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GO Virginia approves grant for Small Business Resiliency Teams

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The GO Virginia State board has approved an $81,813 grant proposal submitted by a regional partnership between Harrisonburg Economic Development, Frederick County Economic Development, Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center (SV SBDC), and Lord Fairfax Small Business Development Center (LF SBDC). This grant creates a Small Business Resiliency Team (SBRT) program with the goal of providing expanded business support services and technical assistance to area businesses in the wake of COVID-19 challenges. The program will deploy Business Resiliency Navigators to guide growth-oriented businesses through a dedicated and well-designed process for achieving incremental and sustainable growth throughout the pandemic recovery period.

Business Resiliency Navigators will work directly with small businesses, assisting with E-commerce, Financial Management, and Marketing needs. The SBRT’s focus is on tourism, retail, healthcare, and professional services businesses, however other companies will be considered. In addition to providing assessments, development of action plans, strategic counseling, and targeted training, the program will provide for services such as accounting, bookkeeping, website development, or e-commerce assistance rendered by industry experts as recommended by the SBRT.

The Virginia Initiative for Growth and Opportunity (GO Virginia) is a business-led initiative that was formed to foster private-sector growth and diversification across nine economic development regions in the Commonwealth. The GO Virginia Board administers state financial incentives designated for regional projects in order to encourage collaboration between private sector companies, workforce, education, and government.

Participating localities include the counties of Augusta, Clarke, Frederick, Rockbridge, Rockingham, and Shenandoah; and the cities of Harrisonburg, Waynesboro, and Winchester. Patrick Barker, CEcD, Executive Director of Frederick County will administer the grant.

“This partnership will be able to provide significantly more assistance to keep businesses healthy and growing in spite of the pandemic. Our SBDCs can collaborate and meet needs of Economic Development Offices throughout the Shenandoah Valley. Our goals include improving the local economy, assisting the participating businesses, and providing contracted work to local vendors for professional services,” said Joyce Krech, Director of the Shenandoah Valley SBDC.

The SBRT program supports GO Virginia goals by expanding regional capacity to coordinate and deliver business support services; helping businesses utilize e-commerce to increase sales; reducing service and production disruptions; encouraging the use of a remote workforce to keep workers employed and productive; and expanding existing training programs that are mission-critical. Expected results from dedicated participants include overall average business growth and retention of their current workforce.

“This grant award will help us keep many of the region’s growth-oriented businesses on a positive financial trajectory towards sustainable success. We will leverage existing resources and utilize GO Virginia funds to provide focused, hands-on consulting, training, and contracted work,” states Christine Kriz, Director of the Lord Fairfax SBDC.

For more information on the Small Business Resiliency Teams, visit the SBDC Websites: ValleySBDC.org or lfsbdc.org. Or contact Joyce Krech, (540)568-3227, krechjh@jmu.edu or Christine Kriz, (540)868-7094, ckriz@lfcc.edu.

For more information on GO Virginia, visit the Shenandoah Valley Partnership (theshenandoahvalley.com) or Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (www.dhcd.virginia.gov).


About Small Business Development Centers. The SV and LF SBDCs are two of 27 Small Business Development Centers across Virginia providing professional business advice, training, and information resources to help grow and strengthen local businesses and Virginia’s economy. They are hosted respectively by James Madison University and Lord Fairfax Community College in partnership with George Mason University and funded in part by SBA and local governments. The Virginia SBDC Network (VirginiaSBDC.org) is the most extensive business development program in the Commonwealth and part of America’s SBDC – the nation’s proven, cost-effective, and accredited infrastructure focused on small businesses – America’s job creators.

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LFCC gearing up to open its spring enrollment in early November

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Prepare to close the book on 2020 by enrolling in LFCC’s spring semester classes starting next week. The college’s schedule is now online at www.lfcc.edu/schedule, and current students can enroll starting Monday, Nov. 2. New student enrollment begins Monday, Nov. 9.

