At 11 a.m. on Friday, February 1, the Warren Heritage Society (WHS) will unveil a new exhibit in the Front Royal Town Hall to celebrate the achievements and contributions of African-Americans prior to and after the establishment of Warren County.
The exhibit will be officially opened by Letasha Thompson. “As the first African-American woman elected to the Front Royal Town Council,” Thompson said, “I have a special interest in this exhibit, as it features the achievements of African-American women.”
The unveiling coincides with the opening of African-American History Month. Warren Heritage Society Executive Director Connie Marshner hopes that this exhibit will help to make known the Society’s ongoing effort to gather and preserve the African-American history of Front Royal and Warren County.
“This history is in danger of being lost without the help of the local community,” Marshner said. “I hope that this event will alert the community to the need to collect memories and memorabilia before they disappear forever.”
For many years, the southwest corner of Front Royal was known as “Freetown” or “South Town”. Now included in the U. S. Department of Interior’s National Register of Historic Places, it was bounded by Prospect Street and Criser Road and included Laurel, Pine, and Osage Streets. Letasha Thompson grew up on Osage Street, and remembers some of the buildings.
As this area has experienced “development” over the years, however, many of the old buildings have disappeared. In its heyday, however, it was a vibrant community with homes, schools, at least one church, a hotel, stores, businesses, and entertainment. Businesses had the names of Cozy Ace Restaurant, Elks Grill, Harlem Café, Lilian Davenport’s Beauty Shop, Toddy’s Grocery, Elks Hall, Pride of Warren Lodge, Pete’s Barber Shop, Timber’s Pool Room, and the Free Will Benevolent Society.
Sadly, however, neither the National Register nor the Warren Heritage Society has any pictures of Freetown. Nor are any memorabilia of Freetown to be found anywhere. The Heritage Society is seeking to save the history of Freetown before it is gone, and is actively seeking the help of the community.
If anybody has pictures or memorabilia – or even memories – of the area, it’s likely that somebody with roots in Front Royal has them or knows about them! Please share with us what you have. If you have information or pictures, please contact Archivist Deborah Corey at 540-636-1446, extension 2. “We will copy your pictures and return them to you, if you wish,” said Corey.
Marshner went on to say: “If someone is willing to talk about his or her memories or experience in Freetown, we will be happy to arrange an oral history interview with that person, either at the Heritage Society or in some other mutually convenient location.” She noted that oral history is something the Heritage Society has not done before, but because the clock is ticking so fast, “It is something we certainly will do if it will capture some memories.” Marshner stated.
The Laura Virginia Hale Archives, a section of the Warren Heritage Society, has a wealth of material documenting the African American experience in our area. “Our collection spans the centuries, from slave rental forms to desegregation. We have extensive genealogy and research tools to help anyone find ancestors. The Archives also has a collection of fiction and nonfiction books written by local African Americans writers about their and their families’ experiences,” Corey explained.
The Warren Heritage Society, www.WarrenHeritageSociety.org, is located at 101 Chester Street in Front Royal. We are open to the public Monday thru Friday from 10:00 to 4:00, and as of April will also be open on Saturdays from 11:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Senator Tim Kaine visits George Banks Blvd
On August 11, 2022, Senator Tim Kaine visited George Banks Blvd and met in the front yard of Cornelia Banks, along with her family, and friends.
On Saturday, June 25th, friends, neighbors, and town officials gathered to officially open George Banks Boulevard on the Town of Front Royal’s north side from East 13th to 16th Street near Edgemont and Scranton Avenues.
Rebecca Segal named CEO of Fauquier Health
Fauquier Health announced today that Rebecca Segal, FACHE, has been named its new chief executive officer (CEO), effective September 6. She joins Fauquier from Rutherford Regional Health System (RRHS), a Duke LifePoint facility in Rutherfordton, NC, where she has served as CEO since 2017. Segal replaces Tony Young, who has been serving as interim CEO at Fauquier for the past several months.
