On several occasions starting on November 24, 2019, residents of a rural property in Warren County encountered bats inside their house. Since that time, three of these bats were captured and two of them tested positive for the rabies virus.
“Any physical encounter with a bat—a bite, scratch, or lick, a collision with a flying bat, or even finding a bat in a room with a sleeping person—should be considered a rabies exposure,” stated Lord Fairfax Health District Director Dr. Colin Greene, “and anyone so exposed should seek medical attention immediately.”
Rabies is a virus that causes a fatal brain infection in mammals, including humans. Once symptoms begin, death follows in nearly all cases, but a series of shots given soon after a person is exposed can prevent the disease from occurring. Rabies virus is spread through the saliva of an animal that is actively sick with the disease, transmitted through a bite or scratch, or a lick on broken skin or mucous membranes. Unlike other common sources of rabies—raccoons, foxes, skunks, feral cats and the occasional ground hog—bats have a much higher level of mobility through flight, and their very small mouths make it possible for a sleeping person to be unaware of having been bitten. Bats also present a rabies risk over a wide area, in every state except Hawaii.
Bats are a part of the natural environment and offer many benefits, including insect control. Only a very small percentage of bats carry rabies at any one time, but it is not possible to tell by looking whether a bat has rabies, and bats in unusual places, such as inside a dwelling or outside in the daytime, are more likely to be affected. Once again, any physical contact between a human and a wild bat, or a bat present in a room with a sleeping person, is a potential rabies exposure. Affected persons should be seen by a healthcare provider right away.
The health department further advises:
- Never approach or touch wild animals, especially any raccoon, fox, skunk or bat, especially if it is behaving oddly or if it is seen in the daylight.
- If you find a bat in a room where a human has been sleeping, that person must be seen by a medical professional immediately.
- If you have bats in your attic or other area where you may physically encounter them, strongly consider having them removed by a professional.
- Avoid stray cats and dogs. Feral or unknown cats and dogs may also carry rabies. Report bites or scratches from these animals to your physician or the health department.
- Vaccinate all cats, dogs and ferrets against rabies (even if they don’t go outdoors) and keep their shots up to date. Vaccinate working barn cats as well, for their protection and yours.
- Do not feed wild animals or stray cats or dogs. Eliminate outdoor food sources around the home.
- Keep pets confined to your property or walk them on a leash.
- If one of your domestic animals is bitten or otherwise interacts with a wild mammal, notify the local health department and animal control officer at once, and have the animal seen by a veterinarian.
If you are bitten, scratched, or licked by any of these animals, seek medical attention immediately. Rabies is fatal to both animals and humans once symptoms begin, but it can be prevented in humans if they receive vaccine and medication soon after exposure.
Finally, if in doubt, or if you have a question, call your local health department, or the Frederick/Winchester office at 540-722-3480.
Additional information on rabies is available from the Virginia Department of Health at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/rabies-control/.
The Lord Fairfax Health District serves residents in the city of Winchester and Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties. For more information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/lord-fairfax/.
Rotary Club of Warren County collecting donations for local thermal shelter
Do you have a middle school student at Skyline Middle School? The Skyline Middle School Interact Club is collecting new sheets and blankets for our local thermal shelter. Please make sure all blankets and sheets are still in the new wrappers/containers. White twin sheets and light colored blankets are the best and are easier to clean.
