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Read Across America Day

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When:
March 2, 2020 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
2020-03-02T10:00:00-05:00
2020-03-02T17:00:00-05:00
Where:
SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
111 Featherbed Lane | Winchester VA 22601
Cost:
Free
Contact:
SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
540-662-8616 ext. 406

Monday, March 2nd, 2020, is National Read Across America Day. Students of all ages are invited to come to the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke’s pet adoption center, located at 111 Featherbed Lane, to read “What Pet Should I Get?” to the shelter pets and enjoy Seuss inspired refreshments and activities.

Doors open at 10 a.m. with ½ price adoptions. The main event begins after school at 3 p.m.

What Pet Should I Get?” is a collaboration between Gifts Giving Back and the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke to celebrate Dr. Seuss Day, encourage reading, enhance the human animal bond, and have some Dr. Seuss inspired fun!

The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Darkness

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on

When:
March 2, 2020 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
2020-03-02T10:00:00-05:00
2020-03-02T17:00:00-05:00
Where:
SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
111 Featherbed Lane | Winchester VA 22601
Cost:
Free
Contact:
SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
540-662-8616 ext. 406

On one of my last visits to the Kentucky home farm, our mother was interested in knowing when the final darkness occurred. I recall standing inside the screened front door and watching the various stages of fading light, it did take several minutes before you could no longer see the familiar outlines of the barn and farm equipment. Mother was ready for darkness with outside lights that came on after sunset. Although it was not like high noon there was now plenty of artificial light to see if animals or persons approached the house.

In the U.S.A., towns, and cities are well equipped at night to make it appear like “day.” Shopping malls and some stores stay open almost around the clock. Not so in other countries, their electricity may be rationed for a few hours each night. The electric grid with its high tension lines is nonexistent. I know that in remote areas of Brazil and Ethiopia, after all these years, it probably remains the same.

If you tour old castles, you see that ample walls, moats, and thorn fences were there to keep out, not the darkness, but those who took advantage of the “night.” Darkness compels people to do many things. The Bible uses it to illustrate sin. We all should be fearful of sin, for the very end of it means death and separation from the One who has given the price for our salvation.

Anna L. Coghill born in 1854 was only 18 years old when she wrote this hymn. She died in England on July 7, 1907. The last verse spells out a message for all of us.

WORK FOR THE NIGHT IS COMING!

Work, for the night, is coming, Under the sunset skies; While their bright tints are glowing, Work, for daylight flies.

Work till the last beam fadeth, Fadeth to shine no more; Work, while the night is darkening, When man’s work is o’er.

So, you can see that Anna Coghill never got to see the “age of electricity” come into its own and that man’s work now continues through all hours, if necessary. Anna’s life was in an era when most of our people lived on farms and rose at dawn and went to bed soon after dark.

Darkness, in the Bible, when it does not refer literally to lack of light, as in the plagues of Egypt (Exodus 10:21-29), frequently refers to ignorance, particularly unwillingness to know about God and His ways. Isaiah the prophet said concerning Jesus, who would come to bring the knowledge of God to all people: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2).

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” (Isaiah 60:1-3).

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EDA in Focus

COVID-19 meeting restrictions lead to 2nd EDA grand jury extension

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on

When:
March 2, 2020 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
2020-03-02T10:00:00-05:00
2020-03-02T17:00:00-05:00
Where:
SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
111 Featherbed Lane | Winchester VA 22601
Cost:
Free
Contact:
SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
540-662-8616 ext. 406

Contacted by phone, Rockingham County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Parker confirmed that Judge Clark Ritchie had extended the term of the Warren County Special Grand Jury impaneled to explore potential criminality tied to the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority (EDA) civil litigation.

That extension is for six months and came as the grand jury’s first extension was coming to an end Tuesday, March 31. The EDA special grand jury was empaneled shortly after the EDA civil litigation was filed on March 26, 2019. Its first six-month term was extended another six months in October 2019.

Parker said the newest six-month extension comes from an “abundance of caution” both legally and medically.

