Connect with us

Regional News

Maryland schools eagerly await COVID vaccine OK for kids

Published

on

WASHINGTON  —  Maryland schools are gearing up for potential Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds.

Mohammed Choudhury, Maryland state superintendent of schools, told Capital News Service in an email that the vaccine is the best defense against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The expansion of vaccine administration to younger children will help prevent school outbreaks, reduce the numbers of students and staff in quarantine, and continue to keep students and staff in classrooms for full-time in-person learning,” he said.

“Baltimore County Public Schools will be thrilled when vaccines are authorized and available for all students,” spokesman Charles Herndon told CNS. “They are the best way of keeping children and staff in our schools safe and COVID-free.”


Pfizer and BioNTech announced on September 20 that a smaller dose of their vaccine was safe and had “robust neutralizing antibody responses” among the 5- to 11-year-olds in their trial.

The FDA said Friday that it set a vaccines advisory committee for Oct. 26 in anticipation of Pfizer’s request for the vaccine’s authorization.

“We are eager to extend the protection afforded by the vaccine to this younger population, subject to regulatory authorization, especially as we track the spread of the Delta variant and the substantial threat it poses to children,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla, said in a statement.

The weekly rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 children and adolescents was nearly five times higher in mid-August than in late June, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Milagritos D. Tapia, a pediatrics professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said the vaccine “will decrease transmission in schools, and would … decrease the opportunity for children to become severely ill or experience the (after effects) of COVID infections, which do occur in children.”

The Maryland Health Department recognizes vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds “would be an important peace of mind for parents,” agency spokesman Andrew Owen said in an email to CNS. He added that the department is working with local jurisdictions and school systems to prepare for the vaccine’s approval.

Dana Smith, a parent of an 11-year-old student at Arbutus Middle School in Baltimore County, described the start of the school year as “nerve-wracking with the local positivity rate being up and the community spread bouncing between substantial and high,” she told CNS via Facebook Messenger.

Smith said her heart skips a beat each time the school sends COVID-19 case notifications because she wonders if the students who contracted the virus were in any of her son’s classes.

“We are looking forward to the vaccine being approved for kids, and I plan to have my son vaccinated as soon as possible,” she said.

COVID-19 last month hit elementary schools in the Baltimore County Public Schools system harder than the high schools and middle schools. Nearly half of the 240 positive cases it reported from Sept. 10 to Sept. 17 were from elementary schools, according to the school system. 

Two weeks later, from Sept. 24 to Oct. 1, the reported positive cases in Baltimore County’s schools weren’t much better. Out of the 214 reported infections, 104 were from elementary schools.

The Baltimore County Public Schools system is the third-largest in Maryland. Herndon said Baltimore County has a high level of COVID-19 community transmission under CDC criteria.

He said having the vaccine authorized for younger children would be a big step toward lowering the school system’s infection rates and making everyone safer.

Howard County Public School System Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano said he’s a very strong proponent of younger students being vaccinated, citing their vulnerability to the virus.

To keep students and staff safe, the school system engages in constant communication encouraging vaccinations, he said.

“Keeping this in front of everybody is absolutely critical as we try to maintain the health and well-being of our students and staff and keep schools open,” Martirano said. “That’s the main goal.”

The Howard County Health Department is working closely with county school officials to determine how to best provide COVID-19 vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds once authorization is given, Dr. Kelly Russo, the department’s medical director, said in an email.

School systems across Maryland are making similar preparations ahead of the FDA’s authorization.

The Anne Arundel County Public Schools system worked with the local health department during the summer to hold vaccination clinics for students and staff, spokesperson Bob Mosier said in an email.

Recently, they have been having conversations about the logistics of providing vaccination clinics if and when they become available for 5- to 11-year-olds, he said.

Frederick County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Theresa Alban said in an email that the school system and the local health department also are discussing options for offering vaccination clinics.

The Baltimore City Public Schools system told CNS in an email that once the vaccine is fully approved, it will continue its partnership with the local health department to ensure vaccines get to students.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told U.S. News & World Report that it “would be a game-changer” for elementary-aged students to be eligible for vaccinations.

