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Election results: Democrats make huge strides statewide



Democrat Ralph Northam won Virginia’s race for governor Tuesday over Republican Ed Gillespie.  President Donald Trump, in Korea, wasted no time tweeting, “Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for”.  The tweet, incidentally, was sent even before the final tally of votes in the gubernatorial race was in—and 20 minutes before Gillespie gave his concession speech.  Trump had tweeted support of Gillespie, lauding his stance against the MS-13 gang and sanctuary cities during the campaign.

Northam garnered 1,404,883 votes, 54% of the vote, compared to Gillespie’s 1,172,792 votes for 45%.  Clifford Hyra, the Libertarian party candidate, was a distant third with just one-percent of the vote (29,328).  The 9% gap came as a shock to Republicans.  For weeks pollsters had called the Virginia governor’s race neck and neck, though late numbers indicated a slight shift Northam’s way.

As detailed below, Democrats also took the Lt. Governor and Attorney General races.  But the most astonishing tally in Virginia was the legislative result.  In a state in which they controlled the most recent redistricting, Republicans held a 66-34 majority in the State House of Delegates.  All of those 100 seats were up for grabs Tuesday.  Democrats have not held a majority in the Virginia House of Delegates since the year 2000 (50-49-1).

Initial results indicated the Democrats picked up at least 15 seats, with four more races close enough to mandate a recount.  Those numbers would give Democrats 49 seats heading into those recounts.  A Democrat holds the lead in one of those four races.  With provisional ballots still to be counted, the House balance of power may not be determined for some days.  A 50-50 split would require a power-sharing arrangement.

Republicans have a 21-19 majority in the State Senate.  All of those seats come up for election in 2019.

Debate over implications of the Democratic victory and the huge legislative gain in Virginia – a gain that shocked members of both parties – began quickly with the U.S. Congressional mid-terms on the 2018 political horizon.  Many called it a referendum on President Trump, while others disputed that notion and urged caution in drawing broader political conclusions.

Democrat Justin Fairfax, a former federal prosecutor, defeated Republican Jill Holtzman Vogel, a state senator from Fauquier County, in the race for Lt. Governor.  The margin was Fairfax, 1,361,656 (52.6%), Vogel 1,222,639 (47.2%).

Fairfax has never held elective office before, though he made his first run for office four years ago, narrowly losing the Democratic nomination for Attorney General to Mark Herring.

Vogel, who represents the 27th District, stumped aggressively right up until the end in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, where her district lies.  During the campaign, she emphasized bipartisanship, highlighting her ties with Democratic senators and her work on nonpartisan issues such as passing legislation to ban child marriage in the Commonwealth.

Democrat Mark Herring won a second consecutive term as Attorney General, with 1,379,323 votes (53.2%) to John Adams 1,210,213 votes (46.7%).

In regional contests with implications in the Northern Valley, 29th District Del. Christopher Collins (R) easily retained his seat with 64.23% of the vote over Democratic opponent Casey S. Turben.  His district covers the City of Winchester and the Counties of Frederick and parts of Warren County.

10th District incumbent Del. Randy Minchew (R) was narrowly defeated by Wendy Gooditis (D) with 48.01% and 51.90% of the votes, respectively.  His district covers parts of Clarke, Frederick and Loudoun Counties.

15th District Del. C. Todd Gilbert (R) ran unopposed this year, and retained his seat. The 15th District is comprised of all of Page and Shenandoah Counties and portions of Warren and Rockingham Counties.

18th District Incumbent Michael Webert (R) emerged victorious, with 60.52% of the vote over Democratic challenger Tristan Shields (34.38%) and Will King (Green) (5.09%).  The 18th District is comprised of Warren, Rappahannock, Fauquier and Culpeper Counties.

The Warren County voter turnout was 41%, according to local officials.  Virginia Election officials say that voter turnout this year was higher than it has been for any governor’s race since 2009, with nearly 2,600,000 citizens voting Tuesday. Also bucking the state trend, several candidates who carried Warren County did not fare well when votes were tallied across the Commonwealth.

Warren County Statewide Results:

Governor’s Race:  Gillespie 6,709 votes (65%)     Northam  3,530 votes (34%)
Lt. Governor’s Race: Vogel  6,917 (67%)     Fairfax 3,410  (33%)
Attorney General’s Race:  Adams  6,723 votes (65%)  Herring  3,567 votes (35%)

(Roger Bianchini contributed to this story)

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VDOT: Warren County Traffic alert for September 28 – October 2, 2020



The following is a list of highway work that may affect traffic in Warren County during the coming weeks. Scheduled work is subject to change due to inclement weather and material supplies. Motorists are advised to watch for slow-moving tractors during mowing operations. When traveling through a work zone, be alert to periodic changes in traffic patterns and lane closures.

*NEW* or *UPDATE* indicates a new entry or a revised entry since last week’s report.

