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Afton Inn Project Update

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WHAT MATTERS Warren–Watch this three minute interview with Front Royal Interim Mayor Matt Tederick and Economic Development Authority Director Doug Parsons as they discuss the long-delayed Afton Inn project and its upcoming renovation.

The 2018 Staff Report highlights the proposed renovations to the delapidated building. Finally, the transformation of this historic landmark will begin thanks to the teamwork between the Town of Front Royal and the Economic Development Authority.

Click here to download the Planning Commission  Staff Report.

WHAT MATTERS:
Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event? Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and Youtube. They are also shared with the Royal Examiner online (most are distributed in their daily email blast to thousands of local residents). Sign up for the Royal Examiner at www.royalexaminer.com and check out the “WHAT MATTERS Warren” tab under “Features.”

Learn more about Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com–check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or beth@whatmattersw2.com.

About WHAT MATTERS:
WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters. Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved with her local or international nonprofit work, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.

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Congratulations to Warren County High School Seniors – Class of 2020

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Royal Examiner presents the Warren County High School Class of 2020. Congratulations to these wonderful seniors on their hard work and deserved accomplishments! We wish you the best in your next big endeavors. Photos courtesy of the Victor O’Neill Studios.

Tiffany Abbott

Matthew Adams

Alivia Agostini

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
—Benjamin Franklin

Jackson Arnold

Kara Athey

Caden Bain

Nathaniel Baker

Ethan Baldwin

Lara Ball

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”
—B.B. King

Alegend Baltimore-Lane

Seth Barbee

Mariah Barber

Jeffrey Barek

Brooke Bargeron

Hannah Bates

“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.”
—Martin Luther King Jr.

Austin Baugher

Dylan Becker

Brent Bermanski

Gabrielle Bessette

Jessica Blankenship

Madison Booth

“The highest result of education is tolerance.”
—Helen Keller

Aston Bowman

Shawnee Boyd

David Boyles

Ryan Bradley

Lacie-Anna Bragg

Haley Brown

“The most important thing in your life is to live your life with integrity and to not give into peer pressure to try to be something that you’re not.”
—Ellen DeGeneres

Carlee Brownwell

Zamari Buchanan

Logan Burner

Ilanny Campa

Courtney Capozio

Yaritza Chevez-Hernandez

“Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.”
—Senator Orrin Hatch

Alex Cockrell

Patrick Coffron

Abby Cook

Grace Critzer

Chelsey Cross

Syndi Davidsen

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
—Arthur Ashe

Katelynn Doyle

Jarod Ebersold

Tearyonna Flanagan

Isaiah Frame

Hannah Frost

Maria Fusto

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
—C.S. Lewis

Sean Gable

Shai Geiger

Emma Gershon

Kaila Gleason

Isaiah Glick

Isabelle Grupac

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Alejandro Guerrero

Jaydon Halter

Nikolas Hanscome

Dylan Hardin

Ethan Hardin

Katelyn Harold

“The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match. Each one of you is a fuse.”
—Edward Koch

Jesse Harvey

Haruki Heath

Caleb Heflin

Brittany Heishman

Gregory Heishman

“There are no regrets in life. Just lessons.”
—Jennifer Aniston

Kali Henry

Sage Henry

Brianna Hogan

Jeremiah Hogan

Karenzo Hogue

Trinity Holben

“Kid, you’ll move mountains.”
—Dr. Seuss

Halea Hose

William Huerto

Ian Hurdle

Bailey Hutson

Tenaisha Jackson

Kelly Jacobs

“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.”
—Albert Einstein

Matthew James

Rylee Jenkins

Nolan Johnson

Deandre Joseph

Joseph Joyce

Hannah Kekel

“Every person you meet knows something you don’t; learn from them.”
—H Jackson Brown Jr.