The anticipated authorization of the vaccine for children comes amid a renewed push from some Maryland lawmakers to mandate vaccinations for public schools statewide.

“A requirement for students to be able to be vaccinated for Covid as they enter our schools is another tool we should be considering as a state,” state Sen. Clarence Lam, D-Howard and Baltimore counties, said in an interview with CNS.

Gov. Larry Hogan, R, rejected calls for implementing statewide mandates in a press conference on Sept. 30.

“Because we’ve done so many (vaccinations) we haven’t found the need for it,” he said.

California recently announced plans to institute a vaccine mandate in public schools once the FDA fully approves the vaccine for all school-age children, the first state in the country to do so.

Tapia said she recommends Maryland schools encourage families to vaccinate their 5- to 11-year-olds if the FDA authorizes the vaccine for them.

“I think that there will be concerns, just because there (are) always concerns,” Tapia said.

“But if they’re concerned, what they should be more concerned about is their risk of having an infection, and the outcomes of that infection for the child, rather than the risk of having side effects from the vaccines,” she said, referring to data from people aged 16-25 having worse reactions to COVID-19 than the vaccines.

“So it’s a safer bet to be vaccinated than to be infected with COVID,” Tapia said.

By BRITTANY N. GADDY
Capital News Service

(Capital News Service Annapolis Bureau reporter Alex Argiris contributed to this story.)

Share the News:

Regional News

LFCC President Kim Blosser awarded technology leadership award

Published

on

LFCC President Kim Blosser’s student-focused and technology-driven leadership style has been recognized by the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council, which recently presented her with the Glo Fiber Enterprise’s Dr. Noftsinger Leadership award. She was presented with the award, given to a leader who has served as a catalyst for positive technology-related activity, during the council’s TechNite22.

“As president of LFCC, Dr. Blosser’s vision is that every student, without exception, will have the resources and support they need to succeed and reach their goals,” noted President Blosser’s nomination. “Meeting the needs of the single parent, foster youth, or first-generation college student is what motivates her to work every day to ensure LFCC is open, welcoming, and supportive of the students who need community college the most…LFCC is seen as a leader in the area for workforce development, and Dr. Blosser and LFCC regularly partner with the Workforce Investment Board, GOVirginia, the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, the Regional Commission, and others to ensure the local business community has the needed workforce.”

Technology has been one of the passions driving Dr. Blosser’s career. Her first college-level job was as an adjunct faculty member at Blue Ridge Community College teaching technology classes to public school teachers who were getting classroom computers for the first time. She then became a full-time IT faculty member, and later the chief information officer, which entailed leading IT planning and budgets, managing strategic IT initiatives and overseeing technology purchases, among her other responsibilities.

As president of LFCC, Dr. Blosser has prioritized giving students the option to learn online – in many cases, students can earn their degree entirely online –  has expanded the IT department, and has invested in the technology that allows for students and faculty to have more interaction.



The award was presented by Shentel Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Elaine Cheng, who is a founding board member of Charlottesville Women in Tech, and who delivered the TechNite22 keynote speech exploring how to engage, recruit and develop women in technology and how that will determine success.

“What an honor to receive this award – and to have it presented by Elaine Cheng, someone everyone in IT, but especially women, can look up to. Shentel has been such an asset to LFCC for so many years. For instance, it was thanks to Shentel’s fiber-optic system that we were first able to offer distance learning classes nearly 30 years ago. Today, the possibilities seem endless.

“Now more than ever, our students rely on technology as they chase their goals. Who would have thought just a few years ago that we would be teaching our students to fly and maintain drones, or that our technology students would have the chance to join the U.S. Cyber Command’s (CYBERCOM) Academic Engagement Network, allowing CYBERCOM to meet future workforce needs as it defends our nation and individuals from cybersecurity threats.”

In addition to Dr. Blosser, LFCC Workforce Solutions and Continuing Education was nominated for the Innovation in Higher Education Award. The nomination cited how LFCC’s IT program pathways allow students to earn stackable credentials as they begin IT careers, and the extensive work done by program leaders in collaboration with area employers to build pathways in the local workforce.

