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Congressman Cline announces 2020 Congressional Art Competition

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Congressman Ben Cline (VA-06) announced the 2020 Congressional Art Competition today. The Congressional Art Competition is sponsored by the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and is an opportunity to recognize and encourage the artistic talent in the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia.

The Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school students in the District. The winning artwork will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol alongside other pieces from across the country and will also be featured on House.gov’s Congressional Art Competition page.

While schools remain closed due to the coronavirus, the Congressional Art Competition will continue as planned. This competition will allow students to remain engaged and hone their skills.

“All students from Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District are encouraged to participate in this year’s art competition,” Cline said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase artistic ability and for the selected winner to have their art on display for thousands of Capitol visitors throughout the next year. I am pleased that the competition will continue on as planned, and that the event has moved to electronic submissions to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved.”

Artwork must be two-dimensional. Each framed artwork can be no larger than 26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches deep. If your artwork is selected as the winning piece, it must arrive in Washington, DC, framed. Even when framed, it must still measure no larger than the above maximum dimensions. No framed piece should weigh more than 15 pounds.

Accepted mediums for the two-dimensional artwork are as follows:

  • Paintings: oil, acrylics, watercolor, etc.
  • Drawings: colored pencil, pencil, ink, marker, pastels, charcoal (It is recommended that charcoal and pastel drawings be fixed.)
  • Collages: must be two-dimensional
  • Prints: lithographs, silkscreen, block prints
  • Mixed Media: use of more than two mediums such as pencil, ink, watercolor, etc.
  • Computer-generated art
  • Photographs

Each entry must be original in concept, design, and execution and may not violate U.S. copyright laws. Any entry that has been copied from an existing photo or image (including a painting, graphic, or advertisement) that was created by someone other than the student is a violation of the competition rules and will not be accepted. For more information on copyright laws, we recommend you visit the Scholastic website.

Due to COVID-19, submissions will only be accepted electronically. Students should submit photographs of their entry and the Student Release Form to ArtCompetitionVA06@mail.house.gov.

The Student Release Form can be found here.

Entries are due by May 1, 2020. A winner will be announced May 7. For more information, contact District Director Debbie Garrett at (540) 885-3861 or Staff Assistant Tyler Hook at (202) 225-5431.


Congressman Ben Cline represents the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia. He previously was an attorney in private practice and served both as an assistant prosecutor and Member of the Virginia House of Delegates. Cline and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Botetourt County with their two children.

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Virtual children activities by Samuels Public Library for the month of June

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These are the virtual programs taking place in the Youth Services Department of Samuels Public Library from June 1 – 15.  Programs can be viewed from the Samuels Library Facebook page or YouTube channel.  More information about Samuels Library and the programs and services available can be found at www.samuelslibrary.net or by calling (540) 635-3153.

Children, teens, and adults are challenged to Dig Deeper:  Read, Investigate, Discover.  Samuels Library’s Summer Reading Clubs have begun, and readers are invited to register for Summer Reading Club, log their books read, complete challenges, attend virtual programs, and collect badges online.  When the library re-opens, prizes will be available for pick up.


Monday, June 1

  • 2:00 Virtual Symphony of Sound.  This series of programs explores many sounds, including sounds found in nature and the science of sound as well as musical instruments. Children will be able to explore many kinds of sounds and reflect creatively on them as well as create their own sounds via crafts.  Our program this week is How Do Sounds and Music Make You Feel?  This highly-interactive program will give children the chance to learn about the psychological link between sounds and feelings. A lot of reflection and feedback will be encouraged, and kids will have the opportunity to express how music makes them feel in interactive activities that invite creative thinking.  Intended for ages 6 – 11.  Watch on the Samuels Library Facebook Page or YouTube Channel.

Tuesday, June 2

  • 2:00 Virtual Science Scouts.  Explore the mysteries of the world through science!  In this weekly program, we will discuss and perform hands-on investigations of STEM-related topics.  This week, we’ll discover what sinks and what floats.  Intended for ages 6-11.  Watch on the Samuels Library Facebook Page or YouTube Channel.

