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Bridge across Rockland Road railroad tracks coming shortly?

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Yea, maybe a bridge is a good idea – Photos/Roger Bianchini

Seemingly hidden in recent reports from Washington D.C., Richmond, and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County is news of $15.5 million in federal and state funding that will pay for a bridge across the railroad tracks on the county’s Rockland Road, sought by the county board of supervisors for two decades.

The funding came in through the back door, so to speak, since the grants were made directly to the Inland Port to both ease increasing traffic in and out of the port as well as, according to county executive Doug Stanley, answering the problem of trains consistently blocking traffic – including emergency vehicles – in the Rockland area north of the town of Front Royal.

No timetable has yet been set by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (VDOT) but a bridge across one of the two access roads to Rockland – the busier Fairground Road crossing proved impractical – will be welcomed by area residents who have been increasingly inconvenienced by crossings blocked by Norfolk Southern trains. The local ambulance and fire services also welcomed the news. VDOT is charged with building the bridge.


“The U.S. Department of Transportation’s ‘Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development’ (BUILD) grant award for the Inland Port is great news for the port, the county, and particularly residents of the Rockland area,” Stanley commented, adding, “More and longer trains have, from time to time, played havoc with blocking both the Fairground Road and Rockland Road crossings which are located north and south of the port entrance.”

Rockland Road carries about 750 vehicles a day. Blockages have been documented to last up to an hour, at times, resulting in significant delays, safety hazards, and cost to residents, business and industry. Also affected are school buses and fire and rescue response from the nearby North Warren Fire and Rescue Department which provides primary emergency service for the area.

“The closest detour route to avoid these delays is seven miles away and takes an additional 10-12 minutes of travel time that is especially critical during an emergency call,” Stanley said, acknowledging scores of complaints from residents as train traffic has significantly increased year to year.

Due to a sharp increase in business at the Inland port, an additional amount of state funding was added to the federal grant from the state’s Rail Enhancement Fund, according to Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine.

“… we are grateful for the broad support (these) grant applications received from members of our congressional delegation, Virginia’s governor, regional development authorities, and the business community around the Virginia Inland Port,” said Virginia Inland Port CEO and Executive Director John F. Reinhart in a recent release from Governor Ralph Northam’s office.

Said Stanley, “We would like to thank the Virginia Port Authority and VDOT for working with the county to prioritize this (bridge) project and we look forward to advancing it through the design and construction phases as quickly as possible.”

The county underscored its request for a solution to the traffic problems as late as 2016.

Virginia Inland Port in Warren County is a major trucking and shipping center for national and international business and has been operating about 30 years. It is a key to industrial and business expansion in the area.

It’s still a good idea…

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Front Royal ready for Fall tourists

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The Town of Front Royal has hired three employees to staff the downtown Visitors Center.

Thousands of tourists travel to the area every fall for leaf viewing. The increased number of Visitor Center staff will play a key role in bolstering the Town’s continued effort to welcome tourists and assist them with experiencing the many attractions along with enjoying the fall foliage.

The Visitors Center averages over 150 visitors daily and over 200 each day on the weekends. “Welcoming visitors and letting them know about all the area attractions, lodging, outdoor adventures, arts, and cultural programming, fine food and drink grow the economy,” said Mayor Chris Holloway. “Front Royal and Warren County are committed to increasing visitation beyond a day visit.”

Visitor Center staff are responsible for many customer experience activities, including being ambassadors, providing tourists with information that enhances their visit, and encouraging tourists to return to Front Royal.


Tourism is a major economic driver for Front Royal and Warren County and its hospitality businesses. Visit www.DiscoverFrontRoyal.com for the many things to do.

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Blue Ridge Wildlife Center Patient of the Week: Southern Flying Squirrel

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The most common rodent you never see:

Southern flying squirrels are quite common across Virginia, but since they’re nocturnal and much smaller than Eastern Gray Squirrels, people rarely see them and often have no idea they even exist!

Photos / Blue Ridge Wildlife Center

Unfortunately, cats are quite skilled at finding these nocturnal tree squirrels. Approximately 60% of our adult flying squirrel patients, including this one, come the Center as confirmed cat attack victims.

This patient is very lucky. He had minimal wounds and is doing well on pain medications and antibiotics.


In general, only about 30% of cat attacked patients survive to release. We have already received over 480 confirmed cat attack patients so far in 2021. We hope that this flyer will be in that minority!

Though feral cats are estimated to cause two thirds of cat-related wildlife deaths, the patients we see are almost always from owned cats when they bring animals to their owners, or when the finder interrupts a neighbor’s cat with an animal.