*NEW* Mile marker 16 to 13, westbound – Overnight alternating lane closures for pavement patching, 8 p.m. Tuesday to 7 a.m. Wednesday.

*NEW* Mile marker 300 to 299, southbound – Right shoulder closures for ditch cleaning, Tuesday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

No lane closures reported.

Various roads – Flagger traffic control for utility tree trimming, Monday to Friday during daylight hours.

The following is a list of highway work that may affect traffic in Warren County during the coming weeks. Scheduled work is subject to change due to inclement weather and material supplies. Motorists are advised to watch for slow-moving tractors during mowing operations. When traveling through a work zone, be alert to periodic changes in traffic patterns and lane closures.

*NEW* or *UPDATE* indicates a new entry or a revised entry since last week’s report.

Vegetation management may take place district wide on various routes. Motorists are reminded to use extreme caution when traveling through work zones.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at

The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile-friendly website at Agents are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

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Eleven test postive for COVID-19 at Warren Memorial Hospital and Lynn Care Center



Valley Health Warren Memorial Hospital (WMH) and its adjacent long term care facility, Lynn Care Center, reported Friday, September 25, 2020, that nine employees and two Lynn Care residents have tested positive for COVID-19. The clinical leadership of the facilities has initiated a series of precautionary steps to identify, notify, isolate, and test those who may be at risk for virus exposure.

Six of the employees work at Lynn Care. All the center’s other residents and staff have been tested and results are pending. Three of the COVID-positive employees work in the hospital, and five additional WMH employees have been tested and are awaiting results.

“The safety and well-being of our residents, patients, and staff is our top priority,” said WMH President Floyd Heater. “We are monitoring our staff and residents closely and are confident no other staff, Lynn Care residents, or hospital patients currently have symptoms. We are working in partnership with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps to safeguard hospital patients, long-term care residents, and staff from exposure.”

Effective immediately, Warren Memorial and Lynn Care are suspending visits by family and care partners, with exceptions only for special circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Also on hold are visits by health care professions students completing clinical rotations at WMH and Lynn Care.

Since March, both the hospital and the 120-bed Lynn Care Center have meticulously followed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to safeguard staff and residents from COVID-19, including:

• Enhanced infection control precautions including preadmission COVID-19 testing and 14-day quarantine for all new admissions;

• Screening residents, staff, and essential visitors for an expanded list of symptoms;

• Restricting visitation and entry of people to the building;

• Testing staff and residents for COVID-19 based on current protocols and availability of tests;

• Canceling group activities and dining;

• Requiring universal facemask wearing for all staff;

• Encouraging residents to wear masks and utilizing face shields when caring for residents who cannot wear a mask.

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EDA in Focus

Update: County responds to Town announcement of FRPD financing



This story has been updated. Here is the complete release. Page 2 of the release was missed and left out of the original post.

Warren County released the following press release on Friday, September 25, 2020:

The press conference held on September 23, 2020, announcing that the Town of Front Royal has secured permanent financing for the Front Royal Police Department building is great news for the citizens of our community! It closes a chapter on one aspect of the lawsuit the Town of Front Royal filed against the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority (EDA) and ends months of dispute between the EDA, the Town, and the County. It should be viewed as a path forward to a working relationship between the Town of Front Royal, Warren County, and the EDA.

As Warren County citizens, we were brokenhearted by the EDA scandal. The breach by those who were entrusted with our tax dollars and economic development is one that will take years to restore. Efforts taken by the Warren County Board of Supervisors to restore faith and oversight of the new EDA Board of Directors are well documented. Both the Board of Supervisors and the EDA Board of Directors have worked diligently to clean up the mess and recover the stolen assets for taxpayers.

The portrayal by some Town leadership that the County was unwilling to work with the Town to resolve the EDA issues could not be farther from the truth. The County has had every incentive to work with the Town to resolve the Police Station debt owed by the Town and has repeatedly approached the Town to work together on economic development issues critical to the success of our community.

Town and County residents expect us to resolve our differences and focus on big issues affecting our community. Rampant drug overdoses and deaths in our community, families on the margins suffering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers struggling to educate our children remotely, first responders working double overtimes…these are the type of issues we should be working together to resolve.

Our government needs to DO BETTER. We need to stop blaming one another and start focusing on what will better the lives of our citizens. The residents of our community deserve leaders who spend their tax dollars wisely. That includes streamlining our efforts to reduce duplication of the same services and waste of resources. THE CITIZENS of the Town/County are footing the bill for these lawsuits that are equivalent to suing ourselves. And in the case of Town residents, they are paying for lawyers and court costs on both sides.

The citizens of this community want their leaders to find ways to work together. They deserve it. We encourage the Town leadership to work with the County and the EDA to secure a better community!

