Warren County Girls Little League Softball is proud to announce that Winter Clinics start Sunday, January 12th at WCHS. This is a great opportunity for one-on-one direction and coaching during our skill building activities! Winter clinics are walk up/No registration required! Come to one or come to all! See image attachment above for all the dates and times for the clinics.
Spring Registration is now OPEN! Don’t miss out on the Early Bird discount! Need to make payments? Just set the amount you want to pay today and sign back into your account to make payments on your schedule: www.WCGIrlsSoftball.com (For more information, contact: WCGLLSPlayerAgent@gmail.com)
Red Pepper Falafel
Falafel is an interesting blend of chickpeas, vegetables, and spices that are chopped up together, rolled into balls, and deep fried in vegetable oil. When asked today, people from many countries such as a Palestine, Yemen, Lebanon, and Israel would probably tell you that they are responsible for inventing falafel.
According to History Today, however, Egypt is the likely origin of the falafel that people are familiar with now and it might not be as old as you think. It was first mentioned in Egyptian literature as early as 1882 and seems to be linked to the British occupation of that time. As the troops had found a taste for fried vegetable croquettes in India, it is likely that their search for a replacement led to the locally-sourced chickpea falafel.
8 ounces dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 small red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons chickpea flour
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2.5 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon baking powder
Vegetable oil (for frying; about 8 cups)
1. Take the soaked chickpeas and pulse them in a food processor, scraping as necessary. After about one minute, they should resemble finely chopped nuts. Scrape everything into a large bowl.
2. Pulse the onion, garlic, and bell pepper in the food processor, until coarsely chopped, about one minute.
3. Add the chopped mixture to the chickpeas and then mix in chickpea flour, cumin, salt, coriander, smoked paprika, Hungarian sweet paprika, and baking powder. Mold mixture into ping-pong-sized balls.
4. Pour oil into a large pot – to at least three inches in depth. Heat the oil up to 330 degrees. Cook the falafel in small batches, turning occasionally, until deep brown and crispy. It will take about five minutes.
5. Transfer the finished falafel to a paper towel to drain.
These are great served alongside a bright cabbage slaw, tahini sauce, and pita bread!
McEathron explains process leading up to early retirement announcement
Royal Examiner sat down with Warren County Sheriff Daniel McEathron Monday afternoon in the wake of his announced retirement effective May 1, 2019. Sheriff for the last 16 years of a 37-year career at the department, McEathron announced August 1 of last year that he would not seek re-election this year. His final four-year term expires on December 31.
So, why the early exit, we asked.
“After the last election, which was 2015, right, and I took office in ’16, my wife and I both sat down and talked about it – I was going to leave January 1, 2019. I was going to retire early. So, we decided as a family together two-and-a-half, three years ago,” the sheriff said of the hatching of a family plan to exit his last term as sheriff as much as a year early.
“But the more I got to thinking about it, that’s right when you submit your budget and it’s extremely important to any office. So I felt it was important for me to go ahead with that,” the sheriff observed of preparation and submission of the annual departmental budget. “So this decision, the first phase of this decision was made last year as far as leaving prior to the expiration of my term. But I felt it was important to submit my budget, present my budget and get through that process, which is usually April.
“And the office is running great, running smooth – this will be the first time in I guess four to six years where we’ll be totally full staffed. We won’t have the amount of vacancies we used to have; so we’re right where we need to be in the staffing. Everything is running good,” McEathron said of what he sees as an opportune moment to enact that early exit strategy developed on the home front in recent years.
The sheriff also joked that perhaps it is advisable to “retire” early on a chosen date, rather than see one’s contract “expire” for a final time as sheriff’s office contracts do at the end of the calendar year – “And this is not a joking matter … but it’s that word ‘expire,’ ” McEathron laughed.
Hey, having almost “expired” myself on a past December 31, I think it’s a GOOD CALL, sheriff.
“Personally everything’s great, the kids are doing good – why not take advantage of the summer; get ahead a little early. Professionally everything is going a way I can’t ask for it to go any better – we have a great staff here. So nothing’s going to change really, other than I won’t be sitting here,” the sheriff said looking around his office.
“But do you know what the most important part of today is?” the sheriff asked of the day he announced his pending retirement, “It’s my mother’s 86th birthday.” – GO mom.
And don’t worry, the soon-to-be-retired sheriff will be visiting much more frequently in no time.
Since his August 1st announcement he would not seek another term as sheriff, three people have declared as candidates to replace McEathron. Those include one from within the department, Michael “Mickey” Licklider, county resident and Winchester City Police Officer Jason Poe as well as county resident and Fairfax County Police Officer Mark Butler.
