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Abbreviated Memorial Day Ceremony draws nearly 40 to Courthouse lawn



The Courthouse clock is about to chime noon as an intentionally reduced for public safety Memorial Day crowd gathers. Royal Examiner Photos/Roger Bianchini – Royal Examiner Video/Mike McCool

Despite minimal public notice, this community’s eighth annual Memorial Day Ceremony always including a nod to the K-9 Dogs of War drew a respectful, partially masked and generally socially distanced between family groups crowd of over 35 to the Historic Warren County Courthouse grounds in downtown Front Royal at noon, Monday.

Following the announcement of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s Phase One partial reopening from mandated Coronavirus pandemic precautions, the now co-Town sponsored event was resurrected under a limited plan to honor America’s fallen and their families without endangering citizens from the still-prevalent COVID-19 Coronavirus that has killed over 97,000 Americans just past four months since the first case was identified on our shores.

For perspective, our war in Vietnam claimed just under 60,000 American lives lost in action over a 20-year period (1955-75); 9/11 claimed just under 3,000 lives on one day in 2001; and Benghazi claimed 4 American diplomat lives on assignment in a terrorist hotspot.

Marine vet and reservist Robert McDougall introduces Michael Williams to say the invocation for Front Royal’s Memorial Day event, 2020.

The theme of sacrifice and struggle symptomatic of, not only wars between peoples, but also once again between new viral disease strains and their animal or human hosts was a part of stirring remarks by both event moderator Marine Corps Reservist Lt. Colonel Robert McDougall and Lay Minister Michael Williams to kick off Monday’s ceremonies as the courthouse bell chimed noon.
Introduced for the invocation by McDougall, Williams set an emotional tone for this Memorial Day, 2020: “Almighty God what an incredible blessing to live in a country where we can freely come together and be thankful.

“What a joy to live in a country where we can come together and peacefully assemble.

“What a joy to live in a country where men, women and a lot of our four-legged friends gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we could do what we do.

“What an incredible blessing that we live in a country where the biggest complaint we have right now is whether we should wear a mask. – Father, how selfish of us.

Forgive us … Please let us be thankful for one another – period. Whether we agree with them or disagree, it’s irrelevant. We live in a country where we can freely differ. And we have that because of the many people who gave their lives for us so that we can peacefully differ … Help us to be humble, not out of a spirit of arrogance, but out of a spirit of kindness.

NOT that kind of mask – an armed ‘Re-open now’ advocate wears a clown mask in a seeming reference to a later ‘American Horror Story’ TV season. The photo was not taken here but from an NBC news report on the COVID-19 closing controversies around the nation.

“Help us to have our conversations; help us to differ respectfully; help us to laugh; help us to love. And let us never forget those who gave that ultimate sacrifice so that we could stand here on that hallowed ground today,” Williams prayed, then acknowledging the Town and County leaders and citizens present to mark the solemn occasion.

“Thank you for our town; thank you for our mayor; thank you for our board of supervisor’s chairman, and thank you … for those who came here today of their own free will to be thankful for the men and women and the many others who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Amen.”

A 12-year active duty Marine who still serves as a reservist, McDougall, then acknowledged participants and continued William’s invocation’s theme of the depth of the importance of Memorial Day as a living memorial, not only to those gone but left behind and all Americans seeking to keep a nation’s democratically based spirit alive.

The laying the wreath, donated once again by Fussell Florists and proprietors Betty and Steve Showers, was performed by Front Royal Mayor Eugene Tewalt and County Board of Supervisors Chairman Walter Mabe. Other elected officials present included Supervisors Delores Oates and Cheryl Cullers and Councilman Gary Gillespie and his canine friend.

Above, Mayor Tewalt left, and County Board Chair Mabe lay the Memorial Day wreaths. Below, one family visits the wreath and courthouse lawn memorial site following the approximately 13-minute ceremony.

McDougall acknowledged Royal Examiner contributor and good friend, British-born Malcolm Barr, a Royal Air Force veteran, for resurrecting this community’s Memorial Day ceremony eight years ago, with its special acknowledgment of the role of our K-9 Corp “Dogs of War” who have been on the front lines with American soldiers in every conflict since World War II. McDougall noted the first military dog training school opened here in Warren County in 1943.