The COVID-19 pandemic response has stopped many activities we once took for granted, including some court proceedings. Royal Examiner File Photos/Roger Bianchini

Due to restrictions on public gatherings ordered by Governor Ralph Northam as part of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s emergency management response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, what have been described as non-essential court functions have joined other enterprises deemed “non-essential” in the private sector in being put on hold at least through much of April. Consequently, it was decided it was unsafe for the grand jury to continue meeting in this pandemic emergency response environment.

In this fluid medical and legal environment, it is uncertain when the EDA Special Grand Jury will be able to meet again. However, Parker said he believes once those meetings begin, it will not take anywhere near six months for the grand jury to complete its business.

“Our goal is to conclude as soon as possible,” Parker said.

The entire current Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has recused from all EDA legal matters due to past or ongoing professional or personal relationships with involved parties. Jennifer McDonald during her local Rotary presidency, circa 2016-17.

Following the recusal from EDA legal matters of Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney John Bell and his entire staff in the wake of his November 2019 election, Parker was appointed to handle criminal indictments stemming from alleged EDA financial improprieties discovered by a forensic audit commissioned by Warren County on behalf of the EDA in September 2018.

The EDA civil litigation is now seeking recovery of $21.3 million from 15 defendants, including former EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald and two real estate companies she is alleged to have used to misdirect EDA assets to her own benefit.

In a series of filings by the EDA grand jury, McDonald now faces a total of 34 financial felony charges. Also indicted criminally on fewer charges has been a tight circle around McDonald, including her husband Samuel North, her former EDA Administrative Assistant Michelle “Missy” Henry, and former EDA small business loan recipient and B&G Goods proprietor William Lambert. At the time of his business relationship with the EDA Lambert is purported to have been in a relationship with a McDonald sister.

Criminal charges against another McDonald associate, Donald Poe, were dropped by Parker due to an approaching January perjury trial date he was not prepared for with his late 2019 appointment and the mountain of paperwork filed in relation to the EDA civil and criminal cases – estimated at or around a million pages of documentation.

Donald Poe following a 2019 court hearing – indicted, charges dropped, what does the future hold?

However, as he noted at the time, Parker can refile the criminal indictments against Poe if he feels the evidence so warrants. Poe’s perjury charges related to his testimony to the EDA Special Grand Jury regarding his business ties to McDonald.

The next EDA criminal case hearing dates are scheduled for April 17. Parker said he should have more information on how things will be proceeding forward within the coming week.

A federal grand jury has also been impaneled in Harrisonburg related to the EDA financial allegations and civil litigation. On April 16, 2019, agents from the FBI and Virginia State Police searched and seized documents and materials from the EDA’s Kendrick Lane offices, including the executive director’s office that had been cordoned off and locked down since McDonald’s December 20, 2018 resignation under increasing scrutiny by the investigative auditing firm Cherry Bekaert and her EDA Board of Directors. However, the federal grand jury has yet to issue any indictments from its investigation.

Above, FBI, State, and local authorities gathered to search and seize possible evidence at EDA headquarters in April 2019; including from Jennifer McDonald’s former office, below, which is pictured being locked down, including from remote access to her computer, following her Dec. 20, 2018 resignation.

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Health

FDA requests removal of all Ranitidine products (Zantac) from the market

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on

When:
March 2, 2020 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
2020-03-02T10:00:00-05:00
2020-03-02T17:00:00-05:00
Where:
SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
111 Featherbed Lane | Winchester VA 22601
Cost:
Free
Contact:
SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
540-662-8616 ext. 406

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced (April 1, 2020) it is requesting manufacturers to withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine drugs from the market immediately. This is the latest step in an ongoing investigation of a contaminant known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in ranitidine medications (commonly known by the brand name Zantac). The agency has determined that the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels of this impurity. As a result of this immediate market withdrawal request, ranitidine products will not be available for new or existing prescriptions or OTC use in the U.S.

“The FDA is committed to ensuring that the medicines Americans take are safe and effective. We make every effort to investigate potential health risks and provide our recommendations to the public based on the best available science. We didn’t observe unacceptable levels of NDMA in many of the samples that we tested. However, since we don’t know how or for how long the product might have been stored, we decided that it should not be available to consumers and patients unless its quality can be assured,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “The FDA will continue our efforts to ensure impurities in other drugs do not exceed acceptable limits so that patients can continue taking medicines without concern.”

