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LFCC’s 50th anniversary celebrated with ribbon cutting

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It was only fitting that Professor Frank Borleske was the one wielding the extra-large scissors when the ribbon was cut in honor of LFCC’s fiftieth anniversary on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

The math professor is the only current faculty member who has worked at the college since it first opened its doors to students on Sept. 28, 1970.

“I was there at the dedication ceremony, Oct. 17, 1970 in the old student lounge,” Professor Borleske recently recalled. “It was an absolutely beautiful day. The mountains were very clear. Gov. Mills Godwin spoke about the advantage of having a community college, how it would change lives in this area.”

Godwin also said the mission of the community college was to “educate the young men and women who never thought they would have a chance to go on to college. To many of them, it must seem like a miracle.”



In its 50-year history, LFCC has enrolled more than 400,000 credit and workforce students and presented more than 23,000 with degrees or certificates, President Kim Blosser said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was organized by the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center and the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber. Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Sharon Baroncelli was also in attendance.

Each year, LFCC serves about 20,000 students.

“Imagine what it would be like if we had never been built,” President Blosser said. “My hope for our next 50 years is that it doesn’t take a miracle for so many of our students to earn their credentials or degrees. We have accomplished a great deal in the first 50 years, and we’re looking forward to even greater achievements in the next 50.”

Middletown Mayor Charles Harbaugh IV, an LFCC alumnus and adjunct professor, said any town would love to have a community college in its midst.

“I have had many friends and family members who have come through the community college, mainly at the Luray-Page County Center,” said Page County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center President Regina Hilliard. “May your work continue to bring joy.”

Half of her family has attended LFCC, said Top of Virginia Regional Chamber CEO Cynthia Schneider. Her youngest daughter’s future was turned around by attending LFCC, and she is now studying for her master’s degree.

Coming to LFCC “was a life-changing time for her,” Schneider said. “This nurturing environment is a launch pad for success.”

Learn more about LFCC’s history and view a timeline at www.lfcc.edu/50.

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School Board updated on restroom study, construction & reno projects, amphitheater

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Several projects are underway, completed, or in the design stage for facilities in Warren County Public Schools (WCPS) and property owned by the Warren County School Board.

For instance, all renovations at A.S. Rhodes Elementary School are now complete, WCPS Assistant Superintendent for Administration George “Buck” Smith told the School Board during its Wednesday, September 15 work session.

WCPS Assistant Superintendent for Administration George “Buck” Smith updates the School Board pn projects at various school properties. Photo by Mike McCool

New windows and roller shades have been installed, and the bus loop asphalt was resurfaced prior to the beginning of the new school year. HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems are now functioning as designed, said Smith, adding that Lantz Construction has received the full occupancy permit.


“A.S. Rhodes, as we know, is our smallest school,” Smith said, inviting members of the board to visit it to view all the improvements. “It’s a very beloved school, and it’s nice to see all the things done to it to make it more of a home for our students and our staff.”

Other completed projects include construction at Skyline High School of a greenhouse, which Smith said received its final building inspection from Warren County. At Skyline Middle School, the exterior painting of windows and the front entry columns for the historic part of the school are finished, as was the replacement of one set of concrete stairs and roughly 350 linear feet of sidewalk. There are also several upcoming and ongoing projects, according to Smith.

The Virginia Department of Education, for example, recently approved HVAC replacements at Blue Ridge Technical Center and HVAC replacement and renovations at Leslie Fox Keyser Elementary School.

The School Board during its September 1 regular meeting approved the $1.04 million contract for architectural and engineering services to Grimm & Parker Architecture Inc. for both facilities. The projects will be funded through grants and funds available in the WCPS capital improvement plan. The contract also includes design and engineering work for renovations at Leslie Fox Keyser.

