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Jason Poe to seek election as Sheriff of Warren County

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Warren County, VA – Lifelong resident and former Patrol Sergeant with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Jason Poe, will seek the Republican nomination in the primary election with the intention to run for Warren County Sheriff in 2019.

With 20 years of dedicated Law Enforcement experience to the citizens’ of Warren County and now City of Winchester as a Corporal, Jason strives to serve the residents’ of Warren County in achieving Excellence through Partnerships and Transparency.  With his guiding principles of strong leadership, compassion, accountability, building relationships and open, transparent communication he is committed to building relationships with Law Enforcement through youth and senior outreach programs and community-based policing; balance policing and law enforcement in the community and confront emergent issues that threaten the community.

Jason will be present at various community events to field questions and concerns of the county’s residents’ and provide insight into his goals as Sheriff of Warren County.  Jason looks forward to interacting with community members to work together in ensuring a safe future for our residents.

We congratulate Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron on his upcoming retirement and for serving as Sheriff of Warren County for 16 years.

For more information please visit our website at www.jasonpoeforsheriff.com and on Facebook @jasonpoeforsheriff.

Local News

Warren County School Board calls special meeting

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The Warren County School Board called a special meeting on February 13th to hear Superintendent Greg Drescher overview of PayPoint Compensation Study and the report on the Compensation and Benefits Study.

Drescher indicated that all of the work on these studies is about being competitive in the local market and not being done to just pay people more money. The local market includes all of the school divisions that touch Warren County and the City of Winchester. He also said that in order for WCPS to attract and retain a quality workforce, WCPS needs to offer competitive pay and benefits.

Download the Studies:

Compensation and Benefits Study Presentation

Final Report Compensation and Benefits Study

The Royal Examiner’s camera was there.

Related stories.

Warren County School Board Public Hearing on FY 2020 Budget

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Local News

I-66 Outside the Beltway Project: Lane closures and traffic changes week of February 17, 2019

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What’s Happening

As weather conditions allow, crews will continue corridor wide roadway maintenance and address issues as needed, with daily multi-lane closures during daytime and overnight hours on eastbound and westbound I-66. Additional construction activities include:

• Constructing bridge abutments at Route 28 and I-495 interchanges

• Constructing box culverts inside the Route 123 Interchange for shared-use path
• Constructing retaining walls near Jermantown Road and Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road)
• Grading, excavating, clearing trees and brush, and drainage installation at the Route 28, Route 123, Route 50 and I-495 interchanges, and other work zone location along the corridor
• Clearing trees and brush at the future Balls Ford Park and Ride Lot near Manassas
• Grading, excavating, and small charge blasting for storm drain trenches at the future University Boulevard Park and Ride Lot
• Grading and excavating for the new E.C. Lawrence Park Access Road
• Relocating underground and overhead utilities along I-66 and Route 28

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 (LEE HIGHWAY) / GAINESVILLE
Route 29 North and South between Heathcote Boulevard and University Boulevard
Thursday, February 21, and Friday, February 22: 11 a.m. to Noon
Traffic will be temporarily stopped for up to 15 minutes for small charge blasting operations at the future Park and Ride Lot. Additionally, the ramp from I-66 West to Route 29 North (Exit 43B) will be temporarily closed for 15 minutes beginning at 11 a.m.

ROUTE 234 BUSINESS (SUDLEY ROAD) / MANASSAS
No significant traffic impacts are scheduled.

ROUTE 28 (SULLY ROAD) / CENTREVILLE
No significant traffic impacts are scheduled.

ROUTE 286 (FAIRFAX COUNTY PARKWAY)
No significant traffic impacts are scheduled.

ROUTE 50 / FAIRFAX
No significant traffic impacts are scheduled.

ROUTE 123 (CHAIN BRIDGE ROAD) / OAKTON – CITY OF FAIRFAX
No significant traffic impacts are scheduled.

ROUTE 243 (NUTLEY STREET) / VIENNA
I-66 East and West from I-459 to Route 243 (Nutley Street)
Friday, February 22, and Saturday, February 23: 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Three lanes will be closed with periodic 20-minute stoppages between midnight and 5 a.m. to remove an overhead sign gantry.

I-495 (CAPITAL BELTWAY)
I-66 East and West from I-459 to Route 243 (Nutley Street)
Friday, February 22, and Saturday, February 23: 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Three lanes will be closed with periodic 20-minute stoppages between midnight and 5 a.m. to remove an overhead sign gantry.

Commuter Alternatives
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.

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Local News

Tim Ratigan announces to run for South River Supervisor

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Mike McCool, Royal Examiner Publisher speaks with South River resident Tim Ratigan and his plans to run for the Board of Supervisors. Photo and video by Mark Williams.

