For the 12th consecutive year, The River 95.3/WZRV will be hosting ‘Camping for Hunger,’ from Monday, November 16th through Saturday, November 21st to raise food, monetary donations and awareness of hunger in the northern Shenandoah Valley.
2019 donation totals again exceeded the previous years’, with over twelve tons of food donated and nearly $8000 in cash donations. However, with the need ever-increasing and increased employment issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the goal for 2020 is to top that. The total amount of food collected provides approximately six months’ worth of food for C-CAP’s pantry program.
On-Air personalities Lonnie Hill, Randy Woodward, and Alyssa McBeth along with station owner Andrew Shearer and other staff members won’t be sleeping on the bus this year, but instead will be hosting a virtual radio-thon and collecting your donations daily in the parking lot of the WZRV/WFTR Studios at 1106 Elm Street, Front Royal. During the week-long campout event, The River 95.3 will broadcast live asking for community support and donations for Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP’s food pantry. In-person collections will take place Camping week between 9 am and 4 pm. An on-line donation link direct to C-CAP, a 501-c(3) non-profit, will also be provided.
Royal Broadcasting President, Andrew Shearer commented, “We are able to garner support from community groups and area businesses in order to make this happen – but it‘s the individual donations that make this such a success. Our neighbors are very generous.”
Past supporters have included the Front Royal Police, Warren County Fire & Rescue, Royal Plaza Shopping Center, CenturyLink, and C-CAP. Numerous local companies have already started in-house food drives to help grow the totals and all donations stay in our local community.
The River 95.3 is committed to continuing to serve the community through direct-involvement events and activities. For more information, contact the station: 540-635-4121; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit theriver953.com.
Within the Warmth of Main Street’s Honey and Hops, Reaching Out Now’s President Samantha Barber and Her Staff Share a Vision for Youth Center with the Community
Beginning at 2 p.m. on December 9 at Honey and Hops, located at 212 East Main Street A, non-profit Reaching Out Now (RON) held a fundraiser with a meet and greet atmosphere, serving food and drink to the community as Honey and Hops continued to hold regular business. All were invited to hear more about RON’s vision for revitalizing the old Santmyers Youth Center, its new name revealed at this fundraiser to be the Raymond E. Santmyers Student Union and Activity Center. Questions were welcomed as RON President Samantha Barber and her staff shared information and emphasized the importance of community involvement.
The possibility of a revitalized youth center is quickly becoming a reality, as asbestos has been removed from the flooring of the original building, and Barber and staff have identified what they need to do to be ready for the projected April opening. They look forward to receiving the keys to the building next month, as well as continuing to troubleshoot problems, and addressing aesthetic concerns that may overlap with opening in April. Their interactions with the County and Town have been amicable, and they look forward to continuing that partnership.
A new youth center, offering tutoring opportunities and other activities that provide guidance and hope to young people, is a possibility that resonates deeply with many among our town’s leadership. They remember the Santmyers from when they were young people, dealing with all the unique challenges that face young people across our community. People like Councilman Bruce Rappaport and Councilman Glenn Wood reminisced with each other about the haven Raymond Santmyers and his family provided to the community’s youth. It was a drop-off point where parents could be confident that their children were cared for, safe, and mentored for their brightest future.
Even Mayor Lori Cockrell, native to Warren County, did not attend the youth center as often as Rappaport and Wood but can testify nonetheless to what a rock that establishment was to their community. This is a concern that interests public servants like Cockrell, Wood, and Rappaport, the time it took to attend the fundraiser being worthy pie slices out of their busy schedules.
Our newly elected sheriff, Crystal Cline, was also present with her husband, George, and she took advantage of an open mic opportunity to share just how much the center meant to her as a young person and how much it continues to mean to her as a point of contact with people who will never forget their time together there. It is a wonderful way of putting children on a positive path.
