Author archive: Norma Jean Shaw

Local News
Local service agencies holding volunteer fair to find those interested in giving back
March 15, 2018

FRONT ROYAL – Area residents who are interested in volunteering will be able to “shop” amongst local agencies and nonprofits that need volunteers during a first-ever upcoming Front Royal event.

The first of its kind “Volunteer Fair” is slated to be held Friday, April 20 , from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Community Center, located at 538 Villa Avenue in Front Royal, according to a press release from Dawn Graves, executive director of the United Way of Front Royal-Warren County.

The release states that local nonprofits and agencies are cooperatively sponsoring the event that will allow citizens to find the for which they would like to help give back to their community.

County Fire and Rescue Chief Richard Mabie noted, “There isn’t really a competition between fire and rescue and other agencies for volunteers because each program has a unique mission and requires different interests and skills.” Chamber of Commerce President Niki Foster agreed, saying that a coalition of agencies and programs has been assembled to address the need for connecting volunteers with service organizations in the area.

Area agencies and nonprofits may reserve a space at the upcoming Volunteer Fair by contacting:

Dawn Graves, Executive Director
United Way of Front Royal-Warren County
Phone: 540 635-3636 office or 540 931-2306 cell

The reservation fee of $25 will be refunded to agencies or nonprofits who exhibit.

Local News
Winchester attorney dead from apparent suicide
March 14, 2018

GREAT CACAPON, W VA – A Winchester attorney was found dead Tuesday evening in a vehicle in a remote area of Great Cacapon, W.Va., in Morgan County. Morgan County Sheriff K.C. Bohrer said Wednesday the man had been identified as Christian J. Griffin, 58.

Bohrer said sheriff’s deputies responded to investigate a call regarding a deceased male found in an SUV Tuesday night off W.Va. 9 under the bridge where the Cacapon River empties into the Potomac River.

Bohrer said Griffin died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The witness who discovered the body told police that he first had saw the vehicle Monday evening and then saw it again on Tuesday morning. It was only after taking a closer look at the vehicle that the man saw the body inside the SUV and alerted authorities, Bohrer said.

A Morgan County medical examiner investigated the scene and police have no reason to believe that a suspect is at large in connection with the death, Bohrer stated.

Griffin’s license to practice law was active and in good standing on Wednesday, according to the Virginia State Bar. Griffin’s license was issued on April 28, 1988.

Local News
UPDATE: 10 children transported to hospital following Monday Warren County school bus accident
March 12, 2018

This Warren County Public School bus was struck by a car  Monday morning as it traveled along Royal Avenue. /Photos by Mike McCool


This 2017 Subaru struck the bus after failing to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of 2nd Street and Royal Avenue.

FRONT ROYAL – A Linden man, Donald G. Muterspaugh, has been charged with reckless driving after failing to stop at a stop sign and striking a Warren County school bus Monday morning as it traveled along Royal Avenue.

Front Royal Police Department spokesperson Captain Crystal Cline said Muterspaugh, of 200 Freezeland Manor Rd., Linden, was traveling west on 2nd St. around 10:43 a.m. and did not stop at the stop sign at its intersection with Royal Avenue. The front end of Muterspaugh’s 2017 Subaru struck the rear driver’s side of the 2002 school bus, just forward of the wheelbase.

25 students were on the bus. Cline said 10 children were transported to the Emergency Department of Warren Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Sherry Pugh, of Linden, was the driver of the school bus; she was not injured. Muterspaugh refused to be examined by Warren County Fire and Rescue EMTs.

Local News
Boone’s legacy: Public memorializing K-9 with contributions to FRPD program
March 8, 2018

Sgt. Bryan Courtney and Boone / Courtesy photo

FRONT ROYAL – On Monday, March 5, the Front Royal Police Department lost a beloved, valuable member of its team when K-9 Boone, died two days past his 12th birthday, following a short illness.

Boone came to the FRPD in 2007, following his graduation from the U.S. Homeland Security and Border Protection Canine School. He was partnered with Sgt. Bryan Courtney, and the two became the department’s first K-9 narcotics team.

Since Boone’s death, area residents have reached out, expressing interest in making a donation in his memory. Sgt. Courtney said such tributes would be fitting and would help the station staff two K-9 officers.

All donations will be used towards the purchase of a new K-9, according to a press release from the Front Royal Police Foundation.

“In 2018, the board had already been especially focused on helping the department purchase a new K-9 along with training for the handler, a kennel and any other equipment needed for the K-9 as well as other equipment for the newly-built Front Royal Police Department,” the release states.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution in memory of K-9 Boone may mail a check, with “K-9 fund” designated, to:

Front Royal Police Department
Attn: Front Royal Police Foundation
23 E. Jackson St.
Front Royal, VA 22630

The board members of the foundation stated in the release, “Despite the loss of Boone, the Foundation will work tirelessly to ensure that the FRPD has the necessary funds to maintain a viable, effective K-9 program…the board members feel that the most meaningful way to honor the life and service of Boone is to ensure that K-9 officers are ongoing, contributing members of the Front Royal Police Department.”

Chief of Police Kahle Magalis said another K-9 was already scheduled to arrive in early summer, with the intention of letting Boone enjoy his well-earned retirement.


UPDATE: Deceased identified in Clear Brook Shooting incident
March 5, 2018

The identify of a woman shot to death in Clear Brook Saturday has been released. / File photo

CLEAR BROOK –  Though no other details in the incident have been released, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office has revealed the name of the deceased in a shooting incident that happened over the weekend in northern party of the county.

According to a media release from Captain Aleck Beeman, the deceased female has been identified  Shayna E. Lacy, 39, of Bunker Hill, WV.  An autopsy was performed on the body at the Medical Examiner’s Office in Prince William County on Monday.

Captain Beeman stated in a previous release that on Saturday evening, at about 9:49 p.m. deputies responded to the 200 block of Ruebuck Lane in Clear Brook for the report of shooting at a residence.

The home owner reported that one or two subjects were trying to break into his home through a bedroom window. He reported to deputies that the suspect broke out the bedroom window and reached inside of it, at which time  the home owner reported that he fired one round from his 12-gauge shotgun through the window.

Deputies arriving  on scene found a deceased female outside of the residence beneath the bedroom window.

This incident is still under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and ask for Investigator Beauvais.


Local News
Front Royal Police Department K9 Boone dies following brief illness
March 5, 2018

K9 Boone, died Monday following a short illness. He was the Front Royal Police Department’s first K9, and served with handler, Sergeant J.B. Courtney since 2007. / Courtesy photos.

FRONT ROYAL –The Front Royal Police Department announced Monday afternoon that K-9 Boone has died following a brief illness for which he was being treated.  His death on Monday came two days past his 12th birthday.

Boone and his handler, Sergeant J.B. Courtney, have been partners since June of 2007 when the K-9 program with the FRPD department began.

K-9 Boone graduated from the United States Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection Canine School in 2007. He was actively serving the department, having been deployed on over 1000 occasions to assist in detecting illegal narcotics in vehicles, residences and schools.

Those deployments provided support to the Front Royal Police Department, as well as the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force, the National Park Service and a host of other area agencies.

Sergeant J.B. Courtney and Boone logged over 400 documented seizures of illegal narcotics and paraphernalia and provided numerous K-9 demonstrations for area schools, civic organizations and had been a featured demonstrator at National Night Out over the years.

In a press release issued by the department, Police Chief Kahle Magalis stated, “Boone gave 100% to our department and the community he served for 11 years and will be missed by all. Please keep Sergeant J.B. Courtney and his family in your thoughts and prayers as they heal from his passing.”

Front Royal Police Foundation President Patti Baggarly said in an email Monday afternoon, “It is a very sad day for Front Royal Police Department and the community.  Boone has been with our family as a K9 officer since he got out of training.  Losing a K9 officer is as difficult as losing any other officer.

“Boone brought courage, dedication and loyalty to not only Sergeant Courtney but to all involved with the FRPD.  Our condolences to Sergeant Courtney and his family as well as all the men and women in blue.”


Boone and his handler, Sergeant J.B. Courtney.

Local News
Power restoration continues in Warren County following Winter Storm Riley
March 4, 2018

REC crews work to restore power after a powerful wind storm caused outages for thousands of customers. / Photo from REC Facebook page

WARREN COUNTY – Workers from utilities in Virginia and three other states  have traveled to the Shenandoah Valley to help with power restoration, following Winter Storm Riley that brought down utility lines in vast numbers.

Officials with both Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative say that crews are working around the clock to restore power.

REC vice president of engineering and operations, Ron Harris said the utility began feeling impact late Thursday. February had unusually large amount of rainfall, he said, which saturated the ground.  The soft ground, along with Thursday evening’s high winds caused broken poles, cross arms and conductors.  In some cases, he said, restored services were being taken down by falling trees.

By 8 a.m. Sunday over 16,000 members remained without power, and officials estimated that some restorations efforts would extend into the week.
About 1,000 separate outage events remain. according to an update on Rappahannock Electric’s website. Each represents anywhere from one outage to several hundred. Those outages are widespread among REC’s 22-county service territory, though most remain in the counties of Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Madison, Rappahannock, and Warren. Many of the outages require significant repairs to infrastructure.

As of 8:20 a.m. Sunday, about 251 members were without power in the SVEC service area. Officials indicated that crews would continue working throughout the day to restore power and hoped to have most power restored by Subday evening.

Local News
Gov. Northam declares State of Emergency as high winds bring power outages, dangerous travel
March 2, 2018

Town of Front Royal linemen work on power lines Friday afternoon at the intersection of 6th St. and Virginia Ave. / Photo by Roger Bianchini


UPDATED:  RICHMOND – Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency late Friday afternoon to address the effects of the severe weather impacting communities across the Commonwealth. The order is designed to help Virginia mitigate any damage caused by high winds and to streamline the process that the Commonwealth uses to provide assistance to communities impacted.

It will remain in force until further notice from the Governor.

Read the full text of the Executive Order here.