The first 100 current students and the first 100 new students to enroll in spring classes will be entered into a drawing to win $200, $100, $50 and $25 gift cards to the LFCC Bookstore.

Current students should ensure they have enrolled for spring by Nov. 30. They should schedule an appointment with their advisor to meet online, or via email or phone.

New students can complete their entire orientation and advising from the comfort and safety of their own homes. The start dates for spring classes are Jan. 19, Feb. 1 and March 15. Take your first step by visiting www.lfcc.edu/enroll.

“In the spring, we have designed three modalities that we hope will give you the flexibility, the convenience and the types of options that you need depending on your home situation and your work situation,” LFCC Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Anne Davis said.

Courses will be available in one of three formats:  online with no set meeting times, online live with set meeting times, and hybrid with both in-person and online classes. Online live classes are often referred to as synchronous because the instructor meets virtually with students at scheduled meeting times each week. Online classes with no set meeting times are referred to as asynchronous.

“Even with the asynchronous times, you still have access to your professor and you still have ways to connect in real time,” said Dr. Davis.

Learn more about the enrollment process at lfcc.edu/spring2021.

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Health

Fauquier Health welcomes new OB/GYN provider, Dr. Elise Diamond

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Fauquier Health announces the welcoming of new OB/GYN provider, Dr. Elise Diamond.

Fauquier Health announced today that Elise Diamond, MD, MPH, has joined its staff and will be offering obstetrics and gynecology services to the residents of Fauquier and surrounding counties. Dr. Diamond will join Dr. Barry Aron and Nurse Midwife, Monica Freidline, at the Fauquier Health OB/GYN clinic located at 253 Veterans Drive, Suite 210, in Warrenton, Virginia.

Dr. Diamond graduated from the University of South Florida – Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa, Florida in 2016. Prior to that she worked in public health and clinical research for several years. She recently completed her residency training at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Chad Melton, CEO of Fauquier Health, commented, “We understand the need to provide full spectrum care to women of all ages and are beyond excited to welcome Dr. Diamond as our newest OB/GYN provider. Dr. Diamond will have a strong focus on labor and delivery, high risk pregnancy and minimally-invasive gynecological surgery. I know she will be a great asset to our growing clinic.”

Dr. Diamond is accepting appointments now and will begin seeing patients starting on November 1, 2020 at the Fauquier Health OB/GYN office at 253 Veterans Lane, Warrenton, Virginia. To schedule an appointment today, please call 540.316.5930. For additional details, please visit Find a Provider on FauquierHealth.org or FHDoctors.org.


About Fauquier Health

Fauquier Health is a community health system dedicated to high-quality, patient-centered care in a unique environment that considers the multiple facets of healing and respects the individuality of each and every patient. Located at 500 Hospital Drive in Warrenton, Virginia, Fauquier Health serves the residents of Fauquier and several surrounding counties. It comprises: Fauquier Hospital, a fully-accredited, 97-bed hospital; Fauquier Health Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, a 113-bed long-term care and rehabilitation facility; the Villa at Suffield Meadows, an assisted living facility; the Wound Health Center and a medically supervised Wellness Center offering health and wellness programs.  Fauquier Health also operates nine physician’s offices, including primary care and specialties. More information on Fauquier Health is available online at FauquierHealth.org or by calling (540) 316-5000.

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Recent opioid overdoses linked to deadly fentanyl pills disguised as prescription medication

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The Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force and partnering law enforcement agencies are warning the public about recent fatal and non-fatal overdoses connected to the deadly drug, fentanyl. The Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force is educating the public about a growing trend in our region that is consistent with other parts of the country. A recent increase in opioid related overdoses is likely the result of fentanyl laced pills disguised as prescription medication. These pills are deceiving and are often stamped, shaped, and colored like an ordinary prescription pill. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50-100 times more potent than morphine. Two milligrams of fentanyl is potentially deadly for the average person. Law enforcement and first responders dispatched to fentanyl related overdoses are administering multiple doses of naloxone in order to revive the victim. Naloxone is a medication used to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose.

