The Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services and the Office of the Fire Marshal have confirmed that a Friday, July 5th fire incident which occurred at 24 Markham Farm Road in the Blue Mountain area of Warren County was a result of a cloud-to-ground contact lighting strike.
Firefighters arrived on the scene and reported smoke evident from the attic area and throughout the first floor of the home. Firefighters forced entry into the home and initiated fire suppression along with search and rescue efforts.
Upon entering the structure, firefighters transmitted a “Mayday Firefighter Down” radio call for two firefighters when the first floor structural members of the floor system collapsed, causing the firefighters to fall through the floor and into basement. Both firefighters were able to self-evacuate from the basement area and were treated on the scene for non-life threatening injuries. Both firefighters were transported to the local center for further evaluation and have since returned to work. After the incident, Fire Chief Richard Mabie ordered a detailed review of this incidents response and action plan and the “near-miss” of two of our emergency responders. As a result, the Office of the Fire Marshal and the WCFR Training Division will complete a WCFR Significant Incident Review and train all members on its findings.
As part of the fire incident investigation, the Warren County Fire Marshal’s Office has been working with the National Weather Service and other weather organizations to perform a detailed look into the lighting strike events due to the significant thunder storms experienced in our area during the evening of July 4th. Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico stated “It has been determined that between the hours of 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm a total of 95 cloud-to-ground lighting strikes made contact with the ground with in a 3 mile radius of the home. The most significant lightning strike was recorded at 7:33 pm which measured a peak current of 76.9 (kA) and was found to have occurred in the immediate area of the home. This information was obtained by utilizing sophisticated lighting strike/ground contact technology and is consistent with the physical evidence found as part of the fire investigation process.
Fire Chief Richard Mabie stated “while this type of incident is rare and just proves that severe weather advisories and warnings should be taken seriously whenever issued by the National Weather Service.”
According to the National Weather Service; a thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people some years than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding. High winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages. Every year people are killed or seriously injured because they didn’t hear or ignored severe thunderstorms warnings.
By following these severe weather and lighting safety tips, you can reduce the risk of injury and could even save your life:
• Listen to local news, NOAA Weather Radio or monitor social media for emergency updates. Watch for signs of a storm, like darkening skies, lightning flashes or increasing wind.
• If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning. If thunder roars, go indoors! Don’t wait for rain. Lightning can strike out of a clear blue sky. Avoid electrical equipment and corded telephones. Cordless phones, cell phones and other wireless handheld devices are safe to use.
• Keep away from windows and doors.
• If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends.
• If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe.
• Avoid open fields, the top of a hill or a ridge top.
• Stay away from tall, isolated trees or other tall objects. If you are in a forest, stay near a lower stand of trees.
• If you are in a group, spread out to avoid the current traveling between group members.
• If you are camping in an open area, set up camp in a valley, ravine or other low area. Remember, a tent offers NO protection from lighting.
• Stay away from water, wet items, such as ropes, and metal objects, such as fences and poles. Water and metal do not attract lightning but they are excellent conductors of electricity. The current from a lightning flash will easily travel for long distances.
Gainesville: University Boulevard Lane Closure the Week of August 26th
GAINESVILLE – The right lane of southbound University Boulevard is scheduled to be closed between Route 29 and I-66 from 9 a.m. Monday, August 26, to noon on Friday, August 30. The closure is needed so that construction crews can install curbs and gutters and pave the entrance to the new University Boulevard (Gainesville) Park and Ride Lot.
The first portion of the lot will open this October with more than 960 parking spaces available for carpooling, vanpools, and commuter bus service during construction of the Transform 66 Project. When fully completed in late 2022, the facility will provide over 2,000 park and ride spaces with access to and from the I-66 Express Lanes from University Boulevard.
All work is weather dependent and will be rescheduled if inclement conditions occur.
Learn more about the I-66 Outside the Beltway Project and sign up for project updates and lane closure alerts at Transform66.org.
FRIBA promotes Town with ‘Cardinal’ ornaments, annual Taste of the Town
There’s a fun new project in town featuring the beautiful Virginia state bird: the cardinal.
