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How Virginia benefits under the American Rescue Plan

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U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) highlighted some of the ways in which the American Rescue Plan will help families, workers, small businesses and local governments across Virginia defeat COVID-19 and recover from the health and economic impacts of the virus.

Allocations projections for direct federal aid to Front Royal is $13.89 million and to Warren County is $7.79 million.  Unclear the process the Department of Treasury will use in implementation.

“The American Rescue Plan will help us defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and put our nation on a clear path to rebuild from this crisis. Already, Virginians are seeing the benefits, with direct payments hitting bank accounts and much-needed funds going out to expand vaccine distribution, help schools reopen, and provide assistance to small businesses and local governments across Virginia,” said the Senators.

Relief Checks:


  • The American Rescue Plan includes an additional round of economic impact payments for individuals making less than $80,000 and joint filers making less than $160,000
  • More than 7 million people in Virginia are set to receive $9.32 billion in direct payments, helping them cover essential expenses like food, rent, and medical bills

Child Tax Credit:

  • The American Rescue Plan makes the Child Tax Credit fully refundable and increases the credit amount from $2,000 to $3,000 per child age 6 to 17 (and $3,600 per child below the age of 6) for many families
  • An estimated 1.5 million children across Virginia will benefit from the expanded child tax credit, including 249,000 children in the Commonwealth who are currently in poverty or deep poverty

Earned Income Tax Credit:

  • 417,000 workers in Virginia will benefit from an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit

Enhanced Unemployment Benefits:

  • The bill provides billions in additional federal relief for struggling Virginians – who are out of work through no fault of their own – by extending the historic unemployment insurance reforms established in the CARES Act, through September 6, 2021. The bill extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for the self-employed, gig workers, freelancers and others in non-traditional employment, the $300 weekly federal enhancement in benefits, and the additional weeks of federal unemployment insurance for workers who exhaust their regular state benefits. 256,320 Virginians faced the possibility of losing benefits in March or April if the programs had not been extended

Child Care:

  • To help Virginians afford child care and to help ensure child care providers can continue operating safely, the American Rescue Plan includes:
    • $306 million for Virginia Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) programs
    • $490 million for Virginia Child Care Stabilization Grants
    • $16.557 million for Virginia Head Start programs
    • An increase in the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to up to $4,000 for one child or $8,000 for two or more children, and makes the credit fully refundable. This would significantly ease the burden of child care costs for many Virginia families, who pay on average $14,063 annually for infant care and $10,867 for the care of 4-year-olds

Education:

  • $2.11 billion for Virginia K-12 schools: These flexible funds will support school districts in reopening safely for in-person instruction and addressing the many needs that students are facing due to the pandemic. A portion of the funds are targeted towards addressing learning loss, providing resources through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and implementing summer enrichment and afterschool programs
  • $846 million for Virginia colleges & universities: Institutions must distribute half of their allocation to students in the form of financial aid awards to address hardships caused by COVID-19. The remaining portion of the funds can be used on reopening costs, revenue losses, classroom retrofits, PPE, and other expenses

Health Care

  • The legislation includes $160 billion for national vaccination and other health efforts, including testing, tracing, genomic sequencing, public health staffing, and supplies to slow the spread of COVID-19
  • To expand access to affordable health care nationwide, the American Rescue Plan:
    • Caps premium payments: The bill lowers or eliminates premium costs on the Affordable Care Act exchange to ensure every family can find a health care plan that’s affordable to them
    • Provides uninsured workers with health care: 41,000 uninsured Virginians who rely on unemployment insurance are now eligible for advance premium tax credits to help pay for essential health benefits
    • Ensures jobless Virginians can keep their employer-sponsored healthcare coverage: To help Virginians who have lost their job and associated employer-sponsored healthcare coverage, the American Rescue Plan provides a 100% reimbursement so that workers who have lost their job can keep their health care coverage through COBRA
    • Expands guaranteed health care coverage for new moms: The American Rescue Plan improves maternal health care with a new provision that will allow state Medicaid programs to offer new moms health care coverage for up to one year post-partum
  • COVID-19 has placed an enormous strain on our nation’s healthcare system. To address this, the American Rescue Plan includes:
    • $8.5 billion to help struggling rural health care providers and ensure access to care in rural areas
    • $7.66 billion dollars to support public health workers in communities across the country, who are the key to getting the virus under control
    • $7.6 billion in direct financial support to Community Health Centers, providing immediate relief to frontline providers in community health centers who serve communities of color and underserved populations hardest-hit by pandemic