If you are not familiar with our Front Royal Thermal Shelter, here is some information provided to us by Michelle Smeltzer, a member of the Rotary Club of Warren County and Community Liaison for the Department of Social Services:
“The Front Royal Thermal Shelter gives the homeless of Warren County a place to stay warm during the winter months. The shelter is not in a fixed location – rather it is a cooperative effort by eight churches in the area, including New Hope Bible Church, Front Royal United Methodist Church, Front Royal Presbyterian Church, Marlow Heights Baptist Church, Riverton United Methodist Church, Virginia Hills Church, First Baptist Church and Dynamic Life Church. The guests are provided supper at about 7:30 each evening, and the volunteers join them. After supper, the volunteers join them and they play a variety of games, watch TV, or simply lie down on their cots after a tiring day. As the guests noted, this makes them feel as if someone really cares about them. Michelle said this makes a world of difference to them, because they too often feel alone and abandoned, as if the outside world ignores them. The following morning several of the churches provide breakfast, and some provide a bagged lunch when they leave for the day. The guests are assigned a cot when they arrive at the church, and that is their bed for a week. There are separate sleeping areas for men and women, and the program does not allow guests or volunteers with the program until they are at least 18 years of age because they are a no-barrier shelter. This year the shelter has also made arrangements, with the help of the Warren County Humane Society, to provide shelter for homeless pets of the guests.”
Remember – there are still many cold days ahead! Current update: The Front Royal Thermal Shelter’s greatest need is cash donations at this time: Here is an easy PayPal link. You can also visit their website to donate or learn more.
Together we are making a huge difference in this community! Thanks to all!
R-MA J-Term class builds hydroponics lab
On Thursday, January 23, 2020, Randolph-Macon Academy will introduce its new hydroponics lab to the R-MA community during an open house from 3 pm to 4 pm. The lab features five different kinds of hydroponic systems, all of which have been built by students taking the “Hydroponics and the Food We Eat” J-Term (January Term) class. Each system has been built with materials purchased at Lowes or on Amazon – such as gutters, plastic containers, hoses, boards and lights – developing systems the students can later recreate for themselves at home.
“We’ve been kind of hands-off,” commented Lynette Lane, the R-MA science teacher who is leading the project. “Sometimes I have to show them very specific steps or techniques, but then they have to figure out how to get it done. It’s been really great. Students have stepped up to do things that have really surprised me.”
The lab includes various systems, such as a Nutrient Film Technique (NFT), which will allow the students to harvest lettuce weekly. A deep water culture (DWC) is a non-circulating water system in which the students will grow basil, chard, and other greens. The students will grow microgreens in a bottom watered, coco coir system. The R-MA lab’s Dutch buckets will contain strawberries and peppers. The final system the students will build is a flood and drain one used for seedling propagation.
An earthworm composting process has also been created; this will make use of any leftover organic matter from the lab systems. In early May, earthworm castings will be removed from this system to be used as nutrient-dense fertilizer for spring plantings.
“I think it’s so important for kids to see where food comes from, because most of them just don’t know,” said Ms. Lane. “And a lot of these students come to R-MA from countries where growing food is problematic, because they don’t have land, they don’t have water. They can take this back. It uses 95% less water than conventional methods of agriculture.”
Although the J-Term ends January 24th, a hydroponics intramural class and the Environmental Science and Biology classes will continue to grow the plants throughout the spring semester. The lab will start again in the fall, and run through the school year, providing leafy greens and microgreens for the community.
‘We’re not there yet’ – NAACP honors Dr. King’s memory with a call to continued commitment
At 1:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, January 20, area clergy, citizens, Town and County elected officials gathered at the Villa Avenue Community Center for the annual Warren-Page County NAACP “Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
Keynote speaker the Reverend Edward Dawkins struck a recurring theme of “We’re not there yet” in remarks delivered with humor – “Yes, I am white” Dawkins acknowledged to some laughter – but more pointedly with love and admiration for the work, words, prayers, devotion and sacrifice of the American Civil Rights leader assassinated prior to his 40th year in April 1968.
That theme, oft repeated by Master of Ceremony Reverend James Starks – “Amen”; NAACP Chapter President Alford D. Carter III, among others, called on those present not to be “whiners” about our collective national, human and individual failures to reach that dream of Dr. King’s that every person in our nation, and even on our planet, be judged by the “content of their character” and of their soul, rather than on racial, ethnic and class stereotypes. Rather, those present and all committed to that common cause were asked to become more proactive in helping achieve the kind of human unity that sees beyond the kind of prejudices created out of ignorance and fear of the personal, cultural, even religious differences that mankind brings to the table.