While usually represented by many citizens’ dogs at the normally conducted ceremony at the Gazebo/Village Commons, due to the abbreviated pandemic nature of this year’s ceremony the Dogs of War were officially represented by Barr’s Husky Rescue dog Diva, alone.

Malcolm Barr and his dog Diva – event moderator Lt. Col. McDougall noted Barr’s leadership role in resurrecting a local Memorial Day event here eight years ago. Good work, Malcolm – and Diva, Lt. Col McDougall, and all participants.

“Freedom is not free. And for so many families, every day is Memorial Day. Please do what you can to support the families of service members that did not come home,” McDougall reminded us of the ongoing nature of sacrifices made, with a nod at one point to Able Forces Veteran Services CEO Skip Rogers presence.

“Cherish each day of the freedom that these brave men and women provided us. Remind those you gather with this weekend about the TRUE MEANING (emphasis in context) of Memorial Day – for it is both a day to mourn and to celebrate the courageous sacrifice that has been made to protect our way of life.

“May God Bless the fallen, and may God Bless America. Thank you for being here today,” McDougall closed in acknowledging those present, adding a heartfelt, “Semper Fidelis”.

Saluting the flag during National Anthem as ceremony opens at noon.

And you too can be there to memorialize, commemorate and remember what the sacrifice of those who have gone before us has preserved for us all in this exclusive Royal Examiner video recording. – Come, celebrate Memorial Day 2020 with us:

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Adopters can help Winchester SPCA’s holiday wishes come true with $100K from the Petco Foundation



Individuals who have adopted a pet from the Winchester SPCA are invited to share how their pet has changed their life to help give your local SPCA a chance to receive a $100,000 grand prize Holiday Wishes grant award from the Petco Foundation. In partnership with BOBS from Skechers, the Petco Foundation is granting more than $750,000 this holiday season to qualified animal welfare organizations across the country. Awards will range from $5,000 to $100,000, and adopters with winning submissions will receive up to a $1,000 Petco shopping spree and a prize pack with BOBS from Skechers shoes.

“We’re calling on all Winchester SPCA adopters to help us earn a lifesaving grant award this holiday season from the Petco Foundation by sharing their stories,” said Winchester SPCA Executive Director Lavenda Denney “Thank you for choosing adoption; now you can make our holiday wishes come true by helping us earn lifesaving funds to bring more pets in need together with loving families.”

Through September 23, adopters can submit their story at Stories should highlight how pets have changed their adopter’s life for the better, in big and small ways, and should celebrate the love of their adopted pet. Submissions must include four photos to illustrate the story and can include video as well. Adopters must contact the Winchester SPCA for the organization’s point of contact, email and phone number to include in their submission. Adopters are also encouraged to visit the Holiday Wishes homepage for more information and to read stories from previous winners.

The deadline to submit a Holiday Wishes story is September 23, 2020, noon CST. Winners will be announced during the holiday season. For a full list of prizes and submission FAQs, visit

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State Police release details of high-speed chase, arrest of Herndon woman



On Wednesday, August 12, the Virginia State Police (VSP) issued a press release on the circumstance of the multi-jurisdiction pursuit and arrest of Herndon resident Jennifer L. Arnn. The release indicates the date of the incident as Thursday, August 6. Our initial report indicated the incident occurred on Friday, August 7, which is listed as her booking date on the RSW Jail website. VSP Public Information Officer Brent Coffey explained that Arnn spent Thursday night at the hospital for injuries incurred during the incident, which appear to be reflected in her jail booking mug shot.

Jennifer Arnn faces one animal cruelty charge resulting in the fatality of dog or cat; one reckless driving charge, one vandalism charge of intentional damaging of public property. Photo courtesy of RSW Jail.

That incident began with a reckless driving “Be on the Lookout” issued in Berkley County, West Virginia, after which VSP spotted the vehicle on I-81 in Frederick County, Virginia.
Below is the VSP release in its entirety:

WARREN CO., Va. – A Herndon, Va. woman is behind bars on multiple charges after she fled law enforcement Thursday (August 6, 2020). Virginia State Police have charged Jennifer L. Arnn, 39, in Warren County with three felony counts of assault on law enforcement, one felony count of intentional damage, one felony count of eluding law enforcement, one felony count of animal cruelty, one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence, and one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana.

