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A path forward from drug-fueled criminality – if anyone cares to listen



After about a half hour of mingling and wonderful snacks provided by the Mountain Home Bed & Breakfast, McShin Foundation co-founder John Shinholser launches formal portion of the VRR Summit in the Mountain Home courtyard shortly after 1 p.m. Royal Examiner Photos/Roger Bianchini

A proactive and proven path forward and away from the arrest, incarceration, release, re-arrest, further incarceration cycle of substance abuse at the root of so much criminal behavior that lands people in local, regional and state incarceration, not only on drug related offenses, but also the petty criminal behavior that feeds or is a consequence of substance abuse, was celebrated in Warren County on Thursday, August 29.

The question is, is anybody listening, or perhaps more pointedly, does anyone care?

The “VRR Organizational Summit” was held against an idyllic rural American backdrop at Mountain Home Bed & Breakfast on Route 522 South near the entrance to the Lake Front Royal subdivision. The summit was a celebration and report on progress of the Virginia Recovery-Rehabilitation Program implemented at the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren County (RSW) Regional Jail and Prince George County’s Riverside Regional Jail this past December.

At the point of the summit were 23 “scholarship” recipient inmates, 22 from RSW, who are successfully graduating into the world clean and sober with a mission. That mission is to break the pattern of addiction that had dominated their lives, often to the point of abject dejection that there was any way out for them.

RSW VRR Program graduates present offered highly personal accounts of ‘breaking the chains’ of addiction with the help of the McShin Foundation and RSW Jail’s embracement of the recovery and rehab program.

Graduate after graduate recounted the life-altering, perhaps life-saving moment that McShin Foundation counselors, all recovering and rehabilitating substance abusers in their own lives, made them understand there was hope for them – hope to move past the downward spiral of drug and/or alcohol addiction and its ultimate destination of hopelessness, despair, incarceration and all too often, death.

That hope is for regaining control of one’s life in order to break destructive patterns of behavior and personal associations. The result is movement toward life; even toward a productive life well lived and capable of repairing, not only themselves, but also broken interpersonal and family relationships; and as one 51-year-old woman described it, even her relationship with God.

“I had been in and out of rehab many times in my life; I’d been in hospitals – overdoses and no clue. I would pray to God, ‘God, please if you just help me I won’t do it again – just save me, I won’t do it again.’ And each time I would break that promise to God. And that even made me feel worse. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.

”Well through RSW, McShin was put into my life and to me the education, the teaching of things they told me about why I was a drug addict and why I had an addiction, I was just amazed by it. Like everybody says, when Cricket (Assistant Director of Operations Chris Ronquest) came in, Hannah, Diana – some of the most important people in my life, John, they showed me there was hope. That to me was the most important thing about this program, what is most important for everyone to know who can know, that there is hope – we don’t have to die,” Leslie told the crowd of her peers, McShin, RSW and County officials.

Her report of being clean and sober for nine months, the longest period in her life in over 30 years brought cheers of approval from the summit participants.

In opening the summit under beautiful blue skies shortly after 1 p.m. on the Mountain Home B&B grounds, McShin Recovery Resource Foundation President and co-founder John Shinholser told the assembled, “We don’t mind our own business – recovery is our business, recovery is everywhere. We are hope dealers, that’s what we do.”

McShin Foundation co-founder John Shinholser pointedly stated that some pharmaceutical opioid judgment funds should help expand a proven recovery-rehab system that can reduce inmate recidivism and long-term expenses related to substance abuse incarceration.

And putting a nice wording spin on an old description of the drug addict, VRR Program worker Huey added, “We are dope-less hope fiends, that’s what we are.”

Sadly, only one political candidate was present for three elected Warren County Board seats (Shenandoah, South River, North River – none present, though retiring North River Supervisor, County Board Chair and RSW Authority Board member Dan Murray was there to offer support along with County Administrator and fellow Jail Authority Board member Doug Stanley); Constitutional Officers (sheriff, commonwealth attorney, treasurer, commissioner of the revenue – the one present was Democratic Sheriff’s candidate Jorge Amselle); or Town Special Election (mayor – none); was present to hear the stories of success in the first year of implementation of the McShin Foundation-led Virginia Recovery and Rehab (VRR) Program at RSW Regional Jail.