“We are delighted to welcome Rebecca to Warrenton,” said Steve Wojcik, Chair of the Board of Trustees for Fauquier Health. “She is a Virginia native who is familiar with our region and passionate about its health. She also is a proven leader with the skill set to lead Fauquier Health and expand the services and quality care provided to our region. We thank Tony for his service and look forward to the future with Rebecca’s leadership.”
A strategic healthcare leader with more than a decade of hospital operations experience, Segal joins Fauquier after a five-year tenure as CEO at Rutherford Regional Health System (RRHS). During Segal’s time at RRHS, the hospital made strides in physician recruitment, expanding access to primary and specialty care through their region, and in employee engagement and patient safety and experience. The facility also had improvements in quality outcomes and reductions in preventable harms. Segal also oversaw a $17M master facility renovation plan during her time at RRHS.
Prior to RRHS, Segal served as chief operating officer of Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, a LifePoint Health facility in Somerset, Ky., and as assistant administrator for two other LifePoint facilities in Virginia and West Virginia and has been in the industry since 2001.
“I look forward to joining Fauquier Health and to serving the employees, patients and community in Warrenton,” said Segal. “Being from Virginia, coming to Fauquier is a homecoming for me and I am excited to get to know the team and work towards advancing the care and services we provide here and fulfilling our mission of Making Communities Healthier.”
Segal earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va., and a Master of Health Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. In 2017, she was named one of Becker’s Hospital Review’s “Rising stars: 60 healthcare leaders under 40.” She is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS).
About Fauquier Health
Fauquier Health is a community health system dedicated to high-quality, patient-centered care in a unique environment that considers the multiple facets of healing and respects the individuality of each and every patient. Located at 500 Hospital Drive in Warrenton, Virginia, Fauquier Health serves the residents of Fauquier and several surrounding counties. It comprises: Fauquier Hospital, a fully-accredited, 97-bed hospital; Fauquier Health Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, a 113-bed long-term care and rehabilitation facility; the Villa at Suffield Meadows, an assisted living facility; the Wound Health Center and a medically supervised Wellness Center offering health and wellness programs. Fauquier Health also operates nine physician’s offices, including primary care and specialties. More information on Fauquier Health is available online at FauquierHealth.org or by calling 540-316-5000.
Town Talk: A conversation with Sgts Terry Fritts and Roger Vorous, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, TRIAD
In this Town Talk, we’ll talk with Sgts Terry Fritts and Roger Vorous from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Community Outreach Division.
The Front Royal/Warren County TRIAD will host a commission ceremony on Thursday, September 1, 2022, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. This event will have a TRIAD contract signing with local law enforcement, fire and rescue, and the Attorney General of Virginia, Jason Miyares. There will also be a presentation by the Attorney General on scams, frauds, and opioids.
The event will be held at the Warren County Government Center, 220 N. Commerce Avenue, Front Royal, Virginia and will be a great time to meet with our fire and rescue personnel, sheriff, and Attorney General Jason Miyares.
On September 19 and 22, 2022, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office will present a ‘Faith-Based’ preparedness training to educate clergy, religious community leaders, employees, parishioners, and the public regarding researched-based, proactive measures that can be adopted and implemented by our local churches.
This event will be held at the Warren County Sheriff’s Office from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. More information will be coming soon on this event.
S.A.L.T. (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) remains a vital affiliate of the TRIAD concept of “providing a safety net” for many of our most venerable senior citizens. The positive relationship fostered between senior citizens, and law enforcement is invaluable.
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office maintains involvement in TRIAD / S.A.L.T. by providing deputy support and guidance. For more information on Triad / S.A.L.T. Council, contact the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at 540–635-4128.