Osman Khan

Autumn Kibler

Joseph Kilgallen

Conner Knerler

Alexander Kubela

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
—Mark Twain

Ethan Kuhstoss

Rachel Larkins

Cameron Larson

Jaden Longmire

Nicholas Lowery

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
—Winston Churchill

Morgan Lynch

Emma Lynn

Nicholas Manfredi

Dylan Martin

Cameron Martucci

Brandon Mason

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
—Steve Jobs

Callista Mayberry

Alexis McCollum

Joshua McDonald

Maxwell McInturff

Nicholas Meidt

Alexandra Menacho

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.”
—J.K. Rowling

Madison Mosser

Lance Nalls

Ethan Neely

Jacob Norris

Donovan O’Reilly

Bailey Ontiveros

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
—Henry David Thoreau

Ethen Patton

Sabrina Perea

Jakob Perry

Olivia Phelan

Taylor Poletis

Molly Presley

“The most rewarding things in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.”
—Arnold Palmer

Austin Ramey

Abby Reed

Hannah Ren

Aimee Rich

Cassandra Riley

Dustin Robey

“If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
—Vincent Van Gogh

Rae Robey

Kyra Robinson

Elizabeth Roland

Chase Roltsch

Breelyn Romer-Wines

Russell Rowe

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”
—Thomas Jefferson

Madison Salmons

Zairajael Sandoval-Sanchez

Dustin Settle

Sierra Sharp

Christopher Sherwood II

“You have to dance a little bit before you step out into the world each day, because it changes the way you walk.”
—Sandra Bullock

Cody Simmons

Noah Skube

Robert Sloat

Kristen Smallwood

Hailey Smith

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
—Dr. Seuss

Hanna Smith

Zackary Smith

Heavenly Sowers

Derek Staton

Kaleb Steele

Tyler Suflita

“I encourage you to live with life. Be courageous, adventurous. Give us a tomorrow, more than we deserve.”
—Maya Angelou

Sierra Summers

Hannah Sutphin

Rachel Sutphin

Brigid Tamas

Kiersten Tanner

Colton Taylor

Get busy living or get busy dying.”
—Stephen King

Andrew Thompson

Ashley Thompson

Dynell Thompson

Matthew Tieche

Morgan Tilley

Nikoandre Tolentino

“Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.”
—Charles Swindoll

Robin Kier Tolentino

Kyra Treutlein

Madison Trump

Ariana Turner-Schaefer

Isabella Unrath

Clara Vassallo

“Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.”
—Art Linkletter

Shannon Vernick

Nathaniel W. Smith

Aidan Ward

Holly Watkins

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”
—William Arthur Ward

Lily Wayland

Ewan Welch

Timothy Wheeler

Jazmine White

Nathan White

Brelyn Williams

“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.”
—Bob Marley

Brooklyn Williams

Isaiah Wilt

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”
—Dr. Seuss

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It’s burned up – forget it: Call dad and tell him his truck is toast in Front Royal

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Mid-afternoon, Thursday, June 25, a vehicle fire was reported in the parking lot of the commercial strip anchored by Anthony’s Pizza on the 100 block of South Royal Avenue. First responders from Warren County Fire & Rescue and the Front Royal Police Department found a pickup truck with West Virginia tags parked on the street side of the lot with an engine fire engaged and no occupants apparent.

This reporter arrived after the fire had been extinguished and only one town police unit remained at the scene. That officer pointed out a thick fluid trail that appeared to run from the 1993 Ford Ranger pickup through a portion of the parking lot, perhaps indicating a fluid leak as a source or consequence of the engine fire.

The involved 1993 Ford Ranger pickup was abandoned at scene by occupants. Contacted, the Hampshire County, West Virginia owner said he had given his daughter permission to take the truck and had been alerted that it had been damaged in Front Royal. Royal Examiner Photos/Roger Bianchini

Our inquiry to responding agencies led to information from the FRPD Public Information Department’s Jessica Racer, who told us, “The incident was a vehicle fire, not arson and not suspicious in nature. The owner’s name is Roger Haines in Hampshire County (West Virginia).”

FRPD Captain Crystal Cline later told Royal Examiner that the truck’s owner was contacted by running the tags and requesting Hampshire County authorities to contact him. That route was required because apparently the truck’s driver and a passenger left the scene without ever making contact with local authorities, first responders, or potentially impacted businesses in the commercial strip.

Captain Cline reported that Mr. Haines “advised that the vehicle was not stolen, and he had given his daughter permission to drive the vehicle” and that he was “aware that the vehicle was broken down” and “had already contacted a towing company” about recovering it.

Fire & Rescue responders broke the driver’s side window to access the cab where a witness believed a gas can had been left inside.

