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4-H Livestock Auction shows some winners!

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On Friday, August 9th, the annual 4-H Livestock Auction was held at the 62nd annual Warren County Fair. The crowd filled in, and it looked to be a good show.

Scared of heights?

Taking a look at the competition beforehand, we found that there were some extraordinarily beautiful animals for sale.

And there were some huge ones too.

The kids were loving it, and the animals seemed to enjoy the attention too.

An esteemed buyer, Blaine Keller, showed us around and introduced us to the company that has worked with the auction for decades, Gore’s Custom Slaughter. “Gore’s takes 90% of the auctioned animals and assists with the butchering process.” Jeff and Josh Gore, owners of the store since 1979, told us a little about its history.

“My Grandfather established this family business back in 1961 in Edinburgh and it has been a reliable family business ever since,” Jeff told us.

Now to the main attraction – awards were handed out to the kids who had raised these animals themselves. By properly feeding and caring for them, they made some beautiful livestock.

Now to the main attraction – awards were handed out to the kids who had raised these animals themselves. By properly feeding and caring for them, they made some beautiful livestock.

The auction went off with a bang and a flurry of prices as the Grand Champion pig was let loose in the pen, and what a fine pig it was. It sold at $4 dollars a pound to the Linden’s Apple House.

The Reserve Champion Pig was next, which sold for $3.30 a pound.

The Class 1 Reserve Champion Pig was next, which sold for $2 a pound. Valley Heart lucked out on an excellent price for such a good looking pig.

The Class 2 reserve Pig was next, selling at $2.30 a pound.

The Class 3, and final of the awarded pigs, was next, selling at $2.40 a pound.

The other pigs were auctioned off, and the auction moved onto the winning steers. The Grand Champion Steer, a gorgeous looking brown beast, was sold for $2.60 a pound.

The Reserve Champion Steer was next. This gentle giant went for $2.10 a pound.

The Class 2 Champion Steer followed and sold at $1.80 a pound, another excellent price on another quality looking animal.

The Class 3 Champion Steer was next, and was sold for $3 a pound.

The Reserve Champions were next up and there appeared to be little, if any drop off in the quality of the animals judging by appearance. The Class 1 Reserve Steer was sold for $1.85 a pound to VA livestock.

The Class 2 Reserve Steer was sold for $1.55 a pound, again a seeming steal for a fine-looking animal.

The Class 3 Reserve Steer was sold for $2.20 a pound.

The Class 4 Reserve Steer, a wild beast with some temper, was sold for $2.10 a pound.

The Lambs were up next, taking the lead was the Grand Champion Lamb selling at $10 a pound to Rocky Ham.

The Reserve Champion lamb was then auctioned off at $4 a pound to Chelsea Farms.

The Class 1 champion lamb was then sold for $3 a pound.

The Class 2 champion lamb was sold for $4.50 a pound.

The Class 3 champion lamb was then sold for $3.25 a pound to State Farms.

The Reserve champions were up next. The Class 1 reserve was sold for $3.75 a pound.

The next lamb to be sold was the class 3 reserve champion for $3.25 a pound.

The next animal to be auctioned off was the Grand Champion Goat, auctioned off for $700 to Rockingham Co-op. With the auction almost over, there were just three animals left. The Grand Champion Chicken was next, a rare lavender breed of chicken, which was sold for $325 to the Strasburg Co-op. That’s a pretty penny for a very pretty bird.

Not all birds are created equal, but some are weird looking. The Reserve Champion Chicken sold for $100, and was definitely an odd looking bird with that distinctive hairstyle.

And finally the Grand Champion Rabbit, the only rabbit to compete, was sold for $200 – that’s one special bun.

With the auction over, 4-H took a moment to thank the families and companies that helped sponsor the auction and make this great event possible. And that’s a wrap from the 2019 Warren County Fair livestock auction.

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Virginia War Memorial announces 2020 Marocchi Memorial College Scholarship recipients

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Ava Mister

The Virginia War Memorial has announced the 2020 recipients of its Marocchi Memorial College Scholarships. Receiving $2,500 college scholarships each are:

Ava Mister, a graduating senior at Lee-Davis High School in Hanover County, Va., who will attend Christopher Newport University this fall and enroll in the Army ROTC program;

Derek Sprincis, a graduating senior at Clarke County High School in Berryville, Va., and Mountain Vista Governor’s School in Warrenton, Va., who will attend the University of Virginia this fall and enroll in the Air Force ROTC program.

