The Warren Coalition, in partnership with Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, will offer area residents two opportunities to take a free, virtual Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training in February. This course is designed to provide information about identifying and responding to trauma with evidence-based resilience strategies. The concepts imparted are useful for teachers, managers, and anyone working in a customer-service or client-based industry. This six-hour, online course is broken into three sessions, all of which are required to receive the Trauma-Informed Certification. One set of classes will be offered Tuesday mornings, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, on February 9, 16, and 23. The second set will be offered Thursday evenings, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, on February 11, 18, and 25. Pre-registration is required; to do so, email Christa Shifflett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Warren Coalition is a nonprofit agency established in 1994 to help fill the gaps in health care and substance abuse awareness to the community. The Coalition began under the guidance of Warren Memorial Hospital as an outreach project, but it has since grown and was incorporated in 2001. The office is currently located in the Warren County Community Center. Their mission is to make Warren County a safe, healthy, and drug free community through many programs and in collaboration with 15+ member agencies.
Incoming – the Town Pavilion’s indoor restrooms arrive, without keys
The arrival of an important auxiliary building portion of the new Town Pavilion arrived at the Village Commons area in the heart of Front Royal’s Historic Downtown Business District Tuesday morning, March 2. The first clue something was up, was a towering crane pointing toward the heavens – and at a passing airliner that may have had to alter its course slightly to avoid a collision. Just kidding, it wasn’t quite THAT tall.
Town crews on hand, along with five contractors’ personnel were present at least in part to place an enclosed restroom facility adjacent to the pavilion. When the project is completed you can say “goodbye” to those downtown Village Commons’ Johnny Blues.
With the bulk of the Commons-Gazebo area parking lot closed to traffic, a large Midland Equipment flatbed carried the restroom facility into place at the pavilion’s front after the construction site parking lot fencing was removed. The crane jockeyed its huge arm in position to place its hook, eventually sporting multiple hoisting cables, above the building headed for the east side of the pavilion shell.
Being a bathroom facility that will hook into the Town Water-Sewer Utilities, inside access was required by town staff to line up the piping connections. But who had the keys to the locked up for transport building? No one on-site, it turned out. Public Works Director Robbie Boyer was reportedly headed back to departmental headquarters on a key-finding mission. Shortly, word came back to the site that the keys were in McLean, apparently at the building’s source point.
“It’s always something” was the construction, transport, and related crews assessment on the ground. But after an hour-plus delay, things began moving again as one way or another inside access was achieved. An attempt to reach Boyer prior to publication for details on the solution to the inside access problem was unsuccessful.
But here’s a nod to whatever solution was achieved – word on the ground was that the Town would have been charged by the day for equipment required to be maintained on-site to completion of the job. And our guess is that the crane belonging to H&W Construction of Winchester wasn’t coming cheap.
In addition to Town crews, Midland Equipment and H&W Construction on site were Smith-Midland Concrete, Well’s Roofing, and Lantz Construction of Winchester. And following placement of the restroom facility, in addition, to hook up work there, crews were on the pavilion roof and on the base beneath that roof. Stay busy boys, completion of the pavilion project is slated for at least “substantial completion” by the end of March, according to Town Manager Hicks report on Town business to the County EDA Board of Directors last week.
According to Town Finance Director B. J. Wilson, the total cost of the pavilion project approved by the Town Council on September 8, 2020, is $225,715. The pavilion is seen as an additional, covered, outdoor events facility to augment the Gazebo-Village Commons area at the East Main and Chester Street intersection. And a March-April completion will be JUST in time for the next round of warm weather weekend downtown walking mall street closings, should the newly aligned council elect to revisit that popular COVID-launched concept of outdoor restaurant seating to aid downtown businesses through pandemic-restricted indoor seating restrictions.
And then there is that downtown, outdoor high school prom idea being floated for spring.
Virginia Department of Elections announces completion of statewide post-election risk-limiting audit for the November 2020 election
The Virginia Department of Elections’ (ELECT) Commissioner Christopher Piper announced today that Virginia’s elections administrators have successfully completed the state’s risk-limiting audit (RLA). The audit confirmed that the original count of the votes accurately portrayed the winners of the election in Virginia for the United States President and Senate.