 

Leslie Fox Keyser Elementary School. Photo by Kim Riley

The legal staff for WCPS is currently reviewing the draft contract for Grimm & Parker for the design of the upgrades and renovations, Smith said, noting that the goal is to have the final draft contract to Grimm & Parker this month.

Grimm & Parker was one of 11 architectural firms to submit a proposal in response to the Request for Proposal for Architectural and Engineering Services for the replacement of the HVAC systems at Blue Ridge Technical Center and the HVAC replacement and renovations to Leslie Fox Keyser Elementary School.

The scope of the renovations includes replacement of all HVAC equipment and associated systems, including acoustical suspended ceiling systems and lighting at Blue Ridge Technical Center and the HVAC upgrades and replacements, restroom upgrades to meet federal handicap compliance regulations, new ceilings, lights, paint, flooring, demising partitions between classrooms, and enhanced physical security to include a new secured entrance vestibule at Leslie Fox Keyser Elementary School.

Blue Ridge Technical Center. Photo by Kim Riley.

Restroom study underway
Smith also provided School Board members with an update on a comprehensive study that’s being done throughout the school division on its restroom facilities. The study is focused on privacy enhancements for all students, as well as to ensure the school division remains in compliance with federal and state laws, he said.

The preliminary assessments of WCPS restroom facilities have been conducted at the secondary level by Smith, along with WCPS Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Alan Fox; WCPS Maintenance Director Greg Livesay; and WCPS Superintendent Christopher Ballenger, and the principals — who are part of the division’s comprehensive study team.

All available single-user facilities have been identified to enhance privacy for use by any student, said Smith, and signage for those restrooms has been ordered and will be installed soon. “It doesn’t change what we’ve done in the past,” Smith said, “but it provides an opportunity for our single-user restrooms that we may have had specified for just teachers or faculty.”

The study group also plans to further assess additional partitioning to enhance privacy for restrooms. Once preliminary information has been gathered, then the comprehensive study team will be called together for review, elaboration, and recommendations, Smith added.

Additionally, Livesay is looking into partitions for the larger restroom facilities “to increase privacy,” said Smith.

New amphitheater proposed
During the School Board’s September 15 work session, Samuels Public Library Director of Operations Eileen Grady provided members with an informational presentation on a proposed agreement to build an amphitheater that would be located on the hill between Ressie Jeffries Elementary School and Samuels Public Library.

 

Samuels Public Library Director of Operations Eileen Grady provided members with an informational presentation on a proposed agreement to build an amphitheater. Photo by Mike McCool, Royal Examiner.

The land lies on Ressie Jeffries property owned by the School Board. The lease agreements require the library to obtain approval from both the Warren County Board of Supervisors and the School Board for any renovations or improvements to the property. Library representatives also gave supervisors a presentation on the amphitheater during their June work session.

From a programming perspective, an outdoor amphitheater would offer many opportunities for not just the library, but also for the schools and the community, Grady explained. “If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be nimble,” she said. “We need to have multiple ways to approach services.”

Melody Hotek, who serves on the Library Board of Trustees and volunteers at the library, said money from the estate of her husband, Jeff Hotek, who passed away in 2018, was left to Samuels Public Library for the amphitheater. She told board members that both the Samuels Library Board of Trustees and the Friends of the Samuels Library Board of Directors support the project. “The vision for this is for library programs, school programs, and community programs,” Melody Hotek said. “I just think it’s going to be a tremendous asset.”

Melody Hotek shares her vision of the amphitheater with the Warren County School Board. She motions to the perfect grade on the hillside for the amphitheater. Photo by Mike McCool, Royal Examiner.

Dan Hotek, a local engineer, and Jeff Hotek’s brother would assist on the project. He provided School Board members with details on the project, including current photographs of the proposed location, possible designs, cost estimates, safety considerations, uses, and fundraising possibilities.