On Thursday at approximately 11:17 a.m. the Berkley County Sheriff’s Office issued a “Be On the Lookout” for a reckless driver. A short time later state police observed the suspect vehicle, a 2016 Mazda CS-X on I-81 at the 307-mile marker in Frederick County. State police initiated a traffic stop on the Mazda which stopped but took off when approached by a trooper.

The Mazda continued on Rt. 277 in Frederick County. The Mazda was eventually contained and stopped on I-66 at the 4.6-mile marker in Warren County. The driver, Arnn, was taken into custody without further incident. Arnn was transported to RSW Regional Jail and held without bond.

During the course of the pursuit, Arnn pushed her dog out the window. State police were able to locate the dog, but it did not survive its injuries.

Arnn struck three state police cruisers during the pursuit. One of the state police troopers suffered minor injuries during the incident.

The pursuit reached speeds of up to 100 mph.

Woman held at RSW Jail after state police chase, animal abuse-fatality charge

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Lynchburg City Council appoints Doug Stanley as new City Manager



On Tuesday, August 11, Lynchburg City Council ended its search for a new City Manager with a vote to appoint Douglas P. Stanley to succeed the current City Manager, Bonnie Svrcek who will retire effective September 1, 2020. Stanley is the former County Administrator for Warren County, Virginia. He will assume his duties as City Manager on September 1, 2020.

Before taking a public vote during City Council’s work session, Mayor MaryJane Dolan stated that City Council had conducted a nationwide search for the City Manager’s position, and they were pleased with having had a number of very qualified candidates to consider. “Even with having to deal with a nationwide pandemic, we had a very competitive pool of talented candidates from across the country,” said Dolan. “Council has been very deliberate in making its choice, and we have complete confidence in Doug being the right person to lead the organization. Bonnie leaves behind a strong leadership team that will provide great support for him as he becomes acclimated in his new position.”

Stanley served as Warren County’s administrator for 20 years. He began his career in public service at the age of 25 when he was hired by Warren County as a Zoning Administrator. He became Planning Director at the age of 27 and then County Administrator in 2000, only the fourth person to hold the position of administrator in the county.

During his tenure with Warren County, he directed the construction of an over $200 million Capital Improvement Program including the construction of a new high school, renovation of a junior high school to a high school, the renovation of a former high school to a middle school and the construction of a new middle school, a library, a community center, and the renovation of a baseball stadium. He also spearheaded the concept and development of the creation of a three jurisdiction regional jail and served as its board chair.

Stanley is a graduate of Mary Washington College where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Geography. He received a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration from Shenandoah Institute, Marsh Institute. Stanley is also a graduate of the Senior Executive Institute-Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia.

His wife Jenny is an English teacher, and they have two children, Jenna and Whill.

“I want to thank the Lynchburg City Council for selecting me to be the next City Manager. My family and I look forward to this fantastic opportunity the next chapter in life brings. For me, it is not simply the job; it is about getting involved and becoming part of the community. I look forward to meeting citizens and stakeholders and becoming an active participant in our community.

Lynchburg is known throughout the Commonwealth for its stable and visionary leadership both at the Council and staff levels. I am honored to be following in the footsteps of Bonnie Svrcek and Kim Payne, two people who I have a tremendous amount of respect for, and I look forward to working with the dedicated staff of the City of Lynchburg in moving this community forward. I have a proven track record of 20+ years of local government management experience having been successful in Warren County, Virginia in helping the community rebuild its tax base, improve its infrastructure, and build strategic relationships with community partners and stakeholders. I am proud to have left Warren County a stronger, more vibrant, and resilient community, and I look forward to bringing that experience to the Hill City.”

(Press release from the City of Lynchburg)

Town Talk: A conversation with Doug Stanley

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New Student Welcome Week coming up at LFCC



With the start of this fall semester’s first classes less than two weeks away, LFCC is rolling out the welcome mat – virtually, in most cases – for its new students.

A series of online sessions is scheduled to provide information on everything from career pathways, to available resources, to what a typical college day is like. Additionally, LFCC swag and important information will be handed out during curbside pickups.