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Front Royal man arrested on three outstanding indictments, multiple drug charges



Dontreal Trevaun Arrington. Photo/RSW Regional Jail

On Thursday, September 24, 2020, the Front Royal/Warren County team of the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force (NWVRDTF) arrested Dontreal Arrington on three outstanding indictments for violations of Virginia Code section §18.2-248 distribution of schedule I or II controlled substances. These indictments stemmed from previous drug distribution incidents that occurred within the Front Royal/Warren County area. Arrington, who is the subject of an ongoing investigation involving the distribution of cocaine and marijuana within the Town of Front Royal, was also found to be in possession of cocaine at the time of his arrest.

Following Arrington’s arrest, agents with NWVRDTF obtained a search warrant for his residence in conjunction with the ongoing investigation into his drug distribution activities. A search of the property, located at 19 East Prospect Street in Front Royal, led to the seizure of approximately four ounces of cocaine, which has an approximate street value of $4,400.00. Additionally, over $35,000.00 in cash was also seized from the residence in addition to firearms, ammunition, and paraphernalia associated with illicit drug sales and distribution.

Following the search warrant, additional charges were placed against Arrington in connection with the evidence seized during the execution of the search warrant. These charges include one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine (§18.2-248(A)) and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm while simultaneously possessing a controlled substance (§18.2-308.4(A)). Arrington was held without bond and is scheduled to appear in Warren County General District Court on September 29, 2020, at 10:00 am in relation to these offenses.

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EDA in Focus

Report on EDA’s regular meeting of September 25



The EDA Board of Directors met for their regular monthly board meeting. Following a 1-hour Closed Meeting session the Board heard from Committee Chairs and Interim County Administrator Ed Daley.

Executive Committee Strategic Plan
Jeff Browne reminded the Board that the initial work on the EDA’s strategic plan will start October 9-10. Led by new EDA Board member, Jim Wolfe, community leaders are being asked to participate in the October 9th session and share their vision for our community. The session on October 10th will include a series of exercises to help Board members articulate goals and plans.

Finance Committee  – Financial Audits

Chair Jorie Martin’s Finance Committee report noted that the auditors from Brown Edwards are finishing up their examination. The committee is expecting the draft audit for 2018 by the end of October at the latest. The Finance Committee will meet and review the draft audit and present to the board if all goes well at the November meeting to finalize.

Bond payments are up to date: Royal Arms Housing bond fees are due every February. The payment for 2020 was paid. $20,500. Christendom College bond fees are due annually in September.

The 2019 fee was paid and the 2020 was just billed in the amount of $6,567.67. The calculation for payment is 1/8 of 1% of the loan balance.

Asset Management Committee:
Royal Lane Property/Workforce Housing Apartments
Committee Chair Greg Harold reported that there has been considerable interest from developers and investors in this property. Executive Director Doug Parsons has been fielding calls from interested parties as well. The RFDP is available in the EDA office. Please contact Doug at 540-635-2182.

Afton Inn
Harold updated the Board with news that the purchasers, 2 East Main, LLC, will not be closing on a loan in September. It is anticipated that closing will now take place by December.

EDA Office Building 400 Kendrick Lane
The staff has undertaken a clean out of the West Basement area. Warren County General Services department is handling the cleanup. All working tools and maintenance equipment were donated to their department and remaining items will be disposed of. We will be clearing out the effects and disposing of them in the proper fashion.

Kendrick Lane CDL Lot
The EDA has partnered with LFCC to provide the parking lot across the street from the EDA Office Building for their CDL Training program. In return, LFCC designed signs will be displayed in the area. There were two sign mock-ups to review by board members for the Workforce Development CDL Lot.

Executive Director
Doug Parsons reported to the board that the new EDA website development is proceeding and a promotional video of the EDA-owned property at 426 Baugh Drive is now available at

Many thanks to Brian Kelly of Randolph Macon Academy for his work in the drone footage and producing the video.

The Town of Front Royal Planning & Zoning Commission held a public hearing and then voted to approve the EDA to rezone two parcels in the Happy Creek Industrial Park to Industrial-2. The request will now be sent to the full Town Council for their approval.

The EDA Board of Directors will have their regular monthly board meeting via Zoom on Friday, October 23, 2020, at 8 a.m.

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Local farm in White Post, Virginia seeking full-time employee



Need immediate full-time help in White Post, VA.

We are looking for an honest, hardworking team player, who wants to develop as a craftsman, and able to follow direction from our Master Carpenter. Must be open-minded and mechanically inclined. Little to no carpentry experience is expected, as our Master Carpenter would like to be able to mold and train. This is an excellent opportunity for a young person, just out of high school or college, to learn a skilled trade and get paid for it!

Monday-Friday from 7am-3:30pm. Excellent fully paid benefit package includes 401k, health, dental & vision insurance and much more.

To schedule an interview, please email your resume to or mail it to P.O. Box 98, White Post, Virginia 22663.

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply.
  • References, background check, valid driver’s license and drug test required.
  • Tobacco-free environment.
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King Cartoons

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