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Firefighters respond to multiple significant incidents

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On Wednesday, June 12th, at 1:30pm, the Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services were dispatched to the 400 block of W. 15th Street, in Front Royal, for a reported residential structure fire.

400 block of W. 15th Street. Photo courtesy of WCFR.

Fire, rescue and law enforcement units quickly arrived on the scene and reported a single family dwelling with significant fire conditions throughout the first floor, basement and roof system of the home, with radiant heat from the fire starting to ignite a nearby vehicle and a neighboring home. Firefighters were able to quickly protect the exposures and begin fire suppression efforts. Based on the volume of fire and available resources on the incident scene, a second alarm was requested at 1:45pm and all operations were moved to an exterior-defensive operation. The fire incident was marked under control at 2:14pm with substantial structural collapse occurring to the roof system and first floor of the home. Firefighters remained on the scene throughout the afternoon.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Warren County Fire Marshal’s Office. Investigators worked through the evening processing the scene and have eliminated any suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident. The fire is believed to have started on the exterior of the home and quickly spread into the basement and roof system of the structure. The fire caused an estimated $400,000.00 in property and content damaged. Both occupants of the home have been displaced as a result of the fire and have received assistance from the American Red Cross. The occupants were not home at the time of the fire but one occupant was treated and released on the scene after entering the burning home to rescue pets before the fire departments arrival. A firefighter was also treated for minor injury on the scene.


During this significant fire incident, WCFR received multiple calls for service to include several emergency medical responses, an additional reported residential structure fire and a reported motor vehicle/motorcycle crash with significant injuries. The additional fire was quickly contained to the electrical system of the home and the motorcycle crash resulted in a patient with significant injuries being airlifted to a regional trauma center.

Fire Chief Richard E. Mabie stated that “our local response system was stretched thin, but due to the collaborative partnerships with our neighboring response agencies we were able to successfully handle all emergencies in a timely fashion.” These simultaneous incidents demonstrated the constraints to our response system and reinforces the need to continually look for volunteers. Anyone interested in volunteering for your local fire and EMS station should visit www.warrencountyfire.com.

Units on the 15th Street Fire:

  • Engine 1
  • Rescue Engine 5
  • Truck 10
  • Engine 9
  • Ambulance 3
  • Ambulance 4
  • Middletown Engine/Chief 12
  • Strasburg Pumper 51
  • Chief 100




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School Board to consider moving start date of school to September 8th

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Dr. Chris Ballenger, Warren County Schools Superintendent, issued a press release on August 11, 2020, to notify parents and the community that they will propose to the Warren County School Board, moving the start date of school from August 27, 2020, to September 8, 2020. This proposal will be presented at the School Board meeting on August 19, 2020.

School officials indicated that more time is needed for longer delivery times of supplies and delays in implementing the Learning Management Systems. This change will also provide more time for teachers and staff to learn the new Learning Management Systems which will be the main portal students will use to access the virtual learning materials and courses.

The proposed calendar includes the following dates:

September 8 – First day of school for students

November 3 – Professional Day
November 10 – End of 1st advisory
November 11 – Holiday
November 25-27 – Thanksgiving Break
December 23-January 1 – Winter Break
January 18 – Holiday
January 29 – End of 2nd advisory/1st semester
February 15 – Holiday
March 29-April 5 Spring Break
April 13 – End of 3rd advisory
April 30 – Professional Day
May 31 – Holiday
June 17 – Last day of school for students

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Crime/Court

Woman held at RSW Jail after state police chase, animal abuse-fatality charge

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A 39-year-old woman is in Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren County (RSW) Regional Jail without bond on six charges related to an August 7th law enforcement chase during which at least one Virginia State Police cruiser was sideswiped.

Jennifer Arnn faces one animal cruelty charge resulting in the fatality of dog or cat; one reckless driving charge, one vandalism charge of intentional damaging of public property, likely at least police cars, and three charges of assault on law enforcement officers in the conduct of their job.