Derek Sprincis

The names of both recipients were announced as part of the 64th Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond on May 25. Because of COVID-19 emergency restrictions, the Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony was held as a virtual livestreamed event and the students were unable to attend to be recognized in person.

The scholarships were established in memory of the late Rear Admiral John Marocchi by his family and are administered by the Virginia War Memorial Foundation. Admiral Marocchi served in the United States Navy for decades in a career that spanned World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He was the recipient of the Purple Heart, Legion of Merit and was one the few Navy officers to complete Army Airborne training. He was also a member of the Virginia War Memorial Board of Trustees for over fifteen years.

Two $2,500 Marocchi Memorial Scholarships are awarded annually. Students enrolled in the senior class of an accredited public or private high school or home school program in the Commonwealth of Virginia and who are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident at the time of application may apply. Applicants must also plan to pursue a program of study in a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at a Virginia public or private university that will lead to service in the Armed Forces of the United States. He or she must also possess an unweighted minimum Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) of 2.75. A committee reviews the applications and chooses the two top applicants.

Applications for the 2021 Marocchi Memorial Scholarships will open in September 2020.

Complete details, including application forms and a list of required documents, are available online or by contacting Morgan Guyer, Assistant Director of Education at the Virginia War Memorial, at morgan.guyer@dvs.virginia.gov.


About the Virginia War Memorial

The mission of the Virginia War Memorial is to Honor Veterans, Preserve History, Educate Youth and Inspire Patriotism in All.  Dedicated in 1956, the Memorial includes the names of the nearly 12,000 Virginia heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and the Global War on Terrorism.  The Virginia War Memorial is a division of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and serves as an integral part of its mission in support of all Virginians who have served in our military.  It is located at 621 South Belvidere Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220. For more information, please visit www.vawarmemorial.org.


About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  VDVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans.  Today, VDVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs. The agency operates two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; and provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries. It also oversees the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.

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Randolph-Macon Academy hosts virtual graduation Saturday

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RADM John Stufflebeem, R-MA Class of 1970 and the graduation guest speaker for the Class of 2020.

Randolph-Macon Academy’s 56 soon-to-be-graduates successfully navigated a rapid transition to online learning in March. Now, having earned a combined total of 211 college acceptances and over $5.2 million in college scholarship offers, they are about to celebrate their graduation online and on time. R-MA’s graduation was originally scheduled for Saturday, May 30th, and the Academy is able to adhere to that date thanks to the quick pivot to online learning in mid-March.

The guest speaker for the event is Rear Admiral John Stufflebeem, USN, Retired, a 1970 graduate of Randolph-Macon Academy, and the Chairman of the R-MA Board of Trustees.

During his Naval career, Rear Adm. Stufflebeem commanded Fighter Squadron 84 and Carrier Air Wing 1 during combat operations in the Balkans and Persian Gulf and Carrier Group 2/Task Force 60 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His assignment prior to returning to Washington was Commander 6th Fleet, Deputy Commander Naval Forces Europe, Joint Force Maritime Component Commander Europe, Commander Strike and Support Forces NATO, and Allied Commander Joint Command Lisbon.

Additionally, Rear Adm. Stufflebeem served in staff assignments including Military Aide to President George H.W. Bush, Deputy Executive Assistant and later, Executive Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations. His first assignment as a flag officer was Deputy Director for Global Operations (J-3) on the Joint Staff during Operation Enduring Freedom. Subsequent to Operation Iraqi Freedom he was the Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information, Plans and Strategy.

Stufflebeem is now an independent consultant and sole proprietor of the NJS Group LLC, a strategic and crisis communications consulting firm in Alexandria, VA, established after he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2008. He is also a life member of the National Football League Players Association, having played football for the Detroit Lions in the late 1970s.

All of R-MA’s end-of-year events will be released via YouTube Premiere, culminating with the Graduation Ceremony on May 30th. YouTube Premiere will allow students, families, faculty and staff to watch the event as if it were live, and “chat” with each other as the video plays. The Graduation Ceremony Premiere will begin at 9:15am, with a series of tributes to the seniors from their teachers, parents, and even local businesses. The graduation ceremony itself will begin playing at 10:00am.