At one point in the program, Samantha Barber indicated a suggestions box where anyone could leave messages expressing what they hope to see in the new youth center. “You can dream with us, per se,” she said. All of Warren County’s youth, be they public schooled, private schooled, or homeschooled, will be the top priority for Barber and her team; that is why input from parents and students from all walks of life is so important to her. Of course, anyone wishing to donate to or become more involved with RON’s mission can reach them at https://reachingoutnow.org.
The program featured a raffle and an auction, the proceeds of which go to making the Raymond E. Santmyers Student Union and Activity Center a reality. As the mayor and others prepared to unveil the youth center’s new name, Barber said, “We do everything intentionally, and we wanted to make sure that [the new name] represented community, that it represented what the next generation is going to remember; this is past, this is present, and this is future.” After the unveiling, she added in reference to Raymond Santmyers, “He passed away in 1976, and I was born in 1976. Again, passing the torch on to the next generation … being inclusive of what he represented, his heart, his soul, will live on in this youth center as we continue to carry this forward. And I am so humbled that I was chosen for such a time as this, to lead this for our kids and bring this to life.”
Capitalizing on the Holiday Spirit: Job Hunting in Festive Times
Seeking Opportunities Amidst Celebration.
When jingle bells are ringing, and homes are adorned with twinkling lights, the last thing on most people’s minds is job hunting. But could the festive season be a goldmine for those eager to make their next career move? Contrary to popular belief, this joyous time might just be the ideal period to advance in the professional realm. Here’s how.
The Early Bird Gets the Offer
While the majority are winding down, ready for year-end celebrations, you could ramp up your job search efforts. With many candidates taking a break, there’s a good chance for your application to shine brighter than usual. It’s simple math: fewer applicants mean higher visibility for those who do apply. So, when you come across a position that sparks your interest, don’t hesitate. Get that polished resume and cover letter in, and you might just be ringing in the new year with a new job offer in hand.
Confidence Wrapped in Holiday Cheer
Let’s face it: job searching can be a roller coaster of emotions. However, during the holidays, with good cheer all around, harnessing a positive attitude might be a tad easier. When you’re called in for an interview or meeting, radiate that holiday spirit. A positive attitude can be infectious, and showing potential employers your enthusiasm and motivation, especially at a time when many are in holiday mode, can set you apart.
Season’s Greetings as Networking Gold
The end of the year brings with it a wonderful opportunity to reconnect. Whether it’s an old classmate, a former colleague, or even a past supervisor, now’s the perfect time to send a warm holiday greeting. Beyond the pleasantries, these messages can serve a dual purpose. They can subtly remind them of your skills, experiences, and your ongoing job hunt. A casual mention of your professional journey might just lead to a valuable recommendation or even a job lead.
Seasonal Strategies for Success
The holiday season might be synonymous with relaxation and family gatherings, but it doesn’t mean professional pursuits need to take a backseat. With reduced competition and a unique opportunity for networking, this period is ripe with potential. So, lace up those job-hunting boots and make the most of the festive spirit. Here’s to finding new beginnings in the most wonderful time of the year!
White Christmas” and the Man Behind the Melody: Irving Berlin’s Enduring Legacy
The tale of a timeless classic and the extraordinary life of songwriter Irving Berlin.
A Timeless Tune
As the holiday season approaches, the familiar strains of “White Christmas” waft through the airwaves, evoking feelings of nostalgia and warmth. With its timeless melody and heartfelt lyrics, this classic song has become synonymous with the magic of Christmas. But do you know the story behind this beloved holiday anthem?
Legend has it that Irving Berlin, the prolific songwriter responsible for “White Christmas,” once remarked to Bing Crosby, “You don’t have to worry about this one.” Indeed, Berlin may have had a premonition of the enduring legacy this song would achieve.
Berlin’s faith in his creation was well-founded. “White Christmas” made its debut in 1942 as part of the movie “Holiday Inn.” Crosby’s rendition, featured in the film, quickly ascended to the pinnacle of the music charts. It wasn’t just a hit; it was a phenomenon. The song went on to become one of the best-selling records of all time, topping the charts a remarkable twelve times and eventually selling a staggering 50 million physical copies.