The Front Royal Independent Business Alliance (FRIBA) members with the assistance of American Business Alliance are partnering to help stimulate local business growth in town, and they are doing so with cute, kiln fired clay cardinals. The goal of their partnership is to continue to create unity within the community by celebrating the anniversary of the “Virginia is for Lovers” campaign. With the 50th anniversary of the campaign coming up, FRIBA wants to celebrate by creating clay Christmas ornaments in the shape of cardinals and invite the community to paint them for an $8 donation. The cardinals will be used to help fund community love letters to bring the community together and spread the love.
Arline Link with Explore Art and Clay at the Kiln Doctor and George and Karen McIntyre from The Apple House introduced us to the project.
Link also wants to spread the word about the Taste of the Town event. A family focused, non-alcoholic community event hosted on September 27 from 6-9 P.M. on East Main Street, Taste of the Town promises to bring the best culinary aspects of Downtown Front Royal to light. East Main Street will be closed off for the event and the night will promise hours of family friendly fun.
In addition, on August 22 at the Open House Middle of Main there will be another community event showing a series of films featuring the history behind the Save Your Town project.
To learn more about Cookie Cutter Cardinals you can contact Arline Link at the Explore Art and Clay at the Kiln Doctor, (540) 636-6016.
Watch Arline Link and George McIntyre walked us through the process of how the cardinals are made in this video:
Invitation to bid: WCPS A.S. Rhodes Elementary School Renovation
You are invited to bid on a general contract for Warren County Public Schools, A.S. Rhodes Elementary School Renovation for the Warren County School Board. This project generally consists of approximately 21,070 SF of renovations, including but not limited to new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. All bids shall be on a lump sum basis.
Bids shall be received until 2:00 P.M. local prevailing time on Thursday, September 19, 2019, to the attention of Melody Sheppard, Assistant Superintendent for Administration, in the Board Room of the Warren County Public School Administration Building, 210 N. Commerce Avenue, Front Royal, VA 22630, at which time they will be opened publicly and read aloud. Bids received after this time will not be accepted. All interested parties are invited to attend.
Drawings and specifications may be examined at the Office of the Architect/Engineer, the Warren County School Board office, and at the following locations:
Valley Construction News
426 W. Campbell Avenue
Roanoke, VA 24016
Alex Gugliada | The Blue Book Bldg. & Construction Network
800 E. Main Street
Jefferson Valley, NY 10535
Builders’ Exchange, Inc.
3207 Hermitage Rd.
Richmond, VA 23227
DODGE Data & Analytics
3315 Central Avenue
Hot Springs, AR 71913
30 Technology Parkway South | Suite 100
Norcross, GA 30092-2912
400 SW 7th Street
Stuart, FL 34994
Plans and specifications can be obtained via download from ShareFile upon receipt of a nonrefundable check in the amount of $25.00. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for ShareFile access. Upon receipt of check and valid email address, OWPR will provide a password with instructions on accessing and downloading plans and specifications. Hard copies of plans and specifications can be obtained from OWPR upon receipt of a nonrefundable check in the amount of $400.00. Plans and specifications can be shipped for additional charge. Contact OWPR for further details.
Bids shall be accompanied by a bid guarantee of not less than 5% of the amount of the bid, which may be a certified check or cashier’s check, or a bid bond of 5% of the amount of the bid, made payable to Warren County School Board. A performance bond, payment bond and a material and labor bond will be required and the cost shall be included in the bid price.
Bidders are required under Title 54.1, Chapter 11, Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, to be licensed as a “Class A Contractor” before submitting a bid of one hundred twenty thousand ($120,000) dollars or more; or to be licensed as a “Class B Contractor” before submitting a bid of ten thousand ($10,000) dollars or more but less than one hundred twenty thousand ($120,000) dollars; or be licensed as a “Class C Contractor” before submitting a bid of no more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Each Bidder will be required to give their State Registration Number on their proposal. All non-resident contractors and subcontractors bidding the work described herein shall register with the Department of Labor and Industry under the provisions of Section 40.1-30 of the Code of Virginia.
The Owner reserves the right to waive irregularities and to reject any or all bids.