In addition to Stufflebeem, the Class of 2020 will hear from their Salutatorian and Valedictorian during the end-of-year ceremonies. Class Night on May 28th will feature Salutatorian Jonathan Bunker of Berryville, VA. Bunker is the third member of his family to graduate from R-MA and the second to earn Salutatorian honors. He has been a member of the R-MA Virginia State Championship Drill Team and is the Vice President of the Senior Class.

The Commencement audience on May 30th will hear from R-MA Valedictorian Benjamin Kopjanski of Boston, VA. Kopjanski holds the second-highest position in the Academy’s Air Force Junior ROTC program, and was recently recognized as the Top Cadet in the Nation by the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the U.S. He was also a member of the Academy’s championship drill team.

“We are incredibly proud of our graduates, and though we wish we could be together physically to celebrate their accomplishments, we are pleased to be able to offer this virtual way to celebrate together,” said R-MA President Brigadier General David C. Wesley, USAF, Retired. Wesley served in the Air Force for 26 years, most recently as the Staff Judge Advocate for Headquarters Air Force Material Command; his service also included time as an instructor at and the Commandant of the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s School at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL. He has been Randolph-Macon Academy’s president since 2015.

The Class of 2020 college acceptances included prestigious universities such as University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis University, Duke University, Case Western University, Drexel University, Fordham University, George Mason University, James Madison University, New York University, Northeastern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of British Columbia, University of Virginia, University of Sydney and Virginia Tech. In addition, the eight postgraduate Falcon Scholars of 2020 all earned appointments to the Air Force Academy.

To access the YouTube Premiere videos, visit R-MA’s YouTube channel.


Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA), founded in 1892, is a college-preparatory, coeducational boarding school for students in grades 6 through 12. Students in grades 9-12 participate in R-MA’s 91st Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), and have the opportunity to learn to fly through a unique flight program. The Academy, which is one of only six Falcon Foundation Schools in the U.S., also offers several summer programs. R-MA is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is located in Front Royal, VA.

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Downtown Rebound – Week 2

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Once again the Town of Front Royal and specifically Family Fun Day, Inc. is excited to announce ‘Downtown Rebound’ – a plan to assist our beloved downtown businesses while adhering to safety guidelines, and mandates set forth by Phase One of the Governor’s “Virginia Forward” re-opening plan.

During this time, downtown businesses and restaurants will be able to expand their services, displays, and seating areas onto the sidewalks and Main Street.  Additionally, the Royal Cinema will be showing an outdoor movie at 8:30 PM on Friday and Saturday, weather permitting.

There will be a temporary vehicular road closure of Main Street, Kidd Lane, and part of Chester beginning Friday, May 29, at 4:30 P.M. and ending on Monday, June 1, at 7 A.M. Parking will be available at the Gazebo entering from Virginia Hale Blvd only.

This is not a festival, but it is an opportunity for citizens to get out and visit our restaurants and businesses throughout Front Royal.  All citizens are expected to maintain six feet social distancing and follow other guidelines as directed by Governor Northam’s Executive Orders.  Restaurants may provide additional guidance as well.

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Warren County Habitat for Humanity moves to new office and resumes Repair Program

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Warren County Habitat for Humanity (WCHFH) will open in their new office located at 109 Water Street, in Front Royal, on June 1, 2020. Beginning June 1, the office will be open by appointment only. Normal office hours (Mon-Fri, 10-2) will resume June 15. The Habitat office will have hand sanitizer and masks available for clients and visitors.

“The Board is excited to be moving to this new space. The location will allow for better visibility and access for our current and future clients and partners.” According to Amanda Slate, WCHFH Board President.

Due to COVID-19 risks and in keeping with guidelines from Habitat International and the state government, Warren County Habitat for Humanity had suspended much of its activity and closed its office on March 31. With the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions through Governor Northam’s Forward Virginia Plan, WCHFH will begin implementing plans to reopen its office and resume programming. To see the full reopening plan, click here.

Applications for the WCHFH Home Repair Programs will be accepted from June 1-15. Work on new repairs should begin late July to early August, following stringent safety and health precautions. Warren County Habitat for Humanity offers home repairs with affordable financing to qualified homeowners living in Warren County, Virginia. The homeowner must be a full-time resident of the home and meet income guidelines below 60% of AMI. Mortgage, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance accounts must be current. This program is not available to landlords, tenants, land contract holders, or trailer home residents. For more information on the home repair program and to complete the eligibility questionnaire, click here.

