St. John’s Drama is thrilled to announce that the hills of Virginia will be alive with The Sound of Music this July! Join St. John’s Drama as they return to the stage with this beloved family classic.
The final collaboration between Rodgers & Hammerstein was destined to become the world’s most beloved musical. Featuring a trove of cherished songs, including “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “My Favorite Things,” “Do Re Mi,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” and the title number, The Sound of Music won the hearts of audiences worldwide, earning five Tony Awards and five Oscars. The inspirational story, based on the memoir of Maria Augusta Trapp, follows Maria, an ebullient postulant who serves as governess to the seven children of the imperious Captain von Trapp, bringing music, love, and joy back into their hearts and home.
There will be only four performances of Getting to Know… The Sound of Music.
- Friday, July 16th at 7:30 pm
- Saturday, July 17th at 1:30 pm
- Saturday, July 17th at 7:30 pm
- Sunday, July 18th at 5:30 pm
- Tickets will be available at the door.
- Adults – $8
- Students, children (3 and up), and seniors (65 and over) – $5
- Saturday and Sunday Matinee Family special – $35.00
- (parents and minor children only, please)
GETTING TO KNOW… THE SOUND OF MUSIC is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. concordtheatricals.com
IRS faces huge backlog of business returns
The Internal Revenue Service is facing a massive backlog of 8 million paper business tax returns. That’s an increase of more than 3,000 percent compared to the same period in 2019 before the pandemic threw the world into disarray. Some cash-strapped companies rely on tax refunds to stay afloat. Given the IRS backlog, such companies may not get the needed funds in time.
Like many other organizations, the IRS took steps to protect employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. This slowed down tax return processing, especially for paper returns. While the IRS has tried to add staff, a tight labor market has impeded efforts.
Have problems? Need to talk with the IRS? In years past, contacting the IRS was relatively straightforward. The IRS provides help for people struggling to fill out their returns, and also contact points to settle issues. You could typically call and talk with a live representative.
Right now, however, the phones are ringing but are seldom answered. Compared to 2019, the IRS received four times as many calls from taxpayers looking for assistance in 2021. At one point, the IRS was receiving 1,500 calls per second. While statistics for business taxpayers aren’t readily available, just 3 percent of calls to the IRS’s 1040 line were answered.
Businesses and individuals that need to resolve issues with past tax returns are also struggling to contact the IRS. While they wait, interest may continue to accrue on past-due balances.
Besides processing taxes, the IRS has to remain on top of tax law changes, stimulus programs, and other measures. The government agency processed roughly 475 million Economic Impact Payments worth about $800 million during the pandemic. These stimulus payments likely propped up consumer spending. However, if consumers can’t get stimulus payments and refunds quickly, it may put a crimp on consumer spending, some observers say.
County Supervisors change November meeting date – stay mum on Closed Session EDA litigation discussion
The only open session action taking by the Warren County Board of Supervisors at a Special Meeting of Tuesday, October 26, was authorization to change the date of a November Supervisors meeting from the 16th to the 18th. That item was a late addition to the agenda made and acted on prior to a scheduled closed session.
The bulk of the 5 p.m. meeting, about an hour-and-a-quarter, was taken up by a Closed/Executive Session to discuss Economic Development Authority litigation. As Royal Examiner readers know, that is an oft-behind closed doors topic over the last two-plus years in the wake of the $26-million to $62 million FR-WC EDA financial scandal that began unravelling in mid-2018. No announcement or action regarding that litigation was offered during the brief open session to adjournment shortly after 6:20 p.m.
As has been previously reported, the EDA financial scandal involves civil and criminal cases, the latter now handled at the federal level by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Virginia headquartered in Harrisonburg. Before criminal indictments were dropped by the Special Prosecutor at the state level due to speedy trial concerns surrounding the mountain of documented evidence, estimated at over a million pages, there were as many as 23 co-defendants alleged as co-conspirators of former EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald. The federal prosecutor launched action on August 31, filing a 34-count indictment against McDonald, including 16 counts of money laundering, 10 for bank fraud, 7 for wire fraud, and 1 count of aggravated identity theft regarding someone identified as “T.T.” (ITFederal principal Truc Tran perhaps?)
In related civil litigation, McDonald and the EDA reached an agreement in which $9-million-dollars of assets were ruled out of McDonald’s bankruptcy court filing as owed to the EDA, though without any admission of fault by McDonald. As part of that agreement the EDA recently announced assumption of ownership of McDonald Real Estate LLC MoveOn8’s undeveloped 41-acre Happy Creek parcel valued at over a million dollars.
The EDA and Town of Front Royal are also engaged in dueling civil countersuits initiated by the Town, claiming disputed lost assets related to the financial scandal. During the tenure of Interim Town Manager Matt Tederick, other than then-Mayor Eugene Tewalt, the town council chose to ignore EDA offers to sit down in a non-litigious, good faith effort to determine exactly what was owed to the Town related to the alleged misdirected EDA assets involved in Town and County capital improvement and economic development projects financed through the EDA. The Town has since initiated an effort to create its own unilateral Front Royal EDA (FREDA) operating independently of the over half-century-old Town-County EDA, which technically the Town is still a legal, if now silent, partner in.