A pre-bid conference will be held on September 12, 2019 beginning at 2:00 P.M. at the Warren County Public School Administration Building, 210 N. Commerce Avenue, Front Royal, VA 22630 with a tour of the school afterwards. The school is located at 224 W. Strasburg Rd., Front Royal, VA 22630. This will provide an opportunity to answer questions and explain any items requiring further clarification.
Bids shall be binding for a period of sixty (60) days from the date on which bids are opened.
Lucky Star Reunion packs Front Royal Brewing Co. with memories of times past
As former Lucky Star Lounge co-owner and oft-bartender Trevor Lipton said Saturday evening, August 17 at the Front Royal Brewing Company in introducing the newest incarnation of the first and last band to play at his establishment, this reunion was more than a reuniting of former clientele and staff of a fondly-remembered eating, drinking and entertainment establishment, and more like an extended family reunion.
And to the backdrop of headliner AfterSHOCK, formerly known as The Shockers, formerly known as EyeSoar – happily reunited with guitarist Pat Flowers and often guest singer Renee Flowers – the evening had exactly THAT feel, as old friends and acquaintances embraced and reminisced about good times, lost times, and times to come wherever and whenever they might be encountered.
The Lucky Star spanned a nine-year period between 2005 and 2013, at 205A East Main Street, not far from the site of the Front Royal Brewing Company-hosted reunion event – and a shout out to the staff for its handling of the large, occasionally-demanding and hungry, and thirsty on a steamy night, crowd. The entrees, appetizers and home-brewed craft beers kept the enthusiastic crowd fueled for more.
Thank you to Lucky Star founding partners Trevor and Lorena Lipton; absent out west but fondly-remembered co-owners Patrick and Shawn Patterson; Star “spiritual advisor” Roxanne Bauserman, family and friends; past and future Zombie Walkers; and everyone else for the memories and opportunity to reunite and fondly recall the bonding characteristics of a true English and early Americana-style pub and eatery – the kind where revolutions, or at least minor rebellions, are planned.
‘Clear the Shelter’ day sees 26 animals in ‘forever’ homes
The Julia Wagner Animal Shelter in Front Royal came within a whisker or two of its target on Saturday, August 17, by adopting out 26 animals on the annual “Clear the Shelter” Day, a result Executive Director Meghan Bowers said was “highly satisfactory.”
Bowers had set a high watermark for the special day with extended hours and a full staff on duty. In an interim report to me when I dropped by in early afternoon, she told me of six adoptions.
At the end of the day, when another Examiner staffer, Roger Bianchini, had stopped in to take photos, the totals stood at 15 “forever homes” for dogs and 11 for cats, just short of the target of 30 overall. Adoption fees were excused for the event.
Looking backward, then forward, Bowers reported a net total of $16,794 for last month’s “Waggin’ for Dragons” popular fundraiser.
“It’s not as much as previous years,” she said, but a healthy total since the event was dropped last year and the number of competitors – eight boats, 160 paddlers – last month was down by half.
She expects “Waggin'” will be back to a full complement of competitors in future years.
Looking forward, Bowers announced “Putt for Paws” at the Bowling Green Country Club on October 11. Teams of four compete on the 18-hole golf course, followed by dinner and door prizes. Price of entry for another key fundraising event is $400 per team.
Then the Humane Society of Warren County, headed by Ellen Aders, will stage one of its biggest attractions: “Tales & Ales,” a dinner – the 8th annual – with silent auction, cash prizes including $1,000 that goes to a lucky $35 entry ticket holder. “Tales & Ales, usually a sellout, is scheduled for November 16. More information on both these events will be reported here as they approach.
And remember, not all the shelter’s animals were adopted – some are still waiting for that special, loving person to take them home too…
Fireball Arcade finally has its Grand Opening
Fireball Arcade has been open for about a year at 218 East Main Street in Front Royal, but is just now getting around to their Grand Opening.
On August 17th the Fireball Arcade held its Grand Opening with a Ribbon Cutting ceremony by the Front Royal Warren County Chamber of Commerce.
The Fireball is an 80’s themed Pinball and Video Game Arcade. They also have a Birthday room rental available! Share your childhood arcade experiences with your children.