Pursuant to Va. Code §24.2-671.1, ELECT is required to coordinate an annual post-election RLA of ballot scanner machines used in the Commonwealth of Virginia. ELECT collaborated with VotingWorks, a non-profit organization that assists with RLAs across the country. All 133 localities in Virginia participated in the audit.
“The success of Virginia’s first statewide audit reaffirms our dedication to ensuring secure and accurate elections for our voters,” said Christopher Piper, Virginia’s Commissioner of Elections. “I am proud of the hard work that our election administrators do in the Commonwealth, and this audit further exemplifies the integrity and validity of the 2020 November General Election results”.
The statewide audit provided opportunities for all localities and the public to participate. The audit results were reported today during a meeting with Virginia’s general registrars and electoral board members. You can find a copy of the audit results on our website: www.elections.virginia.gov.
Christendom College conducts emergency operations training exercise with Front Royal and Warren County First Responders
Christendom College hosted a tabletop exercise testing the college’s emergency preparedness on Wednesday, February 24, in coordination with senior leadership from the Town of Front Royal and Warren County. Chief Executives from the town’s Police Department and Fire and Rescue, along with the Warren County Sherriff’s Office and Warren Memorial Hospital, all attended the event, which successfully tested the emergency response coordination between the college and public safety and health agencies.
“We are preparing for something that we hope and pray never happens — nevertheless, if something like this should happen, we want to ensure that we are as prepared as we possibly can be,” said College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell. “All of you, as first responders, please know that you all share our gratitude for all that you do to keep Christendom College safe and for being here today.”
The tabletop exercise was the result of years of work by the college’s Emergency Operations Team and their external crisis consultant management consultant, who helped the college prepare extensively for the exercise on February 24. Over the course of the afternoon, the exercise helped the college and town and county personnel perform an extensive review of what resources are in place for a variety of crisis-level events, from neutralizing threats to assisting victims to effectively communicating during and after a crisis.
The exercise proved to be fruitful not only for testing emergency preparedness, but also for building up relationships between the college and surrounding law enforcement, fire and rescue, and health agencies.
“We applaud the administration at Christendom College for recognizing the need to have emergency planning in place and developing the relationship with public safety partners,” said Front Royal Police Department Chief Kahle Magalis.”They have been very accommodating in providing facilities for us to train our personnel in emergency response over the past several years. Clearly, they have witnessed the complexity of emergency operations and identified key personnel within their staff to form their emergency operations team, as well as their plans to integrate into the emergency response. My hat is off to them for devoting valuable resources to this endeavor.”
Attendees for the event included: Christendom’s President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell and Executive Vice President Mark Rohlena, along with the college’s entire Emergency Operations Team; Front Royal Police Department Chief Kerry Magalis; Warren County Fire and Rescue Fire Chief James Bonzano and Emergency Coordinator Lietutenant Rick Farrall; Warren County Sheriff Mark Butler; Warren Memorial Hospital Safety and Emergency Management Manager Daniel Mulcahy and Emergency Department Clinical Manager Delores Gehr; and Golden Seal Enterprises President and CEO Frank Yurkovich, along with other members of all the above agencies.
Sheriff Butler stated that “the Sheriff’s Office applauds the Emergency Operations Team of Christendom College for taking a strong leadership role for ensuring the safety and education of its students and staff alike. In a world where the unexpected – is to be expected, it takes a concerted and enduring relationship between all agencies to sustain a steady state of preparedness for such events. By training and exercising together we learn best how to support one another, manage expectations and ensure a confident and safe response to all-hazards.”
The tabletop exercise was the latest in a series of exercises conducted on campus in conjunction with Front Royal and Warren County agencies, including mass casualty incident training that was conducted in August of 2020. All of the exercises contribute to ensuring that the college is as well prepared as possible in the event of a crisis.
About Christendom College: Christendom College is a four-year coeducational Roman Catholic Liberal Arts College with undergraduate and graduate programs offered in four locations in Front Royal and Alexandria (Virginia), Donegal (Ireland), and Rome (Italy). Founded in 1977 in response to the devastating blow inflicted on Catholic higher education by the cultural revolution which swept across America in the 1960s, Christendom’s goal is to provide a truly Catholic liberal arts education in fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and thereby to prepare students for their role of restoring all things in Christ.
