Join Kim Strader, ANFT Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, for a gentle walk (no more than a mile or two) where we will wander and sit. Through a series of invitations and prompts, we will reconnect or deepen our connection with the natural world in a way that supports overall health and wellness. Nature and Forest Therapy walks are inspired by Shinrin-Yoku, a term coined in Japan in the 1980s, where it is a prominent feature of preventative medicine and healing.
Registration is required and the cost is $50 per person (parking included). This walk will take place rain or shine but will be canceled in the event of dangerous weather conditions. To register for this program, click here.
All adults (12+ years old) are welcome. No prior outdoor experience or naturalist training is required. Wear shoes or boots with good tread, bring water to drink and a camp stool or sitting pad.
Marjorie P. Saffelle (1936 – 2022)
Marjorie P. Saffelle, 85, of Front Royal, Virginia, passed away on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, at Evergreen Health and Rehab of Winchester, Virginia.
A celebration of life will be held for Marjorie at 1:00 pm on Monday, December 5, 2022, at Maddox Funeral Home, 105 W. Main St., Front Royal, Virginia, with Sammy Campbell officiating. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.
Marjorie was born on December 17, 1936, in Petersburg, Virginia, to the late Ashby and Louise Patterson. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Arthur Carey Saffelle Sr., and her son, Frank Hedrick Saffelle Sr.
Surviving Marjorie is her children, Laura Anne Saffelle, Artricia Haynes (John), Art Saffelle II (Laura), Margie Smoot (Teddy), Susan Billhimer, Linette Ritter (Jeff), Andrew Saffelle (Krista), and Ginger Batton; her sister, Jane Thomas (Jerry); and her numerous grand and great-grandchildren.
Marjorie loved God and church meant everything to her. Her favorite hobbies were sewing and crafting, and she was a professional at both. She also loved animals and adored her family.
The Saffelle family would like to give a special thanks to all the exceptional staff that has provided care to Marjorie during her time in Winchester.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to “All dogs matter” at https://alldogsmatter.co.uk/get-involved/donate/ and the “Dementia and Alzheimer’s Association” at https://act.alz.org/site/Donation2?df_id=51079&51079.donation.
Judge ponders rulings in multiple defense motions to overturn civil case jury finding of liability in EDA financial scandal cases
After over five hours of arguments surrounding five EDA civil case defendants’ motions to overturn jury liability verdicts totaling over $14-million, Judge Bruce D. Albertson took those arguments under advisement Wednesday afternoon, November 30th. Some court officials anticipate rulings at some point in the coming week in the cases of April Petty ($125,000 compensatory judgement liability); William Lambert ($296,555.34 compensatory, punitive, & interest liabilities); Donald “Donnie” Poe ($604,973.12 compensatory, punitive, interest); Truc “Curt” Tran ($1,821,192.01 compensatory, interest); and Samuel “Sammy” North (approximately $893,000 compensatory, punitive, interest, & statutory conspiracy).
In addition to the above personal liabilities, Poe’s EarthRight Energy (ERE) company ($948,646.25 in compensatory, punitive, interest) and Tran’s ITFederal ($10,419,327.38 compensatory) were also handed down by Warren County Circuit Court civil case juries in recent months.
All but North’s trial were heard in July. North’s, also originally scheduled for July, was delayed to October by a later withdrawn bankruptcy filing. This week on the final day of November, attorneys for the defendants echoed arguments sometimes heard at trial during earlier motions for dismissal of cases or claims against their clients due to what defense attorneys asserted both then and now, was a lack of substantive evidence of collusion with EDA financial scandal central figure and former Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Director Jennifer McDonald. Rather, some defense attorneys claimed their clients were unwitting victims of McDonald’s from various business or personal connections.
Those personal connections include North’s marriage to McDonald; Lambert’s former personal relationship with McDonald’s sister; what attorney William Schmidheiser called Petty’s casual acquaintance McDonald, acting as his client’s real estate agent in the sale of her home. On the business side, Poe’s ERE company was contracted through McDonald to perform various solar energy and energy maintenance projects for the EDA under what plaintiff EDA attorneys contended were false pretenses McDonald presented to her board of directors; and Tran’s ITFederal was recruited through the joint effort of McDonald and then Virginia Sixth District U.S. House Representative Bob Goodlatte to become the first commercial redevelopment client at the former Avtex Superfund site, also with what plaintiff counsel said were false contractual and asset information concerning ITFederal alleged to have been presented to the EDA board.
Several attorneys, most prominently Tran attorney David Jones Jr., also argued that several claims categories should not have applied to their clients at trial. Prominent among those were the “ultra vires” claim of profiting off the actions of an official acting outside the range of their legal authority, and associated claims of “conversion” and “unjust enrichment” being applied to their clients for actions of then EDA Executive Director McDonald. Consequently, Jones for Tran particularly and other defense attorneys argued that some jury instructions submitted were improper, creating an incorrect evidentiary scenario for those juries to deliberate on. So, procedural errors on bench rulings on evidence admissibility or jury instructions were claimed as grounds to overturn jury verdicts.