Jennifer Arnn sports some facial abrasions in her RSW mug shot. She was booked into the regional jail at 2:34 p.m., Friday, Aug. 7. Photo courtesy of RSW Jail.

A portion of the Friday afternoon incident was captured on a cell phone video posted on social media (see below). The video involves Arnn’s vehicle and what appears to be marked and unmarked police cars and an unidentified fourth vehicle stopped at an intersection in Warren County’s north commercial corridor near the Target-anchored Crooked Run Shopping Center.

The video appears to show Arnn attempting to leave the scene with something appearing to be hanging out of the rear passenger side of her car, the sideswipe of a pursuing state police car and Arnn’s vehicle heading southbound on Route 522/340 toward the intersection with I-66.

No place of residence was listed on the jail website and no further detail of the incident was available at the time of publication. This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

The social media video (posted by Desirae Jean) of a portion of the incident in Warren County’s north commercial corridor:

YalllllllThis lady was getting flung around her car with every ram, and they had guns drawn on her, she was hell bent to get away 👀😳😳

Posted by Desirae Jean on Thursday, 6 August 2020

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Town Notice: Road Closure 17th St – N Shenandoah Avenue (Sheetz)

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The Town of Front Royal will be installing a slip lane on 17th Street at the intersection of W 17th Street and N. Shenandoah Avenue.

W. 17th Street will be closed from N. Shenandoah Ave to the side entrance to Sheetz from August 13, 2020-September 11, 2020 from 6:30 am-2:30 pm (Weather Permitting).

Signs and cones will be in place during closure and motorists are asked to use caution while driving in this area.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Public Works 540-635-7819

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VDOT: Warren County Traffic alert for August 10-14, 2020

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The following is a list of highway work that may affect traffic in Warren County during the coming weeks. Scheduled work is subject to change due to inclement weather and material supplies. Motorists are advised to watch for slow-moving tractors during mowing operations. When traveling through a work zone, be alert to periodic changes in traffic patterns and lane closures.

*NEW* or *UPDATE* indicates a new entry or a revised entry since last week’s report.

INTERSTATE 66
*UPDATE* Mile marker 0 to 1, eastbound – Right shoulder closures for sign installation, Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

*UPDATE* Mile marker 1 to 15, eastbound and westbound – Overnight alternating lane closures for maintenance of various bridges, Sunday through Thursday nights from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. through August 21.

INTERSTATE 81
No lane closures reported.

PRIMARY ROADS
No lane closures reported.

SECONDARY ROADS
*NEW* Route 619 (Rivermont Drive) – Alternating lane closures just west of Route 340 (Stonewall Jackson Highway) for inspection of bridge over South Fork Shenandoah River and railroad, Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Route 658 (Rockland Road) – Flagger traffic control for soil and rock testing between Route 620 (Bennys Beach Road) and Kelley Drive, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through August 14.
*NEW* Route 659 (Hardesty Road) – Stop-and-proceed traffic pattern for pipe replacement between Route 603 (Howellsville Road) and dead end, August 10 to September 10 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Traffic width restriction of 9 feet.

Various roads – Flagger traffic control for utility tree trimming, Monday to Friday during daylight hours.

Vegetation management may take place district wide on various routes. Motorists are reminded to use extreme caution when traveling through work zones.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at www.511Virginia.org.

The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile-friendly website at my.vdot.virginia.gov. Agents are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

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Publishing and conflict resolution training company launched in Front Royal

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A new publishing and conflict resolution training company was launched in July in Front Royal, VA. Lalo Publishing, Inc. (LPI) was started by Charles and Bryane Lickson with the support of Jennifer Nicholson. The Licksons have been involved with alternative dispute resolution for over a quarter of a century. Charles Lickson (known by many as “Chips”) is a former practicing attorney who decided many years ago to turn to non-traditional conflict resolution and become a mediator.

Charles Lickson

Chips also had a background in writing –as well as law. The first edition of Ironing It Out: Seven Simple Steps to Resolving Conflict was published in 1992 and is now available in a brand new and updated edition. It is also available in a summary Pocket Guide edition. Both are available at Amazon. Lickson also wrote the Use of ADR to Resolve Technology or Innovation Disputes for the Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company, a division of Thomson Legal Publishing, Inc. in 1993. In 2019, Chips Lickson published his first fact-based fiction book, A Warrior Of Many Faces.