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, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com
MurLarkey Distilled Spirits to invest more than $8M, create 42 new jobs
RICHMOND, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that the highly awarded MurLarkey Distilled Spirits will be relocating and expanding its operations within Prince William County. The company, currently located in Bristow, will establish a large new distillery and tasting room on the campus of Farm Brew LIVE in Innovation Park, Manassas. The 12-acre entertainment area, owned by Marcus Silva of Villagio Hospitality Group, is home to 2Silos Brewing, the Black Sheep restaurant, and a live music venue, drawing over 10,000 visitors weekly. The company sources 100% of its grain from Virginia farms and through this project will increase its production eight-fold over the next three years. The project represents nearly $8.1M in new investment, 42 new jobs, and over the next three years will lead to an additional $429,860 (885,000 pounds) in purchases of Virginia-grown grains.
“Virginia’s food and beverage industry continues to thrive as surging consumer spending and our world-class business environment combine to give company after company confidence that they can grow and succeed in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “With burdensome pandemic restrictions behind us, this growth and optimism is especially evident in our craft beverage sector as returning consumers bring newfound vibrancy to the industry.”
“Virginia’s craft beverage industry provides Virginia’s farmers a great way to connect with consumers. I commend companies like MurLarkey who are helping to build that connection by committing to sourcing 100% of their grain from the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. “MurLarkey’s continued investment in Prince William County represents the company’s commitment to the region and to Virginia’s grain producers, who are successfully marketing their Virginia-grown inputs to the industry.”
“MurLarkey is both humbled and honored by the amazing support we have received from our state, county and local community. We’re excited to expand upon and further enhance the guest experience which MurLarkey has become famous for,” said MurLarkey CEO Thomas Murray. “What started as a second career / family business has evolved into something which truly touches people, something broader reaching; much more than a craft spirits brand, MurLarkey has become a true lifestyle brand leading Virginia’s bourgeoning Spirit Trail. This new facility will enable us to continue this journey on the Farm Brew LIVE campus with The Villagio Group as an incredible strategic partner allowing us to better accommodate our local aficionados, patrons and tourists from far and wide seeking the MurLarkey experience.”
“MurLarkey has always had the pioneering spirit, so it’s no surprise they are Prince William County’s first AFID Facility Grant award,” said Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chair Ann B. Wheeler. “We are thrilled to embrace and invest in agribusinesses that make our county a destination for residents and visitors from around the region.”
“Home-grown, family-owned small businesses like MurLarkey Distilled Spirits are vital to the character of our region’s business community,” said Senator Jeremy S. McPike. “From the company’s contributions during COVID producing and donating hand sanitizer, to their commitment to using only local ingredients in their award winning spirits, MurLarkey shows that businesses like these are not only important drivers of our economy, but also represent the fine character of our community.”
“Entrepreneurship and collaboration are what makes our economy strong, so it is terrific to see some of our finest entrepreneurs, Tom Silva and the MurLarkey team, join together to create a great new business and amenity for the community,” said Delegate Michelle Maldonado. “I wish MurLarkey the best in this new venture and look forward to celebrating with them once they open.”
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with Prince William County and MurLarkey Distilled Spirits to secure this project for Virginia with a $250,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, which Prince Williams County will match with local funds. This is Prince William County’s first ever AFID Facility Grant award, an economic development tool to help localities support new and expanding agriculture- and forestry-based businesses.
Founded in 2013 by brothers Mike and Jim Larkin and their cousin Tom Murray, MurLarkey Distilled Spirits is a family-owned business using exclusively Virginia-grown corn, rye and barley to produce award-winning spirits representative of the founders’ Irish heritage. Through the work of Jim Larkin their COO and Master Distiller George “Papi” Zwetkow, MurLarkey has earned dozens of top awards for their spirits and their visitor experience. The company also received Prince William County’s 2020 Human Rights Award for providing more than 3,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to the community during the pandemic. In addition to supporting Virginia farmers through a major increase in production, the company will continue to offer all its spent grain to local farmer’s free-of-charge for use as cattle feed.
Attorney General Miyares joins 22 states in support of ending unlawful CDC mandate
Attorney General Jason Miyares joined 22 states in filing an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff in Health Freedom Defense Fund Inc. vs. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., President of the United States. The attorneys general argue that the district court correctly vacated the federal mask mandate. President Biden’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s interstate travel mask mandate exceeds its authority and infringes on each state’s ability to enact its own public health rules.
