Author archive: Norma Jean Shaw

Local News
Town man arrested, facing charges of attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer
February 24, 2018
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Warren County, VA – A Front Royal man was arrested Friday afternoon following an incident in which officials say he allegedly attempted to hit a Warren County deputy while fleeing police.  Michael Lewis, 40, of 144 Chester Street, is facing a number of charges.

A media release from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office states that on Friday, Feb. 23, at about 2:30 p.m. deputies responded to the 2000 Block of John Marshall Highway for a vehicle accident.

The caller advised that a male suspect was running around in a suspicious manner and appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.

Upon arriving on scene, as the deputies approached the vehicles, the suspect attempted to flee in his vehicle. The deputies verbally ordered Lewis to stop, but he disobeyed their command. As the male pulled away, the release states that “he accelerated and swerved in an attempt to hit one of the deputies.”

The vehicle then continued west on John Marshall Highway with deputies in pursuit.  The Front Royal Police Department assisted with the deployment of spike strips as the vehicle entered Front Royal town limits. Lewis’ vehicle was stopped just east of Richmond Road on John Marshall Hwy.

The suspect resisted arrest, but was taken into custody without injury. He appeared to be under the influence of narcotics, according the written statement, and was transported to Warren Memorial Hospital for medical attention.

Pending charges include:  Attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer, felony eluding, reckless driving, resisting arrest and driving under the influence of drugs.

The suspect remained hospitalized late Friday evening.

Local News
Front Royal Presbyterian welcomes new pastor
February 23, 2018
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Carrie Evans is the new pastor at Front Royal Presbyterian Church in Front Royal. /Courtesy photo.

FRONT ROYAL – Front Royal Presbyterian Church has named its new pastor, Rev. Carrie B. Evans. She is a graduate of James Madison University and Union Theological Seminary and has served churches in Richmond, Charlotte, NC, Warrenton and Winchester. Most recently she was the executive director at Stafford Junction, a faith based nonprofit that serves at risk youth in Stafford, VA.

Rev. Evans comes to Front Royal with a vast amount of experience and a passion for teaching the Word and engaging in mission work in the Warren County area and beyond, according to a media release from the FRPC.

Front Royal Presbyterian Church has previously been served by Dr. Tom Rhyne for 25 years. Following his 2015 the church went through a time of transition under the leadership of interim pastor Rev. Ed Dawkins.

Rev. Evans will preach her first sermon on February 25, 2018 at the 11:00 service.

The church is located at 115 Luray Ave. in Front Royal.

Local News
Egger dresses down Board of Supervisors over lack of oversight on EDA board appointments and more
February 21, 2018
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FRONT ROYAL – At Tuesday evening’s Warren County Board of Supervisor’s meeting there were no controversial items on the agenda, but it became a meeting that many may not soon forget.  Town resident Mark Egger, father of former Front Royal Town Councilwoman Bébhinn C. Egger, addressed the panel on a couple of important topics that troubled him, regarding the investigation of the alleged break-in at the EDA office, and the manner in which the supervisors have appointed EDA board members in the past.

 

Local Government
Citizen to Supervisors: EDA violated FOIA law, ‘time to sweep out the dirt’
February 21, 2018
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Mark Egger addresses the Warren County Board of Supervisors Tuesday evening. He told the panel that the EDA violated Virginia FOIA law, according to a recent decision by the Virginia FOIA Council. He also encouraged the panel to “clean house” by removing the entire board. / Photos by Norma Jean Shaw

FRONT ROYAL – In an otherwise routine Warren County Board of Supervisor’s meeting Tuesday evening, Front Royal resident Mark Egger took to the podium during the public presentations portion of the agenda to call out the group for its lack of oversight regarding the Economic Development Authority.

Mr. Egger explained to the board that on May 18, 2017, a break-in at the EDA offices on Kendrick Lane was reported to the Front Royal Police Department, and a subsequent break-in was reported at the residence of EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald. Egger stated that “numerous facts point to the conclusion that both breaks-ins were staged. Reputable people in the community have come to this conclusion.”

He then went on to relay that on June, 23, 2017, the EDA Board illegally went into closed session to “discuss the investigation of the Front Royal Police Department into the break-in at the EDA offices.”

According to an advisory opinion from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Council, the closed meeting was a violation of the Virginia FOIA law. Egger then read a passage from the decision, which he recently received via mail, as well as email:

This topic – “the investigation regarding the EDA office building” – does not appear to fall within any of the exemptions cited for the June 23, 2017, closed meeting. More broadly, there does not appear to be any exemption within FOIA that would allow closed meetings to be held to discuss police investigations generally, although police investigations might come up as matters discussed in relation to other topics that are exempt.5 Given that the letter indicates that the investigation was discussed during the closed meeting,6 that the topic of the investigation was not identified as a subject in the motion to convene the closed meeting, and that there is no general exemption for the discussion of police investigations, it would appear that this discussion was not proper for a closed meeting.

The letter that the advisory opinion of the Virginia FOIA Council refers to is a July 17, 2017 letter from the EDA board, signed by EDA Chairman Greg Drescher, to Acting Police Chief Bruce Hite.

The letter reads: “The Board of Directors of the Economic Development Authority discussed during closed session the investigation regarding the EDA office building that is currently being conducted by the Front Royal Police Department. The EDA hired a Private Investigator to assist in the investigation and we are now requesting that the Front Royal Police Department put the investigation on inactive status.”

Mr. Egger proceeded to inform the board the panel of supervisors that in addition to the illegal closed meeting, the EDA board had obstructed justice, a violation of Virginia Code 18.2-460, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The illegal closed meetings and obstruction of a police investigation constitute a “profound lack of judgment on the part of the EDA Board. And I haven’t even mentioned the numerous shady deals they’ve made in recent years,” Egger went on to say.

Before Mr. Egger was able to finish his presentation, Chairman Tony Carter interrupted, asking the father of former Front Royal Town Councilwoman Bébhinn Egger, if he was “coming to some sort of conclusion”.

Egger indicated that he was about a minute from finishing, urging the supervisors to do the following:

“First, clean house. You need to remove the entire EDA Board and appoint new Board members.

“Second, interview candidates for EDA Board positions. For years, Egger said, new members are appointed by the BOS without even being interviewed.

“Third, candidates should be interviewed in an open meeting. The people who elected you would like to know the reasoning behind appointing and reappointing a person who owes tens of thousands of dollars in back taxes to the County. The people who elected you would like to know how and why you decide to appoint a person to the EDA Board. The people who elected you would like to know why appointments become, in practice, lifetime appointments.”

As he closed out his presentation, Egger implored the board to “do something….It’s time to shine a light under the rock. It’s time to lift up the rug and sweep out the dirt.”

County Attorney Dan Whitten, who also represents the EDA in legal matters, and County Administrator Douglas Stanley, listen intently to Mark Egger as he reads from a decision by the Virginia Freedom of Information Act Council that declared the EDA in violation of FOIA State code.

Local News
Race for Education draws career counselor with a heart for mentoring students
February 15, 2018
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FRONT ROYAL – Sergeant Career Counselor Michael Pizzuto, a Sergeant in the U.S. Army goes above and beyond when it comes to working with the high school students in the area.  He can often be seen in the halls of both Warren County  high schools , as well as high schools in surrounding counties.

In fact, because of the friendships he has formed with area students, Pizzuto has signed up for the 11th Annual Edward Jones Race for Education.

The event, which supports two programs for Warren County high school students, will be held Saturday, March 10.

Half of the proceeds go to the First Dollar Scholarship, which helps students who want to dual enroll in college or workforce development classes.

The other half of the proceeds are divided between the two high school Cross Country teams, which provide funds for attending travel competitions, awards ceremonies and the purchase of uniforms.