For more information about Habitat’s home repair program or to schedule an appointment, contact Jessica Priest-Cahill, WCHFH Executive Director, at (540)551-3232 or jessica@warrencountyhabitat.org.

Founded locally in 1993, Warren County Habitat for Humanity seeks to build homes, community, and hope in Front Royal and Warren County. Habitat for Humanity homes are sold with no profit received. The homes are built utilizing volunteer labor, donated resources, and money from the community. Homeowners must meet three qualifications: willingness to partner; ability to pay; and have a need for decent, affordable, and safe housing. In addition to the Habitat Homeownership Program, WCHFH provides home repair programs for low-income homeowners, homeownership and home maintenance education, and advocacy for local affordable home ownership. To learn more visit www.warrencountyhabitat.org.

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Town looks to expand, revisit success of weekend downtown ‘walking mall’

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Early in its May 26th, post-Memorial Day, Tuesday evening meeting, the Front Royal Town Council got a glowingly positive report on the Memorial Day weekend downtown business re-opening event marked by the closure of a portion of East Main and Chester Streets to vehicular traffic.

Interim Town Manager Matt Tederick began the discussion by lauding the involvement of C&C Frozen Treats proprietor and Family Funday sponsor William Huck for his proactive involvement, including pulling the festival permit to allow the street closings.

C&C Frozen Treats William and Nina Huck, above, were acknowledged for their proactive involvement in making the Memorial Day weekend downtown reopening a big success. And below, East Main was blocked off all the way down to Blue Ridge Ave. at the Main St. Mill. Royal Examiner File Photos/Roger Bianchini

“I think it was a wild success, frankly,” Tederick told council, adding, “I’ve gotten numerous text messages and phone calls from folks, businesses, restaurants sold out of food on Monday. I think it was just a really good event – a lot of citizens seemed to appreciate it.”

Tederick then urged town businesses outside the Historic Downtown area to contact the town manager’s office if they had ideas for “creative outdoor planning” in their areas to help resurrect the local business community from two months of COVID-19 pandemic mandated public health safety shutdowns.

“We’re being as flexible as we legally can be and we’re following the code, we’re following the laws but we’re doing everything we can to assist our local businesses, restaurants, as well as brick and mortar businesses,” Tederick enthused in the wake of the Saturday through Memorial Day Monday downtown event.

See Royal Examiner’s two-pronged photographic report on Saturday’s opening and Monday’s stirring, if brief, Memorial Day event at the Courthouse grounds.

From Saturday, above, as Mountain Trails joins in the East Main St. fun – that tent-covered air mattress looks pretty comfortable; to Monday when Memorial Day ceremonies helped kick off the day’s celebration of sacrifice and our collective survival, Front Royal’s Phase One reopening launch was deemed a popular success.

Tederick then acknowledged an expected new executive order from Governor Ralph Northam’s office requiring the wearing of masks inside the re-opened business and government buildings. Virginia is in the process of moving from the Democratic governor’s Phase One reopening that kicked in Friday to Phase Two expected to launch June 10.

“My opinion, that’s going to come with a whole lot of cost, as well as preparation; and there’s going to be a whole lot of questions as well,” Front Royal’s interim town manager and longtime County Republican Committee officer and operative said, without elaboration on how those “lot of” costs and preparations would be generated from an anticipated mask-wearing order.

Noting his time downtown at about four hours on both Saturday and Monday, Mayor Gene Tewalt said, “The biggest question that I’ve been asked from people that ran their businesses is, are we going to keep doing this on a weekly basis. And I told them I wasn’t sure – that I’d get back with you and the council to see which way you guys want to handle this … It went very well, at least that’s what everybody told me and it was a great event.”

Mayor Tewalt and Interim Town Manage Tederick and families crossed paths while checking out the Saturday kickoff of Front Royal’s Memorial Day weekend pandemic business re-launch.

Gary Gillespie, Lori Cockrell, Chris Holloway, and Letasha Thompson added their positive reviews, and/or the positive reviews of those they had spoken to about the event as council pondered the potential of a regular weekend closing of a portion of the downtown business district to vehicular traffic to facilitate additional customer foot traffic in a walking mall-style downtown.

