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Virtual Information Session

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When:
May 6, 2020 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
2020-05-06T18:00:00-04:00
2020-05-06T19:00:00-04:00
Where:
LFCC Online
Cost:
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Join us for upcoming VIRTUAL INFORMATION SESSIONS to learn about programs, paying for college, student resources, transfer opportunities, and more! Register at https://lfcc.edu/virtual-information-sessions/.

Dates and times:

  • Tuesday, May 5, 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 6, 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday, May 12, 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday,  May 13, 10 a.m.

Kids' Corner

Fascinating facts about snowy owls

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When:
May 6, 2020 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
2020-05-06T18:00:00-04:00
2020-05-06T19:00:00-04:00
Where:
LFCC Online
Cost:
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Contact:
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Have you ever seen a snowy owl? It’s one of the largest members of the owl family. Here are some interesting facts about this majestic bird:

• It’s sometimes called a polar owl or Arctic owl
• It mainly eats lemmings, hares, and ducks
• It’s about 1.5 feet tall and has a wingspan of nearly five feet
• Unlike most owls, it hunts during the day and night
• It has thickly feathered legs that keep it warm in temperatures as low as -58 F
• It has rigid feather disks around its eyes that reflect sound waves to its ears to help it find prey in the dark
• It likes to survey its territory and spends a lot of time perched in high places
• Adult male snowy owls are almost entirely white, while females have brown spots

Snowy owls prefer to live in open areas with few trees. Consequently, they’re typically spotted in marshes, grasslands, and fields.

The exact number of snowy owls in the wild is unknown. However, it’s estimated that fewer than 30,000 adults remain in North America and fewer than 200,000 globally.

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State News

U.S. House votes to avert calamitous rail strike, but Senate prospects murky

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When:
May 6, 2020 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
2020-05-06T18:00:00-04:00
2020-05-06T19:00:00-04:00
Where:
LFCC Online
Cost:
Free
Contact:
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The U.S. House moved Wednesday to avoid an economically disastrous nationwide rail strike, voting to codify an agreement that members of some unions had already rejected and separately add paid sick leave that workers had demanded.

The two-track approach allows Democrats to avert a strike that could cost the U.S. economy up to $2 billion per day while also acknowledging they sympathized with union members’ request for more sick leave.

Prospects in the Senate, where progressive stalwart Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, and other members of the Democratic caucus have asked that sick leave be added to any deal imposed by Congress, remained murky Wednesday.

As the House votes closed Wednesday, Sanders was on the Senate floor urging support for the sick leave proposal.

“I hope very much that in a bipartisan way, we can do the right thing and tell the rail workers and tell every worker in America that the United States Congress is prepared to stand with them and not just the people on top who are doing extraordinarily well,” he said.

Several Republicans have also signaled their support for adding sick leave, but it’s unclear if there are the 10 Republicans needed to approve that measure.

The congressional action comes after President Joe Biden convened a panel of arbitrators to secure a deal between railroads and union leaders in September. That deal provided a 24% increase in total compensation to rail workers but did not affect sick leave policies that unions said were unworkable.

Four of the 12 rail unions declined to endorse the deal. They are legally able to strike on Dec. 9, though rail service is likely to be affected if a work stoppage is not avoided by the week’s end. Thousands of businesses would feel the impact in the weeks before the holidays.

Democrats say they must act

Biden, who fashioned himself “a proud pro-labor president,” said this week he would have preferred not to wade into the dispute but that the economic consequences necessitated federal action.

“I am reluctant to override the ratification procedures and the views of those who voted against the agreement,” he said. “But in this case — where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt millions of other working people and families — I believe Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal.”

House Democrats took similar positions this week, appearing reluctant to approve a deal that unions had rejected but doing so anyway to avoid economic catastrophe.

“Congress has the authority to act,” U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, a Washington Democrat who is a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said Wednesday. “Not because we want to, but we have to avoid a work stoppage. And we have to recognize that the tentative agreement falls well short of what is necessary for paid leave for rail workers.”

Republicans took the opportunity to blast Biden for failing to avert the rail shutdown with the September negotiation. Congress shouldn’t have to be involved, they said.

“Congress should be a last resort,” U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican of Iowa, said. “Biden and this administration need to be more engaged in this. This is not our business. We shouldn’t be negotiating union contracts.”

