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Downtown Halloween 2021 draws a scary and enthusiastic crowd

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It was a well-attended Downtown Halloween on Sunday in Front Royal’s Historic Downtown Business District. Costumes weren’t limited to the younger generation, as some adults got costumed for flashbacks to their youthful enthusiasm for spooky candy collecting. The largest crowds were there during the official time of 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., but things started earlier with Jack-O-Lantern carving around 10 a.m. as downtown visitors began getting in the Halloween spirit.

After giving a nod to co-sponsors FRIBA (Front Royal Independent Business Association), the Chamber of Commerce and Town, event moderator William Huck called the event a rousing success and commended those attending and involved local businesses. “It was a magical day in Front Royal on Main Street from the carving of pumpkins though Trick or Treating. Folks from all over stopped to help spread a little love in our Hometown. The costumes were amazing to see from a princess to the scariest of monsters that lurk in the darkness. Our community coming together dancing, laughing, and enjoying time together. This is what I call priceless. Thanks to all of you for making memories we can share always.”

Royal Examiner joins Huck in that “thank you” to all those participating and attending for their contributions to the day and evening’s fun, some of which is pictured below:

It was a seasonally beautiful setting in Front Royal’s Village Commons from which to launch Downtown Halloween 2021. Royal Examiner Photos by Roger Bianchini

Security was provided by Death Star stormtroopers

The Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin field on the Gazebo stairs was a popular attraction for the kids. – But be careful not to get trapped in it.

You don’t have to wait for dark to start collecting candy at Downtown Halloween!!!

‘Are we having fun yet?!?’ Downtown Halloween ‘Director of Operations’ Will Huck wants to know. And if anyone gets tired of candy, there’s ice cream across the street too you know.

I don’t want to burst your balloon – Oh wait, YES I DO – as the line in this corner of Downtown Halloween 2021 proves.

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Skyline High School announces band teacher Daniel Holland 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year

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Skyline High School is proud to announce that our fabulous band teacher, Mr. Daniel Holland is our 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year!

Danny Holland is the Skyline High School 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year!

Danny has taught at Skyline High School for the last 5 1/2 years. He earned his undergraduate degree in Instrumental Music PreK-12 from James Madison University and his master’s degree from Bowling Green State University.

At SHS, Danny teaches guitar I and II, concert band, dual enrolled music artistry, and marching band. Marching and concert band require extensive time commitments both in school and after hours. Additionally, Danny teaches a jazz band group that rehearses before the official school day begins.


Through his expert instruction, he provides students with opportunities to connect through music, enhance positive school culture, and engage our greater community in school spirit and camaraderie.

The Skyline Marching Hawks perform shows each year at our football games, parades, and various competitions, where they have earned many accolades! Danny not only produces marching shows with excellent sound and great visual appeal, but they also convey important messages to the students and the spectators.

The 2022 competition show was entitled: “Try, Try Again,” and according to Danny, focused on the “idea and philosophy that success in anything, whether it be band, sports, academics, and so many other skills, can only truly manifest from learning to cope and grow from the mistakes and missteps we inevitably make.” This show was a gift to our school and our greater community.

Outside of school, Danny is an active member of the Virginia Music Educators Association, most recently presenting at their 2022 annual VMEA conference in November 2022. Additionally, Danny performs as a professional musician as the acting principal oboist of the Waynesboro Symphony.

Danny was nominated for this honor by his peers, colleagues, and students. Here are some of their beautiful words:

  • “The immense amount of time and effort Danny puts into making the SHS band program the best it can go above and beyond. The support and safe space he provides to students are invaluable.”
  • “I’m amazed by Danny’s dedication. He was not only present for interviews for my position but was present before the start of school working with the band. The marching band is present for so many events/games, and it seems like he rarely does not stay past normal hours. He is also helping with the cross-county musical. He has been very kind and helpful with my many questions. His students seem to find his room safe, and he has created a great work ethic with his students.”
  • “Mr. Holland is an amazing teacher who wants the best for his students. He makes playing music fun and very enjoyable. I wouldn’t have been able to become the musician I am today without Mr. Holland.”
  • “He is the best teacher I have ever had. He’s very supportive of his students and other faculty. He is the reason our marching band is great.”
  • “Mr. Holland is so supportive and loves what he does. He will do anything to make sure you succeed in anything you do, and when he sets his mind to something, he will do everything he can to make it happen.
  • “Mr. Holland is an amazing teacher in general, and he is very helpful and kind. I have struggled to pick up new skills, and he broke it down for me, so I got it quickly.”

The accolades of his colleagues and students are absolutely true!

Danny’s impact on his students, fellow WCPS fine arts teachers, and SHS colleagues is felt in so many ways! Danny models grit and perseverance through difficult situations daily, creating genuine and supportive relationships with his students through his love of music.

