Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Now Accepting Applications for 2019 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a profession, start a non-profit, anything you can dream…) Grants up to $1,000 are awarded each year to Warren County women to help make their dreams come true. The Dare to Dream grants are available to women living in Warren County, ages 18 years and older, not currently enrolled in high school.
Application deadline is January 18, 2019. Recipients will be announced in March 2019.
Applications are available at Samuel’s Public Library and The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center at 27 Cloud Street, Front Royal. Applications are also available on the website: www.frwrc.org or by calling or emailing the office at 540-636-7007, email@example.com.
2021 tax filing season begins Feb. 12; IRS outlines steps to speed refunds during pandemic
The Internal Revenue Service announced that the nation’s tax season will start on Friday, February 12, 2021, when the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns.
The February 12 start date for individual tax return filers allows the IRS time to do additional programming and testing of IRS systems following the December 27 tax law changes that provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments and other benefits.
This programming work is critical to ensuring IRS systems run smoothly. If filing season were opened without the correct programming in place, then there could be a delay in issuing refunds to taxpayers. These changes ensure that eligible people will receive any remaining stimulus money as a Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax return.
To speed refunds during the pandemic, the IRS urges taxpayers to file electronically with direct deposit as soon as they have the information they need. People can begin filing their tax returns immediately with tax software companies, including IRS Free File partners. These groups are starting to accept tax returns now, and the returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting February 12.
“Planning for the nation’s filing season process is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams have been working non-stop to prepare for this as well as delivering Economic Impact Payments in record time,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Given the pandemic, this is one of the nation’s most important filing seasons ever. This start date will ensure that people get their needed tax refunds quickly while also making sure they receive any remaining stimulus payments they are eligible for as quickly as possible.”
Last year’s average tax refund was more than $2,500. More than 150 million tax returns are expected to be filed this year, with the vast majority before the Thursday, April 15 deadline.
Under the PATH Act, the IRS cannot issue a refund involving the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. The law provides this additional time to help the IRS stop fraudulent refunds and claims from being issued, including to identity thieves.
The IRS anticipates a first week of March refund for many EITC and ACTC taxpayers if they file electronically with direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax returns. This would be the same experience for taxpayers if the filing season opened in late January. Taxpayers will need to check Where’s My Refund for their personalized refund date.
Overall, the IRS anticipates nine out of 10 taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically with direct deposit if there are no issues with their tax return. The IRS urges taxpayers and tax professionals to file electronically. To avoid delays in processing, people should avoid filing paper returns wherever possible.
Tips for taxpayers to make filing easier
To speed refunds and help with their tax filing, the IRS urges people to follow these simple steps:
- File electronically and use direct deposit for the quickest refunds.
- Check IRS.gov for the latest tax information, including the latest on Economic Impact Payments. There is no need to call.
- For those who may be eligible for stimulus payments, they should carefully review the guidelines for the Recovery Rebate Credit. Most people received Economic Impact Payments automatically, and anyone who received the maximum amount does not need to include any information about their payments when they file. However, those who didn’t receive a payment or only received a partial payment may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax return. Tax preparation software, including IRS Free File, will help taxpayers figure the amount.
- Remember, advance stimulus payments received separately are not taxable, and they do not reduce the taxpayer’s refund when they file in 2021.
Key filing season dates
There are several important dates taxpayers should keep in mind for this year’s filing season:
- January 15. IRS Free File opens. Taxpayers can begin filing returns through Free File partners; tax returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting Feb. 12. Tax software companies also are accepting tax filings in advance.
- January 29. Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day to raise awareness of valuable tax credits available to many people – including the option to use prior-year income to qualify.
- February 12. IRS begins 2021 tax season. Individual tax returns begin being accepted and processing begins.
- February 22. Projected date for the IRS.gov Where’s My Refund tool being updated for those claiming EITC and ACTC, also referred to as PATH Act returns.
- First week of March. Tax refunds begin reaching those claiming EITC and ACTC (PATH Act returns) for those who file electronically with direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax returns.