FRONT ROYAL – As a nor’easter sweeps up the east coast, residents from Virginia to Maine are experiencing strong gusts of wind up to 70-miles-per hour.  Some school systems and governments kept students and workers home, and officials have urged those who do not have to travel to simply stay put.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning until Saturday at 6 a.m. The region can expect high winds northwest 25 to 40 mph with gusts 55 to 65 mph in the valleys and 60 to 75 mph along the ridge tops. The strongest winds in the valleys are expected through Friday evening. Strong winds will continue through the night along the ridge tops.

Widespread power outages are occurring. Travel is dangerous, especially for high profile vehicles, and motorists need to be aware of rapidly changing road conditions due to the potential of downed trees and power lines. Pedestrians will face very hazardous conditions, and need to be aware of wind-borne projectiles.

People should avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches. If possible, remain in the lower levels of your homes during the windstorm, and avoid windows. If a portable generator is used, follow manufacturer`s instructions and do not use inside homes, garages or apartments.

In Front Royal and Warren County, electric power crews were busy Thursday evening and into Friday.

According to Front Royal Town Manager Joe Waltz, midmorning Friday, “We currently have crews working on numerous down trees along the public right of ways and dealing with numerous power outages caused by the wind. We are currently fully staffed along with a tree contractor assisting us with tree removal.”

County residents, who have electric service with either Rappahannock Electric Coop or Shenandoah Valley Electric Coop, have been facing outages during this windstorm as well. According to the REC outage website, “Crews restored service to several thousand members overnight, however trees are falling and creating outages faster than repairs can be made. Right-of-way contractors are assisting, and additional help has been requested from other cooperatives. Restoration times are not being provided at this time.”

At 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, about 37,000 REC customers were without power. To report an outage to REC call 1-800-552-3904. The company asks that customers not use email or social media to report outages.

Shenandoah Valley Electric had about 7,500 customers in the Shenandoah Valley without power Friday afternoon, though there were only about 40 in Warren County. SWEC customers can report an outage by calling 1-800-234-7832, by using the MYSVEC app or by visiting the outage center.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is advising motorists to be on alert as they travel. High winds are expected to continue in most areas through Saturday morning.

VDOT crews are working to clear trees and debris as quickly as possible, according to spokesperson Shannon Marshall.  She said, as a reminder, drivers who encounter an intersection with a non-working signal should treat it as a four-way stop.

Also, motorists are reminded to  move over–when safely possible–for emergency responders with blue, red and amber lights, including VDOT and utility crews.

Local News
Replacement Warren County decals arriving with April’s 2018 tax bill
March 2, 2018

Courtesy photo/ Virginia State Police

FRONT ROYAL – When Warren County residents receive their first-half 2018 tax bills next month, there will be a little something extra tucked inside the envelope. Taxpayers will find a shiny, new replacement County vehicle decal.

Warren County Administrator Doug Stanley said recently, at a regular Board of Supervisor’s meeting, that the reissue of decals was necessary after a December, 2017 memo from the Virginia State Police stating Virginia state inspection stickers will no longer be affixed to the bottom center of a vehicle’s windshield.

The move is because of state inspection stickers being relocated to the bottom left corner of the windshield (in front of the driver’s seat). The relocation stems from automobile manufacturers now offering crash avoidance technology in many of their vehicles, which uses the center of the windshield.

The Warren County vehicle decals will also be relocated to the bottom left corner of the windshield to the immediate right of the inspection sticker when viewed from inside the vehicle.

As vehicles are inspected throughout 2018, the Virginia inspection stickers will be relocated to the new location in front of the driver’s seat. Residents may ask the individual at the inspection station to place the County decal in its new location at the same time as the Virginia inspection sticker is placed.

A Virginia State Police Safety Division media release states that certified inspection stations began relocating inspection stickers on Jan. 1, 2018.   The new County decals must be placed in the new location, per Virginia code, by December 31, 2018.

Local News
Front Royal Rotary Club taking applications for 2018 Community Services Grant
February 28, 2018

FRONT ROYAL – The Front Royal Rotary Club is accepting applications for its 2018 Community Services Grant.  Front Royal and Warren County organizations whose activities promote and enhance the quality of life for citizens are invited to apply.

Applying organizations must be not-for-profit and benefit local citizens. The grant awarded may be up to $8,500.  The grant may be made to one organization or split between several, depending upon projects submitted.

Rotary Public Relations Spokeswoman Jennifer McDonald said in a media release that the Rotary Club prefers that the grant be used to start a “bricks and mortar” project, or for equipment, rather than used for general or operational expenses.  She said, however, no worthwhile or deserving project would be excluded from consideration.

Applications can be obtained by calling (540) 635-2182,  by writing to the Rotary Club at P.O. Box 85, Front Royal, VA 22630, by picking up a copy at the EDA offices at 400D Kendrick Lane in Front Royal or by sending an email request to

Application deadline is March 23, 2018.

Finalists will be asked to present their projects to the Rotary Club on May 4, 2018 before a decision on grant recipients is made.