Warren County Democratic Sheriff’s candidate Jorge Amselle, left, chats with McShin Foundation CEO John Shinholser during the informal meet and greet to start Thursday’s summit of hope.

And if you factor in the absence of any candidate for any office in either Rappahannock or Shenandoah County, which have their own forthcoming elections on the November horizon, the lack of political candidate interest is even more distressing.

But then why would any candidate for municipal, law enforcement, judicial, or financial office want to hear about a system that could reduce taxpayer costs budgeted annually to support the local and state bureaucracy necessary to repeatedly arrest, prosecute and house the large number of criminals whose criminality is steeped heavily in substance abuse?

McShin Foundation president Shinholser made a profound point near the conclusion of the two-hour celebration of life being given a second chance at RSW and other jails across the commonwealth. That point regarded recent court rulings and settlement offers in the nationwide pattern of lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies accused of pushing what they knew were highly-addictive opioids into the mainstream prescription market for profit.

As state court rulings of hundreds of millions of dollars of liability mount and offers to settle out of court in the billions of dollars by at least one major drug company are heard across the country, Shinholser told those present that if some of that state-recovered money was not channeled into the type of peer-based substance-abuse Recovery and Rehabilitation programs the McShin Foundation model is based on, then the American public from state to state where the opioid crisis has deepened under the legalized corporate distribution of heavily addictive narcotics, “was being ripped off again”.

As RSW Jail Authority Board members Doug Stanley, Dan Murray and RSW Captain Josh Jacobson listen, RSW Deputy Superintendent Steve Weaver addresses the positives jail staff have witnessed from implementation of the inmate recovery-rehab program last December.

RSW Jail was represented by Deputy Superintendent Steve Weaver and Captain Josh Jacobson. RSW, its staff and Superintendent Russ Gilkison were repeatedly lauded for the facility’s highly proactive adoption of the McShin-led VRR Program.

McShin Assistant Director of Operations Chris Ronquest, a key player in the RSW implementation from his home base at the McShin Foundation in Richmond, and Shinholser pointed out that RSW has created segregated male and female inmate pods for implementation and ongoing support for the recovery and rehab effort.

In contrast it was noted some jails implementing the program only separate VRR inmates during the visit of McShin counselors. After the counselor’s departure those inmates are returned to the general population where the level of a crucial initial support base of like-minded participants evaporates into normal jailhouse life.

McShin Assistant Director of Operations Chris Ronquest, aka ‘Cricket’, introduces key program personnel Diana Lieber, left, and Hannah Newsome.

Perhaps such a basic difference helps explain the overwhelming number of program scholarship recipients being recognized – 22 of 23 as noted above – graduating out of RSW.

But implementation, like recovery is an ongoing process that all involved can continue to learn from. However it is a lesson that, as the day’s scholarship graduates repeatedly stressed, has to want to be learned.

And it may be at the grassroots level that such a lesson must be pushed into the consciousness of local and state municipal, correctional, judicial and administrative officials. Because as noted above, thus far that interest at the local and state political and administrative levels seems to be lagging behind the awareness on the ground in facilities such as RSW Jail.

Maybe in the wake of its first months of success in implementation of the VRR substance abuse recovery-rehab program RSW, above, should consider a name change – how about ‘Hotel Hope’? Below center, Virginia AG Mark Herring, being greeted by Shinholser and RSW Superintendent Russ Gilkison, was present for the December launch of the McShin-led VRR Program. It may be up to constituents to remind public officials at all levels not to forget the program’s successes and future potential.

But it is a message with implications for all of us as taxpayers, as potential victims of addict-based crime, and even as people in a position to lose a loved one to addiction.

So it is a message ignored at our own risk and expense, not to mention at the peril of our society as a socially-cohesive and efficiently-managed whole.

The McShin Recovery Resource Foundation was established in 2004 and is Virginia’s leading non-profit, full-service Recovery Community Organization (RCO), committed to serving individuals and families in their fight against Substance Use Disorders. The VRR Program at RSW and Riverside Jail was enabled by a matching grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s Building Communities of Recovery initiative.

More information on the McShin Foundation may be found at its website: <> – And don’t forget to alert your elected officials at all levels if you like what you find.

In an idyllic setting Ronquest reads letters written collectively by inmates in RSW’s male and female VRR pods describing their experience and newfound hope for real change in their lives.