NDMA is a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer). In the summer of 2019, the FDA became aware of independent laboratory testing that found NDMA in ranitidine. Low levels of NDMA are commonly ingested in the diet, for example, NDMA is present in foods and in water. These low levels would not be expected to lead to an increase in the risk of cancer. However, sustained higher levels of exposure may increase the risk of cancer in humans. The FDA conducted thorough laboratory tests and found NDMA in ranitidine at low levels. At the time, the agency did not have enough scientific evidence to recommend whether individuals should continue or stop taking ranitidine medicines, and continued its investigation and warned the public in September 2019 of the potential risks and to consider alternative OTC and prescription treatments.

New FDA testing and evaluation prompted by information from third-party laboratories confirmed that NDMA levels increase in ranitidine even under normal storage conditions, and NDMA has been found to increase significantly in samples stored at higher temperatures, including temperatures the product may be exposed to during distribution and handling by consumers. The testing also showed that the older a ranitidine product is, or the longer the length of time since it was manufactured, the greater the level of NDMA. These conditions may raise the level of NDMA in the ranitidine product above the acceptable daily intake limit.

With today’s announcement, the FDA is sending letters to all manufacturers of ranitidine requesting they withdraw their products from the market. The FDA is also advising consumers taking OTC ranitidine to stop taking any tablets or liquid they currently have, dispose of them properly and not buy more; for those who wish to continue treating their condition, they should consider using other approved OTC products. Patients taking prescription ranitidine should speak with their health care professional about other treatment options before stopping the medicine, as there are multiple drugs approved for the same or similar uses as ranitidine that do not carry the same risks from NDMA. To date, the FDA’s testing has not found NDMA in famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or omeprazole (Prilosec).

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA recommends patients and consumers not take their medicines to a drug take-back location but follow the specific disposal instructions in the medication guide or package insert or follow the agency’s recommended steps, which include ways to safely dispose of these medications at home.

The FDA continues its ongoing review, surveillance, compliance, and pharmaceutical quality efforts across every product area, and will continue to work with drug manufacturers to ensure safe, effective and high-quality drugs for the American public.

The FDA encourages health care professionals and patients to report adverse reactions or quality problems with any human drugs to the agency’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program:

Complete and submit the report online at www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm; or

Download and complete the form, then submit it via fax at 1-800-FDA-0178.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

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Opinion

Just thanks for keeping the community informed

Published

on

When:
March 2, 2020 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
2020-03-02T10:00:00-05:00
2020-03-02T17:00:00-05:00
Where:
SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
111 Featherbed Lane | Winchester VA 22601
Cost:
Free
Contact:
SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
540-662-8616 ext. 406

This is a really tough time for the publishing industry as ad volume is on the downswing. Your on-line service to the local community who cannot afford paid subscriptions is an especially important link to accurate information about the COVID-19 public health crisis.

And frankly, everyone in Warren County owes the Royal Examiner and its editorial staff a huge thank you for the hard questions asked that led to the uncovering of the EDA scandal. Without those hard questions, Warren County residents would not have known the extent of the harm done to our community.

So thank you to the publisher, Mike McCool, to the reporters and editorial staff. In my opinion, you are all heroes who are doing their best to serve the community.

Rea Howart

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Local News

VDOT: Warren County Traffic alert for – April 6 – 10, 2020

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When:
March 2, 2020 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
2020-03-02T10:00:00-05:00
2020-03-02T17:00:00-05:00
Where:
SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
111 Featherbed Lane | Winchester VA 22601
Cost:
Free
Contact:
SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
540-662-8616 ext. 406

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.