In 2018, the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force reported a 45% decrease in fatal overdoses, and a 20% decrease in non-fatal overdoses in our region. The increasing presence of fentanyl in 2019 lead to a 27% increase in fatal opioid overdoses, while non-fatal overdoses remained relatively the same. This year, the Northern Shenandoah Valley has experienced a 64% increase in fatal opioid related overdoses, and a 17% increase in non-fatal opioid related overdoses compared to last year.

Items seized by law enforcement in Winchester, VA

Items seized by law enforcement in Frederick County, VA

The Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force would like the public to be aware of this emerging trend. Do not accept or consume prescription medication unless provided by a physician or pharmacist.

The Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force is comprised of law enforcement personnel from Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren County Sheriff’s Departments, Front Royal, Luray, Strasburg, and Winchester Police Departments and the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Culpeper Field Office.

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Crime/Court

Texas man sentenced on cyberstalking, making interstate threats

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Editor’s note: this case relates to the spring of 2018 death of Apple Mountain 16-year-old Sarah Rose Genari, which was ruled a suicide. As previously reported, O’Dell had bragged online of being responsible for the girl’s death and then began threatening her family members under assumed social media aliases. Related Article


HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA – Adrian Raul O’Dell, an Odessa, Texas man, who had an online relationship with a juvenile female in the Western District of Virginia and later cyberstalked and made online threats to the girl’s family following her suicide, was sentenced today to 41 months in federal prison. Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar and David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division made the announcement today.

O’Dell, 20, was charged in October of 2019 and arrested the following month at his home in Texas. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to two counts of cyberstalking and one count of making interstate threats.

“In today’s increasingly virtual world, where we live, work and learn online, this sentence demonstrates that if anyone uses these platforms to cyberstalk, harass and threaten others, we will hold them accountable,” Acting United States Attorney Bubar said today. “The FBI and Warren County Sheriff’s Office did an outstanding job in finding Mr. O’Dell and bringing him to justice in Virginia for his abhorrent actions. My office sends its deepest condolences to the family in this case, who lost a loved one, and hope they find some solace knowing justice was served.”

“The FBI is fully committed to investigating all forms of child exploitation, cyberstalking and online threats.  We will pursue those responsible and bring them to justice,” said Special Agent in Charge David W. Archey.  “Our hearts and thoughts are with the family through these difficult times.”

According to court documents, between September 2017 and around March 2018, O’Dell had an online relationship with a 16-year-old girl who lived in Linden, Virginia. In May 2018, following an investigation by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, it was determined that the girl died by suicide in a wooded area near her home.

From June 2018 through June 2019, O’Dell, using a variety of false email and online personas, took credit for her suicide.  The defendant then sent threatening and intimidating messages to her family members and friends that placed them in reasonable fear of death and serious bodily harm. In addition, these messages attempted to cause friends and family members substantial emotional distress.  The defendant sent certain of these messages in violation of a protective order.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Warren County Sherriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Kate Rumsey is prosecuting the case for the United States.

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Crime/Court

Two sentenced for roles in Maryland-to-Virginia heroin pipeline that resulted in fatal overdose

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Two individuals connected with a heroin trafficking conspiracy that brought heroin from Maryland into Shenandoah County, Virginia, and caused one fatal and one non-fatal overdose were sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg. Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar and Jesse Fong, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Washington Field Office made the announcement today.

James Harold Lichliter, 52, of Mauretown, Va., was sentenced to 144 months in federal prison. In a separate hearing, Jonathan Dale Neice, 42, of Woodstock, Va., was sentenced to 132 months incarceration.

Both Lichliter and Neice previously pleaded guilty to one count of distribution and possession with the intent to distribute resulting in the death of J.H. and the serious bodily injury of J.W. Co-defendants Craig Kidwell, Norma Kidwell, and Stacy Allen Marston are awaiting sentencing.