Share the News:

Continue Reading

Regional News

Virginia Department of Veterans Services to host Memorial Day ceremonies across the Commonwealth on May 30

Published

on

The Virginia War Memorial will host the 2022 Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2022 at 11 a.m. EDT. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

The ceremony will be held outdoors in the E. Bruce Heilman Amphitheater on the Memorial grounds, weather permitting. This is the 66th consecutive year that the Virginia War Memorial has conducted this ceremony, which is the annual tribute to all American service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice serving in our Armed Forces.

The keynote speaker for the 2022 Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony will be Virginia Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears. Virginia War Memorial Director Dr. Clay Mountcastle will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

Music will be provided by the US Navy Fleet Forces Command Band and there will be a special tribute to members of Gold Star Families. The ceremony will also be broadcast and livestreamed and feature both live and pre-recorded content including the Commonwealth’s Memorial Day message from Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin.


Veteran service organizations and other groups are invited to participate in the laying of memorial wreaths in the Memorial’s Shrine of Memory – 20th Century.

The Virginia War Memorial will be open extended hours on Memorial Day from 9 a.m. to sunset. The Richmond Cadet Alumni Band and Friends will present a free concert of patriotic music on the Memorial grounds at 2:30 p.m.  There is no admission charge for any of these events.  Parking is also free but will be limited onsite.  Members of the public are advised to arrive no later than 10:45 a.m. to be seated for the ceremony. For more information, please go to www.vawarmemorial.org or www.dvs.virginia.gov.

Those not attending the Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony in person may tune into the live broadcast, which will air on WTVR-TV CBS6.1 and 6.3 or to the livestream available on facebook.com/VirginiaVeteransServices, .facebook.com/VirginiaWarMemorial, and other social media channels to be announced.

Memorial Day Ceremonies will also be held at Virginia’s three state veterans cemeteries:

  • Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin. Ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. EDT. Keynote speaker will be Major General Randal D. Fullhart, (US Air Force, Ret.).
  • Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Amelia. Ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. EDT. The keynote speaker is State Senator Amanda Chase.
  • Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk. Ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. EDT. The keynote speaker is Command Sergeant Major Scott A. Beeson, US Army.

Prior to each ceremony, volunteers will place American flags on all gravesites. For information on these ceremonies, please visit www.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 and will always be the Commonwealth’s tribute to those who served and most especially, to those who died defending our freedoms.

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 and is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 noon to 4 p.m.  Admission is free, except for select events.  For more information, please visit www.vawarmemorial.org.

About Virginia’s State Veterans Cemeteries

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) operates state veterans cemeteries in Amelia, Dublin, and Suffolk, which provide a final resting place for Veterans, Guardsmen, Reservists, Military Service members who died while serving on active duty, and their eligible dependents.  The Virginia Veterans Cemetery is located in Amelia, the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk, and the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin.  All cemeteries accommodate in-ground burial of casketed remains, in-ground inurnment of cremated remains, and above-ground inurnment of cremated remains in a columbarium.  For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov/cemeteries.

About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia. DVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans.  Today, DVS 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 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 operates 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.

Share the News:

Continue Reading

Regional News

Port of Virginia secures all necessary federal investment for making Virginia the US east coast’s deepest port

Published

on

The Port of Virginia® and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today, May 20, 2022, signed the agreement committing the federal government to begin its financial investment in the construction effort to widen and deepen the commercial shipping channels and Norfolk Harbor. Close collaboration with Army Corps has the project on schedule for completion in 2024.

With a group of federal and state officials in attendance, Virginia Port Authority CEO Stephen A. Edwards and Col. Brian P. Hallberg, the US Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District commander, signed the Project Partnership Agreement. The document formally commits the port and the Army Corps to collaborate to deliver the Norfolk Harbor widening and deepening project. Further, it allows the Army Corps to use federal funding to award its first construction contract on the project.

Left-to-right: Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, and Col. Brian P. Hallberg, Norfolk District commander, US Army Corps of Engineers. Shalanda D. Young, director of the US Office of Management and Budget, is standing in the middle. Courtesy Photos The Port of Virginia®

“The importance of this moment in the evolution of The Port of Virginia cannot be overstated,” Edwards said. “This is a modern, 21st-century port, and when you couple our land-based assets and capabilities with the deepest and widest channels — and safest harbor — on the entire U.S. East Coast, you have a recipe for success here for decades to come.


