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Elks adds to Skyline High School Band fund

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Skyline High School Marching Band members surround Elks Dennis Henline, black shirt, and Band Director Daniel Holland for check presentation after a recent practice.

Elks Exalted Ruler Dennis Henline and Lodge Secretary Jane Wine recently visited Skyline High School in Front Royal to watch a school band practice, and the Lodge wound up donating $1,500 for much needed band equipment.

While the Elks have consistently funded school athletic teams in Warren County, Henline said after the Skyline practice that he didn’t want their supportive school bands to be left out, so he handed a check to Band Director Daniel Holland.

For Holland, this was the second time in just a few months that community funds have come to him. The Rotary Club of Front Royal recently made a donation toward uniforms. One of many forms of payback for these generous donations has been Holland’s brass ensemble appearances at the annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Town Gazebo the last Monday in May.

Henline took the opportunity to encourage Skyline seniors “to make sure they applied for college scholarships offered by the Front Royal Elks Lodge and the Elks National Foundation.”

Dennis Henline presenting a check to the SHS Band Director, Daniel Holland.

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Disposition of Solar Panels

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The Front Royal Warren County Economic Development Authority (WCEDA) is advertising for any party interested in purchasing the solar electric system currently stationed on top of the EDA Building at 400 Kendrick Lane, Front Royal.

The system must removed at no cost to the EDA and the roof must be left in good repair. The EDA has a deadline of April 30, 2020 to complete the removal of the system. Details of the solar electric system are available at the WCEDA offices.

Interested parties may inspect the system in person at the WCEDA offices. The successful bidder will hold the WCEDA harmless during the removal process and add the WCEDA as an insured to their insurance policies.

Submit your interest, in writing, no later than Noon Thursday, February 6, 2020.

Contact:

Doug Parsons
Executive Director
Front Royal/Warren County EDA
P.O. Box 445
Front Royal, VA 22630

540-635-2182 (office)

dparsons@wceda.com

www.wceda.com

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Open Forum from Lord Fairfax Community College and Blue Ridge Community College presidents

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According to the Virginia Employment Commission, by 2026, Virginia needs to fill 2.6 million jobs that will require more than a high school diploma, but less than a bachelor’s degree. A proposal currently in the General Assembly, G3 (Get a Skill, Get a Job, Give Back), charts a strategic path toward filling that gap.

G3 addresses the critical workforce shortages many local businesses are currently facing. In fact, our colleges have spent the past year listening to leaders in those businesses to identify what skills they need most. G3 is designed to give more individuals in our area access to career and technical training programs in the following high-demand fields: Healthcare; Information Technology and Computer Science; Manufacturing and Skilled Trades; Early Childhood Education; and Public Safety.

G3 is an enhanced financial aid program that makes higher education more accessible to low- and middle-income individuals. G3 provides financial support for tuition, textbooks and cost of living expenses that will help them enroll and complete career-focused workforce training programs.

G3 would make a big difference for people in our communities, including ALICE families and individuals. The United Way introduced us to ALICE, which means Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, and Employed. In other words, ALICE is the working poor. Two out of five Virginia households are within the ALICE population. You likely know members of ALICE. They are your neighbors, your coworkers, perhaps you or members of your own family. We’d like to share with you the stories of two of our ALICE students.

Jenny is a single parent of three children and a full-time student in our nursing (RN) program. During the week, she is in class three days a week and at her clinical rotation for two days. She drives one hour each way to train with her nurse preceptor at a hospital. This only leaves the weekend to work, where she spends 15-20 hours as a LPN at a care facility.

Because Jenny has a part-time job, she will receive some federal financial aid to cover tuition and books, but likely not a full Pell grant. She also receives a modest scholarship. Yet, there is still a gap between the funds she receives for college and the costs of rent, utilities, gas, and children. G3 is designed to bridge that funding gap and keep Jenny on the path toward a rewarding career with a good salary in a high-demand area.

Mike has been working for a recycling company, and his wife is employed in a manufacturing plant. His job is being phased out and he needs to find another career, so he enrolled in classes with the goal of becoming a manufacturing technician. This grandfather of four does not qualify for federal aid, but G3 could help support him while he learns a new skill to be employed in an industry desperate for employees.

The Valley needs more nurses. We need people in the trades to fix and build things. We need technicians to protect our data. We need more skilled workers to help recruit and support business and industry in our region. Because graduates from G3 programs will be contributing more in state income taxes as they become higher earners, the Commonwealth will enjoy a tangible return on the investment in G3. We encourage each of you and our state legislators to support G3.

