Rotary Club Cash Fair
It’s that time of year for Rotary Club of Front Royal’s annual Cash Fair, and we are going virtual this year due to COVID. This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year and a big reason we were able to give over $160k back to the local and global community last year. We hope you will join us in purchasing a ticket and participating in the drawing!
- No gatherings
- You can stay at home in your PJ’s!
- Still 1 in 300 chance to win $10,000
- We’ve lowered the price to $100 each
- No gathering
- No free food
- No free adult beverages
- No entertainment
- You can purchase a paper ticket by check, and mail it to: Rotary Club of Front Royal, PO Box 85, Front Royal, VA 22630
- Or you can purchase online through THIS LINK
Laurel Ridge celebrates expansion of manufacturing and trades lab space on Middletown Campus
Laurel Ridge Community College leaders, employees, and instructors were joined by elected officials, industry partners, economic development representatives, chamber of commerce members, and private donors Friday morning to celebrate the ribbon cutting for the newly-expanded Alson H. Smith Hall on the college’s Middletown Campus.
A 3,500-square-foot addition has recently been completed at the facility, which also houses the college’s dental hygiene clinic, a black box theater, and a nursing simulation lab. Now, it has plenty of space for three mechatronics (advanced manufacturing) labs and labs for welding, HVAC, electrical, and heavy equipment operator programs.
An $800,000 GO Virginia grant helped provide the state-of-the-art equipment needed for the mechatronics program, Laurel Ridge President Kim Blosser said prior to the ribbon cutting.
“When you take a tour of the labs, you will see a lot of impressive equipment with sleek robotics and controls,” she said. “This is the kind of high-tech resource and training that will help make the Northern Shenandoah Valley an attractive location for new businesses or for current business expansion.”
Manufacturing is the second-largest industry sector in the region, said Jeanian Clark, vice president of Laurel Ridge Community College Workforce Solutions and Continuing Education. The more than 90,000 manufacturing jobs in the region have average salaries above $50,000, she said. Still, about 3,100 more positions need to be filled, and if they were, according to Clark, they would bring an additional $1.4 billion in economic output.
She shared the following statistics about the increasing need for trades specialists within the Laurel Ridge service region:
- There are 40 jobs posted for the HVAC industry. HVAC techs have an average annual salary above $55,000.
- More than 30 additional electricians, with an average salary above $60,000, are needed.
- Nearly two dozen welding jobs are open. Those positions average more than $50,000 annually.
- Just shy of 100 construction trades positions are open, with an average pay of nearly $50,000 a year.
“We are fully committed and passionate about supporting the current and future growth of our community and the workforce,” said Vice President Clark.
Del. Bill Wiley was one of several speakers at Friday’s event. Wiley is a real estate broker and is the business development manager for Howard Shockey and Sons Inc.
“I can’t say enough in terms of the need for this,” he said. “Our area is all about this type of work.”
Mike Powell, senior manager of maintenance at Trex Co. Inc., said many of his employees received training through Laurel Ridge Workforce Solutions.
“Laurel Ridge is a critical part of our region’s workforce development,” he said. “I have firsthand knowledge of the experience they gained here. That has really refined our team’s technical abilities.”
There is grant funding available through programs such as FastForward and G3 to cover much of the costs of the trade programs for qualified Virginia residents. Learn more at LaurelRidgeWorkforce.com/funding. Visit LaurelRidgeWorkforce.com for more information on trades programming.
Youngkin signs bill creating $300 tax credit for gun safes
Firearm safety is about to get a little more affordable in Virginia after Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a bipartisan bill creating a $300 tax credit meant to reimburse people who buy gun safes or other lockable gun containers.
The legislation approved by the governor last week was the only gun safety measure that passed the politically divided General Assembly, drawing broad support as a small step to encourage gun safety without imposing any new rules on gun owners.
“This bill is not about requiring people to do anything,” Del. Alfonso Lopez, D-Arlington, the bill’s sponsor, said at a committee hearing earlier this year. “It’s not about banning anything. It’s not taking anything away. This bill simply gives a tax credit to try and incentivize something that many law-abiding gun owners already do.”
[Read more: Most gun storage bills appear doomed in Virginia General Assembly]
The nonrefundable credit can be claimed on state tax returns starting in the 2024 tax season. It can only be applied to eligible equipment purchases from federally licensed firearm dealers. The credit cannot be applied to the costs of purchasing a firearm itself.
In a rare show of cross-factional unity on gun policy, the legislation was backed by both the National Rifle Association and gun control groups like Giffords, Brady, and Everytown for Gun Safety.
The total amount of tax credits allowable under the new law is capped at $5 million per year. According to the legislation, the credit will be granted on a “first-come, first-served basis.”
by Graham Moomaw, Virginia Mercury
Virginia Mercury is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Virginia Mercury maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sarah Vogelsong for questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Virginia Mercury on Facebook and Twitter.
Pot o’ Gold Hunt 2023: Excitement, fun, and lucky winners revealed
The Jig ‘n’ Jive’s annual Pot o’ Gold Hunt brings joy and excitement to the community once again.
We’re thrilled to announce the lucky winners of the 2023 Pot o Gold Hunt, which took place from March 10th to 19th on Main Street and the surrounding district! A huge congratulations to all who participated in this festive, family-friendly event, and a heartfelt thank you to the local businesses that generously donated prizes and made this event a rousing success.
