RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today declared a state of emergency in advance of Hurricane Dorian’s effects on southeastern Virginia, anticipated to begin Thursday.
“Hurricane Dorian is a serious storm, and current predictions indicate that it may affect parts of Virginia,” said Governor Northam. “I am declaring a state of emergency to ensure that localities and communities have the appropriate level of assistance, and to coordinate the Commonwealth’s response to any potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian. I encourage Virginians to take all necessary precautions to make sure they are prepared as well.”
Potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian include coastal and inland flooding, storm surge, damaging winds and prolonged power outages.
A state of emergency allows the Commonwealth to mobilize resources and to deploy people and equipment to assist in response and recovery efforts. The declaration also allows officials from Virginia to coordinate planning and evacuation resources with the state of North Carolina.
This action does not apply to individuals or private businesses.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia National Guard, Virginia Department of Social Services, Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and other agencies are coordinating resources and information to prepare for the impact of this storm.
The Virginia Emergency Operations Center was activated this morning at 8 a.m. to monitor the storm and to coordinate preparedness efforts with local, state and federal officials.
Recommendations for Virginians
Coastal Virginians should learn their evacuation zone at KnowYourZoneVA.org. If internet or computer access is not available, call 2-1-1 to learn your zone. Residents not residing in a pre-identified evacuation zone would listen to evacuation orders from local and state emergency agencies to determine if and when to evacuate.
Virginians residing in eastern and coastal Virginia should continue to monitor the latest forecasts, follow official sources on social media and develop or update their emergency preparedness plan. Planning resources are available at VAemergency.gov/make-a-plan.
For a list of recommended emergency supplies to sustain your household before, during and after the storm visit VAemergency.gov/supply-kit. Additional preparedness information is available at VAemergency.gov/hurricanes and the Commonwealth’s hurricane evacuation guide for coastal Virginians is available at KnowYourZoneVA.org.
Virginians should follow the Virginia Department of Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook for preparedness updates and their local National Weather Service office for the latest weather forecast, advisories, watches or warnings. Download the FEMA app on your smartphone to receive mobile alerts from the National Weather Service.
‘We’re not there yet’ – NAACP honors Dr. King’s memory with a call to continued commitment
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.
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.
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”.
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.”
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.
Beth Medved Waller receives 2019 VA/West VA Keller Williams Regional “Superstar” Award
Beth Waller, a Warren County top producing Realtor and founder of the nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, was recognized by Keller Williams Realty Virginia/West Virginia Region as a 2019 “Caught-in-Culture” Superstar. Out of the nearly five thousand agents that make up the large multi-state region, Waller was one of three agents receiving the annual honor for their real estate and impact contributions during 2019.
In her acceptance presentation, Waller was asked to share some background around her 501(c)(3) nonprofit, her origins of volunteerism, highlights of her real estate career and motivational tips for the audience. “This was my first experience speaking on stage about my passion projects, and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to share my story and some ideas with fellow Realtors. I was moved by the line of people afterwards wanting to chat with me as well as the letters and messages I received after the event from people who were inspired. It’s another of the many opportunities I’ll always be thankful for as a KW agent,” said Beth of the honor.
During her presentation, Beth was asked to share about her initiatives that range from a $24,000+ per year Main Street meeting space she funds for her Front Royal/Warren County community, the $12,000+ she’s given through the years in scholarships to local seniors, the nonprofit center in which she provides free office space in Front Royal, her interest-free loans to help those in need and her community video interviews. She also discussed her international mission work which includes well over $25,000 in personal contributions to a brand new primary school in a remote village in Uganda (named the Front Royal Light up Academy) in addition to the funding of a music studio and financially supporting vulnerable children in the ghettos of Uganda’s capital city of
Lee Beaver, Regional Co-Owner and OP shared as she presented the award, “You’re just incredible, as an agent, as a person, and you’ve not only impacted your community but not impacted people overseas, it’s just amazing. We appreciate what you’re doing and we are blessed to have you in our company.” Waller received many other agent sales awards for monthly sales production units for the Manassas Market Center office throughout 2019. “I remain so blessed by all who have supported my real estate career including my family, friends, clients and especially my KW Transaction Coordinator Bridget Rosensteel. I’m glad to have found a home with the thriving KW Manassas office and still have the ability to have my office in downtown Front Royal,” she added.
Waller was also honored to be selected among America’s Top 100 Real Estate Agents® for Virginia – Greater Virginia in 2019.