Royal Examiner talked to Sergeant Pizutto  about the upcoming event:

Register for the race here.

Local News
Local Korean War veteran attends opening ceremony of Winter Olympics
February 15, 2018
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PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA –
Front Royal resident Jack Keep, a Korean War veteran, found it fortuitous that he would be in Seoul, South Korea during the opening of the 2018 Winter Olympics this month, so he did what most of us would do:  he scheduled a side-trip to the mountaintop village.

Keep, who enlisted in the U.S. Navy at 17, was assigned to Task Force 77 as a petty officer, aboard a ship patrolling the North Korean coast.  He talked to the Royal Examiner about what it was like to return to South Korea, about seeing the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

 

Local News
Edward Jones Race for Education to benefit Warren County High School students
February 7, 2018
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Norma Jean Shaw interview with Bret Hrbek

FRONT ROYAL – Registration for the 11th Annual Edward Jones Race for Education is underway—and organizer Bret Hrbek hopes runners, walkers and the community steps up to participate in the event, which supports two great programs for Warren County high school students.

Half of the proceeds go to the First Dollar Scholarship, which helps students who want to dual enroll in college or workforce development classes. The other half of the proceeds are divided between the two high school Cross Country teams, which allow them to attend travel competitions hold awards ceremonies and purchase uniforms.

Royal Examiner talked to Bret Hrbek about the annual event:

Register for the race here.

Local News
Man stabbed in Front Royal, FRPD arrests suspect
February 6, 2018
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Dennis Wayne Deaton / Courtesy photo.

FRONT ROYAL – A stabbing incident that occurred in town Tuesday afternoon has landed one man behind bars and another hospitalized, in critical condition.

Front Royal Police were called to 613 S. Royal Avenue around 3 p.m. Tuesday for a report of a man suffering from a stabbing.  Arriving officers located Roger Allen Cameron, Jr., suffering from a stab wound to the chest.

Mr. Cameron was transported to Warren Memorial Hospital, according to a media release from FRPD Chief Kahle Magalis.  The victim was listed in critical condition, with non-life-threatening injuries.

Dennis Wayne Deaton, a Front Royal resident, was arrested as a suspect in the incident and faces charges of Malicious Wounding and Unlawfully stabbing another person in commission of a felony. Deaton is being held without bond at Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact Sgt. Jason Winner of the Criminal Investigations Division at 540-636-2208.

Local News
Driver injured after rear-ending stopped Frederick County school bus, students safe
February 3, 2018
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A pickup truck driver crashed into the back of a stopped Frederick County school bus Friday afternoon. While no students were injured, the truck driver did sustain injuries and was airlifted to Inova Fairfax Hospital. Photos / Julia Souter

ARMEL – A pickup truck driver was injured Friday afternoon after rear-ending the back of a stopped Frederick County, VA school bus.  The bus was stopped at 3343 Front Royal Pike (U.S. 522) around 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Frederick County officials say that while none of the three children on the bus nor the bus driver were hurt, the truck’s driver was injured, and had to be extricated from the truck.

The driver, whose name was not available, sustained leg injuries, and was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, VA, according to a communications officer at the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

In Virginia, according to Code 46.2-844, any driver who passes a stopped school bus or fails to stop behind a stopped bus is subject to a civil fine of $250.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local News
Warren County company offers array of training to law enforcement, communities and individuals
January 29, 2018
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FRONT ROYAL  – Warren County is a place Northern Virginia police officer Mark Butler has called home for about two decades.  It’s where he and his wife raised his now-grown sons ( both of whom are active-duty U.S. military) and put down roots.  It is also where Butler decided to base his company, 3 D Professional Training & Consulting.

Butler is likely a familiar face, as he served as a youth soccer and football coach in the community in years past,  and also as an assistant coach at Warren County High School.  Though his coaching days are behind him now, he talked with Royal Examiner about how he’s keeping busy these days, training law enforcement and consulting with companies regarding such topics as telephone fraud, fraudulent documents and human trafficking.