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Luray man arrested for soliciting underage victims for sexual purposes
An investigation into the solicitation of minors in the Warren County/Front Royal area was initiated by Front Royal Police detectives on March 20, 2023. The detectives took a proactive approach to apprehend individuals who were soliciting underage victims for sexual purposes. An undercover operation was conducted, during which an adult male began soliciting one of the detectives, whom he believed to be a female under the age of 15. The adult male suspect sent sexually explicit material to the detective, who was posing as a juvenile in an undercover capacity. The suspect started the conversation voluntarily without being prompted.
Under Virginia Code § 18.2-374.3, it is unlawful for any person to use a communications system or other electronic means to procure or promote the use of a minor for taking indecent liberties or production of child pornography.
The suspect was identified by the police as Allen J. Bright, a 35-year-old resident of Luray, Virginia. On March 27, 2023, detectives traveled to Bright’s workplace in Luray, VA, and apprehended him for the offenses listed below. Bright was taken to the Page County Jail and ordered to be held without bond after appearing before the magistrate. The court date for the listed offenses has been set for April 20, 2023, at 09:00 a.m. in Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Additionally, the Virginia State Police arrested Bright for two additional charges of the same nature.
The Front Royal Police Department is an active member of the Northern Virginia/DC Metro (NOVA/DC) Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which is coordinated by the Virginia State Police. The department urges anyone with information about soliciting or exploiting any minor to contact them. If anyone has further information about this case, they should contact Detective M.R. Ramey at (540) 636-2208 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Front Royal Police Department acknowledges and appreciates the assistance provided by the Luray Police Department and the Virginia State Police in this investigation and the successful apprehension of the suspect.
(Information from a release by FRPD)
Governor Glenn Youngkin signs legislation supporting Virginians with developmental disabilities and their families
On March 27, 2023, Governor Glenn Youngkin signed key pieces of legislation that will help support Virginians with developmental disabilities and their families obtain the support and tools necessary to ensure that they are able to succeed.
“The bills I’m signing today will improve the lives of so many Virginians, including those with developmental disabilities, who contribute so much to the culture and success of our vibrant Commonwealth,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “We must continue to strive to equip our students with the skills to compete, and education is such an important part of that process.”
Governor Youngkin signed the following bills today:
HB 1963, patroned by Delegate Chris Runion, and SB 945, patroned by Senator David Suetterlein, directs the Department of Medical Assistance Services to take steps to amend the Family and Individual Supports, Community Living, and Building Independence waivers to provide greater financial flexibility to individuals with developmental disabilities who are receiving waiver services. The bill requires the Department to report on its progress to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 1, 2023.
HB 1554, patroned by Delegate Emily Brewer, and SB 943, patroned by Senator David Suetterlein, requires each public high school in the Commonwealth to publicly identify on its official website the faculty member responsible for special education transition planning and coordination at such high school.
SB 1430, patroned by Senator David Suetterlein, requires the Department of Education to convene a stakeholder work group to make recommendations on reducing barriers to and improving access to paid work-based learning experiences for English language learner students.
“In Roanoke today, Governor Youngkin signed three of my bills into law that will provide greater transparency and flexibility for Virginians with developmental disabilities and opportunities for English learner students. I would like to thank Governor Youngkin and the many advocates, including The Arc of Virginia, the Roanoke City School Board, and the Commission on Youth, for coming together around these ideas that will improve the lives of so many Virginians. We are always strongest when we work together, and each of these bills will further empower Virginia families to thrive,” said Senator David Suetterlein.
“I am extremely blessed and pleased to continue our collaboration with The Arc on this legislation. With the Governor’s signature, focused, meaningful and impactful support will be available to our friends and neighbors who need it most,” said Delegate Chris Runion.
“Signing HB1554 into law means that the transition process will be more transparent for parents as they navigate special education services. Identifying the coordinator for each school will ensure parents know who their navigator is. As State Chair of the Commission on Youth, this legislation was part of our priority agenda for special education service coordination. I want to thank Governor Youngkin for signing HB1554, and I know he understands the positive impact this will have for Virginia parents,” said Delegate Emily Brewer.
Michal Ashby, children’s librarian receives the Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award
On March 15, 2023, Michal Ashby, children’s librarian at Samuel’s Public Library, received the Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award. “For Outstanding and Meritorious Service to Humanity,” the award was presented by Lodge 2382 of Front Royal.
“The award from Elks Club was the most significant professional honor of my life,” Ashby said. “The people I have met in that group have been some of the sweetest people I have ever met. Their selection of me for the award has positively impacted my life for years to come. Their generosity humbles me.”
This honor does not come out of the blue. Ashby has been instrumental in helping the library maintain a partnership with the local Elks Club for some time. “They are passionate about literacy and have been contributing to our programs for years,” she said. “Like other civic organizations such as Kiwanis Club and Rotary, they make a huge difference in our community.”