U.S. Rep. Bob Good, a Republican from Virginia, tweeted early Wednesday afternoon before the House vote: “Republicans should not provide any votes for the Biden railroad bill. Doing so gives Democrats the chance to amend the deal and make it worse.”

Bipartisan vote

Wednesday’s 290-137 House vote to approve the tentative agreement — without added sick time — was bipartisan, with only eight Democrats voting against it and more than one-third of Republicans voting to approve it.

All of Virginia’s House delegation and Republican Rep. Morgan Griffith voted for the bill. Good, as well as Republican Reps. Ben Cline and Rob Wittman voted against it.

The vote to add the sick leave provision passed 221-207, mostly along party lines, with three Republicans — Don Bacon of Nebraska, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, and John Katko of New York — joining all House Democrats in voting to approve.

Avoiding a rail shutdown should be the priority, House Transportation and Infrastructure ranking Republican Sam Graves of Missouri said, not mollifying union members.

He said that Congress stepping in to override private negotiations and the recommendation of a neutral mediation board undermined future collective bargaining.

“It’s nothing more than a political stunt,” Graves said. “It’s pandering … Today, my colleagues are acting very recklessly and are setting a terrible precedent.”

U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, the New Jersey Democrat who chairs the panel’s rail subcommittee, responded that the proposal would only right the wrong of rail workers’  insufficient paid sick leave.

“This is not pandering,” Payne responded. “This is seeing a situation and addressing it.”

Uncertainty in Senate

After House passage, the measure will move to the Senate, where it’s unclear if the tentative agreement, the resolution with added sick time, or neither would pass.

The chamber will likely vote either Thursday or Friday.

Colorado’s John Hickenlooper was among the Senate Democrats joining Sanders in calling for seven days of added sick leave — the same amount required of federal contractors —to be included in a congressional resolution.

“Railroad companies are holding the American economy hostage over 56 annual hours of sick leave,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “Just seven days. We can keep our economy humming, our supply chains open, AND treat workers with dignity. Any bill should include the SEVEN days of sick leave rail workers have asked for.”

Several Republicans gave varying levels of support to the prospect of adding sick leave to a bill. Ten would be needed to pass such a bill if every Democrat voted in favor. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin III, considered the caucus’ most conservative member, has not said how he would vote on the sick leave proposal.

Ernst said her party was “debating this heavily.”

But since Congress is involved, she said she would base her vote on the views of union members — not necessarily their leaders. Union leaders negotiated the September agreement that lacked all the sick time members sought.

Florida Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott said they wouldn’t vote for the tentative agreement that was opposed by workers.

Leaders of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, a major transportation union, on Wednesday morning prior to the vote endorsed the bill to add seven days of sick leave.

“Right now, every Member of Congress has an opportunity to be a champion of the working class,” TTD President Greg Regan and Secretary-Treasurer Shari Semelsberger said in a statement. “We implore these elected leaders to stand with essential workers who are the backbone of our nation’s supply chain. We urge the House and the Senate to vote in favor of guaranteeing seven days of paid sick leave to rail workers.”

In a statement, Biden thanked the House for passing its bill and called on the Senate to follow suit “immediately.”

“Without action this week, disruptions to our auto supply chains, our ability to move food to tables, and our ability to remove hazardous waste from gasoline refineries will begin,” he said. “The Senate must move quickly and send a bill to my desk for my signature immediately.”

$2 billion per day

The Association of American Railroads, the leading rail service providers trade group, estimated that a nationwide shutdown would mean daily losses of $2 billion for the U.S. economy.

According to a September AAR report, tens of thousands of businesses depend on rail to deliver goods, with 75,000 carloads beginning shipping every day.

The report said that other industries would not be able to replace rail transport. It would take 467,000 additional long-haul trucks to replace rail carriers.

There was unanimity among elected officials in Washington that a shutdown would be calamitous.

In a statement Monday, Biden called on Congress to approve the tentative agreement “to avert a potentially crippling national rail shutdown.”

“A shutdown is unacceptable,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at Monday’s press briefing. “It will hurt families, communities across the country. It will hurt jobs. It will hurt farms. It will hurt businesses.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also called Monday evening for Congress to adopt the agreement to prevent “a rail shutdown that would have devastating impacts on our economy.”