“We absolutely would not be here today if it weren’t for the perseverance of our elected leaders at the federal and state levels, the US Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District office, and the Virginia Maritime Association. Everyone played a critical role in this project, and it is important to thank them for their support and effort. The Virginia Legislature funded the entire project cost up-front with the understanding that the federal government would share half the cost. Today, we welcome the federal government representatives who are here to finalize that commitment,” Edwards added.

The signing ceremony was attended by US Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Shalanda D. Young, director of the US Office of Management and Budget, US Reps Elaine Luria (D-VA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA), Jamie A. Pinkham, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Virginia Transportation Secretary W. Shepphard “Shep” Miller III, Virginia Sen. Louise Lucas, and Virginia Del. Robert Bloxom Jr.

Left-to-right, back row: Virginia Transportation Secretary W. Shepphard “Shep” Miller III, US Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), US Rep. Elaine Luria, US Sen. Mark Warner, Shalanda D. Young, director of the US Office of Management and Budget, Jamie A. Pinkham, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Virginia Sen. Louise Lucas and Virginia Del. Robert Bloxom Jr. Left-to-right, front row: Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority and Col. Brian P. Hallberg, Norfolk District Commander, US Army Corps of Engineers

The commercial shipping channels from the Atlantic Ocean and into the harbor are being deepened to at least 55-feet and made wide enough to safely accommodate two-way traffic of ultra-large container ships. These features put the port ahead of its East Coast peers and in a unique position to attract more cargo and increase efficiency at its terminals. Edwards said the biggest ships afloat will be able safely sail to-and-from the port fully laden with containers. And, he said, the wider channels and two-way ship traffic means greater use of the port’s vessel berths.

“The benefits of this project are unparalleled anywhere on the US East Coast,” Edwards said.

The final installment of the federal investment, $72 million, included the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The federal government and the port agreed to a 50-50 cost share of the project at its outset in 2015 when the Army Corps began evaluating the economic value of a deeper and wider Norfolk Harbor and commercial shipping channel. The dredging work began in December 2019, nearly two-and-a-half years ahead of schedule.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to deliver for Hampton Roads, Luria said. “I was proud to join my colleagues in securing an additional investment of more than $69 million in the port to expand economic opportunities for Coastal Virginia, the Commonwealth, and the country. This agreement today will strengthen the public-private partnership that supports the Port of Virginia and ensures that the Port remains a vital economic engine.”

“This historic investment through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will allow more goods to move faster through the port, drive significant new economic opportunities to Norfolk, and help bring down costs for families across Virginia and the country,” said OMB Director Young. “This [investment] is in addition to the $150 million the Biden-Harris Administration is providing to protect families and businesses in Norfolk and across the region from the impacts of climate change by building floodwalls, storm surge barriers, levees, and other flood-control measures. I want to thank Senator Warner, Representative Scott, and Representative Luria for their partnership in securing these federal investments to keep this community safe.”

While the project will help drive the port’s cargo volumes, the dredge work contains an important and useful byproduct: dredge material that will benefit regional beaches.

“Over the course of the project, we’ll dredge a large volume of sands – millions of cubic yards,” said Keith Lockwood, Norfolk District Water Resources Division chief. “The US Army Corps of Engineers and Virginia Port Authority are collaborating with the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach to maximize the beneficial use of this dredged sand by placing it along beaches for additional coastal protection.”

(The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VPA owns and, through its private operating subsidiary, Virginia International Terminals, LLC (VIT), operates four general cargo facilities Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal, and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County. The VPA leases Virginia International Gateway and Richmond Marine Terminal. A recent economic impact study from The College of William and Mary shows that The Port of Virginia helps to create about 437,000 jobs and generated nearly $100 billion in total economic impact throughout the Commonwealth on an annual basis.)