Town Council meets – briefly – to forward some routine(?) business
It was an auspicious first Front Royal Town Council-chaired meeting for Vice-Mayor Lori Cockrell on Monday evening, March 1. Chairing the Special Meeting called largely to hold a required public hearing to allow a sale or transfer of properties on Hill Street thought to have been accomplished in 1992, to proceed 29 years later, and only one other perfunctory agenda item – making Town Manager Steven Hicks appointment as new Town EDA executive director at no additional cost to the Town, official – it seemed history could be in the making.
That history being the breaking of former Mayor Eugene Tewalt’s 14-minute mark for shortest council meeting in modern history. Several years ago Tewalt broke the previous 17-minute standard of another vice-mayor, Daniel Pond III, set when we were all a lot younger.
And if Vice-Mayor Cockrell hadn’t suggested a third topic to the agenda that council unanimously consented to add, an unapproachable single-digit record of about four minutes was in the offing. For that added topic, scheduling of a one or two-day “visioning” retreat, apparently also known as an “advance” to some people as we enter the third decade of the 21st century, took up the first nine minutes of Monday’s meeting.
That left four minutes to make history.
About that agenda
As for the agenda items:
1/ The Hill Street land transfer passed unanimously without comment from the public that wasn’t present at the second-floor Town Hall meeting room to speak to. For as explained by Assistant Town Attorney George Sonnett who worked on the planned property exchange, at issue is cleaning up an unresolved property acquisition through Town condemnation to facilitate upgrading Hill Street dating the late 1970’s. Another effort to clean up the situation in 1992 was illustrated by a surveyor’s plat included in the agenda packet. Involved is an existing house now occupied by a couple the Town hopes to work with to solve the unresolved parcel swap initiated over 40 years ago. Since the involved property is not a “public use” parcel, the Town will not have to advertise the planned exchange for competitive bids.
2/ Town Manager Steven Hicks was appointed to also serve as the Town’s EDA’s executive director. – And why wouldn’t he be since he’s a sport and is doing it without any additional salary compensation?
Though it appears the Town EDA’s, or FREDA as it’s already affectionately known, chief executive position may focus on tourism and empty in-town storefront marketing with some assistance from the existing County EDA (former Town-County EDA), as opposed to major industry recruitment which the “other” EDA may continue with on both sides of the town/county line.
3/ As for that “advance” event formerly known as a “retreat” to review and develop long-term strategic goals and “visioning” for a community, after a painful and “record-threatening” discussion of potential back-to-back day, 4-hour meetings in coming weeks or months, it was decided to initially schedule one “retreat” meeting for Thursday, March 25, running from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. After that the necessity and plan for a second one, possibly including an envisioned joint meeting with the Warren County Board of Supervisors, will be discussed.
Beat the Clock?
The clock passed from 7:08 to 7:09 p.m. with no “advance” warning to the call for the Hill Street parcel exchange public hearing. With Assistant Acting Council Clerk Mary Ellen Lynn quickly negotiating a reading of the agenda summary of the public hearing topic, then the convening of and closing of the public hearing with no one present to speak just 1:17 was tolled off the clock. The roll call and unanimous vote took another 1:03 taking the clock to 7:11 p.m. and 10 seconds toward the established record 7:14 p.m. mark.
Just under two-and-a-half minutes and an EDA executive director’s appointment already announced is all that stood between Vice-Mayor Cockrell, council and history. Could she lead her team, together in the Town of Front Royal political trenches for just two months, to a landmark achievement – or at least a place in the local political reporters’ Hall of Fame?
But did trouble lurk from within the ranks? From virtual world as the roll call vote confirming Hicks’ appointment came to Councilman McFadden, a “no” was heard. But coming as it did during the vote, not prior, it didn’t lead to further debate of the appointment, approved 5-1. Consequently, the Hicks EDA appointment ate only another 65 seconds off the clock, bringing Vice-Mayor Cockrell’s call to adjournment by this sportswriter’s account, at 7:12 p.m. and 32-seconds. Factoring in lag time on the convening of the meeting from the time the meeting video began rolling, a check of that video posted on Tuesday morning reflected a total meeting time of 12-minutes-and-25-seconds. So, no matter whose clock is official, the record was broken by over a minute.
