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3 good reasons to try before you buy: new and used summer vehicles

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It’s easy to fall in love with a beautiful ATV, powerful dirt bike, or shiny speed boat. However, before you sign on the dotted line, it’s a good idea to keep a cool head and take the vehicle for a test drive. Here are three reasons why.

1. Reality may not meet your expectations
No two vehicles are the same. For instance, some have overly sensitive steering, while others have weak acceleration or a noisy engine. Therefore, make sure you try driving the vehicle to ensure it meets your expectations.

2. The vehicle may be uncomfortable to drive
Some vehicles look great but are uncomfortable to drive. For example, taking the vehicle for a test run will allow you to determine if there are any undesirable features, such as overly firm seats or insufficient legroom.

3. You can gauge functionality and other details
It’s important to take the vehicle for a test drive to reveal shortcomings that may only become apparent during use, such as poorly positioned gauges and hard-to-reach controls or accessories.


Finally, take your time to make the most of your test drive. After all, you’re about to spend a lot of money and want to be fully satisfied with your purchase.

If you’re unsure if an RV, ATV, or boat is right for you, try renting. This way, you can confirm your interest before you start shopping.

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In 2022, spirits are the rage – but do not drink and drive

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Whether served neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail, spirits are becoming increasingly popular for both winter and summer. Here’s a guide to the standard choices.

• Vodka. Many people appreciate this neutral-flavored spirit that’s typically made from grains, vegetables, or fruit. Vodka is an essential ingredient in many cocktails, including the bloody mary and cosmopolitan. It’s often assumed vodka comes from Russia and is made from potatoes. However, depending on where you are, you may find unique vodkas from local distilleries made with surprising ingredients like maple sap or quinoa.

• Gin. This spirit is a definitive ingredient in G&Ts and other cocktails. It results from the combination of macerated and distilled juniper berries with aromatic ingredients like herbs, citrus fruits, and flowers in neutral grain-based alcohol. London dry is a well-known gin variety whose name represents a distilling style and is not exclusive to England. Genever has Dutch and Belgian origins and is now also produced in Canada.

• Whiskey. Made from cereal grains such as corn and oats, whiskey has distinct identities according to the country where it’s distilled. Whiskey brewed in the United States is mainly bourbon, while the Canadian version is rye. Scotch refers to the variety produced in Scotland.


• Rum. Made from molasses or fermented cane syrup, this spirit drink is typically available in light, gold, and black varieties, depending on their filtering and aging processes. Spiced rum is usually aged for the same duration as black rum. Among the must-try cocktails that use rum are the mojito and the piña colada.

Visit licensed retailers in your area to stock up on these essential spirits for your collection or visit a bar or distillery to discover new ways to enjoy them.

Please DO NOT drink and drive.

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Dog Days of summer

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It’s hot. It’s humid. The Dog Days are here.

The term Dog Days dates back to ancient times when people studied the sky and relied on the heavens and the stars for navigation and spiritual sustenance.

These ancients looked into the night sky, before modern lights obscured the stars, and imagined that the constellations formed images of bears (Ursa Major and Ursa Minor), a bull (Taurus), and dogs (Canis Major and Canis Minor).

Sirius, called the dog star, was the brightest star in the night sky. It was so bright that the Romans thought it added heat to the earth.



In late summer, Sirius rises and sets with the sun, furthering the notion that the heat of the combined stars created the muggy, sultry weather. They called the 20-day alignment of the sun and Sirius the Dog Days.

This alignment can vary in exact dates with the latitude of the observer and by the annual variances in the equinoxes.

Most of us know only that this period is too hot for a good disposition and look for ways to stay cool during those 20 days. We could go for a swim, take a vacation to a cooler climate, go to an air-conditioned theater or spend a few leisurely hours shopping at the air-conditioned mall. Dress in cool clothes and don’t overexert.

But if you are still uncomfortable, you can blame it on the big dog and that familiar old star, the sun.

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July Celebrity Birthdays!

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Do you share a birthday with a celebrity?

Lisa Kudrow crop

July 30, 1963 – Lisa Kudrow, 59, actress (Friends), Encino, CA

1 – Liv Tyler, 45, actress (Lord of the Rings), Portland, ME, 1977.

2 – Margot Robbie, 32, actress, Dalby, Australia, 1990.