For these and many other reasons, Danny Holland is the Skyline High School 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year!

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Town Talk: A conversation with Shane Goodwin, Danelle Sperling, Robert Hupman – Reaching Out Now, Christmas Meal at Skyline HS

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In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with  Shane Goodwin, Danelle Sperling, and Robert Hupman about the Linda Kroll Community Meal Program.

On December 15, 2022, at 4:30 pm, Reaching Out Now and its partners will host a Christmas meal for families with children in our local school system at Skyline High School School.

This event will feature a traditional Christmas menu with turkey, ham, shepherd’s pie, vegetable medley, rolls, and dessert,  all prepared by Chef Devin and the Blue Ridge Technical Center’s Culinary Arts program students.


Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. Let us know if you have an idea or topic or want to hear from someone in our community. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com.


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Thanksgiving officially second busiest Thanksgiving travel period in the history of the Transurban Express Lanes

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Transurban, the operator of the 495, 395, and 95 Express Lanes, announced that the 72-hour travel window from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving Day itself was the second busiest Thanksgiving travel period in the history of the express lanes.

More than 155,000 customers took the Express Lanes, with nearly 1 in 4 traveling for free at least once with an E-ZPass Flex set to HOV mode.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of the 10th Anniversary of the Express Lanes opening in November. In commemoration, Transurban released the annual ‘state of the lanes’ polling research that provides insights on how customers continue to value the expanded travel choices of the Lanes as well as a report detailing the significant impact the 495, 95, and 395 Express Lanes have had in transforming the region.

The primary research from a sample of 1,490 Washington D.C. area drivers found:


  • 76% overall customer satisfaction
  • 3 in 4 GWA drivers have used the Express Lanes, up from 62% in 2021
  • Nearly 7 in 10 drivers (69%) see a regional benefit from the Express Lanes
  • Drivers are more likely to say they have carpooled for free vs. paid a toll to travel the Express Lanes at least once a month in the last 6 months – 54% vs. 47%

Over the last decade, the 495, 95, and 395 Express Lanes have saved nearly 10 million Greater Washington Area (GWA) customers more than 33 million hours of time in one of the fastest-growing regions in the U.S. The Lanes have saved time for those living nearby and supported growth in the local community. The Lanes have bolstered the local economy by creating an estimated 53,000 jobs and $8 billion in economic activity, including the growth of existing businesses and the attraction of some of the world’s largest employers, including Amazon, Boeing, Raytheon, and Capitol One.

“More than 10 years ago, we started a journey alongside Virginia leaders to introduce a new way to travel, putting technology to work to unlock congestion and tangibly improve the quality of life of travelers in this region,” said Pierce Coffee, President Transurban North America. “Now we celebrate this partnership that gives more people more time back in their day through choice and convenience.”

About Transurban North America 

Transurban is one of the world’s largest toll-road operators and developers, working to get people where they want to go as quickly and safely as possible. By embracing collaboration with the government, our public-private partnerships deliver transformative infrastructure solutions across five markets. In the fiscal year 2020, our global customers saved 376,000 hours on average each workday across 2.0 million trips on our roads with faster, more predictable travel options. With a leading market share of transportation P3 investment in North America, we are pioneering travel solutions like dynamically tolled Express Lanes and are partnering with the government to think about the policies, technology, and infrastructure that will get you home today and ten years from now. Learn more about Transurban North America at: Transurban.com | Expresslanes.com | A25.com 

 

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School Board approves virtual instruction contract, other housekeeping items

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The Warren County School Board, at its Wednesday, Dec. 7 meeting, approved the expenditure of $72,600 for the spring semester of online instruction provided by Virtual Virginia.

Virtual Virginia is the online instructional service provider for Warren County students enrolled in the virtual education option.

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Heather Bragg

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Heather Bragg told school board members that a total of 65 students—10 at the elementary level—have enrolled for the spring semester, and the provider must be paid in advance of the January 2023 spring semester’s start.


Ms. Bragg told the board that the elementary school fee was a set price for each pupil for the core curriculum, while secondary school pupil fees are calculated at $300 per credit, which allows the students to get their core classes as well as electives.

Board member Ralph Rinaldi asked Bragg to elaborate on why students might enroll in the virtual learning program rather than attend school in person. The Covid pandemic introduced students to virtual learning, and some continue out of anxiety about returning to the traditional classroom setting, she said. Bragg added that some students just do better in the virtual learning environment.

Students enrolled in the virtual learning option are provided computer access, as well as a school counselor and a local mentor who supervises the students.

Antoinette D. Funk motioned to pay for the spring semester, which was seconded by Melanie C. Salins, followed by a unanimous vote.