Democrats and Republicans in the House noted that a shutdown would worsen inflation, driving up energy and other costs.

And because of the complexity of the supply chain, any stoppage in service could take much longer to unfurl, Ed Mortimer, a former vice president for transportation and infrastructure at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in an interview.

“Any type of disruption — it could only last a week, but it could take a month or two to get back to whatever normal was,” he said.

Jennifer Shutt contributed to this report.

 

by Jacob Fischler, 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: info@virginiamercury.com. Follow Virginia Mercury on Facebook and Twitter.

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Interesting Things to Know

Five excellent reasons to visit a Christmas market

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When:
May 6, 2020 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
2020-05-06T18:00:00-04:00
2020-05-06T19:00:00-04:00
Where:
LFCC Online
Cost:
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Contact:
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Every December, Christmas markets start popping up in towns across the country. Here are five great reasons to visit one in your area.

1. To find holiday gifts
Christmas markets are a great place to go if you’re looking for unique items for your friends and family members. You can find an assortment of handmade toys, crafts, baked goods, jewelry, and more.

2. To discover new products
Christmas markets typically gather hundreds of vendors in one place. If you decide to attend, you’re sure to discover new products to try.

3. To support local makers
If you want to support the artisans and producers in your region, visit your nearest Christmas market. By buying locally made goods, you’ll help stimulate your region’s economy.

4. To stock up on needed items
Christmas markets typically feature a wide range of exhibitors, so you won’t have to visit multiple stores to find everything you need for the holidays. You can load up on gourmet foods, handcrafted soaps, unique clothes, Christmas decorations, and much more.

5. To enjoy complimentary entertainment
Christmas markets frequently provide free entertainment. You may be able to enjoy a play, concert, or food tasting. In many cases, children’s activities are also offered. You can even bring the whole family and make a day of it.

This year, find out about the Christmas markets in your area and schedule a time to visit them.

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Business

Four advantages of knowledge sharing

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When:
May 6, 2020 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
2020-05-06T18:00:00-04:00
2020-05-06T19:00:00-04:00
Where:
LFCC Online
Cost:
Free
Contact:
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Knowledge sharing within a corporation or business involves employees trading information, skills, and theoretical concepts with each other, even if their positions are different. Here are four advantages of adopting this practice.

1. Improve service quality
Knowledge sharing allows your company to offer better services and optimize customer relations. For example, front desk employees who understand what goes on behind the scenes can better explain problems and obstacles to customers.

2. Maintain productivity
If an employee leaves due to illness, retirement, or parental leave, knowledge sharing prevents their departure from affecting a company’s performance and production levels. Among other things, it can help ensure other team members are able to take on their responsibilities and train new hires.

3. Increase motivation
Knowledge sharing breaks down barriers between teams within the same company. It also allows employees to understand better how the company works and become more motivated, skilled, and productive.

4. Streamline communication
It can sometimes be difficult for employees from different generations to communicate effectively with each other. Encouraging them to share their knowledge and skills constructively can help make them more open and receptive to new ideas and ways of thinking.

To help you implement and integrate knowledge sharing within your company, consider hiring a business coach or other contractor.

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State News

Lawsuit against Chesapeake Walmart over warning signs and more Va. headlines

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When:
May 6, 2020 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
2020-05-06T18:00:00-04:00
2020-05-06T19:00:00-04:00
Where:
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Cost:
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Contact:
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The State Capitol. (Ned Oliver/ Virginia Mercury)

 

• A worker at the Chesapeake Walmart filed a $50 million lawsuit claiming the company failed to act on her prior complaints about the coworker who killed six store employees and took his own life in last week’s mass shooting. The suit, which says “employers have a responsibility to understand the warning signs and take threats seriously,” alleges the gunman repeatedly asked colleagues if they had received active shooter training.—Virginian-Pilot

• As many in the Virginia politics world mourned the death of Democratic Rep. Donald McEachin, Gov. Glenn Youngkin said he had not yet made a decision on when to schedule a special election to fill the vacant Richmond-area congressional seat. —Washington Post

• State Del. Lamont Bagby, D-Henrico, is a possible candidate for the seat, but he said it’s too early to talk politics.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• As bipartisan tributes to McEachin rolled in, Del. Marie March, R-Floyd, took a different tack by attacking the late congressman for supporting abortion rights.—Cardinal News

• An assault charge against a former D.C. deputy mayor was dropped at the request of Virginia prosecutors after a witness said the gym parking lot altercation that sparked it was “definitely a mutual thing.”—Washington Post

 

by Staff Report, 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: info@virginiamercury.com. Follow Virginia Mercury on Facebook and Twitter.