Share the News:

Continue Reading

Local News

Laurel Ridge partners with Opportunity Scholars to bring more education and career training opportunities to students

Published

on

Laurel Ridge Community College on Wednesday signed an agreement with Opportunity Scholars that will open the door to higher education and career training for more students who come from families with lower and middle incomes.

Opportunity Scholars provides the up-front costs of education and career training – including short-term training – to Winchester and Frederick County students who plan to pursue jobs in their own communities in one of the following high-demand, high-skill areas:  public service, healthcare, education, business, IT and trades.

Pictured left to right: LFCC President Kim Blosser, Opportunity Scholars CEO Knox Singleton and Opportunity Scholars Board Member Lorna Martinez Magill.

Laurel Ridge President Kim Blosser said Knox Singleton, CEO of Opportunity Scholars, reached out to her in early 2018, shortly after she became president. He told her he was very interested in helping secure educations for young people. The two met shortly after and discussed the barriers to education many young people face.


“Knox is a great listener and he and I talked about the support systems that are often missing, and how those missing supports keep students from achieving all they can,” Dr. Blosser said.

She said it has been proven that “it’s better to be born rich than smart” when it comes to an individual’s later socio-economic status.

“We simply have to change that,” said President Blosser. “There is no reason these smart kids who just need the extra social and emotional and financial supports to be successful can’t achieve all they’re capable of achieving.”

Singleton said he was fortunate to be born into a middle-class family, which afforded him many opportunities.

“You don’t get to pick your parents, you don’t get to pick where you’re born,” he said. “This is really about the American dream.”

Nearly half of area students don’t further their education beyond high school, according to Singleton.

“At Opportunity Scholars, that is our mission,” he said. “We want to step in with that half, and we want to help them get an education. We have wonderful partners who will make that happen.”

As part of the agreement, Opportunity Scholars will pay for and provide personal, career and academic mentoring for high school and college preparation, as well as most of the expenses related to earning a degree or certification. Opportunity Scholars staff will articulate transfer pathways from Laurel Ridge to Shenandoah University for those careers that require a bachelor’s degree.

2019 Millbrook High School graduate Tihany Martinez-Gonzalez said she hopes to become an English as a Second Language teacher with the help of Opportunity Scholars.

“Before I met Opportunity Scholars, I was worried – where was my career going to go, was I going to be able to go to school?” she said. “I couldn’t afford it.”

When she arrived in the U.S. from El Salvador, Martinez-Gonzalez didn’t speak English, and learning ESL is difficult, she said.

“When I saw a lot of kids needed help [with ESL], I thought, I want to do that, too,” she said of her decision to teach English.

Del. Mark Keam, who represents Virginia’s 35th District, and has previously served as vice chair of the Finance Committee and chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee, was impressed by the program.

“This is such an amazing opportunity that you’re creating, not just for our students, but for the entire region,” he said.

Del. Keam said he’d like to see Opportunity Scholars extend around Virginia. Rather than thinking of education as a product, we should be thinking of it as part of the nation’s infrastructure, he said.

“It’s the backbone for every other service that America needs,” said Del. Keam.

Learn more about the program at opportunityscholars.org.

Share the News:

Continue Reading

Regional News

Fauquier Health names Amanda O’Neill as 2022 Mercy Award Winner

Published

on

Fauquier Health recently announced that Amanda, or Mandy, O’Neill has been recognized as the facility’s 2022 Mercy Award winner. The Mercy Award recognizes one employee from each of LifePoint Health’s facilities who profoundly touches the lives of others and best represents the spirit and values on which the company was founded.

The Mercy Award is an annual recognition program established in 2002 to honor the life and contributions of Scott Mercy, LifePoint’s founding chairman and chief executive officer. The award is considered the highest honor a LifePoint employee can receive.

Amanda O’Neill, Certified First Assist, OR, was nominated as Fauquier Health’s 2022 Mercy Award Winner for her dedication and commitment to making communities healthier.

“At Fauquier Health, we share LifePoint’s commitment to making communities healthier, and we recognize this is supported by the good work and service of our employees on and off the job,” said Anthony Young, Interim-CEO of Fauquier Health. “We are extremely proud to recognize Mandy for her efforts on behalf of our patients and our community. She goes above and beyond each and every day to ensure that every person she encounters receives the highest level of care and compassion.”