The press release announcing McEathron’s intention to step down noted that Major Michael Arnold will serve as sheriff for the remaining eight months of the incumbent’s term, which as noted above, “expires” December 31, 2019.
“By code the chief deputy, which is Major Michael Arnold, automatically takes over,” McEathron explained of the short-term succession plan.
Does Arnold’s appointment to complete Sheriff McEathron’s final year in office mean that a fourth candidate may emerge into the race to replace him?
“No, he’s not going to run – in three years he can retire too,” McEathron said of his immediate successor.
June jury trial set for former breeding kennel owners in child, animal cruelty cases
FRONT ROYAL – On Monday, March 18, Circuit Court Judge Clifford L. “Clay” Athey ordered a June trial in the 25-count case against former commercial breeding kennel owners Wendy and Brian Tenney. A two-day jury trial was scheduled for June 3-4. A morning docket hearing date of May 6 was set on the defense motion to suppress certain commonwealth evidence. The Tenneys are free on bond and waived their speedy trial right in response to a question from the court about setting a trial date.
Both Tenneys face six felony counts of child endangerment and neglectful care (“Labor-Cruelty and Injuries to Children”), one count for each of their six children under the age of 18, as well as 19 counts each of misdemeanor animal cruelty. The charges stem from the conditions found in their home and a detached kennel area on their property during the execution of a search warrant on September 12, 2018. That search warrant was executed after Animal Control Officer Laura Gomez went to the Tenney residence to report discovery of some of their goats in the road.
Tenney counsel from the Staunton law firm of Timberlake-Smith noted his clients had waived their right to a jury trial; however, the court ordered the case be heard by a jury of the Tenneys’ peers.
General District Court Judge W. Dale Houff certified the felony charges to the grand jury following a 2-1/2 hour hearing on December 12. And while the Tenneys dropped an appeal of the lower court ruling the 28 surviving dogs and cats (of 30 seized) be released for adoption by the Humane Society of Warren County’s Julia Wagner Animal Shelter where they had been held since September 12, they are taking their fight against the misdemeanor animal cruelty charges to the higher court.
At the time of the September 12 search warrant’s execution the Tenneys were in the process of appealing a Warren County Board of Supervisors’ April 17 decision (by a 4-1 vote, only the Tenneys’ South River District Supervisor Linda Glavis dissenting) to revoke their commercial breeding kennel permit. That permit was revoked following a four-month hearing process before both the county planning commission and board of supervisors. The Tenneys have since dropped that appeal.
The county planning department recommended the commercial breeding kennel permit revocation in the wake of a March 6, 2017 kennel fire at the Tenney property in which 16 dogs died. A county fire investigation indicated the cause of the fire as the type of portable space heater animal control had warned Wendy Tenney against using as they are subject to wire chewing by the dogs. The fire investigation also presented evidence the kennel had been illegally wired without the necessary permitting and inspections.
Addressing the felony counts related to the Tenney children on December 12, General District Court Judge Houff said he did not question that the Tenney children were loved by their parents. However, he disputed defense counsel’s contention that
what was found on the property during the September search presented an uncharacteristic “snapshot” of how the Tenney’s normally lived. Judge Houff said photo evidence and witness testimony presented “such an array of chaos” that it could not simply be dismissed as a momentary aberration without further scrutiny at a higher level, first before a grand jury and then as now certified, before a jury of the Tenneys’ peers.
Following execution of the September 12 search warrant the family’s six minor children were removed from the home and released to the custody of their maternal grandmother. According to Tenney attorney Tate C. Love that transfer was made voluntarily by the Tenneys without a court order. Following the December hearing Love noted that all the Tenneys’ interactions with social services had been voluntary.
Under cross-examination Animal Control Deputy Gomez admitted that on previous inspections of Tenney’s property as recent as March or April 2018 conditions had been normal, clean and acceptable. Defense counsel also pointed out that Mrs. Tenney had asked Gomez to allow her to clean up after she called for the search warrant but had not been allowed to do so.
But under redirect examination Gomez noted that her previous inspections of the Tenney property had always been scheduled in advance – “This was unscheduled,” the animal control officer observed.
Gomez called for the search warrant after observing the conditions in a detached kennel area on the Tenney property. Gomez visited the Tenney property on September 12 to report that some of their goats had escaped the property and were in the road.
Prosecution witnesses from the sheriff’s office involved in the search of the Tenney home and kennel on September 12, 2018, indicated that the combined smell of wasting food, trash, animal feces and general smell of ammonia was so bad they could only continue the search in five-minute increments even with ventilators on due to the strength of the odor.
Bridge across Rockland Road railroad tracks coming shortly?
Seemingly hidden in recent reports from Washington D.C., Richmond, and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County is news of $15.5 million in federal and state funding that will pay for a bridge across the railroad tracks on the county’s Rockland Road, sought by the county board of supervisors for two decades.