With a total of 36 Pot o Gold winners and the majority of prizes bundled with multiple gift certificates and cool merchandise, this year’s event truly sparkled. Over a third of the distributed maps were returned, and two-thirds of the returned maps had completed both the GREEN (Main Street) and GOLD (bonus section) messages. The Pot o Gold Hunt, a free event for all ages, saw many happy winners, especially adults. So, grown-ups, get ready to join in the fun next year!
The GREEN (Main Street) Hunt Message revealed an interesting tidbit about St. Patrick and the shamrock: “It is said that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the concept of the Trinity to the Irish. The word ‘shamrock’ from ‘seamrog’ in Irish means ‘young clover’ and symbolizes faith, hope, and charity. Shamrocks are recognized as symbols of good luck. Cheers to the Irish!”
The GOLD (Royal Plaza + Surrounding) Bonus Hunt Message shared a fun fact about a presidential tradition: “Since 1952, the Irish Prime Minister has gifted a crystal bowl of shamrocks to our president on St. Patrick’s Day.”
The Pot o Gold Hunt was masterfully orchestrated by the Jig ‘n’ Jive Dance Studio, with the enthusiastic support of C&C Frozen Treats, Play Favorites, National Media Services, and all the wonderful businesses that contributed to the prizes. National Media Services designed and printed the maps again, adding to the event’s spectacular flair.
Relive the excitement of the map-pulling extravaganza by watching the live feed on C&C Frozen Treats’ Facebook page! The first two GOLD winners are recorded separately, but you can catch the other winners in action on the main live stream.
Winners can collect their prizes from the Jig ‘n’ Jive Dance Studio during business hours or email email@example.com to make alternative arrangements. A list of winners can be found below. Congratulations to all, and may your luck continue!
Remember, any unclaimed prizes by April 6th will be donated back to the prize pool and distributed at random or on a whim.
Jig ‘n’ Jive Dance Studio Hours
529 E Main Street, Front Royal VA
Monday 4:00 – 8:30 pm
Tuesday 4:45 – 8:30 pm
Wednesday 4:00 – 8:30 pm
Thursday 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Pot o Gold WINNERS
Gold (Bonus) Hunt
Green (Main Street) Hunt
Krystal Lynn Jones
Aibhilin (?) *If anyone knows who this may be, please let Mrs. Annie at the Jig ‘n’ Jive Dance Studio know.
Julia & Jamieson Rivera
Expert tips for starting seedlings indoors
To ensure a productive harvest, gardeners in northern climates must start certain vegetable seedlings indoors four to eight weeks before the last frost. Here are a few tips for getting a head start on your garden.
• Buy seeds from a reputable seller
• Use a specialized seed-starting mix
• Purchase or reuse containers with proper drainage
• Plant seeds at the depth listed on the seed packet
• Prepare for some losses and plant more seeds than you need
• Water frequently but sparingly to keep the soil moist but not water-logged
• Use heat mats and tray covers to speed up germination
• Place sprouted seedlings in a sunny location or under grow lights
• Promptly transplant seedlings that outgrow their original pots
• Once the seedlings are big enough, gradually introduce them to outdoor temperatures to get them ready for transplanting
Growing plants from seed take time and dedication but are extremely rewarding.
Interesting Things to Know
The global hobby with millions of fans
They look exotic, like butterflies and ballerinas. They have faces like monkeys, figures like humans, or long trails of petals like hair.
They smell like nothing or chocolate, vanilla, mint, pepper, and roses. To a bee, they smell like a bee. Some smell like rot to attract flies. Their scents have been called liars and seducers, yet they are beloved.
They are orchids, and their fans are legion.
Orchid cultivation is one of the world’s most widespread hobbies and is surprisingly social. In every state and every country, orchid enthusiasts meet regularly to exchange tips and tricks for growing this flower of many faces. Orchids attract every type of person, from farmers to attorneys. In fact, you can travel along ‘orchid trails’ to visit the greenhouses of growers in every state.
Travel destinations from California to Malaysia attract enthusiasts worldwide to see some of the 28,000 accepted species. In fact, there are more orchid species than species of birds and mammals. Only the number of species of bony fish comes close to the number of orchids.
Yet despite the orchid’s vast numbers, they were once very difficult to find and considered rare and exotic. So rare that in the late 1800s and early 1900s, people were thrilled with the adventures of orchid hunters who roamed the world looking to find unusual specimens.
Because of their historical link with wealth and style, growing orchids is sometimes said to be expensive and difficult, but it really is neither. You can buy a stem for about $20 at a grocery store these days. The flowers are best grown in pots since the microscopic seeds require specialized conditions. Orchids mostly require bright light but not direct sunlight. They require the grower’s attention since they need water and airflow, but not too much, and some may need mist, but only at certain times.
What makes it rain?
Ever wonder why drops of water fall from the sky? Here’s an explanation.
The sun heats large bodies of water like seas, lakes, and rivers, causing the water to evaporate and rise as vapor. As the moisture moves upward, it cools and condenses to form clouds. These clouds are blown toward land by the wind. As the clouds move, they gather water droplets and become heavy. Eventually, gravity makes the water droplets fall as rain. The water returns to earth, and the cycle starts all over again.
It rains more in the spring and summer because it’s warm. Warmth produces more evaporation, producing more clouds that make rain.
Wind: 3mph SSW
UV index: 0