For instance, one design of the amphitheater shows a covered 40-by-24-feet elevated stage area at the hill’s bottom, with five tiers of rock wall seating in the hillside facing the stage. The seating is about 40 feet in length and the rows would be built about six feet apart, Dan Hotek said. There would be seating to accommodate roughly 120 adults or 180 children. Additional grass seating would be permitted around the stage and stone rows.

Proposed amphitheater design. Watch the presentation on the video link below. Photo and video by Mike McCool, Royal Examiner.

“If we do it right,” constructing the amphitheater “should have some draw” for tourism, as well as musical groups looking for venues to play, said Dan Hotek. “Ultimately, we need your go-ahead,” he told School Board members.

Superintendent Ballenger said the WCPS attorney will review the proposed agreement and then bring it before the Warren County School Board for action at a future meeting.

Board members already seem on board with the idea. James Wells, for instance, suggested an informal straw vote be taken as he’s ready to say yes to the project.

To watch the School Board meeting in its entirety, watch the exclusive Royal Examiner video online here.

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Front Royal Moose Lodge 829 supports Fire and Rescue initiative

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Recently, the Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services partnered with the Front Royal Moose Lodge 829 to increase the safety and accountability of our local emergency responders operating on structure fire-type incidents.

Over the past several months, Warren County has worked alongside the Winchester City and Frederick County Fire and Rescue Departments to develop a regional workgroup. This workgroup was tasked with focusing on safety, accountability, and standardizing responses to emergencies in a regional concept.

“One of the first initiatives implemented by the workgroup was a regionalized Incident Command and Personal Accountability System Program. This program will focus on standardizing emergency operations of a fire incident, establishing incident command and personal accountability of all individuals on the incident throughout the region” stated Captain Zachary Burrows, who serves as Warren County’s representative on this workgroup. This initiative will require an unfunded mandate to change the style and design of our incident command boards to become compliant with the regionalized concept. As such, our department turned to the local community to seek alternative ways to fund this potentially live-saving program” Burrows continued.

“Upon hearing the need of our local Fire and Rescue Department, Lodge 829 was eager to assist in ensuring the safety and accountability of our firefighters and emergency responders while operating on an emergency scene. We immediately approved the appropriation of $3,500.00 of our Heart of Community Funds to support the Fire and Rescue Department” stated Wayne Sealock, Front Royal Moose Lodge Treasurer who coordinated the efforts on behalf of the lodge.


WCFR Officials join Lodge 829 Officials in a check presentation ceremony

The safety and accountability of our emergency responders have been a top priority of Fire Chief James Bonzano and his leadership since taking over as Fire Chief of the department in January of this year. “These funds will be utilized to outfit all emergency response apparatus in our response system with regionalized incident command and accountability tracking boards,” stated Fire Chief James Bonzano. “Our career and volunteer responders have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to operate in a safe and accountable manner, these funds will provide the much-needed tools necessary to do just that” stated the Chief.

For more information on the Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Service or to learn how to join your community fire station, visit www.warrencountyfire.com

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Chamber News

Royal Tint & Detailing opens in Front Royal

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Nike Foster Cales of the Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce, along with fellow Chamber members, welcomed Greg Bell of Royal Tint & Detailing to our community. Royal Tint & Detailing is located at 507 N. Royal Avenue (at the Liberty).

Royal Tint & Detailing in protecting customers’ investments such as homes or vehicles by keeping them in good condition. The company’s professional technicians offer auto detailing, window tinting, and residential power-washing services with a guarantee. The trained and dedicated staff gives each car and house the attention it deserves while providing great customer service.

  • Auto Detailing: Vehicles of all sizes get a thorough hand wash, cleaning, and waxing to help preserve their value.
  • Auto Window Tinting: This service aims to block heat and upholstery-fading UV rays, reduce dangerous glare, and give a sense of privacy.
  • Power Washing: Professionals give dirty decks, patios, driveways, and home exteriors a deep cleaning.

Find out more about Royal Tint & Detailing on their Facebook page.

