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Fourth “Conversation of Hope” to be held September 24, 2019



After an inspiring August gathering, Conversation of Hope attendees grab their phones to save a date on their calendars for the next conversation.

The WHAT MATTERS community meeting space, “Open House: Meet in the Middle” (213 E. Main Street next to the Daily Grind) will again serve as a meeting place for community members seeking positivism in this time of controversy for our town and county. At 7pm on Tuesday, 9/24/19, Police Chief Kayle Magalis, Mayor Matt Tederick and Beth Medved Waller invite all to join them and other community leaders and citizens as we engage in another hour of positive reflections and hope. In the first “Conversation of Hope” held at “Open House” in June, the Chief shared a fitting quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

During the first June gathering, dozens of community members gathered to share positive comments about moving forward and embracing the good qualities, people and vitality that Warren County has to offer. Here are some of the uplifting words filled with compassion shared during our brief time together during the June 7th “Conversation”:

…Tragedy doesn’t define our community; we have made it through other controversial times, the new police department is an example of the success of a dream 20+ years in the making, don’t feed the beast, negativity breeds negativity, buy local support local, this time shouldn’t change our opinion about what a blessing it is to live here, we must heal relationships with friends and the community because we are hurt and need to acknowledge our pain and rebuild, the term “keep it simple, stupid” can be used to find ways to work together, we must combat darkness with light and stay in the light, we need to be the people we are supposed to be no matter what, we will never stop all the negativity but love will lead us, people who have businesses and work here must be a part of the healing and rebuilding, be a part of the solution, people choose to move here for scenery, values and there are people who stay here for the same reason, this too shall pass, Front Royal is loved for the people, volunteering, service and beauty, shine a light on the great people here and count our blessings, go to prayer and good will prevail, this is a perfect storm for renewal and revival and to come together, a community that doesn’t hide from their faith survives—run to God and add prayer to meetings, lean on God, healing is best when focused on others and for others, be compassionate…

July’s “Conversation of Hope” was also inspiring as guests reminisced and shared hope for positive change in our community. Police Chief, Kahle Magalis, encouraged us to focus on the wellness of the community, not just the sickness, and suggested that the new hospital progress can remind us to do just that. He also said that he’s very pleased with the working relationship the FR Police Department and the WC Sheriff’s office have in trying to embrace collaboration and cooperation. It was discussed that some of our current issues are bringing things to light that need to be addressed and that dealing with those issues will have a positive impact. In addition, attendees spent much of the time reminiscing about favorite FR/WC memories from the old days of every weekend Skyline Drive traffic & picnics in the park, the Sesquicentennial pageant event in 1986, the Red Stock and Volleys that the hospital hosted, and our hope that another community-wide event could materialize (perhaps a canoe event). It was a heartwarming gathering!

In August we met and again had a fantastic turnout of positive-spirited neighbors. Attendees included a business owner who fell in love with the kind people of our community & and decided to make this her home and place to build her business after just one week of visiting the area years ago. Another participant was a five year resident who volunteers in the school and has started a nonprofit as well as an out of towner who attends church here and has a great love for the valley. Comments included positive feedback about the school system, about the giving & caring individuals in our community, a reference to George Jefferson’s “moving on up” (and encouragement to focus on the positive and move forward without delay by sharing concern but finding solutions and moving on), the acknowledgement that we have a strong sense of community that’s full of characters and memories and that we have so much potential and good energy. It was expressed that this is a good time to be forced to confront what we love and value and to picture the past and what’s good about the area. One guest said, “let it go if you can’t do anything about it.” The mayor expressed his strong desire to see the Afton Inn restored and George McIntyre discussed the LOVE sign series project he’s spearheading.

“This too shall pass” was again uttered as well as the fact that our community has so much to offer as a busy, active and unique area (full of outdoor assets and beauty) where people care about each other and don’t let tragedy define us. Niki Foster of the FR/WC Chamber of Commerce encouraged everyone to share the wonderful things we see and be louder than the ugly noise. Representatives of area clergy were in attendance and said they want to support and serve, especially in these times we are facing. Someone said we are passed the ugly and are on the verge of being beautiful again.

Please join us Tuesday, September 24th, at 7pm, to share and witness more encouraging conversations.

