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)
2 EDA’S in our region?
This County vs. Town and Town vs. County is getting out of control.
Will all of this EDA and interest payment on the new Police Dept. be settled after the election?
Is making a new EDA for the same location within the state a little unethical? Why raise the taxpayer’s taxes just to have control of “who gets Boardwalk”?
Why can’t Town and County work together for the betterment of both boundaries? What about their constituents? Don’t elective officials listen to the people anymore? We the people are supposed to be heard and not be “silent” just because the power of position has gone to the elected official’s head!
With all the happenings going on in our country today? Can’t this small community of people be a light to others in getting along for the betterment of all and not just some?
It is sad that America has come to this unrecognizable place to live in. I know that my father, a veteran of WWII, would turn over in his grave.
Still proud to be called an American!
Front Royal, VA
‘Yappy Hour’ returns to Main Street this Friday, July 10
“Yappy Hour” — a fun fundraiser for the Julia Wagner Animal Shelter – returns to downtown Front Royal’s East Main Street courtesy ViNoVa Tapas Bar and Restaurant Friday, July 10, after an absence since last March due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic emergency response closings.
Owners and operators Rachel Failmezger and Chris Kenworthy will continue to host “Yappy Hour” which features lower cost food and drink prices, a generous cut from sales during the 6-8 p.m. event, and proceeds from a traditional 50/50 raffle all donated to the Humane Society of Warren County (HSWC) for its Wagner Shelter operations.
In celebration of her release from her shelter kennel just 24 hours earlier, La Bella will be the “belle of the ball” as the rescue dog takes a bow with her adopters, Michael and Sherry Williams, at the opening of this weekly event.
Since meal and bar service has been moved outdoors into the “closed to car traffic” East Main Street, attendees are encouraged to bring their (well behaved!) dogs to join La Bella and my own rescue husky, La Diva, to the soiree. All spacing, masking and other suggested state and local requirements will be observed.
Front Royal’s original “Yappy Hour” was launched at the same restaurant site under a different name (Vino e Formaggio) by myself and Christian Failmezger several years ago, and over a two-year span raised some $12,000 for the animal shelter. It was re-launched last September with similar financial success during its first six months.
(Malcolm Barr Sr., our contributing writer, is a past president of HSWC)
2020 Independence Day holiday traffic crashes claim nine lives
Unfortunately, thousands of drunk, speeding and reckless drivers kept Virginia State Police busy and put countless lives at risk during the 2020 July 4th holiday weekend across the Commonwealth. Preliminary reports indicate nine individuals, to include a 4-year-old child, died during the holiday statistical counting period that began at 12:01 a.m. July 2, 2020 and concluded at midnight July 5, 2020. During the 2019 July 4 holiday counting period, there were seven traffic deaths on Virginia highways.
The nine fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Albemarle, Arlington, Augusta, Bedford, Carroll, James City, Lunenburg, Prince Edward and Russell counties. The Augusta County, Arlington County and Russell County crashes involved motorcycles. The Prince Edward County crash claimed the life of a 4-year-old Charlotte County male.
“Even though state police did its part to enhance its response times and traffic safety enforcement efforts, too many motorists still put their lives and others at risk during the holiday weekend by failing to drive smart, safe or sober,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “As we look towards the remainder of the summer travel season, I can’t stress enough the need for every driver and passenger, motorcyclist and bicyclist, pedestrian and commercial vehicle driver to make travel safety a priority. Sharing the road responsibly, complying with speed limits, buckling up and never driving impaired or distracted are what it takes to reduce crash-related injuries and deaths on Virginia’s highways.”
During the Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort’s (C.A.R.E.) four-day statistical counting period, Virginia troopers arrested 44 drunk drivers. In addition, state troopers cited 1,537 speeders and 732 reckless drivers, and issued 126 citations to individuals for failing to obey the law and buckle up. During the holiday statistical counting period, Virginia State Police responded to a total 444 traffic crashes statewide and assisted 1,153 disabled/stranded motorists. Operation C.A.R.E. is a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt.
Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.
For more information on traffic safety and how to keep Virginia “Moving Toward Zero Roadway Deaths,” go to www.tzdva.org.
The key to fraud — printed right on your checks
In a business checking account, a small charge of $10 to $20 might not generate too much concern or suspicion.
But, beware, small amounts coming out of your checking account can be a fraud, and all the criminal needs to know are printed right on your check.
Automated Clearing House (ACH) fraud is a common way to steal. The criminal only needs your account number and the bank routing number. It is like check fraud only much easier since the funds come right out of your bank account without the need for paper.
Be aware that any time you type in your checking account and routing number online you are offering a bad actor all he or she needs to steal from you, either in small amounts over time, or by gutting your account entirely.
Criminals get your checking account information through phony websites, phishing schemes, spoofed emails from entities such as the IRS, and even work at home schemes.
Or, if you send them a check. That’s all it takes.
Such fraudulent ACH transactions can be labeled many things, including “Bank Card draft” or “Bank payment” and seem legitimate at a glance.
Consumers have 60 days to alert their banks and recover funds, but businesses may only have one day to do the same. The key is daily monitoring of the account, reviewing all the credits and debits to detect fraud immediately.
Doug Stanley reflects on 25-years in Warren County government
In a statement emailed to the media at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, Stanley reflected on his time and career in Warren County.
“I have spent the past 25 years or half of my life serving the Front Royal-Warren County community, the last 20 as County Administrator. During that time, I have worked at the pleasure of the Warren County Board of Supervisors and appreciated the Board’s confidence, trust, and support over the years …
“I have been fortunate and blessed to work with an outstanding and professional staff of talented individuals who work hard to improve the quality of life of our citizens on a daily basis.
“Without a doubt, the past year has been the most difficult and challenging in my career. That said I believe we have made strides in bringing those responsible for the EDA embezzlement to justice and to recover what has been stolen as well as supporting the current EDA Board and staff to clean up the mess.
“To the community, I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to serve you over the past 25-plus years. Warren County has been able to strike a balance between economic growth and protecting the rural character, scenic vistas, and special places that we as a community treasure. I know in my heart that I leave Warren County a better community, a stronger more resilient community that is poised to continue to flourish in the coming years,” he concluded.
During that lengthy professional tenure here Stanley noted the challenges faced by the community regarding economic redevelopment after the closing of what was for decades beginning with World War II, one of, if not the county’s largest private-sector employer.
“Over this period I have had the fortune and honor to be part of significant improvements to this community in replacing the lost jobs and tax base of the former Avtex facility with over $500 million in industrial development and the creation of over 2,000 jobs in the Route 340/522 corridor. This does not include the $1 billion invested by Dominion in the new power plant. The County has been able to attract significant retail development to the corridor which provides our residents with shopping and dining opportunities while generating revenue to reduce the County’s reliance on real estate taxes.”
And he noted the variety of capital improvement projects taken on, of particular note with the county’s public school system.
“We have also made tremendous strides in addressing the capital facility needs of our community thanks to the vision and support of the various members of the Board of Supervisors through the construction of numerous school, community, parks and recreation, and public safety facilities.
“I am proud that we have been able to make all of these improvements and additions to our community while still maintaining one of the lowest real estate tax rates in the region.”
EDA Board Chair Ed Daley will replace Doug Stanley on interim basis at month’s end
Following a 2-1/2 hour closed session convened three minutes after opening Wednesday morning’s Special Meeting, the Warren County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a “Separation Agreement” with County Administrator Doug Stanley and the appointment of current Economic Development Authority Board of Directors Chairman Ed Daley as interim county administrator effective August 3rd.
