The town of Boyce led the charge Monday in offering no-cost COVID-19 vaccinations to all comers, and all did come! Some 200 more than the entire population, approximately 600, of the Northern Shenandoah Valley township rolled up their sleeves in a five-hour period starting at 8 a.m. – including ME!
The day began with a two-mile traffic backup on Route 340, turning the township into a parking zone for up to a mile around Boyce Volunteer Fire Department’s Social Hall where 10 Lord Fairfax Health District staffers were aligned to handle the unanticipated large, but jocular crowd. Apart from a preponderance of locals, the lineup across and around the fire hall parking lot included people like myself who’d made the trip from adjoining counties for a jab in the upper arm.
At 8 a.m. I joined an already lengthy queue, standing in the 34-degree weather with thoughts of leaving because of the cold but staying for the four hours it took to reach the warm interior of the roomy and warm social hall. That part of it was easy. In groups of 10, the 415 people ahead of me, and another approximately 400 behind, registered at the door, lined up for another 20 minutes, enjoying about five minutes with a nurse, a shot in the upper arm, and a date to return 28 days hence for another shot of the Moderna vaccine.
“Even at the weekly bingo,” one local man in line commented, “there has never been so many elderly people (75 and over was the rule for 1b eligibility) congregated in our town’s history!”
My new friend in line, George Wiltshire of Boyce’s Valley View Farm, helped us both out by doing a hot coffee run while I saved his space in line. We swapped stories, culminating in his confiding to two marriages (me, “too”, I said) and his roots going back to 1612 when his forebears arrived from England. Interesting, particularly to this U.K. immigrant who arrived in America in 1961. I believe our experience was shared in a number of new friendships formed in the queue. And George and I promised to stay in touch.
We all were in Plan 1b, the over 75s, with precedence given to law enforcement, education staff, food and agriculture workers, and other essential work groups. Staff reported that non-publicized, law enforcement and others received their shots last Friday in Front Royal and other locations. Inquiries left over the weekend with Warren Memorial Hospital were unanswered, but the Front Royal hospital is expected to provide shots this week.
The Lord Fairfax Health District serves residents in the City of Winchester and Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren Counties.
Wildcats secure 1st win!
The Warren County boys varsity basketball team secured their first win of the season against Central (Woodstock) high school this past Tuesday. The game ended with a very close final score of 44-42. After such an intimidating season of losses for WC, this game was refreshing and may be just what they need to turn this season around.
Neither of the varsity teams had a lead greater than 3 points at the start of any quarter of the intense game. The teams were tied 42-42 with only 2 minutes left of the game, until Logan DeHaven, a senior on Warren County’s team, scored 2 points with only 6 seconds left on the clock. When asked about how it felt to score the game-winning shot, DeHaven said that “it was an exciting experience and a relief to win. I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with any other teammates, they really make the whole experience memorable.”
The JV teams from Central and Warren County also played each other on Tuesday prior to the varsity game. The Wildcats won with a score of 44-38 and demonstrated several talented shooters such as Nicholas Foltz, who scored 4 three-pointers.
If you are unable to attend Warren County High School basketball games due to limited spectators, you can purchase tickets to the live-streamed games on sportscopelive.com. The live-streams are hosted by Wildcats Live! and feature great video quality, as well as exciting commentary.
Virginia enacts first-in-the-nation permanent COVID-19 workplace safety and health standards amid pandemic
Virginia’s permanent COVID-19 workplace safety and health rules take effect January 27, 2021, after Governor Northam approved the standard adopted by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Safety and Health Codes Board last week. The standards mandate appropriate personal protective equipment, sanitation, social distancing, infectious disease preparedness, and response plans, record keeping, training, and hazard communications in workplaces across the Commonwealth.
“While the end of this pandemic is finally in sight, the virus is still spreading, including several highly contagious variants, and now is not the time to let up on preventative measures,” said Governor Northam. “I am grateful to the many businesses and organizations who have been with us throughout this process and continue to take the necessary steps to operate safely. These standards will reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and protect the health and safety of Virginia workers, consumers, and communities as we move our Commonwealth forward together.”
In the absence of a federal standard, Virginia took action last year to create the nation’s first emergency temporary workplace safety and health requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The permanent standards align closely with the emergency temporary rules adopted in July and are intended to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and protect Virginia workers. The temporary standards were effective for six months and the Board worked to make them permanent through the process defined in state law. These workplace safety requirements will remain effective throughout the pandemic. The Board will reconvene within 14 days of the expiration of Governor Northam’s COVID-19 emergency declaration to determine whether there is a continued need for the standard.
“No Virginia worker should have to weigh their family’s economic security against their physical safety,” said Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy. “These permanent standards provide workers with essential recourse if faced with this untenable decision while giving businesses a clear understanding of the steps they must take to maintain a safe working environment.”
In addition to requiring all public-facing employees to wear masks, the standards ensure ready access to hand sanitizer and the regular cleaning of common workspaces. Employers must train employees on COVID-19 safety and develop infectious disease and preparedness response plans. The new permanent regulations include guidelines for returning to work and communicating about employees who test positive and potential exposures. The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry will enforce the permanent standard.
After receiving a complaint, the Department works with the employer to be compliant with no further investigation. If serious concerns arise in the fact-finding interviews or the Department receives multiple complaints, a formal investigation will be launched. The Department has received over 13,000 complaints around workplace safety due to COVID-19, with 100 needing full investigation due to serious concerns and 27 employers being cited.