Please help our native wildlife by keeping cats indoors, or leashed/in an enclosed space when outside.

Cats cannot change their instincts, but as the species that domesticated them, it is our moral responsibility to do everything we can to keep cats safe and healthy, as well as protect the health of humans and wildlife from the dangers outdoor cats pose.

Despite the name, flying squirrels do not actually fly. They have a fold of skin between their front and back legs that allows them to glide between trees. Their long, flat tail steers them in flight like a rudder. Some can cover more than 150 feet in a single glide!


To donate to Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, click here.

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Community Events

Show your support for the Warren County High School Band with their annual Fruit Sale Fundraiser

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The Warren County High School Band has started our annual fruit sales, and we’re looking forward to another great year of sales!

We are offering 3 Whole and Half Box offerings of single types of fruit, and 2 mix box options for those who want variety. Here are the fruit options:

  • Navel Oranges, Hamlin Juice Oranges, Pink Grapefruit
    • Whole Boxes and Half Boxes: $40 for 40 lbs., or $30 for 20 lbs.
  • Mix Fruit Box 1
    • Navel Oranges/Grapefruit/Mandarin Oranges: 6 of Each, Total of 18 pieces of fruit – $30
  • Mix Fruit Box 2
    • Navel Oranges/Grapefruit/Apples: 6 of Each, Total of 18 pieces of fruit – $30

How to Pre-Order Fruit:
(PRE-ORDER Deadline: November 7th, 2021)

You may order online and pre-pay with a credit card or check. There is usually a $1 dollar fee for this, but it saves later on with convenience and for those looking to limit personal contact with others.


Second, you may pre-order with me or with any student in the band and then simply pay when you pick up the fruit. We will accept cash, check, and credit cards on site.

  1. Pre-Order with a WCHS Band Student.
  2. Pre-Order with me through email: ddingess@wcps.k12.va.us
  3. Pre-Order and pay online, and you may select a student to give credit to: order online

Pick up dates:
As of now, we do not have a firm date, but it will be a 1 day pick up sometime in the second week of December. We will email out to let customers know a week ahead of time the firm date. Our hours will be from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

We hope you hear from a student to pre-order your fruit, but if you do not, please contact me through email (ddingess@wcps.k12.va.us) with the heading “Fruit Order” and I will enter your order.

Thank you for supporting the Warren County High School Band program.

David Dingess
Director of Bands
Warren County High School

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Community Events

Reaching Out Now partners with Warren County and Skyline High Schools to host Senior Planning Night

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With the 2021-2022 school year in full swing, Reaching Out Now is partnering with Warren County and Skyline High Schools to host a Senior Planning Night! The event will be held at Warren County High School on November 18, 2021, from 5:30pm – 8:00pm, in the gymnasium and auditorium.

Senior Planning Night will cover important dates to guide senior year, decisions to make before graduation, financial planning, application processes, provide an opportunity to meet with college reps from around the state, and much more. Dinner will be provided! All Seniors and parents are invited and encouraged to attend. Interested Juniors may also attend to begin preparing for their Senior year.

Mr. Knesh, Principal of Warren County High School stated, “We look forward to sharing food and friendship while learning about navigating the college application process. We are also thrilled to give out two scholarships to seniors this evening to give them a head start towards their future college plans.” Mrs. Sperling, Principal of Skyline High School echoed his sentiments sharing “I am grateful for the partnership established between Reaching Out Now, Warren County High School, and Skyline High School. We are excited to jointly host a college planning night… where students and families can learn more about the process of planning for post-secondary education.”

All interested families, please register at: bit.ly/registerSeniorNight


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Community Events

Rotary Club of Front Royal announces registration for Doc Smith food baskets

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The Rotary Club of Front Royal in a partnership with the Department of Social Services is excited to announce the registration for Doc Smith food baskets and coats for kids for those in our community in need.

The Doc Smith program has been a long-standing program in Front Royal. It was originated by Edgar C. Smith, Chief of Police in 1916, who was most commonly referred to as Doc Smith. The program was named after him based on his continued service to the needy.

Requests for baskets can be found at Department of Social Services, First Baptist Church, online at frontroyalpres.org and various locations around town.

The baskets are free of charge and contain food for the holidays. Deadline for requests is November 12, 2021.


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Valley Health welcomes its first system-wide Chief Nursing Executive

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Theresa L. Trivette, DNP, RN, CENP, joined Valley Health last week as its first Chief Nursing Executive (CNE), assuming responsibility for leadership of all nursing functions across the organization, advancing patient experience efforts, and collaborating in quality and patient safety initiatives.