- April 15. Deadline for filing 2020 tax returns.
- October 15. Deadline to file for those requesting an extension on their 2020 tax returns
Filing season opening
The filing season open follows IRS work to update its programming and test its systems to factor in the second Economic Impact Payments and other tax law changes. These changes are complex and take time to help ensure proper processing of tax returns and refunds as well as coordination with tax software industry, resulting in the February 12 start date.
The IRS must ensure systems are prepared to properly process and check tax returns to verify the proper amount of EIP’s are credited on taxpayer accounts – and provide remaining funds to eligible taxpayers.
Although tax seasons frequently begin in late January, there have been five instances since 2007 when filing seasons did not start for some taxpayers until February due to tax law changes made just before the start of tax time.
VDOT: Warren County Traffic alert for January 25 – 29, 2021
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.
Mile marker 5 to 7 including Exit 6, eastbound – Right shoulder closures for sign work along interstate and off-ramp, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through January 29.
*UPDATE* Mile marker 300 to 301, northbound – Right shoulder closures for tree removal operations, Monday to Friday 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.
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 www.511Virginia.org.
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 my.vdot.virginia.gov. Agents are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.
Sixth District Perspectives with Congressman Ben Cline – January 24, 2021
This last week, I attended the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the 46th President and 49th Vice-President of the United States respectively. While there is much on which President Biden and I disagree, I join President Trump and all Americans in wishing President Biden and his new administration the best of luck during this challenging time in American history. Further, while I was in Washington this week, I took the opportunity to thank members of the Virginia National Guard who have been serving in our Nation’s capital during the inauguration, and I expressed outrage at their relegation to parking garages following the conclusion of the events. Additionally, I began the 117th Congress by reaffirming my commitment to the sanctity of life and to defending the Second Amendment. As the new Administration begins, I will continue fighting for the people of Virginia’s Sixth District.
On Wednesday, I attended the Inauguration of President Joe Biden out of respect for the office of the Presidency and to commemorate the peaceful transfer of power that has become a cornerstone of our American Republic. However, we must forge beyond this moment in history to meet the short and long-term challenges facing our country. As I have for the last two years, I will continue to support fiscal responsibility and reducing burdensome regulations, defeating the COVID-19 virus while getting Americans back to work and back in school, securing our borders, and supporting our brave men and women in uniform. After four years of progress, we cannot afford a third term of the Obama era’s failed policies. Already, the Biden Administration has announced a first-day agenda that will drag our country backward during a time in which our Nation desperately needs to move forward. With Democrats controlling both Chambers of Congress and the White House, I will continue to strongly advocate for the commonsense conservative values of the citizens of Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District.
Thanking the Guard:
While in Washington this week, I took the opportunity to thank members of the Virginia National Guard who have been deployed in Washington, D.C. these past two weeks. These civilian soldiers put their daily lives on hold in order to serve our country, and we are grateful to them for ensuring the safety and security of everyone attending the Inauguration of President Joe Biden. Whether battling forest fires in California, aiding hurricane relief efforts in Louisiana, or helping quell unrest in our cities this summer, the National Guard continues to live up to its motto of being Always Ready, Always There. Our Nation is forever grateful for their service and sacrifice here at home and in harm’s way across the world.
Sadly, these heroes stationed at the Capitol have not been treated with the respect they deserve. Following the inauguration, Guardsmen were ordered out of the Capitol complex into a nearby parking garage. While I was pleased that this situation was quickly remedied, it should never have happened in the first place. That is why I joined my colleagues in writing to the Capitol Police requesting an explanation as to what initiated this action. We must ensure our men and women in uniform are never simply used as pawns to be discarded again. To read the full letter, please click here.
Standing Up for Life:
This week marked 48 years since Roe v. Wade was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Since 1973, more than 50 million preborn children in America have had their lives cut short. Our right to life is among our most basic human rights, and I will continue fighting to protect the most innocent among us. One of the very first bills I signed onto in the 117th Congress works toward that end. The Protecting Life in Crisis Act would prevent federal funds allocated in COVID-19 relief legislation from being used for abortions or abortion coverage. The bill would extend existing Hyde Amendment protections to any coronavirus health care provisions, and prevent federal tax credits from being used to cover post-employment health care premiums (COBRA) that include abortion coverage.