“The scourge of heroin is a deadly killer that does not discriminate.  This office will do all it can to stem the tide and prosecute anyone who participates in its distribution in our communities,” Acting United States Attorney Bubar said today. “We will use all available resources and continue to closely partner with federal, state and local law enforcement to hold drug dealers like Lichliter and Neice, who seek to profit from this treacherous epidemic, responsible for their actions.”

According to court documents, beginning around June 2017 a Maryland-based drug-trafficking network began selling controlled substances to Virginia-based drug traffickers, who, in turn, transported those drugs to Shenandoah County for redistribution.

Defendants Craig Kidwell and his wife Norma Kidwell repeatedly traveled from their home in Shenandoah County to Maryland to obtain heroin from the Maryland-based drug-trafficking organization. At times, the heroin Craig Kidwell and Norma Kidwell obtained from their Maryland-based source was mixed with other drugs, such as fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl.

After obtaining heroin, Craig Kidwell and Norma Kidwell transported the drugs back to Shenandoah County where the drugs were redistributed to others, including, but not limited to, co-defendants Lichliter, Marston, and Neice, who redistributed the drugs to others around Shenandoah County.

As a direct result of the defendants’ drug distribution activities, two overdoses occurred, one of which resulted in the death of victim J.H.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Virginia State Police, Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, and Woodstock Police Department with the assistance of the Shenandoah County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.  Assistant United States Attorney Jeb Terrien is prosecuting the case for the United States.

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VCU emergency room sees increase in opioid overdoses patients

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The pandemic could be driving an increase in opioid overdoses, according to recently published data and insights from people who work in a local treatment center.

Virginia Commonwealth University has released a new study that shows a surge in patients at the VCU Medical Center in Richmond who were admitted due to opioid overdoses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers reported a 123% increase in non-fatal opioid overdoses in the emergency room between March and June 2019 to the same period this year. The research has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Taylor Ochalek, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow at the VCU C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research, was the lead author of the study. She said researchers have been collecting data on opioid overdoses since last year, but they recently decided to examine overdose trends to see if the pandemic was impacting overdoses.

“Social isolation, increased psychiatric symptoms, decreased access to nonmedical care and the stress that might come from unemployment could increase the risk of relapse to opioid use and then potential overdose,” Ochalek said.

The study’s authors found that Black patients were among the largest demographic associated with overdoses during the pandemic in the hospital they tracked. In March and June 2019, 63% of opioid overdose patients were Black. In March and June 2020 the number increased to 80%. The authors noted that the findings were a small sample of patients and may not be generalizable to other locations.

The McShin Foundation, a Henrico County-based drug recovery organization, has seen an increase of people coming in for treatment during the pandemic. The organization provides 11 recovery houses and 122 beds for participants.

“With a pandemic and an epidemic going on at once, It was important for us to have a safe place for those that needed help,” said Honesty Liller, the organization’s CEO.

The McShin Foundation started a podcast called Get in The Herd as a creative way to reach out once 12-step meetings were canceled because of the pandemic. The podcast offers discussion on addiction, recovery, stigma, and advocacy.

The McShin Foundation also felt it was important to develop a recovery plan for participants who received stimulus checks and unemployment benefits, Liller said. The goal is to provide individuals in recovery with resources to manage finances during the pandemic. Some individuals made more money while on unemployment benefits than when they were working, according to a May report by NPR.

“If you’re someone using and you don’t have any money every day, and you struggle to get $20 and then you’re getting $800 a week? I mean, yeah, it’s rough around here,” Liller said.

The Virginia Department of Health publishes quarterly reports on drug-related deaths. According to the report, fentanyl caused or contributed to death in almost 60% of fatal overdoses in 2019. That same year, almost 80% of all fatal overdoses of any substance were due to one or more opioids.