George McIntyre, Craig Laird and FRIBA also announce the next upcoming opportunity to meet to continue the “Save our Town” video series that began in May with a strong attendance. On September 26th and October 24th from 11:30-1pm, the Front Royal Independent Business Alliance will again host a free screening in the series featuring Becky McCray and Deb Brown from SaveYour.Town. The video series is held at the WHAT MATTERS Community Meeting Space, Open House: Meet in the Middle (213 E. Main St. & adjacent to the Daily Grind Coffee Shop).

“Too often, pessimists shoot down your ideas. But you have great ideas, a vision of what your town could be. How do you start making things happen? Learn the practical steps you can take to change attitudes, draw a crowd of supporters, improve the environment and create more connections, no matter what the pessimists say or do,” said McCray.

The video series is designed to show our community new ways to work together towards positive change. There is no charge to attend this screening and a lively discussion is planned to follow. The Apple House will provide brown bag lunches for $5 and complimentary coffee/tea/water is available at Open House. The gathering will begin at 11:30 and video will start promptly at noon. “Together we’ll work through the process to make your town more Idea Friendly. We’ll show you how to Gather Your Crowd, Make Connections and Take Small Steps. It all adds up to creating the kind of town you want to live in,” said Brown.

Learn more about Brown and McCray here.

*Please note that these gatherings will be ones of positivity, not negativity. Politics and current events will not be discussed—instead we will remind ourselves why we love our community and provide an opportunity to briefly join together those who care together in the spirit of hope…

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Community Events

Subaru of Winchester to host Free Pet Adoption event with support of the ASPCA



The pet adoption event will be hosted by Subaru of Winchester and feature adoptable pets from the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke. This annual event will take place at the Subaru dealership located at 3019 Valley Avenue, Winchester, Virginia, on Saturday, December 7th, from 10AM – 3PM. Santa will be featured starting at 11AM. In addition to adoptable animals, there will be free photos with Santa, a bake sale, raffle, SPCA products, and fun holiday gifts for the pet lover on your gift list.

This event is made possible due to a grant from the ASPCA which assisted the Winchester SPCA in preparing pets for adoption. The SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties has provided animal welfare services to the area since 1907. The SPCA currently has a save rate of 97%, which qualifies the agency as a no-kill shelter, a distinction maintained since 2012. The Share the Love Adoption Event serves as the shelter’s largest single day adoption event of the year.

Lavenda Denney, Executive Director, says, “We are hopeful on December 7th at least 20 homeless pets will get a second chance and become part of a new family. We are beyond grateful to Subaru of Winchester for their ongoing support.”

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Stephens City’s second annual Hometown Christmas will be held Saturday, November 30th



STEPHENS CITY, VA — Event Coordinator Jacquetta Owen says November’s holiday festivities don’t have to end with Thanksgiving dinner.

Stephens City is hosting the second annual Hometown Christmas event from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, November 30th, along our historic Main Street. Hometown Christmas is planning to use Stephen City’s long-established community spirit and enthusiasm to get behind this wonderful event. The town is pulling out all the stops and event organizers and volunteers believe visitors will enjoy the arts, crafts and food while strolling downtown exploring what our local businesses have to offer.

The event will feature a craft fair, bake sale, music, house tours, a secret Santa shop, a Warming Tree and an appearance from Santa Claus.

To entice people to visit Stephens City’s small businesses on Shop Small Saturday, there will be a business scavenger hunt with prizes. Participants will be given cards that must be checked off by business owners to ensure that participants stopped by their store.

Businesses taking part in the scavenger hunt include Capon Valley Bank, Sophia’s Thrift Shop, Granny’s Restaurant, The Flower Center, The Cloth Peddler, Stephens City Outlet Discount Store, Ed’s Heads Hair Salon, Clem’s Garage, Dragon Fire Comics, Newtown Music Center, High Point Restaurant, Lantz’s Pharmacy and Classics on Main Antiques. Each business will offer specials during the scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunt cards are available at any of the participating businesses and may be picked up starting Monday, Nov 25th, although they can only be filled out on Nov 30th. Once the cards have been filled out, they can be deposited in a box at Lantz’s Pharmacy, 5015 Main Street. Two lucky winner cards will be drawn for a $25 gift card.

Hometown Christmas Event Coodinator Jacquetta Owen

Jacquetta Owen says Hometown Christmas is a terrific approach in getting people to recognize the benefits of Stephens City’s small town ambiance. Despite inclement weather, last year’s inaugural event was a success with lots of folks going home with unique gifts from the craft show and the experience of visiting newfound businesses. This year, the event expands to include a bake sale and a special shop for kids to purchase gifts for their families.