Bryane Miller Lickson, a Chairman of the Board of the new company, had written several articles and the book, Dignified Departure in 1994. This book, “a complete national outline for preparing all necessary documents to control your death or that of a loved one,” was well-received as a ground-breaking publication on living wills and durable powers of attorney.

Other members of LALO Publishing include; Jennifer Nicholson, Director, a successful business person; Carol Cable, an experienced and well-regarded professional artist and book designer and current Manager of Arts and Design for LPI; and Jorge Amselle, a multi-published author with a background in public relations and marketing as Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

“We decided to start this enterprise when it became clear that there was room for a publisher dedicated to the field of conflict resolution and willing to take on other titles as well,” said Chips Lickson. “We try to look at conflict and resolution in a new way and our new online blog is intended to help communicate these ideas in an approachable way,” he added.

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LFCC welcomes two new vice presidents to its administrative team

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Craig Short

LFCC has welcomed two new high-level administrators during the spring and summer semesters.

In late January, Craig Short became the vice president of financial and administrative services. Dr. Anne Davis started as the vice president of academic and student affairs in July.

The vice president of financial and administrative services oversees several critical missions of the college, including the police department, information and instructional technologies, the business office and facilities, and construction.

“Everything about this role and the team I work within FAS is about service to the students, faculty, and staff of LFFC,” said Short. “All the work that we do, in one way or another, supports LFCC student achievement and success.”

Short is a strong believer in the benefits of community college – he has received them firsthand.

“I attended community college in West Virginia in my youth, and again as an adult here in Virginia,” he said. “Two of my children have also attended Virginia Community College System (VCCS) institutions in recent years, and I can tell you the benefits of community college are just as important today as they were 50 years ago when LFCC first opened its doors.”

Short earned his bachelor’s degree at West Virginia University, having transferred from Southern West Virginia Community College. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from James Madison University.

Prior to coming to LFCC, Short was vice president of facilities and business services at Tennessee Tech University. Before that, he spent 10 years at JMU most recently as executive director of facilities and construction. Early in his career, he worked on construction and urban development projects in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

“Having been involved with so many trades over the years in facilities and construction, I’m a true believer when it comes to the mission of the VCCS and their critical role in the development of the workforce,” Short said. “Some of the best professionals I’ve had the privilege of working with are products of the VCCS”.

Immediately prior to arriving at LFCC, Dr. Anne Davis was dean and chief online learning officer at Stevenson University in Owings Mills, Md. She notes that experience fits well with the mostly-all online learning taking place during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Anne Davis

“Given the necessity of online learning in the current environment of higher education, I am excited that I can leverage my knowledge, skills, and experience as a chief online learning officer to help advance LFCC’s virtual student services and online instructional offerings,” Dr. Davis said. “I am excited to work with faculty and academic leaders to foster collaboration across LFCC’s campuses and instructional sites to ensure that our students have a consistent and unified experience.”

Prior to her role at Stevenson, Dr. Davis was a biology professor and science department chair at Carroll Community College in Westminster, Md. She has a bachelor’s degree in dairy science from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree in animal physiology from Cornell University, and a doctor of management degree with a focus on systems thinking leadership in higher education from the University of Maryland University College.

Before her foray into higher education, Dr. Davis put her dairy science degree to use while owning and operating her family’s dairy farm with her twin brother.

She said it is important that LFCC continues its holistic approach to students’ success.

“Students who enroll at community colleges are typically working full or part-time, often have family responsibilities, and many are first-generation college students,” Dr. Davis said. “Providing them with more than academic support is critical to our students’ success. We need to provide wrap-around services and connect students to resources in our community.

“In my experience, community college faculty are deeply committed to their teaching craft and are willing to meet students where they are. This deep commitment to a holistic approach to student success is what I love about working at a community college.”

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Front Royal
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