Wednesday, June 3

  • 7:00 Goodnight, Sweetheart!  Virtual Pajama Story Time.  It’s time for bed!  Join Miss Pattie for some sweet bedtime stories.  Watch on the Samuels Library Facebook Page or YouTube Channel.

Thursday, June 4

  • 10:00 Virtual Story Time.  Join Miss Pattie for some favorite stories about the garden!  Watch on the Samuels Library Facebook Page or YouTube Channel.

Friday, June 5

  • 11:00 The Sounds and Movements of Summer.  Join Karen Erikkson-Lee from the Northern Virginia Academy for some singing, dancing, and stories inspired by the sights and sounds of summer. Appropriate for preschool through 1st grade.  This program can be viewed on the Samuels Library Facebook page or YouTube channel.
  • 2:00 The Story of Dance.  Join Karen Erikkson-Lee of the Northern Virginia Academy of Dance for The Story of Dance.  Jazz, ballet, modern, and character steps will be taught alongside music and stories that will inspire the beginner through the advanced dancer!  Learn specific steps in different genres of dance, hear stories about dancers and composers, choreographers, and ballets. This class will be fun and informative!  For children of all ages.  This program can be viewed on the Samuels Library Facebook page or YouTube channel.

Saturday, June 6

  • 11:00 Virtual Books and Barks.  Join Kona and her owner Sharon for a reverse Books and Barks session.  Enjoy a good book with a very friendly dog!  Children can watch on the Samuels Library Facebook page or YouTube channel.

Monday, June 8

  • 11:00 Virtual Painting with Carmine.  Join Carmine the dog and his owner Susan to see how he paints!  Children can watch on the Samuels Library Facebook page or YouTube channel.

Tuesday, June 9

  • 2:00 Virtual Science Scouts.  Explore the mysteries of the world through science!  In this weekly program, we will discuss and perform hands-on investigations of STEM-related topics.  This week, our theme is Rainbow Water.  How can we make water be different colors?  Watch and find out!  Intended for ages 6-11.  Watch on the Samuels Library Facebook Page or YouTube Channel.

Wednesday, June 10

  • 7:00 Goodnight, Sweetheart!  Virtual Pajama Story Time.  It’s time for bed!  Join Miss Pattie for some sweet bedtime stories.  Watch on the Samuels Library Facebook Page or YouTube Channel.

Thursday, June 11

  • 10:00 Virtual Story Time.  Happy Birthday!  Join Miss Pattie for some favorite stories about everyone’s special day!  Watch on the Samuels Library Facebook Page or YouTube Channel.

Friday, June 12

  • 11:00 The Sounds and Movements of Summer.  Join Karen Erikkson-Lee from the Northern Virginia Academy for some singing, dancing, and stories inspired by the sights and sounds of summer. Appropriate for preschool through 1st grade.  This program can be viewed on the Samuels Library Facebook page or YouTube channel.
  • 2:00 The Story of Dance.  Join Karen Erikkson-Lee of the Northern Virginia Academy of Dance for The Story of Dance.  Jazz, ballet, modern, and character steps will be taught alongside music and stories that will inspire the beginner through the advanced dancer!  Learn specific steps in different genres of dance, hear stories about dancers and composers, choreographers, and ballets. This class will be fun and informative!  For children of all ages.  This program can be viewed on the Samuels Library Facebook page or YouTube channel.

Monday, June 15

  • 2:00 Virtual Symphony of Sound.  This series of programs explores many sounds, including sounds found in nature and the science of sound as well as musical instruments. Children will be able to explore many kinds of sounds and reflect creatively on them as well as create their own sounds via crafts.  Our program this week will be Instruments of the Orchestra: Say Hello to the Strings Family!  In this first installment of the “Instruments of the Orchestra” series, we will be exploring the strings family. Children will be able to learn fun facts about the orchestra, listen to the sounds of different instruments and reflect on them, and even make their own instrument through a DIY craft!  Intended for ages 6 – 11.  Watch on the Samuels Library Facebook Page or YouTube Channel.
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2020 Virtual Virginia Women Veterans Summit will be held June 17-19

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Women veterans from across the Commonwealth and throughout the nation are invited to participate in the 2020 Virginia Women Veterans Virtual Summit, Wednesday, June 17 through Friday, June 19.  Because of the COVID-19 emergency, the annual event was shifted to a virtual platform from a live event as previously held in past years.