Housing:

  • To help struggling Virginians stay in their homes during the pandemic, the Commonwealth will receive $451 million for emergency rental assistance. An estimated 267,000 renters in Virginia are currently behind on their rent
  • The American Rescue Plan also includes $9.9 billion to aid homeowners nationwide who are struggling to afford their mortgage payments, utility bills, and other housing costs. Virginia is expected to receive between $154 million and $276 million from this pot of money to help homeowners who have been financially stressed by the pandemic

Nutrition:

  • The legislation extends a 15 percent increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through September 30, 2021, which will help the nearly 50 million Americans who have struggled with hunger during the pandemic. In Virginia, 503,000 adults – 9% of all adults in the state – report not having enough food to eat. This includes 308,000 adults living with children, or 15% of all adults living with children, who report that the children in their household do not have enough to eat

Small Business

  • The American Rescue Plan has billions to help small businesses keep their doors open, including:
    • $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). As of this month, Virginia businesses have received $3.5 billion in forgivable Second Draw PPP loans to keep workers on the payroll during COVID-19
    • $15 billion for the Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance Program. As of last month, 74,664 Virginia businesses have received more than $4 billion in low-interest EIDL loans to help them survive the COVID-19 crisis
    • $28.6 billion for a new Restaurant Revitalization Fund to provide grants to help small local restaurants, bars, and craft breweries stay in business and keep their workers employed. To provide comprehensive support to local restaurants, grants from the fund can be used alongside first and second Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance, and the Employee Retention Tax Credit
    • $1.25 billion for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) Program to support live entertainment venues, and a critical fix to ensure venue operators can access both PPP and SVOGs
    • $10 billion in new funding for the State Small Business Credit Initiative to help small businesses grow and create jobs

Transportation & Public Transit

  • To allow our frontline workers to travel to and from work and to ensure our transit systems are able to survive the pandemic and continue to serve commuters, the American Rescue Plan includes:
    • $1.4 billion for transit systems in the DC metro region including WMATA
    • $56 million for transit systems in Hampton Roads
    • $6 million for transit in and around Blacksburg
    • $342,115 for transit in and around Bristol (TN-VA)
    • $5.3 million for transit in and around Charlottesville
    • $817,426 for transit in and around Fredericksburg
    • $884,390 for transit in and around Harrisonburg
    • $542,634 for transit in and around Kingsport (TN-VA)
    • $3.4 million for transit in and around Lynchburg
    • $30 million for transit in and around Richmond
    • $3.4 million for transit in and around Roanoke
    • $219,506 for transit in and around Staunton-Waynesboro
    • $3 million for transit in and around Williamsburg
    • $241,677 for transit in and around Winchester
  • To allow Virginia airports to weather the storm and to continue delivering crucial supplies to the Commonwealth, the American Rescue Plan includes funding for the following:
    • $84 million for Washington Dulles International Airport
    • $82 million for Ronald Reagan Washington National
    • $18.5 million for Richmond International Airport
    • $16.8 million for Norfolk International Airport
    • $5 million for Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport
    • $4.9 million for Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport/Woodrum Field
    • $3.1 million for Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport
    • $1.8 million for Lynchburg Regional Airport/Preston Glenn Field
    • $1.1 million for Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport
    • $148,000 for Leesburg Executive Airport
    • $59,000 for Virginia Highlands Airport (Abingdon)
    • $59,000 for Virginia Tech/Montgomery Executive Airport
    • $59,000 for Culpeper Regional Airport
    • $59,000 for Danville Regional Airport
    • $59,000 New River Valley Airport (Dublin)
    • $59,000 for Blue Ridge Airport (Martinsville)
    • $59,000 for Chesapeake Regional Airport
    • $59,000 for Hampton Roads Executive Airport
    • $59,000 Richmond Executive-Chesterfield County Airport
    • $59,000 for Hanover County Airport
    • $59,000 for Warrenton-Fauquier Airport
    • $59,000 for Winchester Regional Airport
    • $32,000 for Franklin Regional Airport
    • $32,000 for Front Royal-Warren County Airport
    • $32,000 for Twin County Airport (Galax Hillsville)
    • $32,000 for Louisa County Airport/Freeman Field
    • $32,000 for Luray Caverns Airport
    • $32,000 for Mountain Empire Airport (Marion/Wytheville)
    • $32,000 for Accomack County Airport
    • $32,000 for Orange County Airport
    • $32,000 for Dinwiddie County Airport
    • $32,000 for New Kent County Airport
    • $32,000 for William M. Tuck Airport (South Boston)
    • $32,000 for Mecklenburg-Brunswick Regional Airport
    • $32,000 for Stafford Regional Airport
    • $32,000 for Suffolk Executive Airport
    • $32,000 for Tappahannock-Essex County Airport
    • $32,000 for Middle Peninsula Regional Airport
    • $22,000 for Emporia-Greensville Regional Airport
    • $22,000 for Farmville Regional Airport
    • $22,000 for Ingalls Field (Hot Springs)
    • $22,000 for Lee County Airport
    • $22,000 for Tazewell County Airport
    • $22,000 for Tangier Island Airport
    • $22,000 for Lonesome Pine Airport (Wise)