Reverend Dawkins called on the clergy present to renew the type of joint worship across church, even particular denominational boundaries, that had been previously explored here with some success.
In his Benediction, another white clergyman, Bishop Vince McLaughlin, called King a prophet given by God to those committed both then, now and as long as need be, to the cause of human unity across racial, class and national boundaries. “And I say that in total, clear evidence in his prayers,” McLaughlin told those present. So fittingly, McLaughlin’s near the end of ceremony Benediction quoted at length from King’s own words of prayer.
“When you study somebody’s prayers, you get to their heart,” McLaughlin told the packed Villa Avenue Community Center meeting room. From his own religious studies and those of King’s life, McLaughlin also called the civil rights leader “a superb Biblical scholar” and “a brilliant practical theologian”.
From two of Dr. King’s prayers, McLaughlin quoted, “We humbly confess that we have not loved thee with all of our hearts, our souls and our minds; and we also confess that we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us. We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses, rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed and evidenced in the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We often give in order to receive. We are good at loving our friends and hating our enemies. We go the first mile but dare not travel the second. We forgive, at least we say we do, but we dare not forget. And so as we look within ourselves, we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives is a history of an internal revolt against You and Your principals …
“So finally, my Holy God, my Father, I commend to thee this intercession and pray that You would move mightily in us because we have self-inflicted and caused a distress in our minds and our bodies because we have not followed the mandate of love. Move mightily amongst us, renew within us a devotion to love unconditionally, regardless. And we bring this in the name and the spirit of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”
The celebration of King’s life and work was punctuated by two gospel musical interludes led spectacularly by Elder Elizabeth Roberts; and a recorded closing of the Civil Rights Anthem “We Shall Overcome” saw hands joined throughout the crowd between black and white alike, swaying to that musically and lyrically expressed hope and dream that someday, we may as individuals, as a nation, and as peoples sharing one small planet among many in a universe of unknown diversity, find unity of spirit, rather than separation of purpose to selfish and fear-driven ends.
Beth Medved Waller receives 2019 VA/West VA Keller Williams Regional “Superstar” Award
Beth Waller, a Warren County top producing Realtor and founder of the nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, was recognized by Keller Williams Realty Virginia/West Virginia Region as a 2019 “Caught-in-Culture” Superstar. Out of the nearly five thousand agents that make up the large multi-state region, Waller was one of three agents receiving the annual honor for their real estate and impact contributions during 2019.
In her acceptance presentation, Waller was asked to share some background around her 501(c)(3) nonprofit, her origins of volunteerism, highlights of her real estate career and motivational tips for the audience. “This was my first experience speaking on stage about my passion projects, and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to share my story and some ideas with fellow Realtors. I was moved by the line of people afterwards wanting to chat with me as well as the letters and messages I received after the event from people who were inspired. It’s another of the many opportunities I’ll always be thankful for as a KW agent,” said Beth of the honor.
During her presentation, Beth was asked to share about her initiatives that range from a $24,000+ per year Main Street meeting space she funds for her Front Royal/Warren County community, the $12,000+ she’s given through the years in scholarships to local seniors, the nonprofit center in which she provides free office space in Front Royal, her interest-free loans to help those in need and her community video interviews. She also discussed her international mission work which includes well over $25,000 in personal contributions to a brand new primary school in a remote village in Uganda (named the Front Royal Light up Academy) in addition to the funding of a music studio and financially supporting vulnerable children in the ghettos of Uganda’s capital city of
Lee Beaver, Regional Co-Owner and OP shared as she presented the award, “You’re just incredible, as an agent, as a person, and you’ve not only impacted your community but not impacted people overseas, it’s just amazing. We appreciate what you’re doing and we are blessed to have you in our company.” Waller received many other agent sales awards for monthly sales production units for the Manassas Market Center office throughout 2019. “I remain so blessed by all who have supported my real estate career including my family, friends, clients and especially my KW Transaction Coordinator Bridget Rosensteel. I’m glad to have found a home with the thriving KW Manassas office and still have the ability to have my office in downtown Front Royal,” she added.