That independent EDA effort has become a political hot potato in the coming Town Special Election to fill resigned member Jacob Meza’s seat. In recent years the County had fully funded EDA operational costs, with each municipality covering its own debt service related to EDA financing of projects. Independent conservative council candidate Bruce Rappaport has made the unilateral Front Royal EDA a major target of his campaign, citing it as a waste of town taxpayer money and destructive wrench in the cog of Town-County relations.
Warren County parent endorses Funk for School Board in Happy Creek District
I would like to share my endorsement and support of Dr. Antoinette Funk, candidate for the Warren County, Virginia School Board, Happy Creek District.
Dr. Funk and I served on the Warren County Public Schools Special Education Advisory Committee for 7 years. On this committee she inspired many of us to become more knowledgeable of our role and to better organize our work. As a parent, she appreciates the importance of a school district having a good line of communication with families, as an education professional with experience in teaching and working in school administration, she understands the many responsibilities that schools face, and as a long-time resident of Warren County, she appreciates the importance of a school district being the best that it can be to serve the families of a community. Her experience as a parent, a resident, and an educator will give her a uniquely broad perspective as a school board member.
As election day approaches, please consider what is needed on our school board and consider voting for Dr. Antoinette Funk for the Happy Creek District School Board Member of Warren County, Virginia.
Warren County Parent and Resident
Front Royal Police Department seeking help in finding missing person, 18-year-old Zander Ward
The Front Royal Police Department is seeking assistance in attempting to locate a missing adult, Zander Benjamin Ward. Ward was reported missing on Monday, October 25th where he left his residence in the 1000 block of Goodview Drive, on foot, around 2:00 PM.
Ward was last seen wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, white t-shirt, and dark sweat pants. Ward was seen at Sheetz in Front Royal on October 25th around 3:00 PM.
Ward was allegedly seen later, around 4:00 PM, walking between the north and south fork bridges in Front Royal, VA.
Anyone with information as to Ward’s whereabouts is asked to please contact Det. D.L. Fogle with the Front Royal Police Department at 540-635-2111.
- NAME: Zander Benjamin Ward
- AGE: 18 years old
- RACE: White
- HEIGHT: 5’ 09”
- EYES: Brown
- HAIR: Auburn
Last Known Information:
- Last seen walking between north & south fork bridges, in Front Royal, October 25, 2021 around 4:00 PM.
A brief history of autocorrect
It’s a technology that inspires scorn, but most of us depend on it.
Found on smartphone messaging apps, word processors, and other programs, autocorrect helps keep tidy up our spelling while our fingers fly.
It’s so ubiquitous that some researchers fear it might be dumbing us down as we forget how to properly spell words. Yet without it, simple communication could go from smooth sailing to stormy waters.
In the early 1990s, Microsoft employee Dean Hachamovitch set out to improve Word’s functionality. Already, Word had a glossary that could complete words. Hachamovitch realized that this tool could be adapted to automatically fix common typos and spelling errors.
Autocorrect initially checked for common typing errors such as “teh” instead of “the,” against programmed tables of common mistakes. Microsoft later expanded autocorrect’s capabilities, enabling it to check against entire dictionaries.
Even dictionaries proved inadequate because terms like “CDs” or “abuzz” weren’t officially recognized. Still, users could add custom words to their personal dictionaries. To build more complete dictionaries, Hachamovitch and his team added words that Microsoft employees included in their own personal dictionaries.
Hachamovitch later went on to head data science at Microsoft.
Autocorrect, among other productivity features, saves time and improves communication. Writing for The Fact Site, Dan Lewis estimates that Autocorrect steps in to correct his writing about 50 times a day.
It’s hard to pin down the economic value of Autocorrect, but according to SHRM, companies with at least 100,000 employees lose an average of $62.4 million per year due to miscommunication.
Companies with just 100 employees lose an average of $420,000 per year.
4 benefits of orthodontic treatments
National Orthodontic Health Month is an annual event that was created to raise awareness about orthodontics. This specialized branch of dentistry aims to prevent, diagnose and treat malocclusions and misalignments of the teeth and jaws. Here are some of the be¬nefits provided by orthodontic treatments.
1. Improve your smile
Orthodontic dentistry is for anyone who wants to improve the appearance of their smile. It can be used to make small or large corrections like straightening your jaw or closing gaps between your teeth.
2. Correct your bite
Malocclusion can make chewing more difficult and cause muscle tension, headaches, and neck pain. Orthodontic treatments can help. They may be used to correct an overbite, backbite, misaligned teeth, and more. A healthy bite will reduce wear on your teeth, which will make them stronger and less likely to chip or break.
3. Prevent dental decay
If you have crooked or crowded teeth, you can benefit from orthodontics. Properly aligned teeth make brushing and flossing easier. This reduces your risk of developing cavities and gum disease.
4. Increase your self-esteem
Orthodontic treatments can have a positive psychological effect. If your teeth are straightened, this may improve your self-esteem and allow you to smile with confidence.
Did you know it’s possible to benefit from orthodontics at any age? If you want to transform your smile, simply schedule a consultation with an orthodontist in your region.