This scenario seems to confirm information from a witness to the vehicle fire who told a Royal Examiner source that the vehicle’s occupants, described as a man and woman, left the scene on foot without contacting responders about their connection to the vehicle. According to the witness, the pair left the truck cab locked as they exited it with the engine smoking before walking to the adjacent Jack Evans Chevrolet lot to watch at distance as responders arrived to extinguish the developing engine fire. Eventually, they left the scene on foot down South Royal Avenue without any apparent contact with authorities, the witness reported.

That’s a long hitchhike back to Hampshire County – no time to waste apparently.

The gas can’s location following the fire was near the driver’s side, rear tire, fortunately unsinged. No further information on the can’s contents or original location was available.

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Music park at Burrell Brooks, Jr. Community Park ribbon cutting ceremony

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On Friday, June 26, 2020, citizens, friends and family, Parks and Recreation Commission members, Warren County Board of Supervisors members, and County Administrator Doug Stanley gathered to welcome Dr. Lorraine LeHew Hultquist’s generous gift to Burrell Brooks, Jr. Community Park.

This is Dr. Hultquist’s third music park donation to the Warren County park system. In 2017, Ms. Hultquist suggested the idea of adding a music park to one of the County’s facilities after visiting similar parks in Utah and Oregon, and the County celebrated the first music park addition at Rockland Park in November 2017. The following year, a second music park addition was built in Lions Park.

In late 2019, Dr. Lorraine LeHew Hultquist donated the new Deluxe Collection music system to be installed at Burrell Brooks, Jr. Community Park. The mixed quartet offers a musical experience for all through a specially designed ensemble that delivers a variety of sound qualities and pitch ranges. The equipment is multi-generational, interactive, durable, and perfectly tuned. Everyone, regardless of age or ability, can play. Her generous support of the music parks will allow our community to enjoy the enrichment of music and will inspire future musicians.

At the ribbon cutting, long-time Warren County Parks and Recreation Commission member Ron Harvey provided a history of the Commission, recreation in the community, and how the generosity of the community has allowed the parks to flourish.

Board of Supervisors Vice Chair and South River District Supervisor Cheryl Cullers noted the importance of music in the development of children, who will now have the opportunity to enjoy this park and its new addition donated by Dr. Lorraine LeHew Hultquist. She added, “The addition of this music equipment to Burrell Brooks Park will, I believe, give the children of the community at an early age, access to music as an avenue to hopefully start a lifelong love of music, as well as to have the experience to exercise their own creative musical talents.”

The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department is very grateful for Dr. Hultquist’s generous gifts to our local parks for the benefit of all citizens. County Administrator Doug Stanley, noting her previous donations, stated, “I would like to personally thank Lorraine for her kind and generous monetary gift for this magnificent music park for all of Warren County patrons to enjoy and for her support of the entire Parks and Recreation system. It is truly fitting that she is honored today for her gracious and kind gift!”

Music Park at Burrell Brooks, Jr. Community Park

Dr. Lorraine LeHew Hultquist playing the new music park instruments

Warren County Administrator, Doug Stanley, welcoming attendees and expressing his gratitude to Dr. Hultquist

Cheryl Cullers, Board of Supervisors Vice Chair, speaking about the benefits of music for children

Ron Harvey providing historical context to the event on behalf of the Parks and Recreation Commission and focusing on the spirit of generosity in the citizens of Warren County

(L to R) Ron Harvey, Parks and Recreation Commission; Carolyn Kissinger, Parks and Recreation Commission; Cheryl Cullers, Vice Chair of the Board of Supervisors; Dr. Lorraine LeHew Hultquist, benefactor; Walter Mabe, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors; Archie Fox, Board of Supervisors; and Douglas P. Stanley, County Administrator, cutting the ribbon

Friends and family of Dr. Hultquist celebrating the new music park

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Three words: The test of liberty or tyranny

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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Since 1776 when those words were written in the Declaration of Independence, the world has seen kings and tyrants who, fooling men with their sweet-sounding philosophies, tried to steal their rights and liberty, and many times succeeded.

Yet, in this famous sentence, Thomas Jefferson gives us three words that are the test for tyranny:

Self-evident

Jefferson said some ideas are obvious, so obvious that Americans don’t need a lawyer to explain them or a politician to debate them. The first obvious truth he sets down is this: All people are created equal. All are endowed with the same rights.