Daley, now retired, has 35 years’ experience in the municipal/city management field, including in Winchester; Dodge City, Kansas; Fairmont, West Virginia; Hopewell and Emporia, Virginia. He will be paid at a $70 per hour rate. Daley confirmed that he will resign his EDA board position at the end of the month with the hope of returning to it upon the end of his tenure as interim county administrator.
Following adjournment of the special meeting North River Supervisor Delores Oates, who made the motion on the Separation Agreement, explained that Stanley’s final day on the job he has held since April 1, 2000, will be July 31, 2020.
Board Chairman Walt Mabe said that a press release on the departure of the only county administrator Warren County has had this century would be forthcoming, along with a copy of the “Separation Agreement” about an hour-and-a-half following the 1:36 p.m. adjournment of the July 8 special meeting. The board was in open session for a total of six minutes, three on each side of the 150-minute closed session.
In the County press release Mabe states, “We appreciate Mr. Stanley’s service to the Warren County community over the past 25 years. He has many wonderful accomplishments that have helped make Warren County a great place to live, work, and visit. We wish him the best as he continues with the next step in his career.”
Over the past year and a half Stanley has been a target of criticism on social media and by a few citizens at county board meetings as a symbol of the “business as usual” governmental scenario some hold as a causal factor in the EDA financial scandal. Whether such criticism is factually based or largely opinion rooted in the length of Stanley’s tenure with the county government or interpersonal issues remains to be seen.
As the 11 a.m. meeting time approached at the Warren County Government Center, 14 county staffers from seven county departments with no business on the one-topic meeting agenda filled a number of seats in the back rows of the public seating area. One, past and Interim Social Services Director (as of July 9) Beth Reavis held an “I Support Doug Stanley” sign.
Perhaps that county staff presence led Board Chairman Mabe to open the meeting with a notice that any “outbursts or cheers or tears” would not be tolerated and that he would have the room cleared by the two Sheriff’s Office deputies present if such behavior occurred. As the motion was made to approve Stanley’s “separation” from County employment over 2-1/2 hours later those staffers all remained, observing silently.
Resigned or shown the door?
The press release from County Human Resources Director Jodi Saffelle issued at 2:53 p.m. is titled “Doug Stanley Has Resigned as County Administrator”
The press release begins stating, “Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Walt Mabe announced today that Douglas P. Stanley has tendered his resignation effective July 31, 2020. Mr. Stanley has been employed with the County since December 19, 1994, and has served as the County Administrator since April 1, 2000.”
However, in the Separation Agreement added to the release, it is noted in Points 1 and 2 that:
1 – Mr. Stanley, at the request of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, agrees to resign as County Administrator effective July 31, 2020.
2 – The County Agrees that Mr. Stanley’s resignation shall be considered an involuntary separation as that term is defined in Section 51.1-155.2 of the Code of Virginia.
That Virginia Code Section states that, “Such member may retire without the reduction in retirement allowance required by subdivisions A 2 and A 3 of § 51.1-155.2 upon attaining age 50”.
During the lengthy closed session, Stanley informed the media that his 51st birthday was the previous day, July 7, 2020. – Well happy birthday a day late, Doug, looks like you won’t lose any accumulated retirement from this “involuntary separation” resignation.
Stanley began his employment with the County as Zoning Administrator in December 1994. He became both planning director and county administrator on April 1, 1996, and 2000, respectively; serving in the dual role of county administrator/planning director until June 30, 2008, when Taryn Logan was named planning director.
Logan was one of the 14 employees, including several other department heads, present to hear Wednesday’s announcement without the need of a law enforcement escort out of the building. Other department heads spotted, masked and unmasked, were Fire Chief Richard Mabie, Parks & Recreation Director Dan Lenz, Building Code Official David Beahm, and Reavis on an interim basis at DSS, along with other staff including Deputy Emergency Management Director Rick Farrall, Joe Petty, Mike Berry, semi-retired Finance Director Carolyn Stimmel, among others, including Administrative Assistant Shelley Hayes filling in as deputy board clerk.
See events unfold in this Royal Examiner video: