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Apartment fire victim ID’d, investigation ongoing

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Jennifer Lee Roberts has been identified as the victim in the Wednesday, Jan. 30 fire at Royal Hills Apartments. Two firefighters were injured while extinguishing the fire, which remains under investigation. / File photo

FRONT ROYAL – A joint press release from the Warren County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Front Royal Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division Friday afternoon identified the victim of a Wednesday morning (Jan. 30) fire at the Royal Hills Apartments at 47 Royal Lane as Miss Jennifer Lee Roberts, 51.

Miss Roberts was the sole occupant of the third-floor apartment in which the fire began.  The fire significantly damaged the entire 10-unit building of the complex, displacing 10 families in the incident.

Related Story: One dead in Front Royal apartment complex fire, investigation underway

While the cause of the fire and the manner of death continue to be investigated by both local agencies and the Officer of the Chief Medical Examiner, officials stated in the release that the smoke alarms within Miss Roberts’ apartment were not working at the time of the fire.

Investigator David Fogle did confirm to Royal Examiner that Warren County Fire and Rescue crews had responded to a call placed by Miss Roberts on Tuesday afternoon, around 1 p.m., one day prior to her death.  The building was found to have normal conditions with no safety risk to occupants.

Fire officials remind the community to ensure that each sleeping room and common area of the residence is equipped with working smoke alarms.

Warren County Fire and Rescue crews will go door-to-door in the area where the fire occurred on Tuesday, Feb. 5 and Wednesday, Feb. 6 checking smoke alarms and providing free alarms and free installation to those who need them.

Anyone with information regarding the Wednesday fire is encouraged to contact Warren County Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico at 540-636-3830 or Front Royal Police Detective David Fogle at 540-636-2208.

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Maggie’s last shot

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Maggie Acquaah, 2018-19 season.

Her senior year season of basketball did not go as planned for Randolph-Macon Academy’s Maggie Acquaah. Sidelined by a knee injury, she was forced to play a supporting role for her teammates when what she really wanted to do was be on the court.

On Wednesday, February 12, 2020, the R-MA Yellow Jackets faced off against cross-town rival Chelsea Academy. It was the last home game of the season, Senior Night, and the night before Maggie’s surgery. One by one, R-MA Head Coach Jeff Moxie put the seniors into the game, the home crowd cheering wildly over each one. But their cheers reached a new level when Maggie pulled off her warm-up shirt and went into the game with less than a minute left.

Coach Moxie had explained the situation to Dr. Mark Clark, the head coach of Chelsea Academy, who had in turn briefed his players. In a display of good sportsmanship, none of the Chelsea players challenged Maggie, knowing that one wrong move could cause her to further injure her knee and delay her surgery.

To the raucous cheers of her classmates, Maggie took an easy shot and uncharacteristically missed–because the normally stoic young lady was so moved by the events of the afternoon that tears were blurring her vision. She wiped her eyes and her teammates got the ball to her again, and once again the Chelsea players gave her space. Maggie took one more shot, and this one went in, giving the senior the final basket of the last regular-season home game. The crowd erupted.

The Yellow Jackets won easily and will now move into the DAC playoffs with a home game on Thursday, February 20th, but for this night, that wasn’t what mattered. What mattered was that thanks to the sportsmanship of another school and the support of her coach and teammates, Maggie got back a few precious seconds of the season that had been stolen from her, and a memory that will last forever.

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Front Royal Christian School Lady Warriors close season with win and Senior Night

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Front Royal Christian School Varsity Lady Warriors defeated the Front Royal Lady Varsity Flames 54 to 16, with Audrey Moya as the leading scorer with 15 points. FRCS Seniors Bailey Coughenour, Hannah Fletcher, and Hannah Johnson ended their season strong on both offense and defense. Fletcher, Coughenour, and Johnson (pictured left to right) were presented framed jerseys from their high school career, as well as lettering for their season. FRCS Coach Scott Babcock and Athletic Director Robert Darrow congratulated the girls for a season well done and recognized their individual successes including all time personal high scoring records. The FRCS Lady Warriors ended their 2019-2020 Basketball season with a winning record of 7-3.

“The girls set the all-time winning record for the FRCS Varsity level basketball with 7 wins,” stated Babcock. “For not having a varsity program in five years, these ladies didn’t play like a team – they played like a family, supporting each other on and off the court. The credit for this season goes to the girls, their determination, faithfulness, and heart.”

FRCS athletics now turns to varsity girls soccer and baseball. This is the first year that FRCS will have a baseball team. “We are excited to bring baseball to the FRCS athletic program,” shared Darrow. “Interest in team participation is high, and it should start us off strong.” Practice begins for both soccer and baseball this week.

Front Royal Christian School is a Pre-K through 12th-grade school in Front Royal, Virginia, that fosters your student’s innate learning potential. From special needs to gifted, FRCS is committed to the spiritual, moral, and intellectual development of its students and mediates a sense of competence, confidence, and belonging. FRCS provides the 21st-century learner, exceptional and challenging educational experiences, including college preparatory courses with a dual enrollment program with LFCC, performing arts, life skills, and athletics. For more information, call the school at 540-635-6799 or visit www.frontroyalchristianschool.com.

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I-66 Outside the Beltway Project: Lane closures and traffic changes – Week of February 16, 2020

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Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project construction continues throughout the corridor during daytime and overnight hours as weather conditions allow. Current activities include (new or updated items are bolded):

• The ramp from I-66 East to Route 123 North is scheduled to close Friday night, Feb. 21. Drivers will exit toward Route 123 South, stay left, then use two signal-controlled turn lanes to turn left onto northbound Route 123. Learn more

• Bridge demolition at Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) and Fairfax County Parkway Route (Route 286)

• Constructing bridge foundations at Route 29, Route 28, Waples Mill Road, Jermantown Road, Route 123, Vaden Drive, and I-495

• Small charge dynamite operations along I-66 East and West near Route 28

• Bridge deck work for new collector-distributor road over Route 234 Business (Sudley Road), new Route 28 bridges over I-66, and new Poplar Tree Road bridge over Route 28

• Relocating water lines at Jermantown Road, Stringfellow Road, and Gallows Road

• Constructing new utility duct bank and relocating underground utilities along I-66 East

• Constructing retaining walls along I-66 and Route 28

• Corridor-wide roadway maintenance as needed

The Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project will add express lanes stretching 22.5 miles from the Capital Beltway to Route 29 in Gainesville, rebuild major interchanges along the I-66 corridor, create thousands of new park and ride spaces, and expand trail options for cyclists and pedestrians. Learn more at Transform66.org.

Upcoming Lane Closures and Traffic Changes
The following planned lane closures are expected to have significant traffic impacts. All work is subject to change based on weather and schedule. Find the latest information on travel conditions and work zones by visiting 511virginia.org or downloading the Virginia511 app.

ROUTE 29 / GAINESVILLE
No significant traffic impacts scheduled.

ROUTE 234 BUSINESS (SUDLEY ROAD) / MANASSAS
Ramp from I-66 West to Route 234 Business (Sudley Road) North
Tuesday, Feb. 18: Midnight to 4 a.m.
The ramp will be closed for underground drainage culvert work. Traffic will be detoured to Route 234 Business South, turn right at the third traffic signal onto Coverstone Drive, take the first right at Miramar Drive, turn right on Balls Ford Road, then turn left at the traffic signal on to northbound Route 234 Business.

I-66 East from Route 234 Business (Sudley Road) to Route 29 Centreville
Wednesday, Feb. 19: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Three left lanes will be closed for overhead gantry removal. Drivers should expect occasional 20-minute stoppages between midnight and 4 a.m.

Compton Road at I-66
Tuesday, Feb. 18, through Friday, Feb. 21: 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Compton Road will be closed under I-66 while crews install bridge beams over Compton Road. Traffic will be directed to Route 29 (Lee Highway) via Bull Run Post Office Road or Old Centreville Road as an alternate and then back to Compton Road. Learn more

ROUTE 28 (SULLY ROAD) / CENTREVILLE
Route 28 North and South between Route 29 and Braddock Road
Braddock Road at Route 28
Ramp from Route 28 North to I-66 East
Wednesday, Feb. 19, through Friday, Feb. 21: 11 a.m. to noon
Temporary 15-minute stoppages of traffic on Route 28 North and South, and on Braddock Road near Route 28 for blasting operations. Additionally, stoppages will occur on the ramps from Route 28 North to I-66 East and West.

