An organizer of Warren County Indivisible’s “Vigil and Protest for Victims of Gun Violence” scheduled for Saturday afternoon, March 10 in Front Royal say they will proceed despite the promise of an open-carry, pro gun-rights counter-demonstration. Multiple responses indicating a desire to participate in the suggested pro-gun counter-demonstration were posted online in recent days, some of a nature reported to raise safety concerns among some planned participants.
Heather Davis confirmed that some vigil against gun violence activities scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at the Town Gazebo, including the bulk, if not all of the planned Selah Theater group presentations by local high school students have been cancelled out of fears of what might develop from the presence of armed, pro-gun rights advocates. However, as of Friday one student essay is still slated to be read as part of the program, Davis told Royal Examiner.
Davis said that she had spoken to Front Royal Police Chief Kahle Magalis about FRPD’s planned handling of what has developed into dueling demonstration agendas revolving around gun violence. Davis said Chief Magalis told her FRPD planned to cordon off the Gazebo area where the vigil will be held, while placing gun-rights activists in the vicinity of the nearby train caboose.
Royal Examiner contacted Chief Magalis, who confirmed the plan to separate demonstrators while not infringing on anyone’s right to express their opinion.
“We will have extra personnel, security and guidance so that both sides can have a platform to express their beliefs in a manner that everyone is safe, secure and that the businesses downtown are not disrupted,” Magalis said. He noted that social media posts had indicated a potentially sizable turnout for both demonstrations, and that FRPD would assign personnel accordingly.
Vigil against gun violence organizer Davis noted that the event’s major focus is the acknowledgement and honoring of victims of gun violence and a move toward more sensible gun laws, not a call to strip American citizens of their right to own guns.
“I hope they won’t be disruptive,” Davis said of pro-gun rights activists, “The vigil is about honoring people who have died. Speakers will be reading the names of people who have died and I would hope they will be respectful of that.”
The March 6 Warren County Indivisible press release announcing the event noted that the names of two of the most recent, and worst mass shootings in U.S. history, the Las Vegas concert shooting of October 1, 2017 (58 dead) and the 2018 Valentine’s Day massacre at a Parkland, Florida high school (17 Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS students and teachers dead) will be read aloud at the vigil.
Sixth District Congressional candidates Peter Volosin, Jennifer Lewis and Charlotte Moore are still slated to appear. Also invited but not indicating they will participate were Warren County’s three Republican state delegates, Michael J. Webert (18th), Chris Collins (29th) and Todd Gilbert (15th), as well as members of their staffs. Indivisible of Warren County, VA bills itself as “a non-partisan group of concerned citizen activists who put country before party, and stand against any erosion of our historic democratic principles of liberty, justice, and equality.”
On Thursday, this reporter spoke to one person expressing an interest in participating in the pro-gun rights demonstration. Told the other demonstration was “against gun violence” of the kind students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School experienced last month, rather than against the right of law-abiding citizens to own guns, he replied, “Well, I think everyone is against gun violence.”
I guess at least on the local front here in Front Royal and Warren County, Virginia, we will find out tomorrow afternoon if he is right.
Front Royal resident arrested for attempting offenses involving children
On December 13, 2018, Front Royal Police Department received a report that an adult male was attempting to solicit underage females into meeting with him and engaging in inappropriate activities. The communication was made through Snapchat, a phone application. On 12/18/2018, a joint operation was conducted by the Front Royal Police and Warren County Sheriff’s office detectives at a local motel, where the suspect believed he was meeting with a 13-year old female to engage in illicit sexual activities. The male suspect was arrested upon his arrival at the motel room where both agreed to meet.
Demond A. Lightfoot, a 21-year-old Front Royal resident, was charged with § 18.2-374.3 – Use of Communications Systems to Facilitate Certain Offenses Involving Children. Court date for this offense is set for 01/10/2019 at 9:00am in Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Lightfoot was additionally charged with violation of his probation and is being held at the RSW Regional Jail without bond. Anyone with any further information in reference to this matter is asked to contact Detective Z.M. King at (540) 636-2208 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like to take this opportunity to urge parents of underage juveniles to please monitor the usage of their children’s social media accounts. It is often a tool or resource criminals use to solicit or groom your children into illegal activity.