Other events include:

  • Mayor Mike Diaz will be directing a free historic house walking tour at 11 am, starting at The Newtown History Center at 5408 Main Street. Those interested must check in at The History Center 20 minutes before tour time.
  • A Warming Tree at Capon Valley Bank where newly donated mittens, gloves, scarves and hats can be clipped to a Christmas tree. The Tree supports Congregational Community Action Project (CCAP).
  • A gingerbread house contest, with categories for children 11 and under and one for ages 12 and up. Entries can be brought in starting Nov. 25th but must be in by 5 pm Friday, Nov. 29. The houses must be made of edible ingredients and brought to Clem’s Garage, 5170 Main Street. An application can be picked up at the Stephens City Town Office. Judging will take place Friday night and the houses will remain on display through Hometown Christmas. $25 gift cards will be awarded to top entries.
  • A Hallelujah Chorus sing-along at Stephens City United Methodist Church (SCUMC) in the sanctuary at 1 pm directed by Donna Greene and accompanied by David Renner.
  • Greeting Cards will be made available for anyone wanting to send an anonymous “Thank-A-Veteran” greeting to military personnel receiving medical services in Martinsburg. A volunteer will take greeting cards to the Martinsburg VA Center on December 15th. The cards will be located at the Stephens City Town Office, Capon Valley Bank and SCUMC.
  • A Secret Santa shopping area at SCUMC from 10 am to 2 pm, where children of any age can purchase gifts for friends and family for $1 to $5 (the gifts will be wrapped and tagged by Little Elf).
  • A Bake Sale at SCUMC to support the youth mission trip next summer.
  • Shenandoah Valley Chorus performs at 2 pm in the SCUMC sanctuary.
  • A Stephens City Volunteer Fire & Rescue Santa will be available for children to share their Christmas lists at the Newtown Commons from 2 – 4 pm, then after a break, will return on a fire truck to light the tree at 6 pm. The Town Office will provide hot chocolate and cookies. Camp of Faith Church in Stephens City will sing Christmas carols.
  • A craft fair will take place at Trinity Lutheran Church on the corner of Main and Fairfax streets. There will be signs to direct shoppers.

For more information, contact Stellar Seven over 70 Award winner and Hometown Christmas Event Coordinator Jacquetta Owen at

Note: Stephens City is a remarkable community because Main Street has retained its small-town character over two centuries of progress and expansion. Development and growth in Stephens City has been small-scaled and well-managed. As a result, the town has a very high degree of historical integrity that will continue to be prominently featured through ongoing renewal and revitalization.

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This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of November 14th



Are you looking for the full movie-going experience without having to wait in the long lines that often accompany that experience? Then look no further because Royal Cinemas movie theatre is the answer. Get the whole gang together and enjoy a movie! Here is a list of this week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of Thursday, November 14:

•  Thurs – 7:15
•  Fri – 6:10 & 9:10
•  Sat – 1:20, 6:10 & 9:10
•  Sun – 12:45, 3:55 & 7:15
•  Mon-Wed – 7:15

Rated PG13 |  Run Time: 2 hours

•  Thurs – 7:05
•  Fri – 6:00 & 9:15
•  Sat – 1:10, 6:00 & 9:15
•  Sun – 12:30, 3:45 & 7:05
•  Mon-Wed – 7:05

Rated PG13 |  Run Time: 2 hours 32 min

•  Thurs – 7:00
•  Fri – 6:05 & 9:20
•  Sat – 1:00, 6:05 & 9:20
•  Sun – 12:25, 3:40 & 7:00
•  Mon-Wed – 7:00

Rated R |  Run Time: 2 hours 32 min

Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Adult: $9
  • Child (under 12): $6
  • Military: $7
  • Student (college): $7
  • Senior: $7
  • Matinees, All Seating: $6

Other movies coming soon to Royal Cinemas:

  • “Frozen 2”
  • “Knives Out”
  • “Jumanji: The Next Level”
  • “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
  • “Spies in Disguise”
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The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 recalled this Veterans Day 2019



Officials from the Giles B. Cook Post 53 of the American Legion again hosted Front Royal’s Veterans Day ceremonies on the grounds and in the street in front of the Warren County Courthouse. The marching bands of Warren County and Skyline High Schools and Randolph Macon Academy were on hand, as well as a color guard of R-MA cadets.