Above, County Board Chair Dan Murray praises the VRR program and RSW’s commitment to it. Below, County Administrator Doug Stanley joined in the praise, urging program participants to stay on track – ‘We don’t want you back,’ he told them speaking with his RSW Authority Board hat on.


Above, County Board Chair Dan Murray praises the VRR program and RSW’s commitment to it. Below, County Administrator Doug Stanley joined in the praise, urging program participants to stay on track – ‘We don’t want you back,’ he told them speaking with his RSW Authority Board hat on.

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FRWRC celebrates local women and 2023 Dare to Dream grant recipients



The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) announced its 2023 Dare to Dream grant recipients and Elaine Bromfield Memorial Scholarship recipients during a celebratory Dare to Dream Breakfast Award Ceremony. The FRWRC awarded a total of $12,000 in grant and scholarship money to 10 local women, all with goals and dreams to better their lives, the lives of their families and the lives of other women in the community.

Photo: Franzi Lee Photography

“Awarding our annual Dare To Dream grants is our most rewarding event of the year and also has the most visible impact on our community,” said Susan Gillette, President of the FRWRC Board. “Over the past two decades, we have witnessed first-hand how these grants directly help women achieve their personal, professional and educational goals that in turn, help women improve their lives, the lives of their families and build a stronger community for all of us! With the support of our community and our dedicated donors, we are thrilled to be able to distribute 10 new grants to area women this year and we look forward to watching these women soar in 2023.”

The room was electric filled with 80 women and guests celebrating the dreams, achievements and perseverance of women in our community. Dr. Tamara Spriggs, of Front Royal Family Practice gave the key note address congratulating the 2023 grantees and reminding women to never give up on their dreams.

The 2023 Dare to Dream Grant Recipients:


  • Amy Tehovnik has always had a dream to own and operate a successful dance studio that promotes a fun and educational environment for the arts. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance, Amy performed with several dance companies in Virginia and then in New York City for a worldwide performance with Team Vicious/Noble Steps. As a single mom, life events kept her dream of owning her own dance studio at bay. Amy moved to Warren County a few years ago with her 10-year-old daughter who she credits for rekindling her dream of sharing the art of dance. In addition to her full-time job in designing closet systems, she also volunteers as a dance teacher in a local after school program. She is now ready to grow her business and offer more to the community.
    FRWRC awarded Amy Tehovnik a $1000 Dare to Dream grant to purchase a portable music/sound system to use for her expanding dance classes and to build her business.
  • Alyssa Holmes is a single mom raising four children on her own, and working multiple minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. She is also a survivor of domestic abuse. A recent protection order granted through the courts has provided Alyssa and her family with more security, freedom, and empowerment than she has had in years. Alyssa is now ready for more than just surviving. She wants to follow her dream of working in the field of real estate and build a better future for her family. She will begin her journey by obtaining a home inspection certificate and connecting with real estate agents through her work inspecting homes.
    FRWRC awarded Alyssa Holmes a $1000 Dare to Dream grant to support a 70-hour American Home Inspectors Training course.
  • Edilia Beatris Osorio Carranza is a 28-year-old single mom with four children. After several abusive relationships, she has spent the last 10 years working through the judicial system to protect her children. She graduated high school while raising her children and has fought to continue her own education without financial help. She is currently enrolled at Laurel Ridge Community College pursuing a certificate in the Administration of Justice Program. She is also operating her own small, successful cleaning business and working a second cleaning job at night. Her dream is to have a brighter future for herself and family. Edilia wants to be the first one in the family to go to college.  Her ultimate goal is to transfer to a four-year college to earn a degree in Criminal Justice and use her own experiences to help other women navigate the judicial system.
    FRWRC awarded Edilia Beatris Osorio Carranza a $1000 Dare to Dream grant to help support tuition costs at Laurel Ridge Community College.
  • Elizabeth Coffey, a Front Royal native, has been through a year of loss and blessings. She lost her mother, a cousin, and a job, while also welcoming two beautiful granddaughters and building her own business.  Liz makes and sells dairy free fruit butters and a childhood nickname was the inspiration for her business name – Petty Betty Treats. Her small business like many others in our community, relies heavily on local farmers markets and festivals to sell her good. The local craft festival and farmers’ markets season runs only a couple months during the year. Elizabeth dreams to use her extensive background in event planning to lengthen the local Fall through Christmas Farmers Markets and Craft Show season to year-long opportunities for herself, and other small business owners.
    FRWRC awarded Elizabeth Coffey a $1000 Dare to Dream grant to expand her small business in event planning for local community events.
  • Huong Thu Bui “Mia” was born in Saigon, South Vietnam. She followed her husband to the United States in 2005 with her 3-year-old daughter, adapted quickly, learned English, and became a U.S. Citizen in 2009. With money she saved working for a service business in Maryland, she bought Elite Nail and Spa in Front Royal nearly eight years ago. In 2020, when COVID hit, she went through the pandemic with a mindset to ‘make it through’, as this was not the biggest challenge she had faced in her life. Open again, with a remodeled store and loyal and supportive customers, Mia dreams to strengthen her business with a new website and computer software that can help her manage her appointments more efficiently.
    FRWRC awarded Huong Thu Bui “Mia” a $1000 Dare to Dream grant to purchase a laptop and software to support her successful nail spa.
  • Jazmine White is full time biology student at Bridgewater College. In addition to her studies, she works as a student ambassador at her college, and serves as a student mentor and orientation leader. Jazmine makes multiple trips home to Front Royal each month to help care for her mother after a surgery. Jazmine’s dream is to become a veterinarian. Knowing the cost of her dream, she plans to work for a few years after completing her current degree to save money for Veterinary school.
    FRWRC awarded Jazmine White a $1000 Dare to Dream Grant to support her tuition and book expenses at Bridgewater College.
  • Jordan Booterbaugh is a young woman with many dreams. She lived overseas for several years during her childhood, and desires to explore the world again through art and culture with adult eyes. After attending PAVAN Governor’s School during her high school years, Jordan decided to combine her love of art and people. She began a face painting business focusing on events and parties. She says her full-face intricate designs often pull children out of their shells as they transform into their favorite superhero or animal. She is eager to expand her business with face painting templates and an online learning platform designed for art businesses.
    FRWRC awarded Jordan Booterbaugh a $1000 Dare to Dream Grant to purchase an iPad Pro to support her art and face painting business. 
  • Sarah Veitenthal was born and raised in Front Royal/ Warren County. After graduating from college, Sarah started her career at the local Montessori school where her three children also attended. During her time working with children with parents and children together, she developed a deeper understanding of the individual struggles of local families. In 2022 Sarah started her own business supporting families with small children in our community, through various sessions and classes. She also became a certified doula and childbirth educator to connect with families right from the start and help guide their journey through parenthood. Sarah’s dream is to be able to support more families in our area so we can have a healthier community of parents and children.
    FRWRC awarded Sarah Veitenthal a $1000 Dare to Dream Grant to create postpartum wellness boxes and professional educational materials to connect with new families in the community.


  • Isabelle Grupac is a junior at Shenandoah University. She is majoring in biology on the pre-physical therapy track with a minor in physiology. Her goal is to earn her Doctorate of Physical Therapy, concentrating on women’s health. Isabelle’s dream is to lead women through specialized programs to restore and maintain their health, and to educate the community on these issues that can arise throughout a women’s lifespan. In addition to her rigorous course work, Isabelle serves as a member of Colleges Against Cancer and the Health and Life Sciences Club, and works as a tutor and lab assistant. Isabelle works part-time when she can fit it into her academic schedule to help pay for her tuition, and she lives off campus with her family to help save money on living expenses.
    FRWRC awarded Isabelle Grupac a $2000 Elaine Broomfield Memorial Scholarship toward her undergraduate tuition at Shenandoah University.
  • Prutha Patel is a Warren County High School Alumni and a first-generation college graduate with a degree in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently enrolled in medical school at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg. Prutha always knew she wanted to become a doctor. Her parents immigrated to the United States before she was born, impacting the resources that were available to her family. As a child, she remembers not being able to seek medical care because of being uninsured. Her dream is to address the medical disparities that she has personally experienced. Prutha wants to aid the underserved members of the local community, especially women, with treatments and knowledge that will allow them to live a healthy lifestyle.
    FRWRC awarded Prutha Patel a $2000 Elaine Broomfield Memorial Scholarship to assist with her medical school tuition and expenses.