I-66 Outside the Beltway Project: Lane closures and traffic changes – Week of January 19, 2020
Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project construction continues throughout the corridor during daytime and overnight hours as weather conditions allow. Current activities include:
• Bridge demolition at Route 29 in Centreville
• Constructing bridge foundations at Compton Road, Route 28, Route 123, Vaden Drive, and I-495
• Small charge dynamite operations along I-66 East and West near Route 28
• Bridge deck work for new collector-distributor road over Route 234 Business (Sudley Road) and new Route 28 bridges over I-66
• Relocating water lines at Jermantown Road, Stringfellow Road, and Gallows Road
• Constructing new utility duct bank and relocating underground utilities along I-66 East
• Constructing retaining walls along I-66 and Route 28
• Corridor-wide roadway maintenance as needed
The Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project will add express lanes stretching 22.5 miles from the Capital Beltway to Route 29 in Gainesville, rebuild major interchanges along the I-66 corridor, create thousands of new park and ride spaces, and expand trail options for cyclists and pedestrians. Learn more at Transform66.org.
Upcoming Lane Closures and Traffic Changes
The following planned lane closures are expected to have significant traffic impacts. All work is subject to change based on weather and schedule. Find the latest information on travel conditions and work zones by visiting 511virginia.org or downloading the Virginia511 app.
ROUTE 29 / GAINESVILLE
No significant traffic impacts scheduled.
ROUTE 234 BUSINESS (SUDLEY ROAD) / MANASSAS
I-66 East and West between Sudley Road and Bull Run Rest Area
Ramps from Sudley Road to I-66 East
Tuesday, Jan. 21, through Friday, Jan. 24: 11 a.m. to noon
Temporary 15-minute stoppages of traffic on I-66 East and West for blasting operations. Additionally, stoppages will occur on the ramp from Sudley Road to I-66 East. Stoppages may also be needed on Vandor Lane.
ROUTE 28 (SULLY ROAD) / CENTREVILLE
I-66 East and West between Route 29 Centreville and Stringfellow Road
Route 28 North and South between Route 29 and Braddock Road
Ramp from Route 28 North to I-66 East
Tuesday, Jan. 21, through Friday, Jan. 24: 11 a.m. to noon
Temporary 15-minute stoppages of traffic on I-66 East and West, and Route 28 North and South for blasting operations. Additionally, stoppages will occur on the ramp from Route 28 North to I-66 East and on the ramp from Route 28 North to I-66 West.
Route 29 Centreville North and South at I-66
Sunday, Jan. 19: 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 21, and Wednesday, Jan. 22: 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The left lane will be closed on northbound and southbound Route 29 at I-66 for bridge demolition activities.
I-66 West from Route 28 to Route 29 Centreville
Ramp from I-66 West to Route 29 Centreville
Tuesday, Jan. 21: 9:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Two lanes will be closed for overhead cantilever sign removal. Additionally, the ramp from I-66 West to Route 29 Centreville will be closed from midnight to 4 a.m. Drivers will be directed prior to the closure to Route 28 South, then follow signs to Route 29 North or South.
Route 28 South from Westfields Boulevard to Braddock Road
Tuesday, Jan. 21: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Two lanes will be closed for overhead cantilever sign removal.
I-66 East from Compton Road to Route 29 Centreville
Wednesday, Jan. 22: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Three lanes will be closed for overhead gantry removal. Drivers should expect periodic 20-minute stoppages between midnight and 4 a.m.
Ramp from Route 29 Centreville South to I-66 East
Thursday, Jan 23: Midnight to 4 a.m.
The ramp will be closed for utility work. Drivers will be directed farther south to Stone Road, make a U-turn onto Route 29 North and follow signs to Route 28 North, then stay to the right and follow signs to I-66 East.
ROUTE 286 (FAIRFAX COUNTY PARKWAY) / FAIR LAKES
Stringfellow Road between Fair Lakes Boulevard and Village Square Drive
Wednesday, Jan. 22, through Friday, Jan. 24: 9 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 24, from 9 p.m. until 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27
The right lane of southbound Stringfellow Road will be closed for underground utility relocation. The lane will be reopened weekdays between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. to accommodate the evening rush.
ROUTE 50 / FAIRFAX
No significant traffic impacts scheduled.
ROUTE 123 (CHAIN BRIDGE ROAD) / OAKTON – CITY OF FAIRFAX
Ramp from I-66 West to Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road)
Tuesday, Jan. 21: Midnight to 4 a.m.
The ramp will be closed for utility work. Traffic will be detoured farther west to Route 50 East, stay to the left for I-66 East, then follow signs to Route 123.