INTERSTATE 66
*NEW* Mile marker 0 to 15, eastbound and westbound – Mobile alternating lane closures for bridge sweeping. Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Mile marker 0 to 15, eastbound – Right shoulder closures for shoulder work. Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
*NEW* Mile marker 9 to 11, eastbound – Alternating shoulder closures for tree removal operations. Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
*NEW* Mile marker 11 to 7, westbound – Right shoulder closure for sign installations. Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

INTERSTATE 81
*NEW*Mile marker 299 to 300, northbound and southbound – Overnight alternating shoulder closures for bridge sweeping, 8 p.m. Wednesday to 7 a.m. Thursday.
*NEW* Mile marker 300 to 299, southbound – Right shoulder closures for sign installations. Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

PRIMARY ROADS
No lane closures reported.

SECONDARY ROADS
*UPDATE* Route 613 (Bentonville Road) – Northbound right shoulder closures for utility work at various locations between Route 340 (Stonewall Jackson Highway) and Route 738 (Jennings Lane), 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. through April 30.
Route 659 (Hardesty Road) – Stop-and-proceed traffic pattern just east of Route 603 (Howellsville Road) for pipe replacement, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through April 24. Vehicles limited to 9 feet in width.

Various roads – Flagger traffic control for utility tree trimming. Monday through 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 http://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 https://my.vdot.virginia.gov/. Agents are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

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Automotive

4 things to assess when buying a used car

Published

on

When:
March 2, 2020 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
2020-03-02T10:00:00-05:00
2020-03-02T17:00:00-05:00
Where:
SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
111 Featherbed Lane | Winchester VA 22601
Cost:
Free
Contact:
SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke
540-662-8616 ext. 406

 

Used cars are more affordable than new ones, but you still need to do your due diligence as a buyer. Here are four things to assess if you’re purchasing a second-hand car.

1. How it looks
Do a thorough inspection. Evaluate the wear on the tires, check the fluid levels and keep an eye out for rust, dents, and scratches. The costs of new tires, fluid changes, repairs and so on should be deducted from the asking price. Inspect the condition of the inside of the car too, from the upholstery to the multimedia system.

2. How it runs
Check the dash lights. All of them should come on when you turn the key to the on/run position and turn off when you start the engine. During the test drive, listen closely for noises that may indicate problems, such as rumbling, rattling or whining in the engine.

3. How it feels
Does the car handle well and does the steering feel easy and natural? Is the interior comfortable and are the controls user-friendly? Ensure that you feel comfortable with the way the car feels and drives. Also, make certain that the brakes are responsive without being too touchy.

4. What you’ve heard
Research any car that you’re considering buying. Find out what past owners say about the model and determine whether or not it commonly has parts that fail, premature rusting or safety defects.

Finally, before purchasing any vehicle, be sure to get it inspected by a trusted mechanic and to ask the owner for all maintenance records. Taking these steps will guarantee that you get a vehicle that’s as reliable as it seems.

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King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Wind: 3mph NE
Humidity: 56%
Pressure: 30.01"Hg
UV index: 0
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Upcoming Events

Apr
7
Tue
10:00 am Focus on Health Employment & Edu... @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Focus on Health Employment & Edu... @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Apr 7 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Focus on Health Employment & Education Fair @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Two sessions: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Different vendors at each session. Held in the Science and Health Professions Building at LFCC’s Middletown Campus. Contact Taylor Luther for more[...]
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 7 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, March 17 –  Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! This[...]
Apr
8
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 8 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19: Our stories, songs, and craft this week will be about friends! Come to story time and see your friends,[...]
Apr
9
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 9 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19: Our stories, songs, and craft this week will be about friends! Come to story time and see your friends,[...]
Apr
10
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Apr 10 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Apr
14
Tue
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 14 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, March 17 –  Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! This[...]
Apr
15
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 15 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19: Our stories, songs, and craft this week will be about friends! Come to story time and see your friends,[...]
Apr
16
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 16 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19: Our stories, songs, and craft this week will be about friends! Come to story time and see your friends,[...]
Apr
17
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Apr 17 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Apr
18
Sat
9:00 am Community Earth Day Celebration @ Skyline High School
Community Earth Day Celebration @ Skyline High School
Apr 18 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Community Earth Day Celebration @ Skyline High School
In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, Front Royal/Warren County Tree Stewards would like to plant at least 50 Native Trees in our community. We are working with the Department of Forestry to[...]