Front Royal Virginia

Mandy was nominated by her peers for the Mercy Award. A selection committee came together to review over 50 award nominations and she was chosen as an exemplary employee who goes above and beyond the call of duty. Mandy is a Certified First Assist in Fauquier Hospital’s OR and demonstrates a level of commitment and caring that transcends the everyday. She respects others in everything they do, educates, and inspires others.

According to Mandy’s winning nomination, “Our staff look up to Mandy as an informal leader because of all of these superior qualities and she is an inspiration to all surgical techs who are looking to grow and become a first assistant.”

Off the job, Mandy is a devoted mother who loves spending time with her husband and raising her daughter. We are so proud to recognize Mandy with this award for her hard work and dedication to advancing our mission of Making Communities Healthier.

Each facility winner, including Mandy, will be considered for LifePoint’s 2022 companywide Mercy Award. The companywide winner will be announced this summer and honored during a ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., to which Mandy and all facility winners are invited to attend.


About Fauquier Health

Fauquier Health is a community health system dedicated to high-quality, patient-centered care in a unique environment that considers the multiple facets of healing and respects the individuality of each and every patient. Located at 500 Hospital Drive in Warrenton, Virginia, Fauquier Health serves the residents of Fauquier and several surrounding counties. It comprises: Fauquier Hospital, a fully-accredited, 97-bed hospital; Fauquier Health Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, a 113-bed long-term care and rehabilitation facility; the Villa at Suffield Meadows, an assisted living facility; the Wound Health Center and a medically supervised Wellness Center offering health and wellness programs.  Fauquier Health also operates nine physician’s offices, including primary care and specialties. More information on Fauquier Health is available online at FauquierHealth.org or by calling 540-316-5000.

Share the News:

Continue Reading

Regional News

LFCC celebrates its 51st graduating class with two commencement ceremonies

Published

on

LFCC’s 51st commencement exercises were held during two separate ceremonies on Friday and Saturday. The college’s health professions graduates had their ceremony Friday afternoon, with the remainder of the Class of 2022 graduating Saturday morning.

Both ceremonies were outside on the grounds of the Middletown Campus. There are nearly 1,000 students in this year’s graduating class.

“This is a wonderful day of celebration and my favorite day of the year,” LFCC President Kim Blosser told the graduates. “This is what it’s all about – recognizing our outstanding graduates and the hard work that has brought you to this point. For college personnel, this is the event that brings us our greatest satisfaction and pride.”

She noted that resilience and perseverance are needed to complete a college credential, especially in light of the challenges placed before students during the past two pandemic-marked years.


“I know that many of you have been fighting through challenges your entire college career and we’re so proud of you for continuing to move forward and accomplish your goals,” said Dr. Blosser. “Thank you for the resilience, grace and compassion that you have demonstrated. Whatever your journey entailed and wherever it takes you next, you have earned this moment.”

Commencement speaker Luna Chiarito told her classmates there are three keys to success:  showing up, dreaming about your future and always welcoming new opportunities.

“Think about your own dreams and goals,” she said. “Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by the challenges we face, we forget it is okay to take a moment and focus on the small things. As you accomplish smaller tasks, you will be one step closer to fulfilling your bigger goals.

“The best advice I can give you is to always push through the most challenging situations, take risks, and enjoy everything that life gives you. Before you know it, you will be showing up for those that you care, dreaming about your future, and welcoming new opportunities.”

Two students were named Outstanding Graduates for 2022, one for the Fauquier Campus and one for the Middletown Campus. The Fauquier Outstanding Graduate was Elayna Caron, who earned her associate degree in general studies, with a specialization in administration of justice, and is heading to the U.S. Air Force Academy this fall. The Middletown Outstanding Graduate was Emma Hockman, who also received the Col. Harry Rusham Outstanding Achievement in Agriculture/Natural Resources award, and is transferring to Virginia Tech.