3 – Montel Williams, 66, talk show host, Baltimore, MD, 1956.

4 – Post Malone, 27, singer, rapper, born Austin Richard Post, Syracuse, NY, 1995.

5 – Francois Arnaud, 37, actor, Montreal, QC, Canada, 1985.

6 – Kevin Hart, 42, comedian, actor, Philadelphia, PA, 1980.

7 – Ringo Starr, 82, musician (The Beatles), born Richard Starkey, Liverpool, England, 1940.

8 – Raffi Cavoukian, 74, children’s singer, Cairo, Egypt, 1948.

9 – Richard Roundtree, 80, actor (Shaft), New Rochelle, NY, 1942.

10 – Jessica Simpson, 42, singer, actress (The Dukes of Hazzard), Abilene, TX, 1980.

11 – Joan Smalls, 34, model, born Joan Smalls Rodriguez, Hatillo, Puerto Rico, 1988.

12 – Erik Per Sullivan, 31, actor (Malcolm in the Middle), Worcester, MA, 1991.

13 –  Roger McGuinn, 80, musician (The Byrds), born James Joseph McGuinn, Chicago, IL, 1942.

14 – Conor McGregor, 34, former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion, Dublin, Ireland, 1988.

15 – Taylor Kinney, 41, actor (Chicago Fire), Lancaster, PA, 1981.

16 – Mark Indelicato, 28, actor, Philadelphia, PA, 1994.

17 –  Lucie Arnaz, 71, actress (The Jazz Singer), Los Angeles, CA, 1951.

18 – Kristen Bell, 42, actress (The Good Place), Detroit, MI, 1980.

19 – Benedict Cumberbatch, 46, actor (Sherlock), London, England, 1976.

20 – John Daley, 37, actor (Freaks and Geeks), born New York, NY, 1985.

21 – Anya Chalotra, 26, actress (The Witcher), Wolverhampton, England, 1996.

22 – Selena Gomez, 30, singer, actress (Wizards of Waverly Place), Grand Prairie, TX, 1992.

23 – Daniel Radcliffe, 33, actor (Harry Potter films), London, England, 1989.

24 – Anna Paquin, 40, actress (True Blood), Winnipeg, MB, Canada, 1982.

25 – Miriam Shor, 51, actress (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Minneapolis, MN, 1971.

26 – Taylor Momsen, 29, actress (Gossip Girl), St. Louis, MO, 1993.

27 – Taylor Schilling, 38, actress (Orange Is the New Black), Boston, MA, 1984.

28 – John David Washington, 38, actor (Ballers), Los Angeles, CA, 1984.

29 – Josh Radnor, 48, actor (Mercy Street), Columbus, OH, 1974.

30 – Lisa Kudrow, 59, actress (Friends), Encino, CA, 1963.

31 – Gary Lewis, 76, singer, born New York, NY, July 31, 1946.

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A close-shaven history of the beard

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The beard: It’s gone in and out of fashion over the millennia and alternately been associated with kings and commoners, criminals and scholars, soldiers and hippies. It can be close-trimmed or bushy, carefully waxed into impossible configurations, or left wild and uncombed. Throughout the history of beards, only one thing was ever consistent: People have always had strong opinions about them.

Hair removal has been around a long time, and our collective mental image of a hairy, unkempt caveman isn’t necessarily accurate. According to Almanac.com, cave paintings from more than 30,000 years ago depict men without beards, and archaeologists have uncovered artifacts that suggest hair was tweezed with shells or shaved with blades made from flint.

Fast forward to 3,000 BC, when purpose-made metal razors were all the rage in Egypt. In the Egyptian heat, most Egyptian men opted to remain clean-shaven, but pharaohs distinguished themselves from commoners with long false beards, usually sculpted from metal. Even Queen Hatshepsut adopted the practice after she assumed the throne, and many contemporary depictions show her in women’s clothing and with a long false beard.

Ancient illustrations of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (551-479 BC) commonly show him with a flowing beard and mustache to match. According to PBS, Confucius insisted that the body was a gift from one’s parents, and should never be modified, whether by shaving, cutting hair, tattooing skin, or trimming fingernails.