Dr. Kimberly P. Blosser – President, Lord Fairfax Community College
Dr. John A. Downey – President, Blue Ridge Community College

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Essay contest open to Warren County and Shenandoah County public high school seniors

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Now in its third year, the Shenandoah Area Secular Humanist (SASH) Essay Contest is open to public high school seniors from Warren and Shenandoah Counties, giving them the opportunity to compete for a $500 prize to use as they like following graduation.

Aimed at encouraging students to consider the role and impact of religion in society, this year’s essay topic asks the question “How important is the separation of church and state in a democratic society?” Peter Wilson, Scholarship Coordinator stated, “We do not have a specific correct answer in mind; we want to know what students think and why.”

Applicants must compose an essay of 350-1,000 words that addresses the topic/question in whatever way they see fit. There are no GPA or financial needs requirements for a student to be eligible to compete and the essay is the only required document for submission. Essays will be anonymously reviewed by a SASH committee of judges, who will evaluate and score each based-on command of language, quality of approach to topic, and demonstration of critical thinking skills. As in past years, up to four $500 prizes will be awarded.

High school guidance counselors will assist with the contest by setting a due date for their individual school; collecting, copying, and forwarding essays to SASH by COB, April 3, 2020; and coordinating the notification of winners and presentation of awards at each school’s awards ceremony.

For more information, students should contact their high school guidance office.

About Shenandoah Area Secular Humanists:
SASH is a chapter of the Washington Area Secular Humanists (WASH). Secular Humanists are distinguished by the pursuit of humanist values outside of a religious framework: Critical Thinking, Ethical Development, Peace and Social Justice, Service and Participation, Empathy, Humility, Environmentalism, Global Awareness, Responsibility, and Altruism.

Anyone interested in learning more about secular humanism and SASH is invited to attend a chapter meeting, typically on the third Saturday of each month at Samuels Public Library in Front Royal. More information about SASH can also be found on the Washington Area Secular Humanists website, www.wash.org under “Chapters” on the navigation menu bar.

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Rotary Club of Warren County collecting donations for local thermal shelter

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Do you have a middle school student at Skyline Middle School? The Skyline Middle School Interact Club is collecting new sheets and blankets for our local thermal shelter. Please make sure all blankets and sheets are still in the new wrappers/containers. White twin sheets and light colored blankets are the best and are easier to clean.

If you are not familiar with our Front Royal Thermal Shelter, here is some information provided to us by Michelle Smeltzer, a member of the Rotary Club of Warren County and Community Liaison for the Department of Social Services:

“The Front Royal Thermal Shelter gives the homeless of Warren County a place to stay warm during the winter months. The shelter is not in a fixed location – rather it is a cooperative effort by eight churches in the area, including New Hope Bible Church, Front Royal United Methodist Church, Front Royal Presbyterian Church, Marlow Heights Baptist Church, Riverton United Methodist Church, Virginia Hills Church, First Baptist Church and Dynamic Life Church. The guests are provided supper at about 7:30 each evening, and the volunteers join them. After supper, the volunteers join them and they play a variety of games, watch TV, or simply lie down on their cots after a tiring day. As the guests noted, this makes them feel as if someone really cares about them. Michelle said this makes a world of difference to them, because they too often feel alone and abandoned, as if the outside world ignores them. The following morning several of the churches provide breakfast, and some provide a bagged lunch when they leave for the day. The guests are assigned a cot when they arrive at the church, and that is their bed for a week. There are separate sleeping areas for men and women, and the program does not allow guests or volunteers with the program until they are at least 18 years of age because they are a no-barrier shelter. This year the shelter has also made arrangements, with the help of the Warren County Humane Society, to provide shelter for homeless pets of the guests.”

Michelle Smeltzer, a member of the Rotary Club of Warren County.

Remember – there are still many cold days ahead! Current update: The Front Royal Thermal Shelter’s greatest need is cash donations at this time: Here is an easy PayPal link. You can also visit their website to donate or learn more.

Together we are making a huge difference in this community! Thanks to all!

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R-MA J-Term class builds hydroponics lab

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Lynette Lane explains how to build an NFT system at the start of the J-Term. This photo was from the first week of the J-Term classes. Additional photos showing more of the completed lab will be available later this week upon request.

