state can move into Phase Two of reopening the state this Friday, June 5. He said Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Accomack County will stay in Phase One.

Here are some changes under Phase Two:

  • Restaurants can have indoor seating at 50 percent capacity
  • Gyms can have indoor classes/ workouts at 30 percent capacity
  • Pools can open with some restrictions
  • Museums/zoos can open with restrictions
  • Recreational sports allowed but there can be no shared equipment
  • Gatherings limited to 50 people rather than 10
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