From Humble Beginnings to Musical Maestro
Irving Berlin’s journey to becoming a musical maestro was marked by resilience and determination. Born as Israel Beilin in Tsarist Russia, he arrived in the United States with his family at the tender age of five in 1893. The Beilin family, like thousands of other Russian Jewish families, had fled their homeland to escape brutal pogroms and the virulent anti-Jewish policies of Tsar Alexander III.
Tragedy struck when Berlin’s father passed away just eight years after their arrival, leaving the family in dire straits. Berlin, a mere eight-year-old with only two years of schooling, took to the streets to sell newspapers and contribute his meager earnings to his struggling mother. At fourteen, he ventured out on his own, making a living by singing in honky-tonks and gradually transitioning into songwriting. His first major hit, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” marked the beginning of a legendary career.
Despite his humble beginnings, Berlin developed a profound love for America and an unshakable sense of patriotism. His composition “God Bless America” stands as a testament to his deep affection for his adopted homeland, earning its place as a classic song performed in his honor upon his passing in 1989. Walter Cronkite, the legendary broadcaster, once eloquently stated that Berlin played a vital role in “writing the story of this country, capturing the best of who we are.”
A Blend of Traditions and a Lifelong Love
Irving Berlin’s personal life was equally fascinating. While he was of Jewish heritage, Berlin celebrated many traditional Christmases with his wife, Ellin, who was Catholic—a fact that intrigued America at the time. Their union wasn’t without its challenges; when they eloped in 1926, Ellin’s father promptly disowned her.
Christmas Day in 1928 brought both joy and sorrow to the Berlin household. It was the day their only son, Irving Jr., passed away at less than a month old. Despite this heart-wrenching loss, the Berlins eventually reconciled with Ellin’s father, and their love story continued to flourish. The couple went on to have three other children, enjoying a lifetime filled with success and an enduring love affair.
As the strains of “White Christmas” once again fill the air, let us remember the extraordinary life of Irving Berlin, a man whose enduring melodies continue to enchant generations and whose story is a testament to the American dream. In the words of his timeless song, “May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white.”
County Overseen EDA Takes Care of Business at Last Meeting of 2023
The Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority (FR-WC EDA) held its monthly meeting on Friday, December 8, 2023, at 8 a.m. All seven Board members and legal counsel were present.
The regular meeting began with Committee and Board Reports. Board Vice-Chair J.D. Walter and Treasurer Jim Wolfe announced that the Board will be having a Strategic Planning Meeting on Friday, January 12, 2024. The Asset Committee Chair, Jorie Martin, provided an update on the ongoing maintenance at the 400 Kendrick Lane building. Warren County Director of Economic Development Joe Petty discussed the FY-2025 budget schedule and an overview of the previous Open-Door Business Session in November. The Board then approved online banking access for the Chair, Treasurer, and a designated County staff member.
During the new business portion of the agenda, Equus Capital Partners provided an update on their due diligence as part of a contract to purchase property within Stephens Industrial Park. In addition to typical findings from geotechnical work and preliminary engineering, they are working with the gas company on dedicating a defined width of the gas line easement, which dates back to 1949.
After the Equus presentation, a status update on the TransPortation Opportunity Fund (TPOF) was given. The Board then approved the 2024 Regular Meeting Schedule, the second term option in the current lease agreement with CCAP, and extended the Baldwin Grazing lease an additional year.
The Board concluded the meeting with a closed session to discuss the potential disposition of real property to business prospects and legal consultation on active litigation. Following the closed session, the Board authorized Joe Petty to dispose of two vehicles owned by the EDA; approved extending the contract on Stephens Industrial Park, Parcel 2, until December 31, 2024; and approved a resolution authorizing legal counsel to draft a lease for the Avtex Parking lot.