On Thursday, January 23, 2020, Randolph-Macon Academy will introduce its new hydroponics lab to the R-MA community during an open house from 3 pm to 4 pm. The lab features five different kinds of hydroponic systems, all of which have been built by students taking the “Hydroponics and the Food We Eat” J-Term (January Term) class. Each system has been built with materials purchased at Lowes or on Amazon – such as gutters, plastic containers, hoses, boards and lights – developing systems the students can later recreate for themselves at home.

“We’ve been kind of hands-off,” commented Lynette Lane, the R-MA science teacher who is leading the project. “Sometimes I have to show them very specific steps or techniques, but then they have to figure out how to get it done. It’s been really great. Students have stepped up to do things that have really surprised me.”

The lab includes various systems, such as a Nutrient Film Technique (NFT), which will allow the students to harvest lettuce weekly. A deep water culture (DWC) is a non-circulating water system in which the students will grow basil, chard, and other greens. The students will grow microgreens in a bottom watered, coco coir system. The R-MA lab’s Dutch buckets will contain strawberries and peppers. The final system the students will build is a flood and drain one used for seedling propagation.

An earthworm composting process has also been created; this will make use of any leftover organic matter from the lab systems. In early May, earthworm castings will be removed from this system to be used as nutrient-dense fertilizer for spring plantings.

“I  think it’s so important for kids to see where food comes from, because most of them  just don’t know,” said Ms. Lane. “And a lot of these students come to R-MA from countries where growing food is problematic, because they don’t have land, they don’t have water. They can take this back. It uses 95% less water than conventional methods of agriculture.”

Although the J-Term ends January 24th, a hydroponics intramural class and the Environmental Science and Biology classes will continue to grow the plants throughout the spring semester.  The lab will start again in the fall, and run through the school year, providing leafy greens and microgreens for the community.

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‘We’re not there yet’ – NAACP honors Dr. King’s memory with a call to continued commitment

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At 1:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, January 20, area clergy, citizens, Town and County elected officials gathered at the Villa Avenue Community Center for the annual Warren-Page County NAACP “Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

Keynote speaker the Reverend Edward Dawkins struck a recurring theme of “We’re not there yet” in remarks delivered with humor – “Yes, I am white” Dawkins acknowledged to some laughter – but more pointedly with love and admiration for the work, words, prayers, devotion and sacrifice of the American Civil Rights leader assassinated prior to his 40th year in April 1968.

Keynote Speaker, Rev. Edward Dawkins – ‘Yes, I’m white,’ Dawkins acknowledged, noting that Dr. King’s legacy crosses all racial boundaries. Royal Examiner Photos/Roger Bianchini

That theme, oft repeated by Master of Ceremony Reverend James Starks – “Amen”; NAACP Chapter President Alford D. Carter III, among others, called on those present not to be “whiners” about our collective national, human and individual failures to reach that dream of Dr. King’s that every person in our nation, and even on our planet, be judged by the “content of their character” and of their soul, rather than on racial, ethnic and class stereotypes. Rather, those present and all committed to that common cause were asked to become more proactive in helping achieve the kind of human unity that sees beyond the kind of prejudices created out of ignorance and fear of the personal, cultural, even religious differences that mankind brings to the table.

Reverend Dawkins called on the clergy present to renew the type of joint worship across church, even particular denominational boundaries, that had been previously explored here with some success.

Rev. Alfred Woods led Opening Prayer, and late acknowledged guest dignitaries. While Woods works, event moderator Rev. James Starks checks on coming duties and introductions, which went well – ‘Amen!’

In his Benediction, another white clergyman, Bishop Vince McLaughlin, called King a prophet given by God to those committed both then, now and as long as need be, to the cause of human unity across racial, class and national boundaries. “And I say that in total, clear evidence in his prayers,” McLaughlin told those present. So fittingly, McLaughlin’s near the end of ceremony Benediction quoted at length from King’s own words of prayer.

“When you study somebody’s prayers, you get to their heart,” McLaughlin told the packed Villa Avenue Community Center meeting room. From his own religious studies and those of King’s life, McLaughlin also called the civil rights leader “a superb Biblical scholar” and “a brilliant practical theologian”.

Rev. Vince McLaughlin utilized Dr. King’s own crafted prayers in offering Benediction to the celebration of the civil rights leader’s life and work.