RMA Color Guard. Photos and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

The weather cooperated with sunny and balmy temperatures the day before snow flurries have been predicted for the area.

Post 53 Commander Rick Kinsey hosted the event, introducing veterans present and speakers including Marine vet and Front Royal Vice-Mayor Bill Sealock and keynote speaker John F. Kokernak, U.S. Army retired.

Tribute was paid, not only to those who have served and sacrificed, but those family members left behind to ponder whether their loved ones will ever return home.

John F. Kokernak, U.S. Army retired was the guest speaker.

“You know it’s a pleasure to be here because I have been at (battle site location), I have seen the poppies, I know about those kinds of things; I’ve been to the wheat field, I’ve been to Iwo Jima. I know these battlefields,” Sealock said of the respect paid to those who have served, adding, “but I sat there today thinking about things for the service I thought about the forgotten ones. The one who are left behind during the deployments and time overseas, those people, the Gold Star mothers, the spouses, the children, the family as a whole, the parents. These people are forgotten in my estimate, and I always think of those who do not return – what effect did it have on these individuals and families? For that, I welcome you to this great celebration,” Sealock concluded.

The vice mayor’s remarks echoed what makes this annual celebration that began as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of “the war to end all wars”, World War One on November 11, 1918, so special. The honor of service and sacrifice of all impacted, both on the battlefields of the world, and those waiting anxiously at home for their return; as well as the enduring desire for a peace achieved through a commitment to international justice for all nations that will make those sacrifices of war someday a less necessary part of our collective history.

Armistice Day, now Veterans Day, is traditionally celebrated at 11 a.m., November 11. That was the moment when the guns along the fronts of World War One fell silent a final time in 1918 as the Armistice to end that war was achieved.

RMA Cadet Kiyesioluwa Abiodun plays taps.

The poppies Sealock referred to on this 101st celebration of service and an end to war come from a poem from World War One “In Flanders Fields”. The poem, often referenced at these services, was written in May 1915 by Canadian military doctor and artillery commander Major John McCrae. Its impetus is believed to have been McCrae’s conduct of the field burial service for Lieutenant Alexis Helmer in the absence of a company chaplain:

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

“We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

“Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.”

See Front Royal and Warren County’s celebration of Veterans Day 2019, including keynote speaker John F. Kokernak’s full remarks and the laying of the wreaths in this exclusive Royal Examiner video:

Uh oh, somebody forgot to turn the Courthouse Bell Tower clock back to standard time – it was really 10 till 11 AM as the traditional time of 11 AM on the 11th day of the 11th month commemorating the Armistice that ended World War One in 1918 approaches. Royal Examiner Photos/Roger Bianchini

The R-MA Color Guard helps launch Front Royal and Warren County’s 2019 Veterans Day ceremony.

There were no Gold Star mothers present this year.

Maybe they won’t have to grow up to fight for international justice between nations – it’s a nice dream.

Nov. 11, 2019 was a beautiful fall day with sun and temperatures in the 60’s.

Vice-Mayor Bill Sealock invoked the poppies of ‘The Fields of Flanders’ poem in acknowledging those family members who wait anxiously for the return of their loved ones from battlefields around the world.

An R-MA bugler blows the traditional Taps in memory of those who didn’t return from the battlefields.

Memorial Wreaths were laid in several locations on the courthouse grounds.

The three town high school marching bands, from left, Skyline, R-MA and Warren County, gave a musical launch to Veterans Day.

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R-MA Drama Department presents “Loserville”



On Wednesday, November 20th, and Thursday, November 21st, Randolph-Macon Academy’s Performing Arts Department will present its 2019 fall production of Elliot Davis’ and James Bourne’s musical, Loserville. The musical, which will take place in Melton Memorial Gymnasium on the R-MA campus in Front Royal, is open to the public, and it is free. The doors open at 7:00 p.m., with the two-hour play (including intermission) beginning at 7:30 p.m.

For more information, email or call 540-636-5484.

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Skyline Interact students bring a fresh look to the Humane Society of Warren County



Skyline Middle School Interact Club students painted the fencing around the Humane Society of Warren County as a community service project. Photos by Jennifer Avery.