The crowd, had there been one, would have gone wild – well, at least the press row portion of it.
About that ‘NO’ vote
Contacted later, Councilman McFadden explained his vote against Hicks’ appointment as a “a protest vote” or a “No” vote against the creation of FREDA, rather than a vote against Hicks’ executive leadership of it.
Asked to elaborate, McFadden pointed out he had not been on council during the approximate two-year process leading up to the decision to create a unilateral Town EDA while distancing itself from the existing joint County-Town EDA. He told Royal Examiner by email: “I think that the appointment of Mr. Hicks is the best possible option, given the circumstances. Mr. Hicks will do an outstanding job in this additional role. He is highly competent and Front Royal is fortunate to have him. But I don’t think that the position should even exist. I told him so immediately following the meeting.”
5 things that will bring spring into your bedroom
Do you want to refresh your home for the season? Here are a few design elements you can incorporate into any bedroom to create a spring-like atmosphere.
1. Pastels. Choose soft shades of pink, blue, or green to give your room a fresh feel. Additionally, opt for white walls, bedding, or accessories to help brighten up space.
2. Flowers. From dried and artificial arrangements to floral-pattern fabrics and wallpaper, there are plenty of ways to bring spring blooms into a bedroom. Go for classics like roses, tulips, lilacs, and cotton flowers.
3. Wood. This is a timeless and elegant material that’ll match any design style. To evoke the lightness of spring, consider introducing rattan, slatted, or driftwood furniture, depending on the theme of your room.
4. Light materials. Berber rugs, sheer curtains, linen cushions, and macramé are all great options for a minimalist space that captures the airiness of spring. Japanese interior design trends can serve as inspiration.
5. Storage. If you want to create a calming atmosphere, your room needs to be clean and organized. Additionally, removing clutter can help you shed the heavy feeling associated with winter and give you a sense of renewal.
For more inspiration, visit home decor shops in your area or speak with an interior designer.
Town Talk: A conversation with Lorraine Hewitt and Mary Anna Ouakil, Dominion Ridge Academy
In this Town Talk, we’ll have a conversation with Lorraine Hewitt and Mary Anna Ouakil from Dominion Ridge Academy. Dominion Ridge Academy, formerly Front Royal Christian School, is a Pre-K through 12th-grade school in Front Royal, Virginia.
As a result of input from its stakeholders, the school board made the decision to change the name to better reflect its vision and approach to Christian education. The school’s mission and vision continue to be the same, focusing on building the dignity of every child and the new name better reflects that approach.
Lorraine Hewitt, the Superintendent, shared, “We are created in God’s image and with that, we are told to accept our dignity and take dominion of our lives. Thus, Dominion in our new name represents the direction given to us by God. Ridge is added because even though life has peaks and valleys, we train our students to holistically tackle each ridge. And, of course, the school is also located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.” Hewitt added, “Academy was chosen because we have raised our educational standard and approach that reaches every child gifted to special needs.”
The way Dominion Ridge Academy achieves its mission and strives daily towards its vision is through its unique approach to the classroom, a groundbreaking approach that allows the teachers at Dominion Ridge to understand each individual child. This approach provides social-emotional learning in the classroom where the faculty at Dominion Ridge intentionally focus on the education of the whole child. Simply put, the faculty and staff at Dominion Ridge know their students as individuals and care as much about how they learn as what they learn.
“The name Dominion Ridge Academy better embraces who we are and where we are going,” Hewitt added. “We are reminded that Saul’s name was changed to Paul, Abram to Abraham, and Simon to Peter. The changes took place as God was ready to move them closer to the purpose he had for their lives.”
From special needs to gifted, Dominion Ridge is committed to the spiritual, moral, and intellectual development of its students and mediates a sense of competence, confidence, and belonging. Dominion Ridge provides the 21st-century learner exceptional and challenging educational experiences, including college preparatory courses with a dual enrollment program with LFCC, Regent University, and other universities, as well as performing arts, life skills, and athletics. For more information, call the school at 540-635-6799 or visit .dominionridgeacademy.com.
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. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com