Aid to State & Local Governments

  • The American Rescue Plan provides funds to state and local governments to assist with costs associated with responding to COVID-19, support workers performing essential work during COVID-19, cover revenue losses caused by the public health emergency, or to make necessary investments in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure
  • The Commonwealth of Virginia will receive $3.766 billion in direct state fiscal relief
  • Virginia’s counties will receive $1.655 billion, metropolitan cities will get $628 million, and smaller cities and towns will receive $604 million
  • The Commonwealth of Virginia will also receive $222 million for building out broadband and other infrastructure projects

Funding figures for individual counties and localities are available here.

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Children honor memory of local librarian

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The students at Mountain Laurel Montessori School conducted a book drive to honor the memory of Kathy Jacob, the children’s librarian from Samuel’s Public library who passed away earlier this fall.

Kathleen “Kathy” Ruth (McGillen) Jacob

The children collected some of their favorite books and donated them to the library. The books will be used as prizes for the children’s reading club. They are hopeful that the books will help cultivate the love of reading, just as Kathy did through her work. Kathy Jacob worked with many teachers, staff, and children from Mountain Laurel, whenever they visited the library.

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‘Tis the Season for Kindness

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A local singer/songwriter has a message for the world in his debut release starting with the opening lyrics, “Put the kind back in humankind”. “SAVE THE HUMANS TOO” was written by local musician and businessman Shae Parker and recorded in Memphis, TN earlier this year. Parker, who has been playing music semi-professionally for the past three decades is no stranger to helping convey messages. The sign maker and owner of Hanna Sign Company also spent years as a radio broadcaster and as a Front Royal Town Councilman and Vice Mayor.

“I’ve always written songs”, says Parker. “In retrospect, I’ve always helped to convey messages. Whether it was a commercial on the radio, a sign for someone’s business, or as a public servant I’ve always tried to help others convey their message.”

Like many during the pandemic, Parker says he did some soul searching and decided he needed to put his own message out in song. After combing through years of writings and narrowing down a list of about two dozen, he formulated a plan to record as many songs as possible. Shae says he reached out to a childhood friend and fellow former disc jockey, Till Palmer who is the Chief Engineer at Ecko Records in Memphis for help.

“Initially the plan was to take the band with me (River Driven Band), but schedules didn’t align and I realized I either needed to reschedule or refocus on a solo project”, said Parker. “A big part of my pandemic soul searching revolved around doing this before I turned 50, so I headed to Memphis for a solo project”.


Fourteen songs were recorded in Memphis over three days according to Parker, with twelve of those planned for release. Most of the overdubs were handled by Shae before leaving, but he says over the coming months the remaining overdubs will be completed by him and his bandmates from the River Driven Band before being sent back to Palmer for mastering. The other two tracks, “SAVE THE HUMANS TOO” and “SHE LOVES ME, BUT” were independently released in November by Parker on most digital streaming platforms.