The funding came in through the back door, so to speak, since the grants were made directly to the Inland Port to both ease increasing traffic in and out of the port as well as, according to county executive Doug Stanley, answering the problem of trains consistently blocking traffic – including emergency vehicles – in the Rockland area north of the town of Front Royal.
No timetable has yet been set by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (VDOT) but a bridge across one of the two access roads to Rockland – the busier Fairground Road crossing proved impractical – will be welcomed by area residents who have been increasingly inconvenienced by crossings blocked by Norfolk Southern trains. The local ambulance and fire services also welcomed the news. VDOT is charged with building the bridge.
“The U.S. Department of Transportation’s ‘Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development’ (BUILD) grant award for the Inland Port is great news for the port, the county, and particularly residents of the Rockland area,” Stanley commented, adding, “More and longer trains have, from time to time, played havoc with blocking both the Fairground Road and Rockland Road crossings which are located north and south of the port entrance.”
Rockland Road carries about 750 vehicles a day. Blockages have been documented to last up to an hour, at times, resulting in significant delays, safety hazards, and cost to residents, business and industry. Also affected are school buses and fire and rescue response from the nearby North Warren Fire and Rescue Department which provides primary emergency service for the area.
“The closest detour route to avoid these delays is seven miles away and takes an additional 10-12 minutes of travel time that is especially critical during an emergency call,” Stanley said, acknowledging scores of complaints from residents as train traffic has significantly increased year to year.
Due to a sharp increase in business at the Inland port, an additional amount of state funding was added to the federal grant from the state’s Rail Enhancement Fund, according to Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine.
“… we are grateful for the broad support (these) grant applications received from members of our congressional delegation, Virginia’s governor, regional development authorities, and the business community around the Virginia Inland Port,” said Virginia Inland Port CEO and Executive Director John F. Reinhart in a recent release from Governor Ralph Northam’s office.
Said Stanley, “We would like to thank the Virginia Port Authority and VDOT for working with the county to prioritize this (bridge) project and we look forward to advancing it through the design and construction phases as quickly as possible.”
The county underscored its request for a solution to the traffic problems as late as 2016.
Virginia Inland Port in Warren County is a major trucking and shipping center for national and international business and has been operating about 30 years. It is a key to industrial and business expansion in the area.
Jig’N’Jive Dance Studio performs at Samuels Public Library
It has become a tradition to welcome dancers from Jig’N’Jive Dance Studio to perform traditional Irish dances in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day at the Samuels Public Library. On March 16th the dancers performed to a packed house. Thanks to Annie Guttierrez and dancers of the Jig ‘n’ Jive Dance Studio for their hard work.
The Jig ‘n’ Jive Dance Studio is a recreational dance studio for both kids and adults. They offer Irish, Swing, and Ballroom Dance Lessons.
Royal Examiner’s camera was there.
Empty Bowl Supper to benefit the House of Hope
The Empty Bowl Supper is to be held Thursday, March 28th, from 5pm to 7pm. Get your tickets and join us at the Front Royal Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department, located at 221 Commerce Ave, Front Royal, and enjoy the entertainment of the evening by Passage Creek Rising!
- Benefiting the House of Hope Men’s Transitional Shelter.
- Delicious soups from area restaurants and music by Passage Creek Rising.
- Tickets are available at: The Kiln Doctor (100 E. 8th St. Front Royal), St Luke’s Community Clinic (316 N. Royal Ave. Front Royal), and Front Royal Vol. Fire & Rescue Dept. (221 N. Commerce Ave. Front Royal)
- Or CLICK HERE to download the informational PDF and print, fill out, mail in the form for tickets.
People who attend the event will get to select a bowl to use for their soup. After the meal, take the bowls home!
A little history of the event from Arline Link, of The Kiln Doctor, as she reflects on the how they first got involved painting bowls for the Empty Bowl Supper: “From the beginning, I was approached by Siggi Hepp-Dex about donating bowls or having people come in to make bowls. The first couple of years I got my customers to donate some of the bowls as well as making some myself. We had workshops where people could come in and make bowls. First Night New Years Eve 2016, I introduced the coloring book bowls which has become a great success. I set up in the I Want Candy shop. We had 100 bowls that were glazed within 3 hours. I ran out of bowls.” Arline explains, “The local community comes in and glazes the bowls. This year, we have a little over 200 bowls!”
The Empty Bowl Supper benefits the House of Hope, a residential program for homeless men. It was first founded in 2008. It is a 24 hour facility with approximately 16 beds and provides shelter, food, laundry facilities, counseling and more for the residents. To learn more or to donate directly to House of Hope: http://www.warrencountyhomeless.org/.