“We are excited to welcome Theresa to the Valley Health Executive Leadership Team,” said Mark Nantz, Valley Health President and CEO. “Her engagement on our system leadership team will be valuable as we make decisions that impact our staff, patients and the community we serve. Theresa has an encouraging, data-driven leadership style, proven ability to communicate and collaborate across interdisciplinary teams, and a genuine passion for ensuring safe, high-quality patient care that will be an asset as we focus on providing best-in-class patient experience in all of our inpatient and outpatient settings.”

Most recently, Trivette served as chief nursing officer for Ballad Health in the Kingsport, TN, market. She has more than 20 years of experience in nursing leadership, and has a proven record of improving quality of care and patient experience for both large and small health care organizations, including Advent Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health. She has extensive experience in quality improvement, and is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (CLSSBB), the highest level of proficiency for this collaborative method of process improvement and organizational change.

“I am honored to serve Valley Health in this new role as the chief nurse executive,” said Trivette. “I will work to assure consistent patient care practices and standards, and educate and mentor nursing staff and nursing leadership across our system. We will establish a vision and strategy together with our clinical and support colleagues to deliver exceptional patient experiences and outcomes. My immediate goal is to do everything possible to support the tireless efforts of the Valley Health care teams during this pandemic while creating a vision for the future as we continue to focus on clinical excellence.”


Valley Health Chief Nursing Executive Theresa L. Trivette – Courtesy Photo/Valley Health

Trivette earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the Medical University of South Carolina, a master’s degree in nursing administration from Gardner-Webb University, a bachelor’s degree in health care management and project management from the University of Maryland, and an associate’s degree in nursing from the College of Southern Maryland. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and holds the Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) credential from the American Organization of Nurse Leaders.

Trivette serves as senior examiner on the board of examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest recognition awarded to organizations for performance excellence. She holds collaborative faculty and advisory positions on several university and college of nursing program councils in Florida and Tennessee.

Trivette and her husband, Scott, look forward to making their new home in the region and discovering all the area has to offer.


Valley Health is a nonprofit health system serving a population of more than 500,000 in the Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the Eastern Panhandle and Potomac Highlands of West Virginia, and western Maryland. As a healthcare provider, employer, and community partner, Valley Health is committed to improving the health of the region. The system includes six hospitals, more than 60 medical practices and Urgent Care centers, outpatient rehabilitation and fitness, medical transport, long-term care, and home health. www.valleyhealthlink.com

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Oct
21
Thu
10:00 am Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie at Strokes of Creativity. Tickets: CLICK HERE Cost: $80 for 6 weeks Dates: Thursdays – Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 4 Time: 10 am[...]
1:00 pm Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 21 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
This class is for Grades 4th and 5th. Perfect for home schoolers. Recommended ages: 9 and 10 years old Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at[...]
Oct
23
Sat
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 23 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area.  During Fall Farm Days History Weekend, step back in time and see history come to life. Stroll through the Historic Area buildings, interact with our living historians and discover our links to historic[...]
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 23 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Blacksmith Shop in the Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and[...]
1:00 pm Paint Class for Kids Ages 8 and up @ Strokes of Creativity
Paint Class for Kids Ages 8 and up @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 23 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Paint Class for Kids Ages 8 and up @ Strokes of Creativity
This is a painting class for children 8 years old and up. Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at Strokes of Creativity. Date: Saturday, October 23,[...]
Oct
24
Sun
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky M... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 24 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: History of Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area.  During Fall Farm Days History Weekend, step back in time and see history come to life. Stroll through the Historic Area buildings, interact with our living historians and discover our links to historic[...]
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 24 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Blacksmith Shop in the Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and[...]
6:30 pm Benefit Concert for Front Royal ... @ Riverton Church
Benefit Concert for Front Royal ... @ Riverton Church
Oct 24 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Benefit Concert for Front Royal Police @ Riverton Church
Riverton Church is hosting a benefit concert featuring the Mr. Ron Dye (director) and the Riverton Church Symphonic Wind Orchestra as well as Yesterday Swing Orchestra. Free Admission: Offering taken to benefit the Front Royal[...]
Oct
25
Mon
11:00 am Art Class for K-1st @ Strokes of Creativity
Art Class for K-1st @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 25 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Art Class for K-1st @ Strokes of Creativity
This class is for Kindergarten and First Grade. Perfect for home schoolers. Recommended ages: Ages 5 and 6 Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at Strokes[...]
1:00 pm Art Class for 2nd & 3rd @ Strokes of Creativity
Art Class for 2nd & 3rd @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 25 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Art Class for 2nd & 3rd @ Strokes of Creativity
This class is for Grades 2nd and 3rd. Perfect for home schoolers. Recommended ages: 7 and 8 years old Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at[...]