“Mask Mandates across the country have been lifted in virtually every aspect of daily life. For months, Americans have been traveling safely while making their own autonomous decisions. The CDC mask mandate on public transportation, like air travel, is obsolete and no longer necessary – not to mention a clear example of federal overreach,” said Attorney General Miyares.
In a brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, the attorneys general argue that the CDC’s unlawful mandate exceeds the agency’s authority in several ways.
First, the CDC grounds its authority to issue a mask mandate in its power to require “sanitation” measures under 42 U.S.C. § 264(a). That authority cannot support the mandate. Additionally, according to the statute, the CDC cannot demand that domestic travelers be examined without evidence that they are carrying disease—but that is what the mandate requires, a visual inspection of every traveler without any individualized suspicion.
The brief also argues that the mandate is invalid because it failed to go through notice and comment procedures. The CDC rule is arbitrary and capricious, with numerous exceptions that the agency did not explain or justify. Beyond that, the rule violates the agency’s own regulations. The brief states: “CDC regulations say that it cannot act unless it finds local measures inadequate. But here, the CDC never even studied local measures, much less developed a method to determine whether those measures are adequate.”
Attorney General Miyares joins the attorneys general of the following states in filing the brief: Florida, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.
136th generation of new Virginia State Police Troopers graduate
On Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, the Commonwealth will graduate its 136th generation of Virginia State Troopers. The 18 new troopers will be presented their diplomas during commencement exercises at 10 a.m. at the State Police Training Academy located at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield County.
“The 136th has completed one of the toughest law enforcement academies in the country and are now joining a long line of distinguished troopers,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “2022 marks the 90th anniversary of the Virginia State Police and these new troopers will forever be part of our valued history. We are proud to have them as part of the Virginia State Police family.”
The new troopers have received more than 1,300 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including de-escalation techniques, strategies to assist people in mental health crisis, ethics and leadership, fair and impartial policing, constitutional law, emergency medical trauma care, and public and community relations. The members of the 136th Basic Session began their 28 weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the Academy Jan. 26, 2022.
The soon-to-be graduates of the 136th Basic Session are from every corner of the Commonwealth, as well as California, Iowa, Maryland, New Hampshire and Washington.
Upon graduation, the new troopers will report to their individual duty assignments. For their final phase of training, each trooper will spend an additional six weeks paired up with a Field Training Officer learning his or her new patrol area.
136th BASIC GRADUATING CLASS:
Name – Hometown – Assignment
- Gilmar Raymund Bulado Alcasid – Lakewood, California – Portsmouth/Suffolk/Chesapeake
- Usman Asif – Leesburg – Fairfax
- Emily Marie Ball – Meriden, New Hampshire – Prince William
- Cornelius Clyde Boykins, Jr. – Williamsburg – Prince William
- Jarrad Jeffrey Byrd – Gate City – Prince William
- Patrick Arthur Cantrell – Pound – Botetourt
- Jason B. Chatman, Jr. – Richmond – Henrico
- Morgan Bethany Douglas – Chesterfield – Dinwiddie
- Coltin Allen King – Fort Chiswell – Fluvanna
- Clayton Ander Linville – Richmond – Hanover/Henrico
- Noah Aaron Maxfield – Castlewood – Rockbridge
- Andrew Ray Murley – Sac City, Iowa – Rockingham
- Jimmy Williams Nguyen – Frederick, Maryland – Fairfax
- Joshua Michael Nowacki – Fredericksburg – Stafford
- Bryan Baxter Pitts – Puyallup, Washington – Hampton/Newport News
- Justin Lee Ramey – Sperryville – Rockingham
- Nicholas Ryan Thompson – Chesapeake – Hampton/Newport News
- Roosevelt Westbrook – Norfolk – Norfolk/Virginia Beach