From two of Dr. King’s prayers, McLaughlin quoted, “We humbly confess that we have not loved thee with all of our hearts, our souls and our minds; and we also confess that we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us. We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses, rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed and evidenced in the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We often give in order to receive. We are good at loving our friends and hating our enemies. We go the first mile but dare not travel the second. We forgive, at least we say we do, but we dare not forget. And so as we look within ourselves, we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives is a history of an internal revolt against You and Your principals …
“So finally, my Holy God, my Father, I commend to thee this intercession and pray that You would move mightily in us because we have self-inflicted and caused a distress in our minds and our bodies because we have not followed the mandate of love. Move mightily amongst us, renew within us a devotion to love unconditionally, regardless. And we bring this in the name and the spirit of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

Elder Elizabeth Roberts showcased her own exceptional voice devoted to the Lord, and Dr. King’s memory, in two musical interludes.

The celebration of King’s life and work was punctuated by two gospel musical interludes led spectacularly by Elder Elizabeth Roberts; and a recorded closing of the Civil Rights Anthem “We Shall Overcome” saw hands joined throughout the crowd between black and white alike, swaying to that musically and lyrically expressed hope and dream that someday, we may as individuals, as a nation, and as peoples sharing one small planet among many in a universe of unknown diversity, find unity of spirit, rather than separation of purpose to selfish and fear-driven ends.

Rev. McLaughlin hugs Warren NAACP President A.D. Carter III following his Benediction taken largely from prayers crafted by Dr. King.

Rev. James Kilby shares a post-meeting moment with A.D. Carter III, seated holding cane due to recent foot surgery. To right, Letasha Thompson, standing, and Lori Athey Cockrell rising, represented the Town of Front Royal along with Mayor Eugene Tewalt and Gary Gillespie. County Supervisors Mabe, Cullers and Oates, Sheriff Butler and WCSO Community Resource Officer Robbie Seal were also present.

The crowd follows Elder Roberts in one of her two musical numbers.

Hands were joined in an emotional ‘We Shall Overcome’ closing

Martin Luther King Jr.’s enduring legacy: ‘Beyond Vietnam’

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Front Royal
42°
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Upcoming Events

Jan
24
Fri
9:00 am Veterans Services Meeting at Abl... @ Able Forces
Veterans Services Meeting at Abl... @ Able Forces
Jan 24 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Veterans Services Meeting at Able Forces @ Able Forces
Able Forces Foundation will once again be hosting a visit by Andre Miller, Resource Specialist, Virginia Veteran and Family Support, Department of Veteran Services, Commonwealth of Virginia, and Danielle Cullers, Homeless Veteran Advocate-Volunteers of America[...]
Jan
25
Sat
11:00 am Goldilocks and the Three Bears @ Samuels Public Library
Goldilocks and the Three Bears @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 25 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Goldilocks and the Three Bears @ Samuels Public Library
A Story Ballet. Join us in a celebration of classic literature through dance! The whole family will enjoy this ballet performance, presented by the Northern Virginia Academy of Ballet.
1:00 pm Moving Mindfully: Finding and ke... @ Ruby Yoga
Moving Mindfully: Finding and ke... @ Ruby Yoga
Jan 25 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Moving Mindfully: Finding and keeping your footing @ Ruby Yoga
Join Ruby Yoga and Deborah Romero of Optimal Posture LLC for a series of workshops on moving more mindfully through life using the principles of yoga and the Alexander Technique. Slated for Saturday, Jan. 25,[...]
2:00 pm Aspiring Artists @ Samuels Public Library
Aspiring Artists @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 25 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Aspiring Artists @ Samuels Public Library
Are you aged 7 or older? Do you enjoy art? If so, please join us for our children’s art class. Using the classic scissor cutting art of Scherenschnitte, we will make silhouettes in a nature[...]
Jan
29
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 29 @ 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, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
Jan
30
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 30 @ 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, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
Jan
31
Fri
7:00 pm Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Jan 31 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Love Revival - FREE Monthly Community Dinner @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Free Community Dinner for everyone! Come enjoy a hot meal on the last Friday of every month at Love Revival Ministry Center.
Feb
1
Sat
10:00 am Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 1 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Come to our extremely popular monthly program that gives developing readers the chance to read and relax with a trained therapy dog.  For beginning readers and up.  Choose a time slot at registration, which begins[...]
11:00 am HSWC Polar Plunge @ Northern Virginia 4-H Center
HSWC Polar Plunge @ Northern Virginia 4-H Center
Feb 1 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
HSWC Polar Plunge @ Northern Virginia 4-H Center
The Humane Society of Warren County will hold their 1st annual Polar Plunge event on February 1st at the Culpeper Lake, located at the Northern Virginia 4-H Center in Harmony Hollow. “Plungers” are asked to[...]