ROUTE 243 (NUTLEY STREET) / VIENNA
No significant traffic impacts scheduled.
I-495 (CAPITAL BELTWAY) / DUNN LORING
No significant traffic impacts scheduled.
VDOT and the project team have invested in a broad range of programs to help commuters and others stay mobile and safe during construction. Learn more about carpool, vanpool, telework, and commuter bus alternatives.
Hometown takeover for HGTV
All are invited on our mission to TAKEOVER Front Royal with positivity, unity and inspiration to drown our streets and social media with uplifting discussions, photos, stories and videos about our 22630!
Our community TAKEOVER could land a literal takeover by HGTV! Watch this video interview to learn more!
The Home and Garden Network is accepting nominations for its largest ever renovation project and a group of community residents believe that Front Royal is the perfect town for the project.
“When I saw the post on Facebook, I was so excited because my kids and I always watch the show together and wish it could be set in Front Royal. This could be the thing that turns the frown upside down and the tragedy into a success story and a come back story,” said Melanie Salins who was inspired to coordinate a meeting on Friday to discuss collaboration for the project.
The deadline to apply is February 7th, and the TAKEOVER committee is hoping that the entire community will join them in making a case for Front Royal to be selected as HGTV’s winning town.
A public brainstorming meeting will be held at the WHAT MATTERS community meeting space, OPEN HOUSE, at 213 E. Main Street (adjacent to the Daily Grind) on Wednesday 1/22 at 7pm to share creative ideas about what to feature in our application video. We are seeking beautiful photos of our community, video testimonials, historical pictures, and heartwarming stories to include in our submission and on our facebook page “FRONT ROYAL HOME TOWN TAKEOVER.”
Our social media campaign will be led by local social media strategist, Mitchell Smith, who hopes this #FRONTROYALHOMETOWNTAKEOVER campaign of sharing inspiration throughout our community will continue long beyond our application process.
In addition to Smith and Salins, committee members include Letasha Thompson (FR Town Council), William Huck (C&C’s Frozen Treats), Delores Oates (WC Board of Supervisors), Amber Morris and Beth Waller (WHAT MATTERS). Waller added, “This unifying endeavor is exactly what our community needs and I firmly believe that there’s no other town better to win the honor. Let’s put Front Royal on the map, shine a light on our amazing qualities and prove that when we overcome our hardships and thrive together, ANYTHING is possible.”
You are invited to log onto facebook to share your ideas, photos and videos and to submit entries yourself to nominate Front Royal at http://www.hgtvhometowntakeover.com/ . Feel free to attend the brainstorming meeting in person or virtually on Wednesday (we’ll also be going Facebook Live for the discussion). Join the TAKEOVER!
Downtown business, property owners offer Main Street wish list
FRONT ROYAL — Historic Front Royal property and business owners on January 16 submitted their suggestions for what Town officials should consider in drafting policies and procedures for events held in specific public spaces in the historic district near and along Main Street.
Their ideas will help inform the Front Royal Town Council’s establishment of policies and procedures for use of the Village Commons area, parades and Main Street events and road closures, said Interim Town Manager Matthew Tederick, who helped lead the Thursday night meeting held at the Warren County Community Center.
“The Town Council for many years has been struggling to find the right policies and procedures for the utilization of the Village Commons area, various events and parking,” Tederick said during his opening remarks at the forum. “Over the last year, there’s been multiple business meetings and I think it’s culminated in this meeting tonight.”
Hopefully, at the end of the three scheduled meetings — the next two being held at the community center on January 30 and February 13, both at 6 p.m. — Tederick said the suggestions submitted by the property and business owners will become part of a draft he submits to the Town Council to consider as it sets policies and procedures for the historic district.
The area has become a hot spot among an array of business and property owners who remain challenged by road closures, parking lot shutdowns and other event-related consequences that have pitted them against one another over the years.
Tederick said he thinks the current framework “is too loose.”
“I’d like to see a better framework and a framework that would get majority buy in and consensus from the business and property owners in the historic district, but also from the citizens,” he said.
Local author Charles “Chips” Lickson facilitated the meeting, meaning he held court as a so-called forum cop tasked with setting the ground rules, managing the crowd, and keeping the process rolling. Similar formats will be used during the remaining two meetings.
A former practicing lawyer, federal judge’s law clerk, U.S. Army officer, mediator, and adjunct associate professor of political science at Shenandoah University, Lickson told forum attendees that he was hired “to run a tight ship,” which he said basically distinguishes regular meetings from facilitated meetings in that there’s a specific process established for participants to follow.