Other action items from the meeting include:

  • A vote to increase the hourly rate for selective positions, beginning Jan. 1, 2023. Employees currently making less than $12 per hour will begin earning the federal minimum wage of $12 next month.
  • Purchase approval for network battery backup equipment for Skyline Middle School at $51,270.
  • Second reading of the proposed 2023-2024 school year calendar. The board will approve a final calendar at the first January 2023 school board meeting. The calendar would have students return to school on Aug. 9, 2023, and end the school year on May 23, 2024. It includes banked hours that would cover inclement weather cancellations and 13 professional days for teachers.
  • Voted to approve the policy on sexually explicit material, which brings Warren County Public Schools into compliance with a Virginia law passed this year that requires districts to notify parents. (This will be covered in a separate Royal Examiner story.)
  • Voted to accept the 2023 General Assembly legislative priorities.
  • Voted to award a contract in the amount of $47,880 to Document Solution, Inc. For the lease of copiers at Hilda J. Barbour Elementary School.
  • Set the 2023 organizational meeting of the Warren County School Board for Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the Warren County Government Center.

Click here to watch the December 7, 2022, Warren County School Board meeting.

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National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day – Flags to be flown half-staff

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This December 7, we remember the world-changing event known as Pearl Harbor Day, or as President Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his December 8, 1941 speech declaring war on Japan, “a date which will live in infamy.”

Early on Wednesday morning, December 7, 2022, many will gather at Pearl Harbor National Memorial for the 81st Commemoration. The early start marks the moment to the minute 81 years ago when Japanese warplanes descended on Oahu, killing 2,403 service members and civilians, injuring thousands more, and dealing a near-fatal blow to the Navy’s fleet at Pearl Harbor.

Most young Americans who died that day, along with those who served in uniform during World War II or on the home front war effort, are collectively known as the Greatest Generation. Their sacrifices reflect the theme of this year’s Commemoration:  Everlasting Legacy.

The focus is the importance of remembering Pearl Harbor and how the Greatest Generation saved us from tyranny and brought us peace through reconciliation.


Governor’s Order for the Commonwealth of Virginia

In accordance with the authority vested in me as Governor, I hereby order that the flags of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Virginia to be flown at half-staff at all local, state, and federal buildings and grounds in the Commonwealth in solemn respect and memory for the nearly 4,000 American service men and women killed or wounded in the early morning of December 7, 1941, at the United States Navy Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

I hereby order that the flag shall be lowered at sunrise on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, and remain at half-staff until sunset.

Ordered on this, the 6th day of December 2022.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Glenn Youngkin

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Blue Ridge Wildlife Center Patient of the Week: American Goldfinch

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Photos / Blue Ridge Wildlife Center

These two American Goldfinches hit the same window at the same time and ended up here at the Center for care.

Though both are currently having breathing difficulty, and the male has significant head trauma with bleeding from the left ear, neither sustained any fractures. They are recovering together while they receive supplemental oxygen and pain medications.

Do you know what to do if a bird hits your window?


Though it was once standard to contain a window strike bird and let it rest for a few hours before attempting release, research has now shown that this is inadequate. Many of the issues we see with window strikes manifest 24+ hours after the strike, long after the bird can fly off.

If you see a bird hit a window, contain it right away and call the closest permitted rehabilitator. Do not release it! In the meantime, take steps to break up the reflections on your windows with tape, paint, or decals spaced no more than 2” apart. Prevention is better than treatment!

A new record!

Yesterday we surpassed last year’s intake number with this window strike pair. We are hopeful that they will soon be released together to enjoy the rest of their wild lives!

If you are looking for an easy way to help native wildlife become a monthly BRWC donor! For as little as $5/month, you can provide year-round, sustainable support that helps us fulfill our mission.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Vetbuilder.com

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Dec
10
Sat
10:00 am 10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 10 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area Journey back in time and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of a Civil War Encampment during the holidays. Interact with the 10th VA Infantry, also known as the Valley Guards,[...]
Dec
14
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 14 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Dec
17
Sat
1:00 pm The Nutcracker 2022 @ Skyline High School
The Nutcracker 2022 @ Skyline High School
Dec 17 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The Nutcracker 2022 @ Skyline High School
Italia Performing Arts is pleased to announce its own student production of the seasonal ballet The Nutcracker, to be presented in Front Royal, VA, on Saturday December 17th 2022. Tickets: $35 and $25 Under 16:[...]
Dec
21
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 21 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Dec
28
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 28 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Jan
1
Sun
5:30 am First Day Hikes at Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
First Day Hikes at Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jan 1 @ 5:30 am – 3:00 pm
First Day Hikes at Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. While the American tradition of celebrating the New Year occurs at midnight on New Year’s Eve, other cultures celebrate by enjoying the sunrise on New Year’s Day. As part of the continuing American[...]
Jan
4
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jan 4 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]