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Obituaries

Albert “Al” Clifford Gutekenst (1946 – 2022)

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When:
May 6, 2020 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
2020-05-06T18:00:00-04:00
2020-05-06T19:00:00-04:00
Where:
LFCC Online
Cost:
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Contact:
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Albert “Al” Clifford Gutekenst of Front Royal, Virginia, passed away on Tuesday, November 29, 2022, at his home surrounded by his family.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, at 11:00 am at St. Jude Catholic Church, 1937 Davis Highway, Mineral, Virginia, with Father Michael Duffy officiating. Burial will follow at the church cemetery.

Mr. Gutekenst was born on February 17, 1946, in Hartford, Connecticut, to the late James and Zona Smith Gutekenst. He was currently a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Front Royal and previously a member of St. Jude Catholic Church in Louisa, Virginia. He was a third-degree Knight of Columbus, a founding member of Newington Volunteer Ambulance, a lifetime member of Mineral Rescue Squad, an associate member of Mineral Fire Department, a veteran of the United States Navy serving as a Seabee, and a retiree from the Metropolitan District Commission.

Survivors include his wife of over 34 years, Marilyn Gutekenst of Front Royal; son, James Walter Gutekenst of Louisa; two daughters, Heidi Gail Gutekenst of Belchertown, Massachusetts, and Rose Marie Gutekenst Harvey (Stephen) of Front Royal; brother Patrick Gutekenst of Louisa and two grandchildren, Genevieve Zona Harvey and Oliver Everett Harvey both of Front Royal.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Loaves and Fishes Catholic Food Pantry Charities, 613 N Royal Ave, Front Royal, VA 22630.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

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Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

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Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

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The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

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Vetbuilder.com

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Upcoming Events

Dec
1
Thu
4:00 pm Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Dec 1 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Kickoff for tree sales — Boy Scout Troop 52 is ready to help you find that perfect tree. We are located at the Royal Plaza in front of Rural King. We will be selling trees[...]
7:30 pm “Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
Dec 1 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
"Can't Feel At Home" @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” an original play by Dr John T Glick. The story of families displaced from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1930’s to allow for the construction of Shenandoah National Park and[...]
Dec
2
Fri
4:00 pm Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Dec 2 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Kickoff for tree sales — Boy Scout Troop 52 is ready to help you find that perfect tree. We are located at the Royal Plaza in front of Rural King. We will be selling trees[...]
7:30 pm “Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
Dec 2 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
"Can't Feel At Home" @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” an original play by Dr John T Glick. The story of families displaced from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1930’s to allow for the construction of Shenandoah National Park and[...]
Dec
3
Sat
6:00 am 66th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
66th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
Dec 3 @ 6:00 am – 1:00 pm
66th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
Veterans,  Law Enforcement, and Fire and Rescue on duty in uniform eats free!
8:00 am Christmas Bazaar @ Valley Assembly of God Church
Christmas Bazaar @ Valley Assembly of God Church
Dec 3 @ 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
Christmas Bazaar @ Valley Assembly of God Church
Food, Crafts, Bake Sale! Still seeking crafters and vendors: 6 foot tables $15.00, 8 foot tables $20.00.
3:00 pm “Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
Dec 3 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
"Can't Feel At Home" @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” an original play by Dr John T Glick. The story of families displaced from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1930’s to allow for the construction of Shenandoah National Park and[...]
4:00 pm Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Dec 3 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Kickoff for tree sales — Boy Scout Troop 52 is ready to help you find that perfect tree. We are located at the Royal Plaza in front of Rural King. We will be selling trees[...]
7:30 pm “Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
Dec 3 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
"Can't Feel At Home" @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” an original play by Dr John T Glick. The story of families displaced from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1930’s to allow for the construction of Shenandoah National Park and[...]
Dec
4
Sun
3:00 pm “Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
Dec 4 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
"Can't Feel At Home" @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” an original play by Dr John T Glick. The story of families displaced from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1930’s to allow for the construction of Shenandoah National Park and[...]