Overall, the number of fatal drug overdoses has increased annually since 2013, VDH reports. Opioids have been the leading force behind the increases in fatal overdoses since that year.

The most recent report from the health department shows 355 fatal opioid overdoses in the first three months of the year. That includes fentanyl, heroin, and prescription opioids, and is an 8.6% increase from the same reporting period last year.

VDH didn’t publish data for the second quarter of the year due to the pandemic. The organization plans to publish overdose data ranging from July to September on Oct.15, according to the health department.

By Aliviah Jones
Capital News Service

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Upcoming Events

Oct
19
Mon
all-day WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
Oct 19 – Nov 12 all-day
WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
Please show your support by purchasing fresh fruit for you, your family and friends to enjoy over the holidays! To place your order online, simply click here. Navel, Grapefruit, Juice Oranges — Whole Box $40, Half[...]
Oct
31
Sat
10:00 am Halloween on Main Street @ White Picket Fence
Halloween on Main Street @ White Picket Fence
Oct 31 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Halloween on Main Street @ White Picket Fence
10-11 am: Dog Costume Parade and judging 1-2 pm: Wedding on the Gazebo 4 pm: Children’s Costume Parade with judging and prizes 5 pm: Trick or Treat on Main Street. Merchants and County Businesses will[...]
10:00 am Skyline Middle School Food Drive @ C&C Frozen Treats
Skyline Middle School Food Drive @ C&C Frozen Treats
Oct 31 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Skyline Middle School Food Drive @ C&C Frozen Treats
Skyline Middle School kicks off its 38th Annual Food Drive Saturday, October 31, 10 am-3 pm, at C&C Frozen Treats. Please bring nonperishable food.
5:00 pm Halloween Glow Throw @ Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co
Halloween Glow Throw @ Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co
Oct 31 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Halloween Glow Throw @ Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co
Bring your best costumes and GLOW throw with us! Trick or treat, throw axes and have an amazing Halloween with SVAXETHROWINGCO! KID friendly! Make your reservation today, spots will fill up fast: www.svaxethrowingco.com Fill out[...]
Nov
1
Sun
all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Nov 1 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]
Nov
4
Wed
6:00 pm Annual Meeting of St. Luke Commu... @ Online Event
Annual Meeting of St. Luke Commu... @ Online Event
Nov 4 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Annual Meeting of St. Luke Community Clinic @ Online Event
St. Luke Community Clinic, Inc., of Front Royal, will hold its Annual Meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 4, by ZOOM. All members (those who donate $35 annually or volunteer at the clinic) are[...]
Nov
5
Thu
6:00 pm Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitt... @ West Oaks Farm Market Event Venue
Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitt... @ West Oaks Farm Market Event Venue
Nov 5 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitting Boy Scouts @ West Oaks Farm Market Event Venue
Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitting Shenandoah Area Council Boy Scouts Fashion, food, cash bar, silent auction, raffle, door prizes, vendors on-site. Sponsored by Anna Quinn Jewelers, Grove’s Winchester Harley Davidson and Firenza Pizza. Showcasing clothing by[...]
Nov
7
Sat
all-day Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Nov 7 all-day
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Why should Small Business Saturday just be celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Buy Local – Shop Local – Eat Local – Support Front Royal’s Small Business Community and stay local! Small Business Saturdays –[...]
10:00 am Felt Pine Tree Class @ Downtown Market
Felt Pine Tree Class @ Downtown Market
Nov 7 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Felt Pine Tree Class @ Downtown Market
You’ve seen these popular felt trees in stores – learn how to make your own and personalize your home décor this holiday season! No craft or sewing experience needed. All supplies will provided in class[...]
12:00 pm Downtown Market Art Walk @ Downtown Market
Downtown Market Art Walk @ Downtown Market
Nov 7 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Downtown Market Art Walk @ Downtown Market
Come join us Saturday for ART! We are working with local artists & artisans to bring art to our Main Street. We will have artists set up along Main Street creating, painting, and making! This[...]