Tim Ratigan announces his run to fill the South River spot on the Board of Supervisors. Tim stopped by our studios and speaks with Royal Examiner publisher Mike McCool:

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Local News

Front Royal-Warren County: The canoe AND viewpoint ‘Capital of Virginia’

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Cullers Overlook, (Andy Guest) Shenandoah River State Park; from the Matador story – ‘Take a drive to Shenandoah River State Park and make a quick left onto Overnight Road, where a small parking lot sits next to the best lookout in the state.’ Photos from Matador article as attributed/Shenandoah River State Park/Facebook

Well, a sitting vice president once christened Front Royal/Warren County “the Canoe Capital of Virginia” – thanks, Al. But now – during a tourism report to the Warren County Board of Supervisors on February 5, Front Royal Community Development and Tourism Director Felicia Hart noted that Culler’s Overlook at Andy Guest-Shenandoah River State Park had been cited as the number one view point in Virginia accessible without necessity of a long or grueling hike. This reporter had previously been made aware of the designation by a shared Facebook post of congratulations to the community by an old friend and fellow past travel explorer “Joe Ball” aka Bob Mason.

The designation came as part of the Matador Network’s survey of “The Best Scenic Viewpoints in The United States that you can drive to”. And the Cullers Overlook panorama selected by Matador Network as one of the 50 best drivable-to view-sheds – one in each state – is a magnificent representation of this community’s natural assets; and certainly one the Commonwealth of Virginia can be proud of.

The Matador Network website <matadornetwork.com> describes itself as “a tribe of millions of travelers across the globe with an unquenchable thirst for adventure and exploration” – not a bad viewing base for a little tourism promotion WORLDWIDE!!! (as of publication the referenced story could be reached at <matadornetwork.com/read/roadside-viewpoint-every-state> or simply by searching the web at “best scenic viewpoints” with “best scenic viewpoints in the United States you can drive to” being the first find we encountered).

Screenshot from the Matador Network website, matadornetwork.com.

“Having the added exposure by the Matador Network is a win/win for Front Royal/Warren County. We love being able to take advantage of stories such as this,” Hart told Royal Examiner in response to a question about the designation. “Thousands will see the image of Cullers Overlook and be made aware of all that we have to offer. To stop and realize that out of all the scenic overlooks in the State of Virginia, Matador choose us, makes us extremely proud – and as an added bonus, we didn’t even have to pay for this exposure.”

We asked Hart if there was any special effort that brought the community’s natural tourism assets to the Matador Network’s attention.

“We regularly participate in Help A Reporter Out (HARO) requests when they are looking for stories, ideas, and photography. We have a number of travel writers that will be coming through our community soon – as they always do – so we’ll make sure that they are able to see and learn about all that our community has to offer.”

Hart pointed to economic benefits to the community peripheral to an increase in tourism numbers, potentially from the world over.

“In addition, stories such as this help not only our tourism numbers – heads in beds lodging tax, meals tax, etcetera – it works to draw potential businesses to our community. Whether they are smaller Mom/Pop shops – outfitter or such – or bigger businesses that are looking for quality of life for themselves and their employees – they are made aware of Front Royal/Warren County.

“With regards to how we used the story – not only did we ‘push’ the story out via our social media, the State of Virginia tourism shared it. Several of the Virginia Welcome Centers also ‘pushed it’ out via their social media. A group that we are partners in, the Shenandoah Valley Tourism Partnership … shared the story too.

“We worked hard to maximize the exposure to this story. It’s one thing for us to brag about ourselves, but when we can get an “outsider” to say it, now it has real value to someone reading the story. And of course, local newspaper stories are always appreciated,” Hart said.

You’re welcome, Felicia.

As a teaser to visit the Matador site and story, here are a few other entries – trust us, there are some of astonishing, non-manmade natural beauty, both like and very different from our own entry:

Atigun Pass, Brooks Range Alaska: from Matador, ‘Dalton Highway is not so much an overlook as an immersive glacial mountain experience’ – I guess it’s good we hiked Alaska in the summer, JoeBall – or that we flew over the Brooks Range on way to Anaktuvuk Pass for slightly lower-elevated points north – Photo/Leonie Wharton

Then there are your more urban view-sheds, here Watson Island between Miami and Miami Beach, Florida – Photo/Chris LaBasco/Shuttercock

Or New Jersey’s pick, from Liberty State Park with a panoramic view of the New York City skyline – Photo/Dorbis/Shutterstock

Or Felicia, imagine you had ‘Carhenge’ to work with – Photo/Nebraska Tourism

And just in case you doubted us on the natural beauty teaser – above is Montana’s Heaven’s Peak Outlook; and below a little close to home for my mom, Looking Glass Rock, North Carolina near her hometown of Asheville. Photo/tusharkoley/Shutterstock & ExploreAsheville.com

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Local News

Expanding goals at the House of Hope

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The House of Hope is committed to providing help and support to homeless men in our community. It provides a place of security and safety from nature as well as other forces. It provides food, nurture, encouragement, guidance, support, and training for homeless men as they seek to work towards independence again.