“SAVE THE HUMANS TOO” has a message that I felt all humans needed to hear”, explains Parker. “It’s about kindness and how easy it is to just be kind, that’s why I had to put it out first”.

Shae says that independently releasing his music has its own challenges. He says it has been a learning curve from researching and finding a digital distributor to upload the songs to Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube Music among others, to registering songwriting credits with BMI and SESAC.

“There is a reason it’s called the Music Business”, quips Parker. “What is an ISRC number or a DDP? Things like that I didn’t have a clue about as a performer, but Till being in the industry gave me a lot of insight of what needed to be done to make this a reality.”

While Parker maintains the music is the best thing to come out of the experience, he is quick to point out the joy of working with a lifelong friend and using a vintage Gibson Les Paul Junior on some tracks that were bought new by Palmer’s grandfather, Ralph Palmer in 1956. He also finds irony in his and Palmer’s past on radio given that a fellow DJ, Rick Dee’s recorded his number one hit “DISCO DUCK” in the same studio in the 1970s. Parker also recounts that his nickname at 4H camp growing up (where he and Palmer first met) was Duckie. Irony indeed, however despite a good beat you can dance to any other similarities in the compositions end there as Parker’s message of kindness prevails.

The Daily Planet/Shoe Productions studio was built by STAX Records founder Jim Stewart and Bobby Manuel (Booker T & the MG’s) shortly after the shuttering of STAX in 1975. In 1995 John Ward bought the studio and changed the name to Ecko Studios/Records, an American Blues and Soul Blues label that has released albums by Rufus Thomas, Ollie Nightingale, Bill Coday, Barbara Carr, and others.

Shae Parker’s first two releases “SAVE THE HUMANS TOO” and “SHE LOVES ME, BUT” are available on all streaming platforms or wherever you listen to music. Links to the songs and information on booking can be found on his website at www.SongsByShae.com.

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Community Events

Triple your impact this Giving Tuesday

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Today is Giving Tuesday!

What is Giving Tuesday? It’s the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, and was created to encourage people, after spending money on physical items for the holidays, to give back to charities and their local communities.

It’s an important day to support Blue Ridge Wildlife Center because your donation could be matched twice!

  1. Starting at 8am, donations made through Facebook will be matched with an $8 million dollar match pledged by the social media platform itself until the matching funds are exhausted.
  2. Your donation will ALSO be matched by our generous Board of Directors up to $15,000! (You can donate through our website, by check, or through Facebook to qualify for this match.)

That gives your donation the opportunity to be TRIPLED, going further than any other time!

We receive no state nor Federal funding for what we do. We rely on your donations to save wild animals and return them to the wild. Donations enable us to afford the foods and specialty formulas we feed out to our 3,200+ patients each year. They allow us to build and maintain our enclosures to house these patients and keep the lights on and water running. They pay for the surgical supplies, medications, and anesthetics needed for the 150+ surgeries we perform each year. They pay for the antibiotics and pain medications needed by the >60% of our patients that are suffering from some sort of human-caused traumatic injury.


We need YOUR help to maximize matching funds and to care for the ever-increasing number of patients we’re seeing each year. Please give generously on Giving Tuesday to let your donation go further!

Thank you for supporting our native wildlife!

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Crime/Court

Accused Brinklow murderer gets 30-years-9-months on plea agreement and probation violation charges

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Following emotional testimony from Jennifer Brinklow, the mother of 20-year-old Tristen Brinklow on the devastating impact on her life of her son’s 2019 murder, and a perhaps surprisingly emotional series of apologies from his accused killer for his role in that murder, the Commonwealth and defense counsels debated at which end of sentencing guidelines 38-year-old Richard Matthew Crouch should be incarcerated on Second Degree Murder and related and unrelated charges he submitted guilty pleas to as part of a plea agreement.

By plea agreement already accepted by Warren County Circuit Court Judge William Sharp, the sentencing range was between 8-years-and-7-months and 28 years-and-9-months. The other involved suspect, George Good, received a 10-year prison sentence with 25 years suspended on August 13, on a similar plea agreement involving two charges of helping Crouch dispose of Brinklow’s body and a variety of unrelated charges. Good was 29 at the time of his sentencing three months ago.