Waller was also honored to be selected among America’s Top 100 Real Estate Agents® for Virginia – Greater Virginia in 2019.
I-66 Outside the Beltway Project: Lane closures and traffic changes – Week of January 19, 2020
Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project construction continues throughout the corridor during daytime and overnight hours as weather conditions allow. Current activities include:
• Bridge demolition at Route 29 in Centreville
• Constructing bridge foundations at Compton Road, Route 28, Route 123, Vaden Drive, and I-495
• Small charge dynamite operations along I-66 East and West near Route 28
• Bridge deck work for new collector-distributor road over Route 234 Business (Sudley Road) and new Route 28 bridges over I-66
• Relocating water lines at Jermantown Road, Stringfellow Road, and Gallows Road
• Constructing new utility duct bank and relocating underground utilities along I-66 East
• Constructing retaining walls along I-66 and Route 28
• Corridor-wide roadway maintenance as needed
The Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project will add express lanes stretching 22.5 miles from the Capital Beltway to Route 29 in Gainesville, rebuild major interchanges along the I-66 corridor, create thousands of new park and ride spaces, and expand trail options for cyclists and pedestrians. Learn more at Transform66.org.
Upcoming Lane Closures and Traffic Changes
The following planned lane closures are expected to have significant traffic impacts. All work is subject to change based on weather and schedule. Find the latest information on travel conditions and work zones by visiting 511virginia.org or downloading the Virginia511 app.
ROUTE 29 / GAINESVILLE
No significant traffic impacts scheduled.
ROUTE 234 BUSINESS (SUDLEY ROAD) / MANASSAS
I-66 East and West between Sudley Road and Bull Run Rest Area
Ramps from Sudley Road to I-66 East
Tuesday, Jan. 21, through Friday, Jan. 24: 11 a.m. to noon
Temporary 15-minute stoppages of traffic on I-66 East and West for blasting operations. Additionally, stoppages will occur on the ramp from Sudley Road to I-66 East. Stoppages may also be needed on Vandor Lane.
ROUTE 28 (SULLY ROAD) / CENTREVILLE
I-66 East and West between Route 29 Centreville and Stringfellow Road
Route 28 North and South between Route 29 and Braddock Road
Ramp from Route 28 North to I-66 East
Tuesday, Jan. 21, through Friday, Jan. 24: 11 a.m. to noon
Temporary 15-minute stoppages of traffic on I-66 East and West, and Route 28 North and South for blasting operations. Additionally, stoppages will occur on the ramp from Route 28 North to I-66 East and on the ramp from Route 28 North to I-66 West.
Route 29 Centreville North and South at I-66
Sunday, Jan. 19: 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 21, and Wednesday, Jan. 22: 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The left lane will be closed on northbound and southbound Route 29 at I-66 for bridge demolition activities.
I-66 West from Route 28 to Route 29 Centreville
Ramp from I-66 West to Route 29 Centreville
Tuesday, Jan. 21: 9:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Two lanes will be closed for overhead cantilever sign removal. Additionally, the ramp from I-66 West to Route 29 Centreville will be closed from midnight to 4 a.m. Drivers will be directed prior to the closure to Route 28 South, then follow signs to Route 29 North or South.
Route 28 South from Westfields Boulevard to Braddock Road
Tuesday, Jan. 21: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Two lanes will be closed for overhead cantilever sign removal.
I-66 East from Compton Road to Route 29 Centreville
Wednesday, Jan. 22: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Three lanes will be closed for overhead gantry removal. Drivers should expect periodic 20-minute stoppages between midnight and 4 a.m.