 

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VDOT: Warren County Traffic alert for September 20 – 24, 2021

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The following is a list of highway work that may affect traffic in Warren County during the coming weeks. Scheduled work is subject to change due to inclement weather and material supplies. Motorists are advised to watch for slow-moving tractors during mowing operations. When traveling through a work zone, be alert to periodic changes in traffic patterns and lane closures.

*NEW* or *UPDATE* indicates a new or revised entry since last week’s report.

INTERSTATE 66
*NEW* Mile marker 7 to 8, eastbound and westbound – Alternating lane closures for inspection of bridge over the railway and Shenandoah River, Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Mile marker 7 to 15, eastbound and westbound – Overnight alternating lane closures for paving operations, 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. through September 19.

INTERSTATE 81
No lane closures were reported.


PRIMARY ROADS
Route 55 (Strasburg Road) – Overnight mobile lane closures for line-painting operations between Shenandoah County line and Front Royal town limits, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. through September 23.

SECONDARY ROADS
Route 624 (Happy Creek Road) – Flagger traffic control between Front Royal eastern town limits and Route 647 (Dismal Hollow Road) for the safety improvement project, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Estimated project completion December 10.

Vegetation management may take place district-wide on various routes. Motorists are reminded to use extreme caution when traveling through work zones.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at www.511Virginia.org.

The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile-friendly website at my.vdot.virginia.gov. Agents are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Meteor latest explanation for BOOM and earth shaking in Shenandoah County Friday morning

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A meteor strike has been proposed, if not yet confirmed late Friday afternoon, to explain a loud BOOM and consequent reports of earth-shaking in Shenandoah County on Friday morning, September 17. Initial reports, including social media sites, of an explosion or earthquake, were found to be unsubstantiated. No explosion was found to have occurred in the area and the USGS (U.S. Geological Service) reported no earthquake in the region.

So, eyes have turned toward the sky for a possible explanation. It was noted that meteors coming into the earth’s atmosphere often make sonic boom sounds, particularly if they are traveling at supersonic (speed of sound) speeds, which they do many times over.

But then so, one might imagine, do UFO’s or UAP’s (Unidentified Flying Objects or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) popular in, not only science fiction circles, but military funding ones these days as well.

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Steve Foreman announces write-in campaign For Warren County Board of Supervisors-Fork District

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Area resident Steve Foreman is announcing his write-in candidacy for the Warren County Board of Supervisors, representing the Fork District.

Steve Foreman. write-in candidate for Board of Supervisors, Fork District

Foreman, who has a background in communication tech and a B.A. in Business Administration from National-Louis University, feels he is well-suited to help the board with ongoing plans to expand broadband in the area. A former project manager for Sprint who supervised multi-state engineering projects, Foreman says that getting broadband expansion right will depend on asking the right questions as providers and county officials move forward.

“Our decisions need to be based on facts, not opinions. I bring a fresh viewpoint into county leadership and can build on the progress started by the last additions to the board.”


Earlier in his career, Foreman was a lineman in Northern Indiana and plans to work with the school board to make sure they have all the resources needed for vocational training to help educate students looking for careers in new technologies like high-speed internet and solar power.

“We have a lot of great teachers and people in our schools, but ask anyone in education, and they’ll tell you they need more. I consider myself a fiscal conservative, but as a father, I know the best investment we can make is in our kids’ education.”

“Coming off the farm in Indiana where I was raised, I was grateful to receive good job training to become a telephone lineman. That work meant a lot to me, even when it was hard because it meant I was earning a good living and doing something useful, keeping my community connected.”

“Today’s technology and jobs are different, but the need for training is just as important, which is why I want to be sure when we approve budgets, they include programs for all kinds of students, the ones with college in their sights, but also the ones who want training to fast-track a more hands-on career.”