After hearing about an hour and a half of testimony, questions, and arguments Judge Sharp adjourned to chambers at noon, Monday, November 29th to consider his sentencing decision. After 17 minutes Judge Sharp returned to deliver his ruling. That ruling was the high-end 28-years-and-9-months according to sentencing parameters of the plea agreement, after imposing two, 5-year sentences on concealing and defiling (allowing to decompose) a dead body; and 30 years on the Second Degree Murder charge. Crouch will also get credit for time served, about two years. It was said that currently it is estimated that inmates will serve about 85% of their sentence with good behavior time taken off. Crouch also had four, 5-year sentences related to an earlier attack on an ex-girlfriend and his drug possession with intent to distribute charges imposed with all 20 years suspended. He will be on supervised probation for five years after his release.

While getting credit for his time served, two years was later tacked on to the 28-year-9-month sentence, on a probation violation charge argued outside the plea agreement. Arguing that aspect of the cases, Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Nick Manthos countered defense co-counsel Eric Wiseley’s call to waive the two additional years of active incarceration after his client received nearly three times the sentence George Good did for their respective roles in Brinklow’s murder.



Richard Matthew Crouch in July 2021 mug shot from Northwestern Adult Regional Detention Center. Below, charged as an accessory in the murder of Tristen Brinklow, George Lee Good (Oct. 2020 RSW Jail mug shot). Good received 10 years of active incarceration for his believed role in the killing. On Monday Crouch was sentenced to a total of 30 years and 9 months.

Manthos, as Commonwealth Attorney John Bell had earlier, noted that while Crouch held to his story that it was Good who actually beat Brinklow to death, the physical evidence matched Good’s story that it was Crouch who attacked and strangled Brinklow to death in a methamphetamine-induced paranoid delusional state. Crouch did admit to being up for at least five days straight, perhaps as many as 10 days, doing an extraordinary amount of methamphetamine – he estimated at 3.5 grams (an 8-ball) to twice that amount per day – while trying to finance being on the run from police from an incident several days earlier in which he non-fatally had strangled an ex-girlfriend.

The Commonwealth noted that in his earlier attack on the ex-girlfriend, Crouch had not only choked her but cut off a large portion of her hair. When Good led authorities to Brinklow’s decomposed body, a bone in the neck was discovered broken at autopsy indicative of strangulation, and a large portion of Brinklow’s hair was discovered cut off. Those aspects of the earlier Crouch attack on the ex-girlfriend were not known to Good, the prosecution told the court.

The fact that all the crimes he enter guilty pleas to, including the assault on his ex, the methamphetamine use, and dealing, as well as Brinklow’s murder, occurred while Crouch was on probation led Judge Sharp to side with the prosecution on the necessity of imposing the two probation violation years hanging over Crouch – “There has to be a consequence, otherwise probation means nothing,” Judge Sharp said in rendering his decision on that second part of the day’s hearing on Crouch’s fate behind bars.

While admitting to the drug use and paranoid state leading him to believe that he was going to be robbed of his meth stash worth several thousand dollars, Crouch insisted that Brinklow coming at him with a knife and Good’s response of pulling him off Crouch and beating him to death was not a part of his drug-induced delusions. However, it seemed Crouch and his attorney in the plea sentencing, Howard Manheimer, may have been the only two in court buying into that scenario. It appeared seven relatives and friends accompanied Jennifer Brinklow to court Monday.
Several times asked by the court if he had anything to say before decisions were rendered, Crouch in a low, emotional voice expressed remorse, saying, “I am so sorry, I am so sorry with all my heart.” Crouch told the court and Brinklow’s mother that he had become involved in a jailhouse ministry conducted at RSW and related drug abuse counseling to try and steer inmates away from drug addiction upon their release.

He also looked at Tristen’s mother testifying from the witness box directly in front of him as she recounted the multiple impacts, including being told she now suffers from PTSD (Post Traumatic Shock Disorder) in the wake of her son’s murder. “I didn’t know a person could live without a heart and soul,” Mrs. Brinklow told the courtroom of her life since December 13, 2019, when she was informed it was her missing son’s body discovered in an abandoned freezer near the river. The murder occurred in September 2019.