“These scientifically based standards will help keep Virginia’s workers and their families safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Ray Davenport. “We look forward to working together with the business and labor communities to achieve compliance and safe workplaces across the Commonwealth.”
At least six other states have adopted comprehensive COVID-19 workplace safety standards in the months since Virginia’s first-in-the-nation emergency temporary standard went into effect. On January 21, President Biden signed an executive order directing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue guidance for employers on keeping workers safe and preventing COVID-19 exposure by March 15.
The final permanent standard can be found here. Infectious disease preparedness and response plan templates and training guides are available at doli.virginia.gov. Workers who feel unsafe in their workplace can file a formal complaint with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration here.
Turnmeyer Galleries moves to Main Street
Turnmeyer Galleries, a unique art gallery/gift shop, who opened on South Street in October 2019, is now part of the merchants on Main Street in Front Royal, Virginia.
The retail establishment, providing local art and photography pieces, as well as boutique gift items from top brands like Simply Southern apparel, Moonglow jewelry, Nora Fleming homeware and more, opened the doors on the new location January 1, 2021.
Why Main Street, why now? Owners Scott and Pam Turnmeyer say “It was the right time. Our first location was to test the waters of the tourists along South Street heading to the National Park. We didn’t expect the largest majority of our clientele to be local. Given that, we felt that a move to a bigger location that offered more space for us to bring in unique items for our customers while offering a better parking arrangement was due.”
Turnmeyer Galleries moved into what was Jean’s Jewelers, who moved to the Martin Shopping Center in 2020. Their address is 407b East Main Street and they are located directly across from the Tourism Center and Gazebo parking area.
They are open 6 days a week, being closed on Tuesdays. Visit their Facebook page or website for their hours.
February is footwear month for Froggy’s Closet
February is footwear month for Froggy’s Closet, a nonprofit dedicated to helping foster children, children in need and at risk.
The third annual fundraiser started when a foster child who appreciated all the items received but took the shoes out of the bag, said “Why are the bottom of my shoes always dirty?”
A new pair of shoes can be a feeling of love, pride, and acceptance, like a new beginning. Froggy’s wants all children to have that feeling. This fundraiser helps collect enough new shoes to fill all requests for one full year.
All types of shoes and sizes are accepted with an ongoing need for sneakers and tennis shoes.
Froggy’s Closet has partnered with several business in the community for drop-off locations, including the following:
- Berryville Grille | 9 E Main St. Berryville, VA
- Escutcheon Brewery | 142 W Commercial St.
- Kimberly’s | 135 N Braddock St.
- Scarpa Alta | 28 W Piccadilly St.
- Winchester Country Club | 1300 Senseny Rd.
- Winchester Moose Lodge | 215 E. Cork St.
- Wilkins Shoe Center | 7 S Loudoun Street Mall
In addition, shoe donations are accepted at Froggy’s Closet, 32 E. Piccadilly St., Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monetary donations are accepted by cash, check, or online at frog-kids.org.
Founded in 2009, Families Reaching Out Group (FROG), a Winchester, Virginia based nonprofit is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children who have been victims of abuse, neglect, or are at risk. Children and families in Winchester, and Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah, and Warren counties are served.
Looking to send a little Valentine’s Day cheer?
Warren County Parks and Recreation Department is looking for several young sweethearts to help make Valentine’s cards that will be delivered to some of the elderly in our community. We will provide all the necessary supplies; we just need your help to make their Valentine’s Day a little bit brighter!
If you are interested, stop by the Warren County Community Center and pick up the “Valentine’s Card Goodie Bag” from Tuesday, January 26, 2021, through Monday, February 8, 2021. Cards will need to be returned to the Warren County Community Center by Thursday, February 11, 2021.
Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Warren County Community Center, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (evening and weekend hours may vary), at (540) 635-1021 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winchester man faces multiple charges following possible OD death at Hampton Inn
On Saturday, January 23, 2021, Front Royal Police Department (FRPD) and Warren County EMS personnel responded to the Hampton Inn, located at 9800 Winchester Road, for a report of an unresponsive 38-year-old female. The 911 caller was identified as the female’s husband, Nathaniel E. Green, III, 42, of Winchester, who remained on scene. Despite the best efforts of FRPD Units and EMS Personnel, the female was pronounced deceased on scene.
Detectives located three (3) handguns, multiple rounds of ammunition for the weapons, identifications cards belonging to Mr. Green, a pink powder and two capsules with white powder, both of which are suspected narcotics, located in the same proximity. A criminal history check revealed that Green is a convicted felon and is prohibited from possessing firearms.
Nathaniel Green was subsequently arrested without incident and transported to Rappahannock Shenandoah Warren (RSW) Regional Jail, where he went before a magistrate and is currently being held without bond. Green was charged with § 18.2- 308.2 Felon in Possession of a Firearm and § 18.2-250 Possession of a Controlled Substance. A court date for these offenses is set for March 2, 2021, at 10:00 A.M., in Warren County General District Court. Further details regarding this matter cannot be released at this time due to the pending nature of the investigation.
This investigation is ongoing and anyone with any further information is asked to contact Front Royal Police Detective L.J. Waller at (540) 636-2208 or by email at email@example.com.