Endowed
The Creator gives rights to men and women as a gift — an endowment — what the dictionary calls a ‘fund for permanent support.’ No man gives these rights to people, for these rights are already theirs. No king can decide which people get to exercise these rights because each person has been given the free gift of these permanent rights, not one more than another.

Unalienable
These obvious rights, given as a permanent gift from God, cannot be taken away by any person, and neither can a man surrender his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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Town Talk: A conversation with Tim Ratigan – support our local law enforcement officers

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In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Tim Ratigan. Tim has started a movement in our community to support our local law enforcement officers from the Front Royal Police Department and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.  Our local law enforcement officers serve to defend the freedom, fairness, and individual liberties that our forefathers fought and died. These brave men and women risk their lives every day to maintain a civil society and the rule of law.

On Friday evening, July 3rd, another group of community supporters are meeting at the Gazebo in Front Royal from 5 pm to 7:30 pm. Come show your appreciation, support, and respect for local Law Enforcement, Fire, and Emergency Personnel along with the flag of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA! This is a free informal gathering for those interested in showing their support and to say thanks.

No frills, nothing more than thank you to those men and women who serve our community. You are free to wear a mask, practice distancing, bring “Old Glory” (lots of them), bring a lounge chair, sing the National Anthem, God Bless America, etc, stroll along Main Street, which will be closed to vehicle traffic for outdoor dining and shopping.  Come and enjoy yourselves and be thankful for those who simply wish to “Serve and Protect”.

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com

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Front Royal Unites seeks teamwork with Warren County School Board

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Two organizers of Front Royal Unites, a newly formed nonprofit working for the lawful and equal treatment of all races and ethnic groups, on Wednesday, requested that the Warren County School Board work with the organization to address any racial disparities in Warren County Public Schools (WCPS).

A few of the School Board members agreed that the group’s request was reasonable and warranted.

“The reason we have come to you today is that in the past… we’ve had some racial disparities that we’ve experienced within the school system,” said Stevi Hubbard of Front Royal Unites.
Hubbard reminded board members that she previously appeared before the School Board to raise related topics, and told them during their Wednesday, July 1 meeting that the board has not addressed those concerns “in any way shape or form, which is pretty upsetting.”

“The reason we have come to you today is that in the past… we’ve had some racial disparities that we’ve experienced within the school system,” said Stevi Hubbard of Front Royal Unites.

Since her earlier visits, Hubbard said data has been collected on how students feel like they are being disproportionately punished or not included in certain programming based on color. And she noted that racial slurs have been painted on school buildings.

“We hope we can work with you on these issues this year, and we would like to see those changes made this year,” said Hubbard, adding that she doesn’t want to have her child or other students and staff attending school and seeing racist comments or graffiti on school properties.

“It is our hope that you will take us seriously now,” said Hubbard, pointing out to the School Board that Front Royal Unites now has 2,500 members supporting the group.

Samuel Porter, the spokesman for Front Royal Unites and a 2011 graduate of Skyline High School, said he wanted to ensure that “we’re all very cognizant” about the racial comments that sometimes might be made at school or online.

“There are some bad people. We are just trying to make sure that our students are going to safe environments, and they don’t have to worry based on what they look like on the outside,” Porter told School Board members during the community participation segment of their regular meeting on Wednesday.

Warren County School Board member James Wells, who represents the Happy Creek District, told the Front Royal Unites representatives that he was on board with their request.

“Whatever you need,” Wells told them. “I’ll give you my phone number. I’ll give you my emails. I would be glad to meet with you at any time because your cause is just, and I’d be more than happy to work with you.”

School Board Chairman Arnold Williams, Jr., agreed. “As Mr. Wells said, we will work with you guys,” he told Porter and Hubbard.

Formed in May, Front Royal Unites in June quickly organized and held two local peaceful civil rights marches.

Porter and Hubbard also recently spoke during the June 22 Front Royal Town Council meeting, where they applauded Front Royal Police Chief Kahle Magalis and the department for proactively working with the group to support those marches.

“We come to the table very peacefully… to build bridges, not burn them,” Porter told the council members.

To hear the comments given by the Front Royal Unites organizers during the School Board meeting, watch the Royal Examiner video below.

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