Since taking office, I have fought to defend life and have a legislative track record of supporting policies to that end. I am incredibly proud to have received an “A+” rating from Susan B. Anthony List, one of the Nation’s most prominent pro-life organizations.
As the organization stated last year, “Congressman Cline has voted consistently to protect the lives of the unborn as well as the consciences of taxpayers who don’t want their hard-earned tax dollars paying for abortion domestically or internationally. Rep. Cline has defended the Trump administration’s pro-life regulatory efforts from pro-abortion attacks to prohibit their implementation.”
Supporting the Second Amendment:
Whether in Richmond or Washington, I have always been a staunch defender of the Second Amendment. That is why I earned an “A+” rating from the NRA last term, and I will remain an advocate for the Second Amendment in the 117th Congress. As evidence of this, the first piece of legislation I cosponsored in this term was H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This bill affirms that law-abiding citizens who are qualified to carry concealed firearms in one state can carry in other states that allow residents to do so. Because some states refuse to allow their citizens to fully exercise their Second Amendment rights, concealed carry reciprocity is needed to protect the constitutional rights of millions of law-abiding citizens across America. I look forward to supporting this important legislation, as well as similar bills intended to protect citizens’ rights.
The Internal Revenue Service announced this week that the agency will not start accepting federal tax returns until February 12. This decision was made to allow the IRS time to do additional programming and testing of agency systems following the December 27 tax law changes that provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments and other benefits. Further, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS is urging all Americans to file their taxes online this year to ensure taxpayers receive their refunds in a timely manner. To learn more, click here.
I continue to be disappointed with Governor Northam’s inadequate roll out and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine across the Commonwealth. Currently, only 34% of Virginia residents have received the vaccine, which, percentage-wise, is the 49th worst in the country. And despite setting a goal of inoculating 50,000 Virginians a day, that number has fallen woefully short and stands at only 16,000. Further, the Governor has prioritized urban centers above rural areas in the Sixth District, which is unacceptable. As the federal government considers the rate at which states are administering vaccines to determine the next allotment of doses, I implore the Governor to take the steps necessary to correct this situation.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your congressman. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest updates. If my office can ever be of assistance, please contact my Washington office at (202) 225-5431.
Benjamin Rice Lacy, III (1922 – 2021)
Ben was born on March 5, 1922, in Atlanta, Georgia. He spent his childhood in Richmond, where his father was president of Union Theological Seminary, and enjoyed summers at their family cabin at Freezeland Orchard with his parents and siblings Bob, Bill & Betty. These experiences paved the way for his life as a devout Christian and respected orchardist.
Ben graduated from Davidson College in 1943, where he was Quarterback of the Wildcat’s football team. He proudly served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps from 1943-1947, where he was a Rocket Officer during World War II. He received his Master’s Degree in Horticulture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1949 and was an assistant football coach for the Hokies.
In 1946, Ben married Carolyn West of Kinston, North Carolina. Together they had two children, Emma Lee and Benjamin. They spent much of their time volunteering at the Front Royal Presbyterian Church, where Ben taught Sunday School for 68 years. The Benjamin R. Lacy Compassion Center was recently established there in his honor.
After the death of his first wife, in 1975, Ben married Jean Boyd McIntyre of Norfolk who he proposed to on their first date. They were married for 35 years, and he became stepfather to her three children, graciously hosting years of extended family gatherings and building a family business together.
Ben spent most of his life as an apple grower. For over 50 years, he was President and Manager of the Freezeland Orchard from his youth and a partner in The Apple House in Linden. He was a respected leader in the Virginia apple industry, serving as President of Virginia Fruit Sales, Inc., Vice-President of Shenandoah Apple Cooperative; Director of both the Virginia State Apple Commission and Virginia Agricultural Foundation; President of the National Apple Institute and Virginia State Horticultural Society and Chairman of the American Agricultural Marketing Association. In 1979, inspired by his father’s tales of tasting sparkling cider as a Rhodes Scholar in Europe, Ben invented Alpenglow which he produced and distributed nationally with his family for 40 years at Linden Beverage Company.
Ben was preceded in death by his parents Benjamin Rice Lacy, Jr., and Emma White Lacy and son, Benjamin Rice Lacy IV of Richmond. He is survived by daughter Emma Lacy Nashner (Dick) of Haverton, Pennsylvania, daughter-in-law Sandra Schute Lacy of Richmond, stepson, George Lee McIntyre, Jr. (Karen), of Front Royal, and two stepdaughters, Elizabeth McIntyre Quarles (Doug) of Fredericksburg and Debra McIntyre Hunter of Front Royal. His grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren loved him dearly; they include: Benjamin Rice Lacy V (Carlie) of Columbia, South Carolina, Carolyn Lacy Brackett (Alex) of Richmond, Christine Wiley (Chris) and Carolyn Goede (Nicholas) of Havertown, Pennsylvania; Kathryn McIntyre Tewell (Tim), Courtney McIntyre Maier (David) and George Lee McIntyre III of Front Royal; Lacy Quarles Briney (John) and Douglas Earle Quarles IV (Shelby) of Richmond; Laura Hunter Drago (Matthew) of Valencia, California; and great-grandchildren Maggie, Mason, Addison, Peyton, Webb, Eason, Billy, Hunter, Abigail, Ben, and Jones.
A private memorial service will take place for immediate family, conducted by Pastor Carrie Evans. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Benjamin R. Lacy Compassion Center at Front Royal Presbyterian Church, 115 Luray Avenue, Front Royal, Virginia 22630.
Dangerous opiate drugs inundating our community
The Front Royal Police Department would like to notify the public about a recent influx of overdose-related calls that have occurred since the beginning of the new year. In our continued efforts to preserve public safety, we would like to take this opportunity to warn citizens of the presence of especially dangerous opiate drugs inundating our community.
Since January 1, 2021, the Front Royal Police Department and members of the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force (NWVRDTF) have responded to seven suspected drug overdoses, four of which resulted in deaths. In the past 36 hours, our agency has responded to two overdose-related deaths that opiates are suspected to have been used by the victims. Although these investigations are currently pending, information suggests that the potent and deadly synthetic opiate, fentanyl, may be responsible for these overdoses and corresponding fatalities.
Recent laboratory analyses conducted by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science show that fentanyl is being used in the production of counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs, such as Percocet, thereby deceiving victims into taking potentially lethal doses of the drug.
The presence of Fentanyl has also been found in other illicit street drugs such as cocaine and marijuana. Data shows that drug overdoses in the Front Royal/Warren County area have been increasing over the past two years. In 2019, a total of 36 overdoses resulting in injury or death were reported in Front Royal and Warren County. Last year, in 2020, that number rose to 76 overdose cases reported to law enforcement in Front Royal and Warren County.
The increased presence of Fentanyl seems to be a key factor in the rise in overdoses. With seven overdoses reported solely in the Town of Front Royal thus far into 2021, our department believes this trend may continue and that there remains a serious threat to public health and safety. The Front Royal Police Department and regional Drug Task Force are working diligently to combat illegal narcotics being distributed in our community.
If you have any information regarding these deaths or the distribution of narcotics that you would like to share with the Front Royal Police Department, we ask that you please contact us at (540) 635-2111
Warner Weekly Wrap-Up: Presiding
Shortly after the inauguration, the Senate got to work confirming Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, and today confirmed Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as Defense Secretary – the first Black American to run the department.
Sen. Warner also presided over the Senate today for the first time in the 117th Congress. With Democrats in the majority, you can expect to see Sen. Warner holding the Senate gavel from time to time, in addition to the gavel of the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he will be Chairman.
This and more in your Warner Weekly Wrap-Up:
At noon on Wednesday, former Vice President Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States, while Kamala Harris became the first woman, first Black American, and first person of South Asian descent to become Vice President.
Prior to the inauguration, Sen. Warner appeared on CNBC to talk about what lies ahead for this administration, which inherits a crippled economy and the greatest public health crisis in generations, on top of a host of other threats including one of the worst cyber hacks in history.
On CNBC’s Squawk Box, Sen. Warner expressed optimism at President Biden’s ability to lead and address the health and economic crisis. He also emphasized the importance of ensuring that vaccine distribution is rolled out appropriately and the next COVID-19 relief package is able to deliver relief to the American people.
In a win for national security, the Senate on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to confirm Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, making her the first woman to lead the nation’s Intelligence Community.
Prior to the vote, and after participating in open and classified hearings with Ms. Haines, Sen. Warner – the incoming Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence – took to the Senate floor to urge his colleagues to support the Haines nomination. You can watch that speech by clicking here.
After the Senate voted to confirm by a vote of 84 to 10, Sen. Warner praised the decision in a statement, saying:
“Given the critical importance of the role of the Director of National Intelligence to our country’s security, it is appropriate that Avril Haines has now become the first member of the new administration to be confirmed by the Senate in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote. After being deliberately undermined for four years, the Intelligence Community deserves a strong, Senate-confirmed leader to lead and reinvigorate it. I am confident Ms. Haines will serve capably and honorably in the role and I look forward to working with her.”
You can expect Sen. Warner to continue working with his Senate colleagues to get President Biden the cabinet he needs to get the economy back on track and the COVID-19 crisis under control.
In honor of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Sen. Warner on Monday joined Shiloh Baptist Church volunteers to help assemble and distribute supplies to donate to 500 local families. This comes as Virginians continue to rely on food pantries and food banks to help them weather the current economic crisis. You can read more about this in FOX 5 by clicking here or below.
Sen. Warner has been a strong advocate of expanded access to food assistance for families in the Commonwealth amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Earlier today, he announced his intent to reintroduce legislation to allow the federal government to pay 100 percent of the cost to states and localities so that they can partner with restaurants and nonprofits to prepare nutritious meals for vulnerable populations, such as seniors and underprivileged children.
He has previously put pressure on the USDA to formally authorize Virginia’s request to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Pilot Program, successfully pushed USDA to waive a requirement that made it more difficult for families to receive USDA-reimbursable meals, and secured a USDA designation that allows food banks to distribute food directly to Virginia families in need while limiting interactions between food bank staff, volunteers, and recipients. Additionally, in August, Sen. Warner successfully pushed for USDA to extend critical food waivers to help make sure students have access to nutritious meals while school districts participate in distance learning.
In the COVID-19 relief package signed into law last month, Sen. Warner fought to include his legislation to help hard-hit minority communities and businesses weather the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.
Provisions of the Jobs and Neighborhood Investment Act, which makes the largest single investment into minority-owned and community-based lending institutions in the nation’s history, will help bring targeted relief to communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Additionally, the relief package provides $13 billion in nutrition assistance, including a 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits.
· PRECAUTIONS: Ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration, Vice Chairman Warner and Acting Senate Intelligence Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter requesting information from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe regarding the Intelligence Community’s preparations for the inauguration on January 20, 2021.
· BRIDGE CLOSURES: Sen. Warner, along with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, and U.S. Reps. Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly, and Jennifer Wexton (all D-VA), issued a statement on the agreement between the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States Secret Service (USSS) authorizing the use of Virginia State Police assets, resources, and personnel, to assist with the closure of bridges spanning the Potomac River during the 2021 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony.
· TREASURY: Sen. Warner, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released a statement in support of the nomination of Janet Yellen to be Secretary of the Treasury.
The Senate will be in session next week, holding hearings on more of President Biden’s cabinet nominees and preparing to receive the impeachment articles from the House of Representatives. Sen. Warner is expected to participate in a number of Zooms including with the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Public Lands Alliance. He is also expected to host a webinar with Virginia small businesses, so keep an eye on your inbox for an advisory.