Hosted by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) in collaboration with the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) and other partners, the theme of this seventh annual Summit is Empowered: Collaborating and Creating Champions of Change.

The virtual program kicks off at 9:00 a.m. on June 17, resumes June 18, and concludes on June 19.  Included are a variety of presentations and panel discussions on topics of interest to women veterans such as what Virginia offers to women veterans, career strategies, entrepreneurship, financial stewardship, personal health and wellness and more.  Summit speakers and panelists include well-respected career coaches, professional business leaders, and motivational speakers.

On June 19, three finalists in the The Female Founders Veteran Small Business Awards pitch contest will compete for financial capital for their businesses provided by partner The StreetShares Foundation. The three winners will be announced June 19, as will be the recipients of the Women Veteran Change Maker and Trailblazer awards.

There is no charge to attend and participate in the 2020 Virginia Women Veterans Virtual Summit.  Pre-registration is required and is now open online.

More information about the event, including a complete listing of program topics, speakers and participants may be found at www.dvs.virginia.gov.

“Virginia is proud to be home to more than 107,000 women veterans – the largest percentage of women veterans of any state,” said Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Carlos Hopkins. “The Commonwealth has been at the forefront in recognizing the unique challenges and opportunities that women veterans face when transitioning from active duty to civilian life.  This summit is an example of the innovations that Virginia continues to undertake to remain the #1 state for veterans in America.”

“Like so many others, we had to change our plans because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said VDVS Commissioner John Maxwell.  “On the other hand, a virtual format expands access to more women veterans in Virginia and across the Nation. I’m excited about the event and look forward to being a part of it.”

“I encourage every women veteran to register today to participate in the 2020 Virginia Women Veterans Virtual Summit and take advantage of this array of top speakers, panel discussions, useful information about employment and educational opportunities and so much more,” said VDVS Deputy Commissioner Annie Walker. “As a proud Army veteran myself, I have attended every one of our past Summits and know how rewarding and life changing they can be.”

In addition to the Virginia Employment Commission and the StreetShares Foundation, other participating partners include COMCAST, Dominion Energy, PenFed Credit Union, Employee Support of Guard and Reserves (ESGR), the offices of Senator Mark Warner and Senator Tim Kaine and more.


About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  VDVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans.  Today, VDVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs. The agency operates two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; and provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries. It also oversees the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.


About The Virginia Employment Commission and the Veteran Services Program

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is the is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s principle public employment service established to assist employers in finding qualified workers and to assist workers in finding suitable jobs. The VEC in partnership with the Virginia Workforce Network promotes economic growth and stability by delivering and coordinating workforce services. The VEC offers career assistance for job seekers, employment services for veterans, and employer services for businesses of all sizes, as well as unemployment benefits and other programs designed to assist with employment.

The VEC Veteran Services Program traces its history to 1919, with the establishment of employment programs by the United States Employment Service to assist Discharged Soldiers, Sailors and Marines gain civilian suitable employment following WWI.  Today, Veterans from all periods of military service and those that are currently transitioning out of the military are eligible for job referral, job training, and job placement assistance through the VEC Veteran Services Program. Veterans can access these employment services through the statewide network of Virginia Career Works offices online, or contact us at Veteran.Services@vec.virginia.gov for more information.

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Successful musket workshop held by the Colonel James Wood II Chapter, Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution

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On May 17, 2020, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter, Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution, Winchester, had a musket workshop for members and potential members of the organization. The attendees were taught safety, commands, proper positioning, firing sequence and etiquette when participating as a member of a Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard and Musket Squad.

The instructors were Marc Robinson, Commander, Colonel James Wood II Chapter Color Guard and Brett Osborn, Virginia State 2019 Color Guardsman of the Year.

The program began with a lesson in safety. Next appropriate commands and firing sequence were discussed. Later individuals were given the opportunity to go through the commands and firing sequence to fire. The next step was to divide into two sections for individual instruction. After an hour of working through the processes required, the individuals were brought together as a squad and performed a musket firing of three rounds as if in a formal ceremony. This workshop allowed two of the individuals to gain certification to participate in official ceremonies.