For Norse Vikings, beards were a source of pride, expected of all men and maintained through meticulous daily grooming. Viking hygiene routines were famous throughout medieval Europe, earning the indignation of contemporary chroniclers who worried (often not unreasonably) that the bearded and soap-obsessed Vikings would seduce Christian women.

During the late 17th century, beards fell dramatically out of fashion in Europe, thanks to Peter the Great’s “beard tax” in Russia. While mustaches remained acceptable, beards didn’t stage a return until the end of the Crimean War in 1854, when returning war heroes all sported beards.

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Wind speed and fuses cause many firework injuries

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It was a windy Independence Day in 2015 when Jason Pierre-Paul, the star defensive end for the New York Giants, attempted to light one last rocket for the entertainment of friends and family.

He tried once to light the fuse, but the wind blew it out. Then again, and again, after seven tries the fuse lit. And it blew. He can’t recall whether the firework was still in his right hand, but when the explosion cleared, his hand was profoundly disfigured, nearly blown off.

Among all the dangers of lighting fireworks, two are notable. First, a fuse that burns faster than expected, and, second, wind.

Each firework has a fuse that ideally burns slowly enough for the person to get away. This fuse is linked to the lifting charge, made of choppy gun powder, also called black powder. You light it, you get away. The experience of Jason Pierre-Paul tells why you never light it a second time.


In many instances, the fuse actually could be burning. A smoldering fuse might be not immediately obvious, especially in windy conditions. But if you approach the charge a second time, you are risking grave injury or death. That’s why you should never try to light a firework twice. Instead, wet it thoroughly with a hose or bucket of water.

Many fireworks accidents occur because a fuse burns faster than expected.

Windy conditions are not safe for fireworks. Wind speed and direction can severely affect not just the fuse lighting, but where the shell and debris end up. A 2004 study found that a three-inch shell could end up 197 feet downwind if launched in 20 mph winds, according to the Washington Post.

Professional pyrotechnicians take wind speed into consideration, as well as fuse burn time. But amateurs rarely have the knowledge to do this.

Leave the fireworks to the pros. It just isn’t worth losing a hand, your sight, or your life.

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Outdoor workers at risk for lightning strikes

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If you work at height or outdoors, you are at the greatest risk for lightning strikes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those in construction, farming, field labor, heavy equipment operation, logging, pipefitting, telecommunications, or power pole work are especially at risk.

A lightning strike has extraordinary power. According to Safety and Health magazine, your household current is about 120 volts and 15 amps. The average lightning strike is around 300 million volts and 30,000 amps. With that much power, you don’t have to be directly struck to be injured. Even a sideflash can cause injuries to the nervous system and brain. These include burns, hearing loss, light sensitivity, even memory loss, and personality shifts.

The weather report is the best first step to preventing injuries from lightning. If storms are in the area, stay inside a building until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder is heard. The strength of the rain is not relevant. Lightning can strike even if there is no rain or even a drizzle.


According to the National Weather Service, an average of 43 people die from lightning strikes every year. In 2021, the National Lightning Safety Council reported just 11 deaths from lightning, among them a construction worker and a lifeguard.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

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Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

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Auto Care Clinic

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Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

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No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

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Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

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The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

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Vetbuilder.com

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

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Upcoming Events

Jul
6
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jul 6 @ 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[...]
Jul
8
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Jul 8 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!
Jul
9
Sat
all-day Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jul 9 – Jul 10 all-day
Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Don’t miss your chance to camp out in the beautiful Historic Mount Bleak backyard. See all that Sky Meadows has to offer through activities beginning at noon on Saturday and running until noon[...]
Jul
13
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jul 13 @ 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[...]
Jul
15
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Jul 15 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!
Jul
16
Sat
10:00 am Summer Wild Edible Plants: Earth... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Summer Wild Edible Plants: Earth... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jul 16 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Summer Wild Edible Plants: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. Join professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch to learn about the remarkable springtime wild edible and medicinal plants of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This full-day hike will cover native and[...]
Jul
17
Sun
12:00 pm Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jul 17 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. What’s that buzzing? Meet with local apiarists of the Beekeepers of Northern Shenandoah (BONS) and discover the art of Apiculture (a.k.a. Beekeeping). This monthly program series examines all aspects[...]
Jul
20
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jul 20 @ 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[...]
Jul
22
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Jul 22 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!