WATCH: American Legion Community Band 2018 Christmas Concert
The American Legion Community Band presented its annual Christmas Concert on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at 7:30 pm in the R-MA Boggs Chapel in Front Royal. It was a free concert although a love offering was collected totaling $785 for the local C-CAP charity. There was music to please everyone, including traditional carols, a beautiful chorale and light-hearted selections delighting kids and grown-ups alike. The Royal Examiner’s camera was there to capture the event. Now take time, watch and welcome Christmas with the celebration of music presented by the American Legion Band.
The American Legion Community Band performs at a variety of concerts and community festivals throughout the year. All performances are free and open to the public. Their repertoire is both versatile and traditional with works ranging from classical to popular, marches and operatic overtures to modern works for band. The band is sponsored by the Giles B. Cook Post #53 of the American Legion.
We spoke with the Conductors Ed Richards, Ron Dye and Kristen Fristoe after the concert.
Also there was a special guest in the audience. All he said was his name was “Nick”.
Daytime lane closures for lane striping on I66 between Route 28 and I-495 on December 19th
FAIRFAX, Va. – Rolling double-lane closures will take place on eastbound I-66 between Route 28 (Sully Road) and I-495 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., and westbound on I-66 between I-495 and Route 28 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Wednesday, December 19. Crews will be refreshing pavement markings as part of the I-66 Outside the Beltway Project.
Drivers are advised to use caution and expect potential delays.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Checkpoint Strikeforce
The Front Royal Police Department will be participating in Virginia’s 17th annual Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign and enforcement will be from December 18th – January 3, 2019. This campaign is geared toward spreading awareness and to combat the rise in drunk driving deaths this holiday season. The 2018 campaign, which Governor Northam helped launch in August, combines high-visibility enforcement with researched based advertising to remind likely offenders to get a safe ride home.
Partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement mobilization, the Front Royal Police Department will be conducting checkpoints and extra officers will be conducting saturation patrols during this holiday season.
“This time of year brings loved ones from all over the Commonwealth together to celebrate the holiday season,” said Chief Kahle Magalis “With the increased traffic, extra law enforcement officers will be working to apprehend impaired drivers and ensure our citizens get home safely to their families.”
High Knob home destroyed in Sunday fire, cause unknown
WARREN COUNTY – A late-night Sunday evening fire destroyed a Warren County home in the High Know Mountain neighborhood, according to a media release from Warren County Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico.
The release states that around 11 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, fire and rescue units were dispatched to 81 Trent Trail Court for a reported residential structure fire. The 911 caller reported that visible flames could be seen on the exterior of the home and that the blaze had spread to two parked vehicles and the siding of the home.
The first unit arriving on the scene around 11:10 p.m. reported two passenger vehicles and a single-story, single family home involved in fire. Additionally, the fire was threatening additional structures and wildland areas surrounding them because the house was situated below the grade of the adjoining access road, as well as being perched along a steep ravine.
Maiatico said firefighters took a defensive approach and attempted to protect exposures until the arrival of additional resources.
During the incident, according to the release, firefighters encountered extreme hazardous conditions, including: below freezing temperatures, prevailing winds, icy roads, limited water supply, and difficult access. Firefighters remained on the scene throughout the night and morning to ensure full extinguishment of the fire and to ensure there was no threat to adjoining properties.
The cause of the fire was investigated by the Warren County Fire Marshal’s Office. Maiatico said that though Investigators have worked meticulously alongside the homeowner’s insurance company to determine the cause of the blaze, no conclusion has been reached.
The home, two vehicles, and an outbuilding were deemed a total loss. There were no reported injuries.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Fire Investigator Raymond Cross at 540-636-3830 or email email@example.com.