Attending the workshop were Marc Robinson, Brett Osborn, Dale Corey, Eric Robinson, Sean Carrigan, Clay Robinson, Chip Daniel and Erick Moore.

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Samuels Public Library Adult Programming events for May

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All of our programs will take place over Zoom and will require you to register on our website at samuelslibrary.net in the events tab. Zoom is accessible as a website or as an app you can download to your phone. If you need help setting up Zoom on your device, please call the Adult Reference desk at 540-635-3153 ext. 105.


Photographing Spring Wildflowers

Join Sharon Fisher on Zoom for her four-week class as she goes over how to take stunning pictures of wildflowers with any smartphone or camera! She will be advising on settings and how to find flowers in your yard. There will also be follow up discussion groups where you can share your work and get more advice. Saturday, May 16th at 10:00 A.M.

How to Use Libby by Overdrive

This year’s Adult Summer Reading theme is Dig Deeper into Your Library! Join us as we dig deeper into our databases! Sandra Norman will be teaching us how to use Libby by Overdrive, which provides thousands of ebooks, audiobooks, and movies that you can check out with your library card! This program will take place over Zoom. Monday, May 18th, at 10 A.M.

Dig Into Clay: Create a Giant Ceramic Sunflower for Your Garden

Create clay ornaments for your garden with Arline Link of the Kiln Doctor. This workshop will be taught online via Zoom. Learn how to access Zoom & to schedule a curbside pickup for your clay kit before the program. Register early to ensure you will receive one of the 20 available kits! Tuesday, May 19th at 10 A.M.

Sculpting Words: A Poetry Writing Workshop

Join poet and educator Connie Stadler for a special six-week poetry workshop over Zoom. Space is limited. Registration Required. Tuesday, May 19th at 6:00 P.M.

Books & Beyond Discussion Group

Join us for our book club discussion time! This program will take place over Zoom. You will need to provide an email as well as a device that has Zoom on it. Wednesday, May 20th at 10:00 A.M.

Photographing Spring Wildflowers

Join Sharon Fisher on Zoom for her four-week class as she goes over how to take stunning pictures of wildflowers with any smartphone or camera! She will be advising on settings and how to find flowers in your yard. There will also be follow up discussion groups where you can share your work and get more advice. Saturday, May 23rd at 10:00 A.M.

Sculpting Words: A Poetry Writing Workshop

Join poet and educator Connie Stadler for a special six-week poetry workshop over Zoom. Space is limited. Registration Required. Tuesday, May 26th at 6:00 P.M.

How to Use Novelist

This year’s Adult Summer Reading theme is Dig Deeper into Your Library! Join us as we dig deeper into our databases! Kitti McKean will be teaching us how to use Novelist, a database that will help you find the perfect book to read next! This program will take place over Zoom. Wednesday, May 27th at 6:30 P.M.

Photographing Spring Wildflowers

Join Sharon Fisher on Zoom for her four-week class as she goes over how to take stunning pictures of wildflowers with any smartphone or camera! She will be advising on settings and how to find flowers in your yard. There will also be follow up discussion groups where you can share your work and get more advice. Saturday, May 30th at 10:00 A.M.

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2020 Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony will be virtual broadcast/livestreamed event

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The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) today announced that the 2020 Commonwealth Memorial Day Ceremony will be presented as a “virtual” event to honor Virginia’s fallen heroes. The half-hour ceremony will be broadcast and livestreamed from the Virginia War Memorial Shrine of Memory beginning at 10 a.m. E.D.T. on Monday, May 25.  The ceremony will feature a combination of live and recorded content from the Virginia War Memorial and the state veterans cemeteries.

The public is invited and encouraged to tune into the live television broadcast on WTVR-TV CBS6 or to the livestream on Facebook.com/virginiaveteransservices or Facebook.com/virginiawarmemorial.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, public Memorial Day Ceremonies will not be held this year at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond or at the state veterans cemeteries in Amelia, Dublin, and Suffolk. However, the grounds of the Virginia War Memorial and the state veterans cemeteries will be open to visitors, subject to the current COVID-19 social distance rules and guidelines. At the cemeteries, an American flag will be posted on all gravesites and the Avenue of Flags will line cemetery roadways from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Memorial Day.