Additionally, the college has conferred emeritus status to two recently-retired professors:  Engineering Professor Bill Lewis, who retired in 2021, and Anatomy and Physiology Professor Ramon Selove, who retired in 2020. Professor Lewis was responsible for creating the college’s engineering program and taught more than 35 different courses during his tenure. Professor Selove prepared thousands of students for careers in the health professions, and his dedication to his students was demonstrated through his creation of the B.O.N.D. (Bureau of Neuro-Diversity) club.

Also, the College Board recently presented Medallions of Recognition to the following individuals:

  • Math Professor Frank Borleske, who is retiring this spring – although he is returning as an adjunct professor. Professor Borleske has been with LFCC since the very first day the college opened in September 1970.
  • Virginia Community College System Chancellor Glenn DuBois, who is retiring in June after more than two decades in the role. Among the VCCS’s accomplishments during his tenure are transfer agreements signed with dozens of universities, tuition rates that are one-third the cost of those at four-year universities and being the state’s top provider of workforce development training.
  • Shenandoah University President Tracy Fitzsimmons, who continues to teach political science. Dr. Fitzsimmons and SU have forged stronger ties with LFCC, and also were responsible for vaccinating thousands of individuals against Covid-19 through clinics set up at the university in partnership with Valley Health and the Lord Fairfax Health District.
  • Dr. Colin Greene, who was the director of the Lord Fairfax Health District – and interim director of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District – during most of the pandemic and guided local leaders as they navigated how to keep students and staff as safe as possible while keeping them in class. Dr. Greene has been appointed acting state health commissioner by Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

For more about this year’s commencement, including photo galleries, visit lfcc.edu/commencement.

Share the News:

Continue Reading

 

Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

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

National Media Services

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

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Vetbuilder.com

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

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
55°
Fair
5:50am8:30pm EDT
Feels like: 55°F
Wind: 1mph W
Humidity: 91%
Pressure: 29.98"Hg
UV index: 0
MonTueWed
88/61°F
90/63°F
88/63°F

Upcoming Events

May
30
Mon
7:00 pm 2022 Memorial Day Community Band... @ Gazebo
2022 Memorial Day Community Band... @ Gazebo
May 30 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
2022 Memorial Day Community Band Concert @ Gazebo
2022 Memorial Day Concert by Front Royal Community Band Monday, May 30, 2022, 7pm, at the Gazebo on Main St. (sponsored by American Legion Post #53)
Jun
1
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 1 @ 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[...]
Jun
4
Sat
10:00 am Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 10:00 am – Jun 5 @ 11:00 am
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the Overnight Parking Lot. Ready to try backcountry camping? Spend 24 hours in nature learning backcountry skills and survival techniques with professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch. With Sky Meadows’ Backcountry Campground as the[...]
10:00 am Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Boston Mill Road Trail near the Park Office. Learn how fences and tree plantings improve water quality at Sky Meadows State Park. Stop by our Explorer Outpost table along the Boston Mill Road Trail where[...]
10:00 am National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 10:00 am – Jun 5 @ 12:00 pm
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the intersection of Boston Mill Road Trail and Hadow Trail. Get your hands dirty as we work to improve the hiking experience on Hadow Trail. Join park trailblazers as they work to enhance[...]
11:00 am Gospel Music Festival @ Gazebo
Gospel Music Festival @ Gazebo
Jun 4 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Gospel Music Festival @ Gazebo
FOOD WILL BE AVAILABLE | FUN ACTIVITIES! | LIVE MUSIC!
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Settle's Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Log Cabin in the Historic Area. Follow your nose to the Log Cabin to see what tasty treats are cooking on the hearth. Watch as a Sky Meadows volunteer dons historic clothing and cooks delicious[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 4 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and are ready to show[...]
Jun
8
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 8 @ 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[...]
Jun
11
Sat
8:30 am Crooked Run Valley 5/10k @ Sky Meadows State Park
Crooked Run Valley 5/10k @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 11 @ 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Crooked Run Valley 5/10k @ Sky Meadows State Park
Explore the Crooked Run Valley and Sky Meadows State Park with Bishop’s Events 5k and 10k races. Get rejuvenated as you traverse through the meadows, pastures and woodlands of Sky Meadows and into the back[...]