She said tears came often, stimulated by “a smell, food, a cloud – ANYTHING. I never had anxiety, now there are places I can’t go without breaking down … It’s beyond obvious those two did not know Trey – a few minutes with him and he’d give you anything he had … Four days after he turned 20 you took his life – he was just a kid.”

 

Tristen Brinklow’s photo from the family social media page was reproduced and displayed in court Monday in support of his mother Jennifer Brinklow’s testimony as an auxiliary victim of her son’s murder. The second photo of him with his mother and grandmother was also displayed. Below, ‘Justice for Trey’ demonstrators outside George Good’s plea agreement hearing in August. More support was promised during Monday’s plea hearing for Richard Matthew Crouch.

Following the rendering of his plea agreement sentence of 28-years-9-months, Judge Sharp told Crouch he hoped he made the best out of the portion of his life that will now be spent in prison; that he was truly remorseful for letting a dangerous, illegal drug get a grip on his life that led to this point; and that he would continue to work to counsel others away from a similar fate, and turn his life in a positive direction.

“I wish you luck,” the judge told Crouch.

“Thank you,” Crouch replied.

 

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Celebrating three DECA alumni during “DECA Month”

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November is “DECA Month” and to cap several activities that WCHS DECA has conducted this month, the chapter would like to promote the accomplishments of three DECA alumni.

Alexandra “Lexi” Davis

Alexandra “Lexi” Davis (2019) is currently a senior at James Madison University.  Lexi not only is a WCHS DECA alumna, but a past Chapter Historian officer as well. When asked how her past experiences in DECA have impacted her personal life, she replied, “DECA has taught me how to present formally, talk to people, and knowing how to sell myself to clients and employers”.  As to what advice she would give to a 1st year DECA member, Lexi stated, “put yourself out there as in getting involved in the community, compete in as many DECA events as you can, and try new things.”  Her favorite memory of DECA? Going to Orlando Florida to compete in the DECA International Career Development Conference, being around her friends throughout all her years in DECA, and managing the school store, Wildcats Corner.   Lexi was instrumental in having Wildcats Corner receive its initial Gold Level Certification as a school-based enterprise.  Although she is an engineering major at JMU, Lexi attributes her ability to present engineering project ideas to potential clients due to her involvement and success with DECA projects.

Leonard Maiden

Dr. Leonard F. “Len” Maiden (1950) was the 1st Chapter President of the Warren County High School DECA chapter. In 1949, Len was elected as the 1st High School President of National DECA.  After graduating from WCHS, he earned degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Virginia, and the University of South Carolina. He was a veteran of the United States Army. In 1965 he joined the University of South Carolina faculty where he retired as Professor Emeritus of the College of Education.  Before joining the faculty at USC, he served as a Virginia State Supervisor for Marketing (Distributive) Education where he mentored marketing teachers and DECA chapter advisors in the Front Royal/Winchester/Northern Virginia region. Throughout his career, Dr. Maiden never lost his love for DECA.  He volunteered for many years as a judge in DECA state conferences in both Virginia and South Carolina.  He mentored students learning to become teachers and teachers learning to improve their craft for many years.  In 2021, the WCHS DECA Chapter established an annual scholarship to be awarded to a graduating WCHS DECA senior in his honor.

Sarah Gardner

Sarah Gardner is a 2016 high school graduate and alumna of James Madison University (2020).  She is also a professional member of the WCHS DECA chapter.  While in high school, Sarah was a member of her high school DECA chapter and served as the chapter’s president her senior year.  She was also a district winner, 3-time state winner, and competed in DECA’s International Career Development Conference three times.  She has served Virginia DECA as a State Leadership Conference judge for three years.  Currently, Sarah is a Senior Marketing Coordinator with Carahsoft Technology Corp. in Reston, VA.  When asked how her high school DECA experiences helped to prepare her for life after high school, she responded, “DECA taught me how to present myself in a professional setting.”  “DECA also taught me time management skills – mentoring other people, planning and executing projects, and writing research papers – and how to apply constructive criticism in order to improve as a marketing professional”, she added.  When asked what advice she would offer a first-year DECA member, Sarah stated, “Don’t be afraid to fall short or fail.  Just put forth your best effort and learn from the results!”