Ramp from Route 29 Centreville South to I-66 East
Thursday, Jan 23: Midnight to 4 a.m.
The ramp will be closed for utility work. Drivers will be directed farther south to Stone Road, make a U-turn onto Route 29 North and follow signs to Route 28 North, then stay to the right and follow signs to I-66 East.
ROUTE 286 (FAIRFAX COUNTY PARKWAY) / FAIR LAKES
Stringfellow Road between Fair Lakes Boulevard and Village Square Drive
Wednesday, Jan. 22, through Friday, Jan. 24: 9 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 24, from 9 p.m. until 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27
The right lane of southbound Stringfellow Road will be closed for underground utility relocation. The lane will be reopened weekdays between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. to accommodate the evening rush.
ROUTE 50 / FAIRFAX
No significant traffic impacts scheduled.
ROUTE 123 (CHAIN BRIDGE ROAD) / OAKTON – CITY OF FAIRFAX
Ramp from I-66 West to Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road)
Tuesday, Jan. 21: Midnight to 4 a.m.
The ramp will be closed for utility work. Traffic will be detoured farther west to Route 50 East, stay to the left for I-66 East, then follow signs to Route 123.
ROUTE 243 (NUTLEY STREET) / VIENNA
No significant traffic impacts scheduled.
I-495 (CAPITAL BELTWAY) / DUNN LORING
No significant traffic impacts scheduled.
VDOT and the project team have invested in a broad range of programs to help commuters and others stay mobile and safe during construction. Learn more about carpool, vanpool, telework, and commuter bus alternatives.
Hometown takeover for HGTV
All are invited on our mission to TAKEOVER Front Royal with positivity, unity and inspiration to drown our streets and social media with uplifting discussions, photos, stories and videos about our 22630!
Our community TAKEOVER could land a literal takeover by HGTV! Watch this video interview to learn more!
The Home and Garden Network is accepting nominations for its largest ever renovation project and a group of community residents believe that Front Royal is the perfect town for the project.
“When I saw the post on Facebook, I was so excited because my kids and I always watch the show together and wish it could be set in Front Royal. This could be the thing that turns the frown upside down and the tragedy into a success story and a come back story,” said Melanie Salins who was inspired to coordinate a meeting on Friday to discuss collaboration for the project.
The deadline to apply is February 7th, and the TAKEOVER committee is hoping that the entire community will join them in making a case for Front Royal to be selected as HGTV’s winning town.
A public brainstorming meeting will be held at the WHAT MATTERS community meeting space, OPEN HOUSE, at 213 E. Main Street (adjacent to the Daily Grind) on Wednesday 1/22 at 7pm to share creative ideas about what to feature in our application video. We are seeking beautiful photos of our community, video testimonials, historical pictures, and heartwarming stories to include in our submission and on our facebook page “FRONT ROYAL HOME TOWN TAKEOVER.”
Our social media campaign will be led by local social media strategist, Mitchell Smith, who hopes this #FRONTROYALHOMETOWNTAKEOVER campaign of sharing inspiration throughout our community will continue long beyond our application process.
In addition to Smith and Salins, committee members include Letasha Thompson (FR Town Council), William Huck (C&C’s Frozen Treats), Delores Oates (WC Board of Supervisors), Amber Morris and Beth Waller (WHAT MATTERS). Waller added, “This unifying endeavor is exactly what our community needs and I firmly believe that there’s no other town better to win the honor. Let’s put Front Royal on the map, shine a light on our amazing qualities and prove that when we overcome our hardships and thrive together, ANYTHING is possible.”
You are invited to log onto facebook to share your ideas, photos and videos and to submit entries yourself to nominate Front Royal at http://www.hgtvhometowntakeover.com/ . Feel free to attend the brainstorming meeting in person or virtually on Wednesday (we’ll also be going Facebook Live for the discussion). Join the TAKEOVER!