Compton Road at I-66
Tuesday, Feb. 18, through Friday, Feb. 21: 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Compton Road will be closed under I-66 while crews install bridge beams over Compton Road. Traffic will be directed to Route 29 (Lee Highway) via Bull Run Post Office Road or Old Centreville Road as an alternate and then back to Compton Road. Learn more

I-66 East from Route 234 Business (Sudley Road) to Route 29 Centreville
Wednesday, Feb. 19: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Three left lanes will be closed for overhead gantry removal. Drivers should expect occasional 20-minute stoppages between midnight and 4 a.m.

ROUTE 286 (FAIRFAX COUNTY PARKWAY) / FAIR LAKES
Stringfellow Road between Fair Lakes Boulevard and Village Square Drive
Monday, Feb. 17, through Friday, Feb. 21: 9 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 21, from 9 p.m. until 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24
The right lane of southbound Stringfellow Road will be closed for underground utility relocation. The lane will be reopened weekdays between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. to accommodate the evening rush.

Route 286 North from Route 29 (Lee Highway) to I-66
Monday, Feb. 17, through Thursday, Feb. 20: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Two lanes will be closed for demolition of I-66 bridges over Route 286. Drivers should expect occasional 20-minute stoppages along northbound Route 286.

Route 286 South from Fair Lakes Parkway to I-66
Tuesday, Feb. 18, through Thursday, Feb. 20: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Friday, Feb. 21: 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Two lanes will be closed for demolition of I-66 bridges over Route 286. Drivers should expect occasional 20-minute stoppages.

Ramp from I-66 West to Route 286 (Fairfax County Parkway) South
Thursday, Feb. 20, and Friday, Feb. 21: Midnight to 4 a.m.
The ramp will be closed for overhead bridge demolition. Traffic will be directed to Route 286 North, stay to the right and take the exit for Fair Lakes Parkway/Monument Drive, at the traffic signal make a left on to westbound Fair Lakes Parkway, then stay to the left and follow signs to Route 286 South.

ROUTE 50 / FAIRFAX
I-66 East from Route 608 (West Ox Road) to Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road)
Tuesday, Feb. 18: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Three left lanes will be closed for overhead gantry removal. Drivers should expect occasional 20-minute stoppages between midnight and 4 a.m.

Ramp from Route 50 West to I-66 West
Tuesday, Feb. 18: Midnight to 4 a.m.
The ramp will be closed for utility work. Traffic will be detoured farther west to Route 608 (West Ox Road) South, stay to the right for Route 50 East, then follow signs to I-66 West.

ROUTE 123 (CHAIN BRIDGE ROAD) / OAKTON – CITY OF FAIRFAX
I-66 East from Waples Mill Road to Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road)
Tuesday, Feb. 18: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Three lanes will be closed for overhead bridge demolition at Route 123 between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.

I-66 East at Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road)
I-66 East Collector-Distributor Lane at Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road)
Ramps from I-66 East to Route 123 North and South
Wednesday, Feb. 19, and Thursday, Feb. 20: Midnight to 4 a.m.
Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22: Midnight to 5 a.m.
The ramps from I-66 East to Route 123 North and South and the collector-distributor lane will be closed for overhead bridge demolition at Route 123. Traffic will be detoured farther east to Route 243 (Nutley Street) North, stay to the right for I-66 West, then follow signs to Route 123 North or South. Additionally, the right lane of I-66 East at Route 123 will be closed.

Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) North and South from I-66 to Eaton Place
Friday, Feb. 21: 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
One lane will be closed on northbound and southbound Route 123 for crews to implement a traffic pattern change at the ramp from I-66 East to Route 123 North.

ROUTE 243 (NUTLEY STREET) / VIENNA
No significant traffic impacts scheduled.

I-495 (CAPITAL BELTWAY) / DUNN LORING
Ramp from I-66 East to 495 Express Lanes South
Tuesday, Feb. 18: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The ramp from I-66 East to the 495 Express Lanes South will be closed for utility work. Drivers will be directed to take the exit for the I-495 South general-purpose lanes.

Commuter Alternatives
VDOT and the project team have invested in a broad range of programs to help commuters and others stay mobile and safe during construction. Learn more about carpool, vanpool, telework, and commuter bus alternatives.

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Overnight Ramp Closures for Closures planned at Route 234 Business, Route 50, and I-495

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Several overnight ramp closures are scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 18, for the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project. Details include:

Tuesday, Feb. 18
The ramp from I-66 West to Route 234 Business (Sudley Road) North

The ramp from westbound I-66 to northbound Route 234 Business (Sudley Road) will be closed from midnight to 4 a.m. Traffic will be detoured to Route 234 Business South, turn right at the third traffic signal onto Coverstone Drive, take the first right at Miramar Drive, turn right on Balls Ford Road, then turn left at the traffic signal on to northbound Route 234 Business.

The ramp from Route 50 West to I-66 West – The ramp from Route 50 West to I-66 West will be closed Tuesday, Feb. 18, from midnight to 4 a.m. Traffic will be detoured farther west to Route 608 (West Ox Road) South, stay to the right for Route 50 East, then follow signs to I-66 West.

The ramp from I-66 East to 495 Express Lanes South – The ramp from I-66 East to the southbound 495 Express Lanes will be closed Tuesday, Feb. 18, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Drivers will be directed to the I-495 South general-purpose lanes

All work is weather dependent and will be rescheduled if inclement conditions occur.

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Jenspiration

“Put a Little Love in Your Heart” and let’s see the good in Front Royal VA

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Teresa Henry, of the Downtown Main Street Market, created the Facebook group page “See the good in Front Royal VA” several months ago. It has quickly become a place to visit and post about the POSITIVE things in Front Royal VA. Please be sure to join the page if it is a fit for you!

Often these group pages begin to become overwhelmed with business posts about products and services. In an effort to help keep true to the vibe of “seeing the good in Front Royal VA”, Jen Avery began a personal story sharing incentive. The belief behind the incentive is that the more people think about the positive things that happen in their daily life and share, the more that positive thought process grows and becomes contagious to others!

Back in November, Rachael Mae Cyr shared her story about the wonderful service she received from an associate at our local Walmart named Ms. Helen. Rachael and Jen were unable to track Helen down to make a video at first. Watch the video attached as they attempt to bring the story to life and say THANK YOU! This video was posted in “See the good in Front Royal VA” group page. It received many comments from others in the community who love Ms. Helen and praised her positive attitude and service. Rachael and Jen DID finally connect with Helen and made a plan to present Helen with a little gift of gratitude.

Thank you to Teresa Henry for donating an original print of Skyline Drive as the gift for Ms. Helen.

Jen was able to meet up with Ms Helen on the job and give her the donated gift of gratitude she so much deserves.

Rachael’s original post: Shout out to miss Helen at Walmart grocery pickup! She is always so nice, but today she went the extra mile. I ordered gluten-free ranch (by mistake) she realizes what was in my bag was not gluten-free and went searching the store while the other girls loaded my car. She then came out with her arms full of different ranch dressing. I smiled and apologized and said I didn’t need gluten-free, I ordered it by mistake. We laughed and then as she walked away my 5-year-old son asked if she had any candy and I shouted playfully he’s upset you didn’t bring candy.

WELL, she ran back in for the third time and came back out to his window with a handful of chocolate. Again I apologized that I was just teasing, but she just smiled and said have a great rest of your day! She could have been aggravated with my order, or just given me the wrong thing, but she chose kindness 💜 she will also get a great review on Walmart.com.

😉 Special note: Thank you, Rachael Cyr, for sharing and inspiring! Let’s all take a minute to support Rachael too. Check out her blog: Not Your Average Momma www.facebook.com/noyoavmo. Rachael is also the Marketing Director for nonprofit Shenandoah Film Collaborative.