About Front Royal Women’s Resource Center

The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) is a 25-year-old non-profit organization, dedicated to providing a support network for women in the Warren County area through programs, information and education. Over the last two decades, FRWRC has provided networking opportunities, spotlighted women leaders in our community and awarded more than $142,000 in grants and scholarships to 191 Warren County women and girls to support education, and professional and personal enrichment opportunities. We empower women to change their world. Visit our website and follow us on Facebook @FRWRC.

Support the Front Royal Women’s Resource Center

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WCFR 10-A-Day smoke alarm challenge



The Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services has renewed our partnership with the American Red Cross – West Virginia Region, Central Appalachia and will participate in their “Sound the Alarm, Save a Life” campaign. The department will conduct a “10-A-Day Campaign” to assist in their endeavor.

Our “10-A-Day Campaign” will challenge each of our staffed stations to complete the following activities for each day during the week of April 2 through April 8, 2023, with the focus on:

  • Visiting a minimum of 10 homes each day.
  • Providing lifesaving education on smoke alarms to a minimum of 10 people each day.
  • Inspecting a minimum of 10 existing smoke alarms for their appropriate operating condition, placement, and adequate date.
  • Replacing a minimum of 10 out-of-date alarms or installing new alarms where needed.

Warren County Fire and Rescue is proud to collaborate with the American Red Cross and to have been part of the success of the “Sound the Alarm, Save A Life” campaign. The American Red Cross and its partners have installed over 2.5 million free smoke alarms, making over 1 million homes safer. The department plans to continue to assist with their goal of 50,000 smoke alarm installs during April by challenging our staff to install 80 smoke alarms a day, every day, during the week campaign, for a total of 560 smoke alarm installs.

According to the American Red Cross, “Home fires claim seven lives every day, but having working smoke alarms can cut the risk of death by half.” Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue is committed to further reducing this number by partnering with the American Red Cross, educating the community, and providing free smoke alarm installs.

For a free fire and life safety home evaluation and to receive your free smoke alarms, please contact us at 540-636-3830 or visit

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McDonald criminal cases change of venue motion denied – Front Royal, Warren County residents will be excluded from federal jury pool



On Monday, March 20th, United States District Judge Elizabeth K. Dillon entered an order denying Jennifer McDonald’s motion for a change of venue to Charlottesville for her criminal trial slated for Harrisonburg in a federal court in the 10th Western District of Virginia. That trial, on 34 criminal indictments related to the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority “financial scandal,” is scheduled for over a month from May 15 into June.

Federal court-appointed defense counsel for McDonald, Eric Trodden, filed the change of venue for trial in February. He asserted that his client is not likely to get an unbiased jury in Harrisonburg due to Shenandoah Valley regional media reporting about McDonald and other related civil cases in which she was a witness or topic of legal arguments pointing a finger at her alleged role as the central figure in the estimated $26-million financial embezzlement and misappropriation of FR-WC EDA and municipal funds scandal.

However, after a detailed review of applicable law and circumstances of the press coverage by local and regional media, specifically citing Royal Examiner coverage dating back to 2018, the judge ruled the coverage as essentially non-biased and factually based. The judge did rule that residents of the Town of Front Royal and Warren County would be excluded from the federal jury pool.

“It is HEREBY ORDERED that defendant’s motion to transfer venue (Dkt. No. 45) is DENIED, but the court will exclude residents of the Town of Front Royal and Warren County. Warren County has no cities, and only one recognized town, Front Royal, from the jury pool. The clerk of court is directed to transmit a copy of this order to all counsel of record,” Judge Dillon wrote in concluding her review of the issues surrounding the defense motion.

In examining the circumstance of media coverage, Judge Dillon wrote: “Press coverage of this matter has been primarily from the Royal Examiner and the Northern Virginia Daily. (Dkt. No. 47.) Both papers are local to the Strasburg/Front Royal Area. The majority of the press coverage is from 2019, two years before the indictment in this case, although the media covered this case and related civil lawsuits into 2021. Defendant herself initiated the press coverage in 2018 when she reached out to a local reporter (yours truly) with an allegedly false story about winning money at a casino.