Foreman feels that a well-trained job force is a part of what it takes to draw business to the area. “I want Warren County to be the place where our kids can grow up and decide to raise their own kids right here if they want to. Too often, they feel they need to move away or lose time to a long commute to make a living wage, but if we get this right, we’ll have the jobs, education, and infrastructure to make it possible for them to build their futures right here.”

In matters of infrastructure, Foreman says he feels that Warren County is on a good path, but he wants to lend his experience and perspective to move plans forward.

“In the aftermath of the EDA scandal, a large turnover in county management has actually had a positive effect. Once the dust settled, the EDA put a lot of good measures in place to make their work more transparent. A lot of progress has been made with respect to both the town and county in terms of relations and cooperation. Let’s add to that and keep the progress going.”

Area residents who want to learn more about Foreman’s plans or volunteer to help the campaign can visit www.foremanforfork.com/connect or reach out to campaign spokesperson Paul Miller at info@foremanforfork.com.

For updates, you can follow the campaign at ForemanForFork.com and on Facebook at Steve Foreman for Fork District Supervisor.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Sep
19
Sun
8:00 am 2021 Gnarled Orchard Hard Cider ... @ Valley View Farm
2021 Gnarled Orchard Hard Cider ... @ Valley View Farm
Sep 19 @ 8:00 am – Sep 20 @ 12:30 pm
2021 Gnarled Orchard Hard Cider Challenge @ Valley View Farm
Come enjoy the challenging routes at Sky Meadows State Park and Valley View Farm, home of the Gnarled Orchard. These courses are knotty, knot nice at the farm as they are a mix of cross[...]
Sep
20
Mon
2:00 pm Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Sep 20 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
WARREN COALITION OFFERS FREE TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAINING IN SEPTEMBER Have you ever felt alone? Do you wonder why you react the way you do? Do you work with children? If you answered yes to any of[...]
Sep
23
Thu
6:00 pm Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery
Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery
Sep 23 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery
The Col. John S. Mosby Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, will lead the annual “Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony” commemorating the fallen of Mosby’s command at 6 pm on Thursday, September 23rd, at Front Royal’s[...]
Sep
25
Sat
10:00 am 3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
Sep 25 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
3rd Annual French & Indian War Weekend @ Abram's Delight
Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, from 10 am to 5 pm. 18th Century Colonial encampments with historical interpretation of British, French and Native Americans on the Western frontier of the Virginia Colony during[...]
10:00 am National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sep 25 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. A blight decimated American Chestnut trees in North America in the 1920s. One hundred years later, Sky Meadows State Park has teamed up with the Virginia Chapter of the[...]
11:00 am Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sep 25 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Stop by the Friends of Sky Meadows Farmer’s Market for tasty preserved products, heirloom vegetables, eggs and more. Pick from seasonal vegetables grown in Sky Meadows’ authentic Kitchen Garden, July through September. Grab[...]
Sep
26
Sun
10:00 am 3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
Sep 26 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
3rd Annual French & Indian War Weekend @ Abram's Delight
Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, from 10 am to 5 pm. 18th Century Colonial encampments with historical interpretation of British, French and Native Americans on the Western frontier of the Virginia Colony during[...]
Sep
27
Mon
2:00 pm Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Sep 27 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
WARREN COALITION OFFERS FREE TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAINING IN SEPTEMBER Have you ever felt alone? Do you wonder why you react the way you do? Do you work with children? If you answered yes to any of[...]
Sep
28
Tue
7:00 pm Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Sep 28 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Dominion Ridge Academy is proud to host this free community event for parents featuring international speaker, author, and comedian Christopher O’Shaughnessy. Come enjoy an evening of laughter and inspiration as Chris addresses the themes of[...]
Oct
2
Sat
4:00 pm Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oct 2 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
October 2, 2021 from 4pm-8pm All are welcome to attend the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest at Wakefield Country Day School. Loosen your Leiderhosen and get ready for Oktoberfest! This year, the Edelweiss Band is coming to[...]