DO YOU HAVE A POSITIVE INSPIRATIONAL STORY TO SHARE? POST YOUR STORY FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A $25.00 GIFT CARD LIKE RACHAEL! #seethegoodinfrontroyalva

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VDOT: Warren County Traffic alert for February 17 – 21, 2020

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The following is a list of highway work that may affect traffic in the Staunton transportation district during the coming weeks. The Staunton District consists of 11 counties from the Alleghany Highlands to the northern Shenandoah Valley: Alleghany, Bath, Rockbridge, Highland, Augusta, Rockingham, Page, Shenandoah, Frederick, Clarke, and Warren.

Scheduled work is subject to change due to inclement weather and material supplies. Motorists are advised to watch for slow-moving tractors during mowing operations. When traveling through a work zone, be alert to periodic changes in traffic patterns and lane closures.

*NEW* or *UPDATE* indicates a new entry or a revised entry since last week’s report.

INTERSTATE 66
*NEW* Mile marker 14 to 13, westbound– Left shoulder closure for guardrail maintenance, Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

INTERSTATE 81
No lane closures reported.

PRIMARY ROADS
No lane closures reported.

SECONDARY ROADS
Route 613 (Bentonville Road) – Northbound right shoulder closures for utility work at various locations between Route 340 (Stonewall Jackson Highway) and Route 730 (Shangri-La Road), 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through February 27.

Various roads – Flagger traffic control for utility tree trimming. Monday through Friday during daylight hours.

Vegetation management may take place district wide on various routes. Motorists are reminded to use extreme caution when traveling through work zones.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at http://www.511Virginia.org.

The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile-friendly website at https://my.vdot.virginia.gov/. Agents are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

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King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Feb
18
Tue
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 18 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, February 4 – Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! After[...]
Feb
19
Wed
8:45 am Reaching Out Now Career Day @ Skyline Middle School
Reaching Out Now Career Day @ Skyline Middle School
Feb 19 @ 8:45 am – 2:30 pm
Reaching Out Now Career Day @ Skyline Middle School
Reaching Out Now (RON) together with Skyline Middle School to host its 1st annual Career Day, “Passport to Success.” Joining with area business leaders, Warren County Public School, as we come together to empower our[...]
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 19 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
2:00 pm Rotary Club Blood Drive @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Rotary Club Blood Drive @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Feb 19 @ 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Rotary Club Blood Drive @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
All are invited to the Rotary Club of the Shenandoah Valley (The Area ONE|ders) blood drive on Wednesday, February 19th, from 2pm-7pm, at the Front Royal United Methodist Church (1 W. Main St. Front Royal)[...]
Feb
20
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 20 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
Feb
21
Fri
9:00 am Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Luray-Page County Center
Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Luray-Page County Center
Feb 21 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Luray-Page County Center
Are you considering independent, corporate, or social entrepreneurship, or being groomed to take over a family business? Then, this workshop is for you! Topics to be covered: Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur The Importance of[...]
Feb
22
Sat
11:00 am Art Stars @ Samuels Public Library
Art Stars @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 22 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Art Stars @ Samuels Public Library
Art Stars is a special needs art discovery program. This program is for ages 8 and up. Registration begins January 22. Participants should have a caregiver or attendant present in the program.
1:00 pm Discover love, adopt at Petco @ Petco
Discover love, adopt at Petco @ Petco
Feb 22 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Discover love, adopt at Petco @ Petco
Stop by Petco located at 2580 S Pleasant Valley Rd. on Saturday, February 22, between 1 and 4 PM. Meet the amazing Petco adoption team from the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke, learn more about[...]
1:00 pm Moving Mindfully: Finding and ke... @ Ruby Yoga
Moving Mindfully: Finding and ke... @ Ruby Yoga
Feb 22 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Moving Mindfully: Finding and keeping your footing @ Ruby Yoga
Join Ruby Yoga and Deborah Romero of Optimal Posture LLC for a series of workshops on moving more mindfully through life using the principles of yoga and the Alexander Technique. Slated for Saturday, Jan. 25,[...]
2:00 pm Magic Show @ Samuels Public Library
Magic Show @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 22 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Magic Show @ Samuels Public Library
Local magician Kevin Owens will entertain the whole family with his amazing magic show, which always includes audience participation and lots of laughter!