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The Wildlife Center of Virginia to provide Thanksgiving meals for 100+ wild animals

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Staff at The Wildlife Center of Virginia are getting ready for a Thanksgiving feast for over 100 “guests”. Species on the “guest list” include Red-tailed Hawks, Eastern Screech-Owls, Bald Eagles, Black Bears, Deer Mice, and reptiles including Eastern Box Turtles, Eastern Ratsnakes, and a Snapping Turtle.

On November 25, the Center anticipates to be caring for approximately 90 patients and 20 resident education animals. Wildlife rehabilitators will be preparing and delivering meals, cleaning enclosures, and updating patient records.

Photo / The Wildlife Center of Virginia

Turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce aren’t on the Wildlife Center menus – instead of a traditional family-style Thanksgiving meal, the Wildlife Center crew will make dozens of species-specific diets, which cater to each species’ needs and each patient’s particular preferences based on observations during their time as patients at the Center.


“The animals that we will be caring for this year include over 30 reptiles, over 20 birds of prey, and almost 20 squirrels” said Wildlife Rehabilitation Supervisor Kelsey Pleasants. “Most of these patients have been admitted after being hit by cars or caught by domestic pets. Many of them require weeks of intensive care and rehabilitation.”

While the rehabilitation staff are busy in the kitchen, Center veterinarians will provide medical care for patients in need – distributing and administering medications, cleaning wounds and changing bandages, completing daily checks, and other medical procedures – and remain ready for any new patients that might arrive. New patient admissions are always a possibility, any day of the year. By the time the staff go home to their Thanksgiving dinners, all 110 animals will be fed, watered, and cared for.

The Wildlife Center of Virginia is a non-profit hospital that is able to provide quality healthcare to wild animals in need through the generosity and support of caring individuals. “We’re so appreciative of the support of our donors that helps us to feed and care for each bird, mammal, and reptile,” said Pleasants.

To find out more about ways to support the Wildlife Center of Virginia’s work, the public can visit www.wildlifecenter.org.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Family Preservation Services

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Groups Recover Together

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Main Street Travel

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Mountain Trails

National Media Services

Northwestern Community Services Board

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Examiner

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Salvation Army

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Studio Verde

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

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Upcoming Events

Dec
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6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 1 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
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10:00 am Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Dec 4 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie at Strokes of Creativity. Tickets: CLICK HERE Cost: $80 for 6 weeks Dates: Thursdays – Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 4 Time: 10 am[...]
1:00 pm The Nutcracker 2021 @ Skyline High School
The Nutcracker 2021 @ Skyline High School
Dec 4 @ 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The Nutcracker 2021 @ Skyline High School
Italia Performing Arts is pleased to announce its own student production of the seasonal ballet The Nutcracker, to be presented in Front Royal, VA, on Saturday, December 4th, 2021. 1:00 and 5:00 pm Tickets: $35[...]
4:30 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 4 @ 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meets in the Historic Area behind Mount Bleak. Discover our International Dark Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and[...]
Dec
5
Sun
4:00 pm Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Dec 5 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Sunday, December 5, 2021 4:00pm First Baptist Church of Winchester 205 West Piccadilly St. | Winchester, VA 22601 COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks are required for attendees Friday, December 10, 2021 7:30pm Front Royal United Methodist Church[...]
Dec
8
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 8 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Dec
10
Fri
7:30 pm Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Dec 10 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Friday, December 10, 2021 7:30pm Front Royal United Methodist Church 1 West Main Street | Front Royal, VA 22630 COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks are required for attendees Sunday, December 12, 2021 4:00pm Trinity Episcopal Church 9108[...]
Dec
12
Sun
3:00 pm Valley Chorale’s Christmas Concert @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Valley Chorale’s Christmas Concert @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Dec 12 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Valley Chorale's Christmas Concert @ Calvary Episcopal Church
This year’s yuletide concert is titled THIS SHINING NIGHT.  Join us for a selection of seasonal songs — ranging in style from classical to spirituals to pop — sure to brighten your holiday and lift[...]
4:00 pm Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Dec 12 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Sunday, December 12, 2021 4:00pm Trinity Episcopal Church 9108 John Mosby Hwy. | Upperville, VA 20184 COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks are required for attendees
Dec
15
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 15 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]