For instance, historic district property and business owners verbally participated in the Thursday meeting, while historic district residents were invited to submit their comments and contact information to Felicia Hart, the Town’s community development and tourism director.
And Lickson held the audience to the ground rules.
“We are soliciting your ideas with regard to the public spaces in the gazebo area — the historic area — and this includes closures of roads and closures of parking lots,” he said, instructing the property and business owners to not interrupt one another nor attack a speaker for his or her comments.
“This is not the place to make a speech about what your issue is,” said Lickson. “It is a space to make solid suggestions.”
Like Tederick, he called the current Town event process “flexible” and “less cumbersome” compared to some of Front Royal’s neighbors, a few of which charge organizers to hold downtown events to recoup the costs of providing associated town services.
But, Lickson noted, “the truth of the matter is, the Town has got to know what you need.”
Prior to collecting suggestions from the crowd, Tederick said the current process is that an application must be submitted for a special event under a section of chapter 7 of the Town Code, which outlines the related requirements. For example, for a full or partial closing of Main Street, the Town Code says such events may occur two times a month during one calendar year.
Tederick then shared data with forum attendees showing what it cost the Town to provide services during certain events held last year (Graph A); and a comparison of the numbers of events held from 2017 through 2019 in Front Royal’s historic downtown district (Graph B).
For example, he reviewed the total number of Main Street/Chester Street closures during 2017, 2018, and 2019 (top, Graph B) for the number of events held in each year, which totaled 16, 8, and 7, respectively.
“As Town Manager, what’s the right number?” he asked the crowd. “I don’t know what that number is. I’m hoping through this process that we can come up with what the right number is. Should it be 20 (each year)? Should it be five? I’m not here to provide input one way or the other.”
Meeting organizers then distributed index cards for property and business owners to write down one suggestion per card about what they think is needed in public spaces in the historic downtown. The recollected cards then were tacked up so that each attendee could read the idea and vote only one time on each suggestion using a marker to place a dot or mark on the card. If a person didn’t like the idea written on a card, then no mark needed to be made.
Attendees then lined up at each board and began the voting process for each suggestion, which ran the gamut and included those such as:
“Keep downtown events free from Town fees;”
“Eat more ice cream;”
“Limit Full Main Street Closures to One Per Month;”
“Notify Main Street businesses when parking lot will be closed 2 days before event;” and
“Street closures should be less.”
After voting, the forum organizers took down the cards, counted the marks on each, combined similar ideas, and then read the votes for each card having upwards of three votes.
Ultimately, all the suggestions compiled from all of the meetings will be used by Lickson to write a report that he will submit to Tederick, who then will draft recommendations on policies and procedures to submit to the Town Council for possible action.
And the Town Council will be familiar with the process and the suggestions as several of them attended the meeting, including Front Royal Mayor Eugene Tewalt; Vice Mayor Bill Sealock; and Front Royal Town Council members Letasha Thompson and Gary Gillespie.
Some of the process items will be tweaked for the next two meetings, said Lickson, who thought the overall meeting was productive and informative.
Watch the Envisioning Town Commons meeting on this exclusive Royal Examiner video:
Front Royal Christian School Warriors split games with Fresta Valley Christian School
Front Royal Christian School Warriors boys and girls basketball teams traveled to Fresta Valley Christian School Thursday, January 16, 2020. FRCS middle school boys defeated Fresta Valley Pioneers 43-17, with Braeden Majors scoring 10 points and George Kassel scoring 9 points. The FRCS middle school girls lost 11-16, with leading scorers being Emma Tutton and Mary Lindsey.
“The boys rallied with good team effort and ball movement, with a lot of hustle” said FRCS Warrior Coach Bear Campbell. “Ethan Frost and Brady Knight led the offense, while Braeden Majors and George Kassel led the defense.” Emma Tutton was identified as the MVP for the girls game by FRCS Warrior Coach Scott Babcock. “Tutton was one of the leading scorers and strongest on rebounds.” Next FRCS middle school games are January 17th, starting at 4:15 p.m at Wakefield Country Day School.
Front Royal Christian School is a Pre-K through 12th-grade school in Front Royal, Virginia, that fosters your student’s innate learning potential. From special needs to gifted, FRCS is committed to the spiritual, moral, and intellectual development of its students and mediates a sense of competence, confidence, and belonging. FRCS provides the 21st-century learner, exceptional and challenging educational experiences, including college preparatory courses with a dual enrollment program with LFCC, performing arts, life skills, and athletics. For more information, call the school at 540-635-6799 or visit www.FrontRoyalChristianSchool.com.