The latest information on viewing the virtual Commonwealth’s Memorial Day Ceremony and visitation procedures at the Virginia War Memorial and at the state veterans cemeteries will be posted on the VDVS website: www.dvs.virginia.gov.

VDVS deeply regrets that it cannot hold public Memorial Day ceremonies this year to honor the thousands of heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for our Commonwealth and our Nation.  This decision was made to conform to current state emergency orders to protect the health and well-being of veterans, families, participants, staff members, and others who normally attend these ceremonies. The pubic is invited and encouraged to participate in the virtual ceremony which will focus on honoring our Nation’s and our Commonwealth’s heroes who died in service.


About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  VDVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans.  Today, VDVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs. The agency operates two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; and provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries. It also oversees the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.


About the Virginia War Memorial

The mission of the Virginia War Memorial is to Honor Veterans, Preserve History, Educate Youth and Inspire Patriotism in All.  Dedicated in 1956, the Memorial includes the names of the nearly 12,000 Virginia heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and the Global War on Terrorism.  The Virginia War Memorial is a division of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and serves as an integral part of its mission in support of all Virginians who have served in our military.  It is located at 621 South Belvidere Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220.

The Virginia War Memorial is and will always be the Commonwealth’s tribute to those who served and most especially, to those who died defending our freedoms.  Every day is truly Memorial Day at the Virginia War Memorial.  It is the hope of all that with the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions, that the public will return to the Memorial to visit its Shrines, exhibits and view its documentary films that pass on the stories of service and sacrifice of Virginia’s heroes. For more information, please visit www.vawarmemorial.org.


About Virginia’s State Veterans Cemeteries

The mission of Virginia’s three state veterans cemeteries is to provide a dignified final resting place for veterans and eligible dependents.  The Cemetery Services division of VDVS operates and lovingly maintains the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk, the Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Amelia, and the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin.  The cemeteries are places of honor, dignity, respect, and remembrance.  The cemeteries accommodate in-ground burial of casketed remains, in-ground inurnment of cremated remains, and above-ground inurnment of cremated remains in a columbarium.  For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov/cemeteries.

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Today is National Day of Prayer

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TODAY IS THE DAY:

  • For all in America to gather in unity in prayer
  • To plead for God’s mercy on our Nation and the world
  • For all citizens to repent before God for our errant ways – as a nation and as individuals
  • To acknowledge that God is sovereign and is in total control

Join the nation tonight from 8 pm to 10 pm EDT at www.nationaldayofprayer.org.

This broadcast, coordinated by Kathy Branzell, will offer music and prayer, featuring Robert Morris, Michael K Smith, Will Graham, Nick Hall, Gabrielle Odom, Billy Wilson, Harry Jackson, Andrew Palau, Blair Linne, Jim Cymbala, among others.

For the last 19 years, Front Royal has hosted a community National Day of Prayer community service at the Gazebo on Main Street. This service was always held on the first Thursday in May, presenting special speakers, music and prayers for the nation, state, county, town, as well as government, first responders, schools, churches and citizens of our community.

This year, as we all know, is different in every aspect of our lives, and this event is no exception. We are unable to offer a community gathering to celebrate this unifying event. HOWEVER, we can offer an alternative for those who wish to honor this National Day of Prayer by participating in a virtual celebration this evening. You can go to www.nationaldayofprayer.org where a live-stream link is located, and to other platforms to watch this event.

The National Day of Prayer is a day designated by the United States Congress as a day when the nations people are asked to gather together to pray, especially for our country, its people and its leaders. The designation of the first Thursday of May to be the annual recurring date for the National Day of Prayer was established by Ronald Reagan in 1988.

The Front Royal National Day of Prayer community service was first organized in 2001 by several local Christians. Led by Denni Giovinazzo, assisted by Cherie Ray and David Lingebach, they considered it essential that the diversified Christian community come together to pray, believing that there is much spiritual strength in the local churches gathering as a unified body.

“Only God can bring the kind of change our country needs. It’s up to those who believe in Him to come together to ask for His mercy and grace. And we consider it an honor to serve in this way.”

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