This weekend, Skyline Middle School Interact Club students painted the fencing around the Humane Society of Warren County as a community service project. The Rotary Club of Warren County Interact ambassadors, Kahle Magalis and Ellen Aders, helped organize this project for the kids. Be sure to watch this video to the end to catch all who participated working hard in addition to a furry guest appearance!

What is Interact?
Interact is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young people. Made up of members ages 12-18 or secondary-school age, Interact gives young people an opportunity to participate in fun, meaningful service projects. Along the way, Interactors develop their leadership skills and initiative while meeting new friends.

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‘Tis the Season


Front Royal
06:5516:58 EST
Feels like: 29°F
Wind: 0mph SE
Humidity: 75%
Pressure: 30.29"Hg
UV index: 0
min 26°F


Upcoming Events

12:30 pm Kaine Connects in Front Royal @ Samuels Public Library, Lou Benson & Naomi Salus Conference Room
Kaine Connects in Front Royal @ Samuels Public Library, Lou Benson & Naomi Salus Conference Room
Nov 15 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Kaine Connects in Front Royal @ Samuels Public Library, Lou Benson & Naomi Salus Conference Room
Dear Friends, On November 15, my staff will host Kaine Connects office hours in Front Royal from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM. Although I can’t be there in person, this is a terrific opportunity to[...]
10:00 am Tech Bytes – Nontraditional Skil... @ LFCC
Tech Bytes – Nontraditional Skil... @ LFCC
Nov 16 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Tech Bytes - Nontraditional Skills needed in Cyber-security @ LFCC
One of the major trends in cyber attacks is cyber threat actors (CTAs) are successful in penetrating systems using humanistic approaches such as hacking the humans.  In order words, they get around advanced cyber defenses[...]
11:00 am Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Thanksgi... @ Samuels Public Library
Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Thanksgi... @ Samuels Public Library
Nov 16 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Thanksgiving Feast @ Samuels Public Library
Kids will get to feast on several classic Thanksgiving Day foods to get them ready for the holidays! They will also get to make a dish themselves. For ages 8 and up  Registration begins October[...]
5:30 pm Tails and Ales Cash Party @ Front Royal Moose Lodge
Tails and Ales Cash Party @ Front Royal Moose Lodge
Nov 16 @ 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Tails and Ales Cash Party @ Front Royal Moose Lodge
The 8th annual cash party fundraiser for the Humane Society of Warren County will be held at the Front Royal Moose Lodge on Saturday, November 16, 2019. Doors open at 5:30pm, and dinner will be[...]
5:00 pm FAFSA Party @ LFCC Middletown Campus
FAFSA Party @ LFCC Middletown Campus
Nov 18 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
FAFSA Party @ LFCC Middletown Campus
Join other college-bound students and their parents at LFCC for a FAFSA Party on the Middletown Campus on the following dates: Monday, Nov. 4 Thursday, Nov. 14 Monday, Nov. 18. Time: 5-7 p.m. Learn about[...]
1:30 pm Botanical Drawing II: Drawing in... @ Art in the Valley
Botanical Drawing II: Drawing in... @ Art in the Valley
Nov 19 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanical Drawing II: Drawing in Color @ Art in the Valley
Learn and practice the art of botanical drawing in colored pencil with local artist and instructor Elena Maza. This four week course will focus on continuing to build drawing skills as applied to botanicals: students[...]
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Nov 19 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, November 5: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! Based on the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we will do some taffy pulling and have a[...]
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Nov 20 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, November 6 and Thursday, November 7: It’s playtime! Come in for stories, songs, and a craft about our favorite toys, games, and imaginings! Siblings welcome.[...]
1:30 pm Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
Nov 20 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
This four week course with instructor, Elena Maza, will deal with the basic three-primary color palette, different pigments and how they interact, how to mix all colors from three primary colors, how to apply washes,[...]
7:00 pm Drama Performance: “Loserville” @ Melton Memorial Gymnasium | R-MA
Drama Performance: “Loserville” @ Melton Memorial Gymnasium | R-MA
Nov 20 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Drama Performance: "Loserville" @ Melton Memorial Gymnasium | R-MA
On Wednesday, November 20th, and Thursday, November 21st, Randolph-Macon Academy’s Performing Arts Department will present its 2019 fall production of Elliot Davis’ and James Bourne’s musical, Loserville. The musical, which will take place in Melton[...]