As noted above, the FR-WC EDA will be having its Strategic Planning meeting on Friday, January 12, 2024 (8 a.m.), and their next regular monthly Board meeting will be held on Friday, January 26, 2024, also at 8 a.m. at the Warren County Government Center.
(From a release by the Warren County-overseen FR-WC EDA)
A Merry and Safe Holiday: Five Tips for a Pet-Friendly Christmas
Ensuring the Safety and Happiness of Your Pets During the Festive Season.
The holiday season is a time of joy and festivity, not just for us but also for our beloved pets. However, the increased activity, unfamiliar guests, and festive decorations can sometimes be overwhelming and even hazardous for them. To ensure that your furry friends enjoy the holidays as much as you do, here are five essential tips for creating a pet-friendly holiday environment.
1. Maintain Routine: Pets thrive on routine, and the holiday season can disrupt their usual schedule. To minimize stress, maintain regularity in their feeding, walking, and playtime. This consistency provides a sense of normalcy and security amid the holiday chaos.
2. Create a Safe Haven: The influx of guests and the noise can be overwhelming for pets. Set aside a quiet room or space where they can retreat. Equip this area with essentials like food, water, and their bed. This safe zone allows them to escape the festivities and relax.
3. Supervise Your Pet: Keep a close eye on your pet to prevent any mischief or accidents. Decorations and holiday plants can be intriguing but dangerous if chewed or ingested. Supervision is key to preventing these potential hazards.
4. Monitor Their Diet: Holiday foods can pose risks to pets, with many traditional dishes containing ingredients toxic to animals. Ensure all human food is out of their reach and avoid deviating from their regular diet with unfamiliar treats.
5. Emergency Preparedness: In case of an emergency, such as ingestion of toxic substances, have a plan ready. Know the location and contact details of local veterinary clinics that offer emergency services. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of poisoning and the immediate actions to take if such a situation arises.
The holidays are a time to celebrate with all members of your family, including the furry ones. Following these tips ensures that your pets stay safe, stress-free, and happy throughout the festive season. Remember, a little preparation and awareness can go a long way in making the holidays enjoyable for everyone, pets included.
Collaborative Effort Leads to Swift Arrest in Warren County
Four Law Enforcement Agencies Join Forces in High-Risk Operation.
In an exemplary display of inter-agency cooperation, four law enforcement bodies in Warren County successfully collaborated to apprehend a dangerous suspect involved in a drive-by shooting. This operation, occurring in the early hours of December 9, 2023, highlights the effectiveness of coordinated efforts in ensuring public safety.
The operation commenced following a distress call from the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO). The call was regarding a high-risk vehicle stop linked to a drive-by shooting in Culpeper County, reported less than an hour earlier.
The suspect’s vehicle, identified by the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) and spotted by an RCSO lieutenant, was followed into Warren County. Recognizing the gravity of the situation and the potential risk to public safety, RCSO sought additional support from WCSO. The Front Royal Police Department (FRPD) was also involved, setting up spike strips at the county line as a precautionary measure.
The high-risk vehicle stop, strategically executed on Route 522 South before reaching more populous areas, led to the peaceful surrender of the suspect. This outcome was a testament to the meticulous planning and coordination among the WCSO, RCSO, CCSO, and FRPD.
The suspect, identified as Demetre Dominique Skinner from Manassas, VA, faces multiple charges, including shooting from a vehicle, aggravated malicious wounding, and the use of a firearm during a felony. The joint operation’s success underscores the importance of inter-agency collaboration in handling critical situations.
The victim of the shooting was airlifted to UVA Charlottesville and is currently in critical condition. The incident, according to detectives, was isolated to the Culpeper area, involving only Skinner and the victim.
The swift and effective action of the four collaborating agencies in apprehending a dangerous individual serves as a reminder of the critical role law enforcement plays in community safety. The successful outcome of this joint operation not only ensured the swift administration of justice but also prevented potential further harm to the residents of Warren County and its surrounding areas.