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Medical Examiner: Ralph Ennis died of ‘natural causes’

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On Monday, August 15, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Manassas released the cause and manner of death for Ralph Ennis, 77, who died on April 15, 13 days after a traffic stop by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office during which he was injured and then hospitalized.

In an email response, Arkuie Williams, Northern District Administrator of Virginia’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner told Royal Examiner that: “The cause of death is complications of Alzheimer disease, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, and hypternsive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The manner of death is natural.”

Royal Examiner responded with the following questions to Williams:

“Does that rule out that his head trauma injuries suffered 13 days earlier had no impact on the below stated causes, most particularly cerebral amyloid angiopathy, and hypternsive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease?


“Is there any possible debate that the brain bleed and shock-trauma of April 2, could have aggravated his pre-existing conditions and these combined natural causes of death? – Thank you for any clarification.”

Williams responded, stating, “Our office is unable to provide any additional information to the public. We are restricted to only providing the cause and manner of death for our death investigations.”

Several weeks prior to the traffic stop, Ennis had been the subject of a Silver Alert on March 11, 2022, following an endangered, missing person report issued by Pennsylvania State Police on behalf of Ennis’ wife, Linda. Deputies located Ennis in downtown Front Royal at his longtime friends Ralph and Sue Waller’s East Main Street pawn shop. The Wallers offered to let Ennis stay there until his son Ian could travel to Front Royal from his Staunton home and take his father home.

See: Who was Ralph Ennis? Local friends mourn the loss of ‘an easy-going, sweet guy’ – Royal Examiner

Mr. Ennis died on April 15 under the care of Blue Ridge Hospice in Winchester, where he had been transferred several days earlier by the affiliated Winchester Medical Center.

“All we know is he was in good health and he never got out of the hospital after that happened – and that’s a FACT,” Ralph Waller said of the Medical Examiner’s finding Ennis died of natural causes less than two weeks after his injuries incurred during the traffic stop.

Ralph Ennis in Winchester Medical Center, according to his visitors, about ten days after the traffic stop. Photo Courtesy Ralph & Sue Waller

Contacted, Ennis’ son Ian said he had received the medical examiner’s report but declined further comment at this time. Ralph Ennis’ wife Linda also stated that she had received the report today but had no further comment.

Background

On April 2, 2022, Ennis was stopped by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) for traveling eight miles over the speed limit and driving erratically on Winchester Road southbound toward Front Royal, the Sheriff’s Office stated in a previous media release.

The pursuit continued for about 3.75 miles, with Ennis eventually pulling into the 7-11 convenience store at 251 Crooked Run Plaza, where he parked his truck. By this time, the Sheriff’s Office release stated, “additional WCSO deputies and a Front Royal Police Officer were on scene, or just arriving as the high-risk traffic stop was underway.”

Video footage from the bodycam of a Front Royal Police Officer, who was called to assist with the traffic stop, shows the 77-year-old Ennis moving slowly toward deputies with his keys held out. A first deputy grabs Ennis and roughly pulls his hands behind his back cuffing him and slamming his head into his truck cab. A second Warren County Sheriff’s Office deputy then charges the scene, tackling both Ennis and the first deputy, taking both to the ground with the elderly Ennis on the bottom, apparently striking his head hard on the paved parking lot.

WCSO Major Jeffrey Driskill previously stated that Ennis was taken to Warren Memorial Hospital where Emergency Department physicians suspected “signs of an internal head hemorrhage” after which Ennis was transported to Winchester Medical Center. Driskill previously stated that Mr. Ennis was “exhibiting signs of cognitive issues consistent with dementia or Alzheimer’s.”

Former Northern District Administrator Jennifer Smith, of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, first told Royal Examiner in a May email, “This case is pending. Currently, cases are taking roughly 12 -16 weeks to complete, as with all cases the OCME goal is to complete them within 90-days.” Each subsequent inquiry regarding the status of the autopsy and lab tests yielded the same information.

Investigations status

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office has been tight-lipped regarding an internal investigation into the traffic stop. Sheriff Mark Butler previously told Royal Examiner that a “board of inquiry” comprised of WCSO senior officers and a member of an outside law enforcement agency had been formed, but no information has been released about who is on that panel.

After the traffic stop, one of the two involved deputies was reassigned to administrative duties; another was placed on administrative leave with pay. When asked if one or both of the deputies had left the employ of the WCSO, Butler declined to comment.

Contacted Monday by Royal Examiner, following the Medical Examiner’s release of information in the Ennis case, Sheriff Mark Butler stated, “My heart and prayers go out to all families involved in a trying time for all. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office will continue to work and hold itself in a professional matter at all times. “

When asked about the employment status of the deputies involved in the traffic stop, Butler stated that he could not discuss personnel matters.

Virginia State Police Investigator Adam Galton was assigned to investigate the circumstances related to the incident and subsequent death of Ennis. Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney John Bell referred the case to a special prosecutor; consequently the Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office is overseeing the VSP investigation and will decide whether to charge the deputies once the investigation is complete.

Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office Chief of Staff Anthony Kostelecky previously told Royal Examiner that he had no comment regarding the investigation or when it might conclude.

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National school-choice advocate speaks in Front Royal

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The lady who engineered “the biggest school-choice victory in U.S. history in Arizona last fall” spoke on January 29, 2023, before more than a hundred people in Father Ruehl Hall at St. John’s Catholic Church in Front Royal. The subject was the “Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA)” program that went into effect in Arizona in September 2022.

The speaker was Christine Accurso, executive director of the ESA program for the Arizona State Department of Education. Accurso spoke for 20 minutes from a prepared script, then took questions for more than an hour and a half on how the ESA program works. The Front Royal Catholic Civic-Education Group sponsored the event.

Accurso made three main points in her presentation:
• Arizona’s new law makes all of Arizona’s 1.1 million school-aged kids eligible for $7,000 in ESA money that can be spent at any private or religious school. Since the program started last fall, the families of almost 50,000 students in Arizona have signed up for the program. About half have had some public school experience.
• Accurso expects the number of students signing up for the ESA program to double this year to approximately 100,000 students.
• Accurso repeatedly emphasized that ESA money does not go directly from the government to a school — but to a parent, who then decides how the money will be spent.

Accurso said this is exactly how many federally-funded programs —like the GI Bill, Pell grants, pre-K headstart, Medicaid, food stamps, and Section 8 housing — have operated for years. “For some reason,” Accurso stressed, “when it comes to K-12 education, teachers’ unions have built into our heads that it’s not right for public dollars to follow students. That simply is not true.”


Watch the event on this exclusive Royal Examiner video.

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Humane Society of Warren County opens thrift store

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On November fourth of last year, the Humane Society of Warren County opened a thrift store located at 450 S. Commerce Avenue, adjacent to On Cue and the CVS. As the proceeds go to support homeless animals, Pick of the Litter Thrift Store comes at a time when the HSWC greatly needs it.

Store manager Jessie Moore on the right, her assistant Laura Hickman on the left.

 

“It took a lot of work to put the planning process together,” executive director Megan Bowers explained. Previously HSWC hosted a yard sale once a year in June that generated four to five thousand dollars, but it proved to be lacking due to the requests they were receiving from the community for a place to bring donations.

“We could not have asked for a better community,” store manager Jessie Moore exclaimed. “Every day feels like Christmas!” Her positive outlook characterizes the store she runs, where a patron can help himself to a complimentary coffee and browse the collection of books, DVDs, rows upon rows of clothing, and the occasional odd item like a set of glassware.


Jessie said each day is different, and she never knows what will come in. It is all about “the fur babies,” as she jovially put it. She expressed relief that HSWC has finally generated a more reliable source of funding than the yard sale. Watching Jessie move around the store with her assistant Laura Hickman and interact with customers, it is obvious that they are thoroughly enjoying themselves. Of course, it is all about the fur babies.

 

This is an establishment that welcomes animals. Anyone browsing the goods is welcome to have their pet alongside them.

“They’ve done really well over there,” Megan said in praise of the Pick of the Litter team. HSWC has three branches: the shelter, the clinic, and the thrift store.

As proud and fond as many are of their four-legged family members, it is a consolation in this cold season to know that such a capable organization is doing everything possible to keep Warren County’s domestic animals on the warm side of the front door.

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As an ongoing consequence of pandemic impacts, fitness programs will end this month but rehab services will continue at Valley Health’s Outpatient facility here

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Royal Examiner asked Valley Health Public Relations Manager Carol Weare about planned service cuts locally as a consequence of the COVID pandemic outbreak of the past few years. This is what she told us:

“Due to unprecedented financial challenges related to the effects and after-effects of the pandemic, Valley Health has been taking steps to limit additional losses by evaluating all programs and services we offer. Like fitness facilities nationwide, Valley Health’s fitness programs experienced a decline in membership during the pandemic and never rebounded.

“As a result, we made the difficult decision to end our fitness membership programs in Berkeley Springs, WV, Front Royal, VA, and Woodstock, VA, effective Wednesday, February 1, 2023. Members are being notified and any membership balance or un-redeemed personal training or massage gift cards will be refunded promptly.

“We regret the disruption this decision will create for community members, whose fitness commitment and ongoing health are important to us.


Valley Health’s Outpatient Services Center in Front Royal on Commerce Avenue. While fitness programs will end February 1st, rehab services will continue uninterrupted.

“In our assessment, we carefully evaluated each program’s unique operational situation, including finances, building lease contracts and the availability of local fitness facility alternatives within the community.

“The fitness programs in Berkeley Springs and Front Royal are co-located with outpatient physical rehabilitation; those services will continue uninterrupted.

“As Valley Health continues to feel the lingering financial impact of COVID-19, we are evaluating where, when and how healthcare services are provided to ensure our stability as the region’s top care provider and employer of choice well into the future.”

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Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services Line of Duty Death – Funeral Notification

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With great sadness, we announce the passing of District Fire Chief Homer Larry Cross (Age 74) of the Fortsmouth Volunteer Fire Department.