Vice Mayor Bill Sealock asked about the hours at the Finance Department’s Town Hall drive-thru payment window on Fridays, which would be blocked by the traditional closing of East Main at Royal Avenue. Told by Finance Director B. J. Wilson the window closed at 4:30 p.m., council pondered the possibility of adding Friday evenings to the walking mall concept beginning around 5 p.m.

Town Hall was decorated and wrapped up in a red, while & blue bow this Memorial Day weekend. What colors might it take on if weekend walking mall initiatives continue?

“If the consensus of the council is let’s do it again this weekend, I think the staff and I are prepared to launch if that’s something you’d like to see be done,” Tederick told the council.

Council’s comments appeared to indicate that the positive feedback wasn’t only from the restaurants the outdoor street seating the street closures were designed to help facilitate with social distancing regulations. So, if that feedback is, in fact, broad-based and ongoing, it appears the Town is poised to move forward with a continued weekend, late Friday afternoon to Sunday evening downtown closings. – Get ready to pull some more permits, Huck.

And that with a call out to businesses in other areas of town for some “creative outdoor planning” to jump on the marketing of Front Royal’s Phase One business reopening bandwagon. – But don’t forget your masks and social distancing safeguards as we are likely to have increased visitation from residents from more highly contaminated areas to our east and south.

Also, on Tuesday’s agenda were two items that drew some discussion on the first readings of the two required for final approval. One was an ordinance amendment lowering water and sewer tap-in fees to developers; the other on approval of financial appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2021 Town Budget.

See all these discussions and votes in the linked Royal Examiner virtual meeting recording; and more detail on the two ordinance amendment proposals in forthcoming Royal Examiner stories.

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Governor Northam announces face covering requirement and workplace safety regulations

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~ Face coverings required in public settings starting Friday, May 29 ~

Governor Ralph Northam today, May 26, 2020, signed Executive Order Sixty-Three, requiring Virginians to wear face coverings in public indoor settings to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Governor also directed the Department of Labor and Industry to develop emergency temporary standards to prevent workplace exposure to COVID-19.

Governor Northam also signed an amended Executive Order Fifty-One, extending Virginia’s state of emergency declaration.

The new executive order supports previous actions the Governor has taken to respond to COVID-19 in Virginia and ensures workers and consumers are protected as the Commonwealth gradually eases public health restrictions. The Governor’s statewide requirement for wearing face coverings is grounded in science and data, including recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that individuals should wear face coverings in public settings. Face coverings do not take the place of public health guidelines to maintain six feet of physical distancing, increase cleaning and sanitation, and wash hands regularly.

“We are making progress to contain the spread of the COVID-19 and now is not the time for Virginians to get complacent,” said Governor Northam. “Science shows that face coverings are an effective way to prevent transmission of the virus, but wearing them is also a sign of respect. This is about doing the right thing to protect the people around us and keep everyone safe, especially as we continue to slowly lift public health restrictions in our Commonwealth.”

A face covering includes anything that covers your nose and mouth, such as a mask, scarf, or bandana. Medical-grade masks and personal protective equipment should be reserved for health care professionals. Under the Governor’s executive order, any person age ten and older must wear a mask or face covering at all times while entering, exiting, traveling through, and spending time in the following public settings:

• Personal care and grooming businesses

• Essential and non-essential brick and mortar retailers including grocery stores and pharmacies

• Food and beverage establishments

• Entertainment or public amusement establishments when permitted to open

• Train stations, bus stations, and on intrastate public transportation, including in waiting or congregating areas

• State and local government buildings and areas where the public accesses services

• Any indoor space shared by groups of people who may congregate within six feet of one another or who are in close proximity to each other for more than ten minutes

Exemptions to these guidelines include while eating and drinking at a food and beverage establishment; individuals who are exercising; children under the age of two; a person seeking to communicate with a hearing-impaired person, for which the mouth needs to be visible; and anyone with a health condition that keeps them from wearing a face covering. Children over the age of two are strongly encouraged to wear a face-covering to the extent possible.

The Governor is also directing the Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry to develop emergency temporary standards for occupational safety that will protect employees from the spread of COVID-19 in their workplaces. These occupational safety standards will require the approval by vote of the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board and must address personal protective equipment, sanitation, record-keeping of incidents, and hazard communication. Upon approval, the Department of Labor and Industry will be able to enforce the standards through civil penalties and business closures.

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

The text of amended Executive Order Fifty-One is available here.

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