To anyone who knows her, it is obvious that Michal Ashby is a passionate human being driven by many goals. One of her greatest passions is the adult and teen volunteer base that serves the library. “Without a foundation,” she said, “a house wouldn’t stand.” She sees her volunteers as being that foundation. “They help us with everything from weeding our children’s garden, cutting out crafts for story-time, shifting books, shelving movies, and doing light cleaning. Sometimes they even offer to dress up in a costume for a special program!”
As Ashby talked about her passion for the library and the community in which it stands, it became evident why she received the award. “Every day, I am reminded why I serve this community,” she said. “Every day, I see parents who thank us for what we do, children who ask us about good books, and teens who tell us how much the library means to them. Our community drives my passion for our department and the library.”
Ashby has served the library since 2006. In that time, the children’s staff and the teen volunteer program have grown. The library has achieved many goals, adding regular art, gardening, and science programs to complement its literacy-based programs. It now maintains a children’s garden, a Storywalk at Eastham Park, and a variety of community partnerships. “I am proud that these things have happened during my ‘stewardship’ of the children’s department,” Ashby said. She also said that her current goal “is to increase our presence and our impact in the community,” chiefly through partnerships with organizations that choose to do programming with the library.
The passion of Michal Ashby extends to every part of her life. Her hobbies include gem mining, rock hounding, history, genealogy, and reading. “I am an avid reader,” she said. “Recently, I have been enjoying our non-fiction. I love to read about space, geology, and Egyptology. Children’s books are quick reads in comparison to adult non-fiction. I also recently have been re-reading the classics such as 1,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.”
Bringing the community every interest imaginable with a built-in mechanism for reaching out to other libraries, Samuel’s is truly a product of evolution in the eyes of those who remember presenting their selection of loans to a librarian, as they can now handle the check-out process themselves with the assistance of cutting-edge computer technology. Despite such improvements, the library continues to be a friendly place where magical things can happen, protected by the stewardship of people like Michal Ashby.
Town Talk: A conversation with Chuck Brome and Rick Logan – South Warren Ruritan Spaghetti Dinner
In this edition of Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Chuck Brome and Rick Logan from the South Warren Ruritan Club. On Saturday, April 8, 2023, the club is hosting its 17th Annual Spaghetti Dinner at Skyline High School. The event takes place in the school cafeteria from 4 pm to 7 pm.
Guests can enjoy unlimited spaghetti, salad, bread, beverages, and dessert. While a donation is requested, it supports a fantastic cause. All proceeds will be used to fund scholarships for local high school students. In addition to the meal, a cake auction and other baked items will be available for purchase to enjoy at home.
Passage Creek Raising will provide entertainment.
The club will also sell flower baskets, just in time for Mother’s Day.
Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. Let us know if you have an idea or topic or want to hear from someone in our community. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com
Replace worn bicycle parts each spring
Early spring is a good time to replace bike parts that may be worn out so you can start the new season with critical components in top-notch shape. Here are six things you should do now.
Your tires: The knobs on mountain bike tires lose their edges, which reduces traction. Road bike tires, especially rear tires, lose their crown, making them feel clunky when transitioning in and out of corners. All tires age. Rubber gets harder.
The chain: Measure the chain stretch to determine whether your chain needs to be replaced, or alternatively, you can make the replacement part of your annual routine. An old chain is more prone to breakage, shifts poorly, and accelerates wear on the bike’s chain rings.
Check the cables: Cables are the wire cores, and housings are the outer covers through which the cables run. Your first indication of failing cables may be a “snap” followed by a loss of tracking or shifting.
Brake pads: Rim brake pads harden over time, diminishing braking efficiency. They also pick up bits of grit that grind against the rims. Disc brake pads pick up junk, which can gouge rotors.
Replacement pads come in many styles, including those for severe conditions and for specific types of rims, such as ceramic-coated and carbon fiber.
Cleats: Worn cleats are difficult to clip in and out and may release unexpectedly. New ones should be installed early in the season when your daily mileage is low.
Maybell Smoot (1936 – 2023)
Maybell Smoot, 86, of Front Royal, Virginia, passed away on Friday, March 24, 2023, at the Blue Ridge Inpatient Care Center in Winchester.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, April 4, at 11:00 am at Maddox Funeral Home, with Pastor Danny Clegg officiating. Interment will follow in Panorama Memorial Gardens at Waterlick.
Mrs. Smoot was born September 13, 1936, in Shenandoah County, Virginia, the daughter of the late Floyd and Hazel Irene Racey Tucker.
She retired after many dedicated years as a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Surviving is a daughter, Linda Lively of Front Royal; two sons, Ronnie Smoot of Winchester and Ricky Smoot of Front Royal; nine grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Smoot was married to the late James Ashby Smoot, who preceded her in death in 2011.
Pallbearers will be great-grandsons.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Tuesday, April 4, from 10:00 to 11:00 am.
Wind: 2mph WNW
UV index: 0