Since its beginning, the House of Hope sought to provide shelter for the homeless. But not only that, it really was committed to helping men understand their situation, their resources, and pathways to live independently. It was never intended to be a shelter that just provided a place to stay.

In the last year, through expanding our funding through the “Hope With A Heart” and securing our first paid director, the House has set a new course towards that goal that started this project ten years ago. It still provides food and housing and ongoing case management, but Dr. Randyl Brown has also introduced a new Life Skills Coaching Program. The goal is to help each man to make plans to be independent within three months if possible.

At the House you will find loving and caring passion to help homeless men embrace the life they were meant to experience. Together the staff, the Board, the community, and the men are working together to make a difference in the lives of these men. As one man shared, “As a person who nearly froze and starved, I can tell you the difference between House of Hope and the street is the difference between Heaven and Hell.”

All donations are appreciated and essential since we do not have any major funding through other avenues. We appreciate those businesses and organizations that have given various grants to help help us. It takes about $8,000.00 a month to run this program. We appreciate all those who have partnered with us through the “Hope With a Heart.” This is a pledge to give $1000.00 a year for three years. We would love to talk with anyone interested in becoming a partner with us through that program.

Empty Bowl Supper

Everyone is invited to a special dinner and celebration of the mission at the House of Hope on March 28, 2019 from 5:00 to 7:00. You will be given the opportunity to select a bowl for your keeping. However, you can also fill with soups from various wonderful chefs in our community. The cost is $25.00. This is a great way to come out and have fun with your community, eat some wonderful soup, and be involved in an important mission for reaching out to homeless men in our community.

Dr R. Mark Jordon dropped by the Royal Examiner’s studio and discussed the House of Hope with our publisher Mike McCool:

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Crime/Court

Local man arrested and charged with ‘Possession of Child Pornography’

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Marquise Cameron, 19, of Front Royal, was charged and arrested with two counts of §18.2-374.1:1 Possession of Child Pornography. Photo courtesy of RSW Jail.

On Wednesday, February 13, 2019, Marquise Cameron, 19, of Front Royal, was charged and arrested with two counts of §18.2-374.1:1 Possession of Child Pornography. These charges were placed after a probation search was conducted at Cameron’s residence, 1314 Madison Avenue, where detectives took possession of his cellular devices. No further details are available in this case due to the investigation still pending.

Cameron was transported to the Rappahannock Shenandoah Warren Regional Jail where he was also charged with a violation of his probation. Marquise Cameron was ordered to be held without bond with a pending court date of March 21, 2019 at 9:00am in Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Anyone with any further information in reference to this case is asked to contact Front Royal Police Detective M.R. Ramey at (540) 636-2208 or by email at mramey@frontroyalva.com.

In Virginia, possession of child pornography violates Virginia Code Section 18.2-374.1:1. That statute provides:

  • A. Any person who knowingly possesses child pornography is guilty of a Class 6 felony.
  • B. Any person who commits a second or subsequent violation of subsection A is guilty of a Class 5 felony.

Attorney James S. Abrenio of the Ben Glass Law Firm in Fairfax, says child pornography charges bring with them some of the most strenuous sanctions that can be imposed.

He says whether someone is in “possession” of child pornography can be a very fact specific analysis, and will need to be analyzed in each case. However, Virginia courts have provided some guidance:

  • In Kromer v. Commonwealth, 613 S.E.2d 871 (2005), the court found that possession requires a finding that the defendant intentionally sought out and viewed child pornography on the Internet, knowing that the images would be saved on his computer. It, however, did not require that the defendant actually originally downloaded the images.
  • To be charged with an enhanced Class 5 Felony of Child Pornography, the Papol v. Commonwealth, 754 S.E.2d 918 (2014) Court found that possessing multiple images during a single download was sufficient for a second or subsequent violations, rather than only a single conviction.
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Upcoming Events

Feb
18
Mon
all-day 2nd annual Car Giveaway event @ Auto Care Clinic
2nd annual Car Giveaway event @ Auto Care Clinic
Feb 18 all-day
2nd annual Car Giveaway event @ Auto Care Clinic
PURPOSE: We are seeking nominations for someone in need of a good, used vehicle to get back and forth to work, school or medical appointments, who can afford to own a vehicle, but can’t afford[...]
10:00 am RMA’s Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
RMA’s Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Feb 18 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
RMA's Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Randolph-Macon Academy invites you to come discover what “The Power of Rise” can do for your child at the next open house on Monday, February 18th. Tours begin promptly at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm.[...]
10:00 am The Power of Rise @ Randolph-Macon Academy
The Power of Rise @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Feb 18 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
The Power of Rise @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Randolph-Macon Academy invites you to come discover what “The Power of Rise” can do for your child at the next open house on Monday, February 18th. Tours begin promptly at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. To[...]