“This year, with physical and social distancing a must, we’ve been given the chance to reinvent our New Student Welcome program, using both the virtual platforms – like Zoom – that we are now so accustomed to using while still keeping up with the traditional in-person festivities, but with a twist,” campus life and student engagement specialist Chris Lambert said. “Instead of just one day to welcome our new students, we have extended it into an entire week, which will allow us to introduce new sessions and programming options.”

The first set of fall classes starts Monday, Aug. 24, with other classes beginning Sept. 8 and Oct. 19. Most classes will be delivered remotely, but some classes that require in-person delivery will be on campus.

A busy slate of information and introductory sessions is scheduled for Aug. 17-22. Highlights include:

  • A New Student Panel that will let students know how they can get involved at the college, and what student life looks like these days. The panel will feature current LFCC students and is at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 17 on Zoom.
  • Ask the Faculty is a general question and answer session that will be on Zoom at 2 p.m. Aug. 20.
  • President Kim Blosser, Fauquier Campus Provost Chris Coutts and other college officials will have a special session just for parents and supporters of students to ask questions about LFCC and college resources during a Zoom session at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 19.
  • Curbside welcome pickups will be all week at all locations, with varying times.
  • Resource chats for everything from campus safety, to online learning, to academic accommodations are planned.
  • Zoom sessions on career pathways, including health professions, engineering, business, education, humanities and arts, transfer planning and undecided students are lined up.

For in-person classes, LFCC will follow the latest guidelines issued by the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Students attending these classes will be required to sign an agreement stating they won’t attend class when sick or if they’ve been exposed to someone with coronavirus, will wear a mask while in class and will practice social distancing and follow other safety measures.

To see the full schedule of events, and get Zoom codes, visit

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School Board to consider moving start date of school to September 8th



Dr. Chris Ballenger, Warren County Schools Superintendent, issued a press release on August 11, 2020, to notify parents and the community that they will propose to the Warren County School Board, moving the start date of school from August 27, 2020, to September 8, 2020. This proposal will be presented at the School Board meeting on August 19, 2020.

School officials indicated that more time is needed for longer delivery times of supplies and delays in implementing the Learning Management Systems. This change will also provide more time for teachers and staff to learn the new Learning Management Systems which will be the main portal students will use to access the virtual learning materials and courses.

The proposed calendar includes the following dates:

September 8 – First day of school for students

November 3 – Professional Day
November 10 – End of 1st advisory
November 11 – Holiday
November 25-27 – Thanksgiving Break
December 23-January 1 – Winter Break
January 18 – Holiday
January 29 – End of 2nd advisory/1st semester
February 15 – Holiday
March 29-April 5 Spring Break
April 13 – End of 3rd advisory
April 30 – Professional Day
May 31 – Holiday
June 17 – Last day of school for students

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Woman held at RSW Jail after state police chase, animal abuse-fatality charge



A 39-year-old woman is in Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren County (RSW) Regional Jail without bond on six charges related to an August 7th law enforcement chase during which at least one Virginia State Police cruiser was sideswiped.

Jennifer Arnn faces one animal cruelty charge resulting in the fatality of dog or cat; one reckless driving charge, one vandalism charge of intentional damaging of public property, likely at least police cars, and three charges of assault on law enforcement officers in the conduct of their job.

Jennifer Arnn sports some facial abrasions in her RSW mug shot. She was booked into the regional jail at 2:34 p.m., Friday, Aug. 7. Photo courtesy of RSW Jail.

A portion of the Friday afternoon incident was captured on a cell phone video posted on social media (see below). The video involves Arnn’s vehicle and what appears to be marked and unmarked police cars and an unidentified fourth vehicle stopped at an intersection in Warren County’s north commercial corridor near the Target-anchored Crooked Run Shopping Center.

The video appears to show Arnn attempting to leave the scene with something appearing to be hanging out of the rear passenger side of her car, the sideswipe of a pursuing state police car and Arnn’s vehicle heading southbound on Route 522/340 toward the intersection with I-66.

No place of residence was listed on the jail website and no further detail of the incident was available at the time of publication. This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

The social media video (posted by Desirae Jean) of a portion of the incident in Warren County’s north commercial corridor:

YalllllllThis lady was getting flung around her car with every ram, and they had guns drawn on her, she was hell bent to get away 👀😳😳

Posted by Desirae Jean on Thursday, 6 August 2020

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Front Royal
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