On Monday, January 23, 2023, members of the Fortsmouth Volunteer Fire Department discovered District Chief Cross unresponsive at the Fire Station and began life-saving intervention procedures, but unfortunately, the Chief was pronounced deceased at the station.

District Fire Chief Homer Larry Cross

Chief Cross began his career as a firefighter with Fortsmouth Volunteer Fire Department in 1983. Later serving his community as a long-tenured District Chief, he dedicated himself to saving lives and helping those in need. Through his years in the fire service, Chief Cross felt honored to work alongside a fantastic group of men and women, many of whom serve in various fire service leadership capacities across the Commonwealth’s Fire Service today.


“District Fire Chief Homer Cross was an inspiration for our Department and a fixture on almost every fire ground,” stated Fire Chief James Bonzano. “He was a dedicated fire officer but, above all else, a great friend whose legacy will certainly live on through the care and compassion he instilled in the next generation of our Fire Department.”

Arrangements for District Chief Cross are as follows:

Family Night will be held Monday, January 30, 2023, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. at Maddox Funeral Home at 105 W. Main Street, Front Royal, VA.

A Funeral Service with Fire Service and Military Service Honors for District Chief Cross will be held on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at noon at Riverton United Methodist Church at 55 E. Strasburg Road, Front Royal, VA.

A procession from the church to Panorama Memorial Gardens will be conducted, where final respects will be paid.

The Cross Family will receive guests following the service at the Front Royal Volunteer Fire Station at 221 N. Commerce Avenue, Front Royal, VA.

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The Trust Deed Pledge Plan: An investor’s greatest investment aspiration

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REAL ESTATE INVESTORS AND REAL ESTATE AGENTS

An original Trust Deed Pledge (TDPP) to help property owners from losing their entire property equity due to a foreclosure has been developed. By rescuing the equity and turning the owner into a qualified investor in plan, the owner continues to grow the funds rescued.

THE SECURED CASH INVESTOR POSITION IN THE TDPP INVESTMENT

The desire to be protected in a safe rewarding and timely investment is what the investor wants and needs and receives in the TDPP.

  1. Investment amount required? – Ans: ($60,000 total in small amounts by a group of investors)
  2. What is the reward? – Ans: (Pre-agreed fixed amount of $25,500 up to $42,500)
  3. What is the timing of investment? – Ans: (Estimated one-year)
  4. Amount of protection? – Ans: (Collateral exceeds invested amount)
  5. How is the investor “protected”? – Ans: (With a very strong superior legal position)

REAL ESTATE ACTIVITY EARNINGS

The TDPP offers a way to achieve an exclusive listing to sell (foreclosure free) for the agent/broker finding and introducing the necessary material to the foreclosure owner. There is strong competition, in the regular market place for exclusive listings, that makes it a challenge to accumulate enough listings for the average licensee to earn and build a personal lifetime wealth of a million dollars plus. It is fair to say the TDPP can do it.

The TDPP offers new type real estate earnings, separate from and in addition to a 6% sale commission.

  1. Introducing an original way to earn 1% of the sales price of a property and a second way to earn 5% of the net sales price of the property.
  2. There are other original ways to earn a fee of $9,000 and one of $15,000 for new type activity in the TDPP.
  3. Achieve an exclusive foreclosure free exclusive listing for the person processing the property owner joining the TDPP.
  4. Other unique exciting opportunities are available to earn profit in original ways within the TDPP!

Go to http://investmentrevelation.com for more information.

Robert L. Evans, President
Foreclosure Answer Affirmed, Inc.

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Concern Hotline named beneficiary of Ride with Rotary

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Rotary Club of Warren County is excited to announce their beneficiary for the Ride with Rotary 2023 is Concern Hotline! Watch this video with Executive Director, Rusty Holland, as he shares a little about who the Concern Hotline is and what they offer to Warren County and surrounding counties.

Learn more about Concern Hotline: www.concernhotline.org

Concern Hotline is a free 24/7/365 anonymous information & referral, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention hotline serving the Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

For Concern Hotline calls, dial any of these local numbers:


  • CLARKE, FREDERICK, WINCHESTER COUNTY – 540-667-0145
  • SHENANDOAH COUNTY – 540-459-4742
  • PAGE COUNTY – 540-743-3733
  • WARREN COUNTY – 540-635-4357

Ride with Rotary 2nd Annual Bike Event 

  • April 29th – Check in starts at 8am Rockland Park
  • Register Today!
  • Interested in being a sponsor? Call Jen Avery at 540-683-0790 to learn about sponsorship options.
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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Vetbuilder.com

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

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Feb
1
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 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[...]
Feb
4
Sat
1:00 pm Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Feb 4 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
New Bluegrass and traditional music jam the first Saturday of each month starting Feb. 4th, from 1pm till 4pm. All levels of playing invited to attend.
Feb
6
Mon
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 6 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
7
Tue
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 7 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
8
Wed
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 8 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 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[...]
Feb
9
Thu
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 9 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
10
Fri
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 10 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
11
Sat
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 11 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
12
Sun
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 12 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]