EDA Director Jennifer McDonald parlays casino winnings into real estate investments

Photo from a 2018 Royal Examiner story by this writer cited by the judge in a change of venue ruling. Judge Dillon noted that in certain instances like this one, McDonald had reached out to the media for news coverage. Royal Examiner File Photo Roger Bianchini

In her analysis of the McDonald defense motion, Judge Dillon observed: “Rule 18 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure governs the appropriate place for trial. ‘Unless a statute or these rules permit otherwise, the government must prosecute an offense in a district where the offense was committed. The court must set the place of trial within the district with due regard for the convenience of the defendant, any victim, and the witnesses, and the prompt administration of justice.”

And Judge Dillon ruled that with the exclusion of residents of Front Royal and Warren County, about an hour north of Harrisonburg, who have been most exposed to media coverage going on five years, McDonald can get that fair trial from jurors further south in the Federal 10th Western District of Virginia, in a City of Harrisonburg federal courtroom.

McDonald faces 16 counts of money laundering, 10 counts of bank fraud, 7 counts of wire fraud, and 1 count of aggravated identity theft, the latter related to the Truc “Curt” Tran/ITFederal case.

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Blue Ridge Wildlife Center Patient of the Week: Golden Eagle



“This is the FIRST Golden Eagle we’ve ever admitted!” Photos / BRWC

This immature Golden Eagle was found down in a field last week, very close to the Center. Staff followed the property owner to the found location and easily contained the extremely weak bird.

The intake exam revealed no obvious fractures or trauma, yet the eagle was very thin and covered in mites and lice.

In-house testing ruled out lead as the cause of the signs, though there was some lead in this bird’s system, but revealed a heavy burden of blood parasites, anemia (low red blood cell count), and an extremely high white blood cell count indicating infection. While we awaited results from additional laboratory testing, we supported this eagle with intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

Shortly after placing an intravenous catheter and starting fluids, this patient perked up a bit. We were hopeful they would continue to improve.

After hours of receiving fluids, this eagle attempted to stand, though you can see the bird was still too weak to lift their head.

Sadly, this eagle passed away within about 24 hours of care despite treatment.

While some diagnostics are still pending, we have since learned that this eagle was negative for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). The patient did have mildly elevated levels of lead and mercury, but both were too low to be the cause of the signs we noted. In addition to the extremely high white cell count, indicating infection, the liver values were also astronomically high.

Based on the liver biopsy we obtained and a minimally-invasive examination of the surrounding tissues, we believe that this eagle died from coelomitis, an infection in the body cavity likely caused, in this case, by liver trauma and necrosis. This eagle was simply too far gone to recover by the time they were admitted.

Often mistaken for immature Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles can be identified by a few key characteristics.

Golden Eagles have smaller heads than our more common Bald Eagles, with more proportional beaks, golden feathers on the nape that do not change with age, and a bright yellow cere (base of upper beak).

Golden’s have feathers all the way down to their feet (unlike Balds that have naked legs). They are also more closely related to hawks than Balds, who are classified as “fishing eagles”. Check out the insane talons on this bird – no surprise they are a fierce hunter and predator!

Looking for an easy way to help native wildlife? Become a monthly BRWC donor! For as little as $5/month, you can provide year-round, sustainable support that helps us fulfill our mission.

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Former FRPD Chief Richard Furr remembered fondly



A Celebration of Life and Memorial Service for former Front Royal Police Chief Richard Furr was held Sunday afternoon, March 19th on the eve of the Spring Equinox, at Riverton United Methodist Church. Friends and colleagues – often both – and family bid a fond farewell to a friend and servant to his community and his family. Furr passed away February 27 at the age of 66.

A presenting of the colors by the FRPD Honor Guard set the celebration of the life of Richard Furr Sr. in motion… Royal Examiner Photos by Roger Bianchini

Scheduled speakers in order of appearance included Chaplain Jackie Thurston of the Virginia State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, Chaplain Roger Vorous of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Captain, retired, Clint Keller formerly of the Front Royal Police Department, Sgt., retired, Jim Nicholson formerly of the Page County Sheriff’s Office, and U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Richard “Ricky” Furr Jr., son of the departed. A free, catered meal at the church, provided by employees of Samuels Public Library, awaited attendees following the ceremony.