In Poe and ERE’s case, defense counsel William Ashwell also noted that some of the contracted work had been successfully completed by Poe’s company. He told the court that when payments were made by the EDA board to his client’s company: “The EDA eventually adopts her (McDonald’s) actions by their actions” and consequently his client is not the one who should be held liable for the return of money for work accomplished. Ashwell also sought to overturn any personal liability of Poe for payments made to his company.
In opening his arguments to overturn or limit Tran and ITFederal’s liability, Jones noted that he was “in the somewhat unenviable position of not being the trial attorney – Am I in the position of fresh eyes or of where fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” Jones wondered as he launched what would be an approximate hour of argument on his client’s behalf. During that hour Jones questioned the liability finding on a number of grounds and questioned whether ITFederal was, in fact, in breach of contract as claimed by the EDA in seeking recovery of the balance of the $10-million loan the EDA gave ITFederal for development at the former Avtex site.
Plaintiff counsel Cullen Seltzer and Karissa Kaseorg countered, as they had at trial, that McDonald’s assertions to her board about the source of funding for the ERE energy and electrical work being through grants that would compensate the EDA for its payments to ERE; or alleged government contracts held by Tran’s ITFederal company that were non-existent created the path for those payments, and a $10-million loan in ITFederal’s case, substantiating the juries findings of liability on ultra vires, conversion, and unjust enrichment, among other plaintiff claims.
In response to some of Jones’ arguments for reduction or dismissal of his clients’ liability, Kaseorg told Judge Albertson that the motions to overturn hearings should not be an opportunity for defense counsel to retry the case with a “what we wish we had done” at trial. Of Jones’ argument to dismiss based on the inclusion of the plaintiff’s “conversion” jury instruction, plaintiff counsel noted that the defense had agreed to the conversion jury instruction at trial.
In conclusion plaintiff EDA counsel asserted the judicial decisions from the bench at trial had been proper as to both evidence admissibility and jury instructions, and that those jury verdicts of financial liability based on both sides cases as presented at trial should stand as handed down by those five juries. And now we are awaiting a decision on how the court will rate its own performance at those trials based on the defendants’ challenges and the plaintiff’s counter-arguments in support of the judicial rulings made at trial.
Warren County High School vs Clarke County – Boys Varsity Basketball, December 2nd
Joins us on Friday, December 2, 2022, when the Warren County High School Boy’s Varsity Basketball team takes on Clarke County School. The game starts at 7:30 pm.
Catch all the action right here on the Royal Examiner.
Warren County High School vs Clarke County – Girls Varsity Basketball, December 2nd
Joins us on Friday, December 2, 2022, when the Warren County High School Girl’s Varsity Basketball team takes on Clarke County School. The game starts at 6 pm.
Catch all the action right here on the Royal Examiner.
Matchy-Matchy Pawliday Giving Campaign at the Winchester Area SPCA
Thanks to the continued generosity of the Ingham Family, your year-end contributions can go twice as far and help twice as many homeless pets! All donations received between December 1st and 30th will be doubled!
Donations can be made in any of the following ways:
- SPCA Website:winchesterspca.org/donate
- Venmo: venmo.com/SPCA-WINC
- Paypal: paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1783396
- USPS: Mail donations to Winchester Area SPCA 111 Featherbed Lane Winchester, VA 22601
- Call 540-662-8616 to make your donation via phone.
On behalf of the people and pets at your local WASPCA, we thank you.
The Winchester SPCA is a 501c3 non-profit Tax ID 54-6053158
In wake of most recent turnover at top of its Finance Department, County Supervisors promote Asst. Director Alisa Scott to head department
Warren County is pleased to announce the appointment of Alisa M. Scott as Finance Director for the County. Mrs. Scott has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications Studies from Northwestern College and a Master of Business Administration degree from American Public University. She brings a wealth of experience and multiple public finance certifications to this position.
Mrs. Scott was hired as the Warren County Deputy Finance Director on November 15, 2022, before interviewing and receiving the offer for the Finance Director position. While she began her career in the private sector, she now has more than 10 years’ experience in local government having managed purchasing for the Town of Front Royal from 2018 to 2021. Before that, she served as an administrative assistant for Frederick County, Virginia since 2012. Mrs. Scott will be assuming this role immediately while working with outgoing Finance Director, Matt Robertson.
Dr. Ed Daley, County Administrator, said this about Mrs. Scott’s appointment: “Mrs. Scott has been part of Mr. Robertson’s team as they have made significant strides in the County’s financial reporting and transparency. We are pleased that she will be continuing in the Finance Department and expanding on these efforts in her new role.”
Victoria L. “Vicky” Cook, member of the Warren County Board of Supervisors and representative on the Warren County Finance/Audit Committee, stated, “Mrs. Scott brings a wealth of knowledge and professionalism to the Finance Department. I am looking forward to working together with Mrs. Scott in her new role.”
Regarding her appointment as Finance Director, Mrs. Scott said, “I am honored to work alongside the County’s leadership team and am extremely grateful for this entrusted appointment. I look forward to continuing to serve our community and dedicated employees.”
The Warren County Finance Department is in Suite 700 of the Warren County Government Center, located at 220 N Commerce Avenue, telephone (540) 636-1604. Office hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.