As noted in his Obituary, the Page County born-and-raised Furr: “reached the pinnacle of his (law enforcement) career in 2009 when he was appointed Chief of Police (in Front Royal where he had served since 1982). Although Richard retired from duty in 2012, he remained active in law enforcement by continuing to serve in the Fraternal Order of Police at local and state levels. Richard is survived by his wife, Ruth; children, Richard “Ricky” Jr. (Amy) and Danielle; mother-in-love, Willie; sister-in-love, Robin (Gary); and half-siblings, Brenda (Larry), Christine (Jack), and David (Lori).”

The family has created a website for those who knew Richard to share stories and memories. It can be accessed at

Rest In Peace, Richard Harvey Furr Sr.

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Warren County Public Schools Kindergarten registration information for the 2023-2024 school year



This is a reminder to parents with children that will be 5 years old on or before September 30, 2023.


  • Children who will be 5 years old on or before September 30, 2023
    *Register at the school in which you are zoned to attend


Starting March 27, 2023 – Register online @

  • March 28, 2023
    4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
    Individual Elementary Schools – *Register at the school in which your child is zoned to attend


  • Certified Copy of Birth Certificate
  • Parent/Guardian Photo ID
  • Physical Form (physical must be within the last 12 months prior to the first day of school)
  • Proof of Residence (utility bill, lease, mortgage statement)
  • A notarized residency affidavit is required if living in another household


If you have any questions, please call your child’s school:

A.S. Rhodes Elementary School 540-635-4556
E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School 540-635-4188
Hilda J. Barbour Elementary School 540-622-8090
Leslie Fox Keyser Elementary School 540-635-3125
Ressie Jeffries Elementary School 540-636-6824

Technical Questions:

Amy Himes (540) 635-2171, extension 46125
Kendall Poe (540) 635-2171, extension 34230

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9:00 am FRUMC Book Sale @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
FRUMC Book Sale @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Mar 25 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
FRUMC Book Sale @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
The Annual Front Royal United Women in Faith Book Sale will be held Saturday, March 25, from 9am to 2pm, in the Fellowship Hall of the Front Royal United Methodist Church. Books for everyone available:[...]
10:00 am Words of the Wild @ Sky Meadows State Park
Words of the Wild @ Sky Meadows State Park
Mar 25 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Words of the Wild @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sensory Explorers’ Trail. Take into your heart the peace of wild things. Absorb the transformative words of writers who loved the natural world, read aloud by two Shenandoah Chapter Master Naturalists. Walk in silence at[...]
1:00 pm Commemorate National Vietnam Vet... @ Veterans Park
Commemorate National Vietnam Vet... @ Veterans Park
Mar 25 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Commemorate National Vietnam Veterans Day @ Veterans Park
This event is being held to honor veterans of the Vietnam era for their service to the country during that time period.  There will be a formal color guard ceremony, wreath presentation and a firing[...]
11:00 am National Vietnam Veterans Day @ National Cemetery
National Vietnam Veterans Day @ National Cemetery
Mar 29 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
National Vietnam Veterans Day @ National Cemetery
This event will be held 11:00, National Cemetery, Winchester, Virginia.  It is to honor Vietnam Era Veterans for their service to the country.  It is being conducted by the American Red Cross and the Colonel[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Mar 29 @ 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[...]
5:00 pm No Foolin’ Warren County Rocks @ First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
No Foolin’ Warren County Rocks @ First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
Mar 31 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
No Foolin' Warren County Rocks @ First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
Warren Coalition’s No Foolin’ Warren County Rocks includes a team Scavenger Hunt for prizes! Top teams in each category will receive $25 gift cards for each team member, and the overall championship team will receive[...]
9:00 am Breakfast with the Easter Bunny @ Living Water Christian Church
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny @ Living Water Christian Church
Apr 1 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny @ Living Water Christian Church
Living Water Christian Church will once again be hosting our Pancake Breakfast with the Easter Bunny on April 1, 2023, from 9am – 12pm. Come on out and enjoy a great breakfast, pictures with the[...]
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 1 @ 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 is cooking on the hearth. Immerse yourself within the 19th century enslaved culture and its foods. Explore the taste[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 1 @ 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 showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]
1:00 pm Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Apr 1 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
New Bluegrass and traditional music jam the first Saturday of each month starting Feb. 4th, from 1pm till 4pm. All levels of playing invited to attend.