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Interesting Things You Need to Know

New day honors Vietnam veterans

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March 29 is National Vietnam War Veterans Day, marking the third year the observance is held on the same date nationwide.

Although most states celebrate “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” each year, it hasn’t always fallen on the same day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some states observed it on the 29th and some on the 30th.

However, March 29 is the date in 1973 that the last combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam, the website noted, along with the date that President Nixon chose for the first Vietnam Veterans Day in 1974.

The holiday became official when President Trump signed the “The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017,” which encourages Americans to display the U.S. flag in honor of Vietnam veterans.

A similar holiday was observed on March 29, 2012, via a proclamation signed by President Obama, according to military.com, which said the year marked the start of a 13-year-long celebration honoring Vietnam War veterans that runs through Veterans Day 2025.

And of course the observance should not be confused with Veterans Day, which is Nov. 11 each year and honors veterans of all wars and conflicts. That holiday was originally established to mark the end of World War I and was initially referred to as Armistice Day.

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Debt management: the pros and cons of 3 debt repayment strategies

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Here’s an evaluation of three basic debt management strategies.

Make the minimum payments on all accounts
The minimum payment is the amount that the borrower is required to pay back to the lender by a certain date. Keep in mind that missed payments will tank your credit score, so it’s important that you cover at least this amount each month.

• Pros. The minimum payment usually amounts to only two to five per cent of the balance owed.

• Cons. If you only make the minimum monthly payment, you could end up spending more than twice the original amount. This is because interest will keep accumulating on your debt.

Prioritize low-balance debts (the snowball method)
This approach to debt reduction involves the borrower strategically paying off multiple loans by prioritizing the account with the lowest balance first. This is done by consistently repaying more than the minimum amount owed on the account.

• Pros. Focusing on the smallest balance and quickly clearing it provides a strong psychological incentive to maintain good financial habits.

• Cons. Not prioritizing loans with a higher interest rate may not make financial sense in the long term.

Prioritize high-interest debts (the avalanche method)
Another, faster way of clearing multiple debts is to prioritize paying off the high-interest loans first. Once again, you’ll need to consistently pay more than the minimum amount on the associated account. However, this method reduces the overall interest you’ll pay.

• Pros. This method will ensure you pay the least amount of interest possible.

• Cons. Reducing debt this way requires a lot of discipline. In addition, it doesn’t provide the same quickly-gained sense of accomplishment as the snowball method.

Overall, it’s a good idea to make more than the minimum payments on your accounts. In addition, while prioritizing high-interest-rate loans is ideal, dealing with smaller balances may work better for you.

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12 great reasons to buy local

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1. Help create jobs
If you buy your holiday goods from local shops, you’ll help generate a need to hire more employees. Retail jobs are relatively easy to qualify for, meaning that people who otherwise struggle to find work have a better chance of being hired. This allows them to secure income during the holidays and hopefully year-round.

2. Enjoy local traditions

Wherever you live, chances are there’s a unique holiday tradition that people in your community take part in. Perhaps it involves a special dish or a particular type of holiday decoration. Regardless, it’s the perfect way to share something unique about your area with friends and relatives over the holidays.

3. Support non-profits
Small businesses tend to give more money to non-profit organizations, especially local ones. By completing your holiday shopping in the area, you’re ensuring they can give generously to organizations that help the less fortunate and other people in your region.

4. Get better customer service
Local business owners are passionate about their products. By buying local, you ensure that you’ll get the very best recommendations possible when making purchases. In fact, personalized customer service is a sure-fire way to guarantee you’ll get the perfect presents for your loved ones. And, even if you don’t, returning items will be a cinch.

5. Reduce your carbon footprint
Shopping locally is the eco-friendly thing to do, especially if you skip the car and do it on foot. Less driving translates to a decrease in fuel consumption and a smaller carbon footprint overall. In addition, local products haven’t traveled long distances to get to you. This holiday season, shop local to help protect the planet.

6. Stay informed
Visiting local shops during the holiday season is a great way to stay informed about what’s going on in your community. You’ll find out what holiday events are taking place, get insider tips about the best products around and reinforce your sense of belonging.

7. Meet Santa
Bring the kids along with you and turn your holiday shopping excursion into an outing for the family. The little ones can meet Santa, you can do a bit of browsing and everyone will enjoy indulging in a cup of hot cocoa afterwards.

8. Find unique presents
It’s easier to find something truly unique when shopping locally. While you could purchase artisanal creations off the internet, buying something from a local artist ensures it’ll be as special as the person you’re getting it for. Some items can even be personalized.

9. Get fresh food
Visit butchers, breweries, bakeries and gourmet grocers in your area to enjoy an outstanding holiday feast. In fact, buying local is the best way to find exceptionally fresh produce, pastries, meats and dairy products. In some cases, you may even be able to sample them beforehand. Plus, your local retailers can give you advice on how to prepare their products.

10. Eliminate stress
Shopping locally is a great way to eliminate stress. This is because you don’t need to worry about when packages will arrive or the possibility that they might get stolen. Plus, you don’t have to be concerned about returns or exchanges, as these things are super easy to do when you buy your items from the retailers in town.

11. Support your local economy
Did you know that many small businesses make between 20 and 40 percent of their annual income during the last two months of the year? November and December are crucial months and many stores rely on holiday sales to stay afloat. This holiday season, make sure to buy local so you can directly support the area’s economy.

12. Help build your community
Cafes, craft stores and bookshops are prime venues for events that can enrich your community. Supporting these places allows them to host classes, music shows and more, which helps to both enliven the holiday season and to invigorate the local economy.

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3 games to play at the office holiday party

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Are you looking for a way energize your holiday office party? If so, here are three fun games that virtually anyone can enjoy.

1. Office trivia. Before the day of the event, send a questionnaire to all employees asking them about their interests, pet peeves and preferred foods, books, movies and travel destinations. Collect the answers and use them to create an office trivia game.

2. Guess the word. Write words on individual strips of paper and then fold and place them in bowls. Each team chooses a player who will have to guess the word based on clues from their teammates.

3. Gift wrap challenge. Put players in teams of two. Tie one person’s right hand to the other’s left and have them attempt to wrap a gift with their free hands. The pair that does the nicest job wins.

If you play your office games in teams, assemble the groups randomly. A fun way to do this is to cut up old Christmas cards and hand out the pieces. Teams can then be formed by those who have pieces from the same card.

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Christmas checklist

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To avoid holiday mayhem, you need to remain organized in the days and weeks leading up to the main event. Here’s a checklist that will help you keep track of everything that needs to be done before Christmas.

Entertaining
• Choose a theme for your party if you’re having one

• Make reservations (caterer, event space, restaurant, cleaning crew, Santa Claus)
• Send out invitations
• Decide on a menu (don’t forget to consider your guests’ allergies and dietary restrictions)
• Make separate grocery lists for what can be purchased weeks in advance and what must be bought in the days before
• Start cooking (make dishes in advance and freeze them)
• Make a seating plan and choose the table decorations
• Obtain any extra dishes, napkins or chairs you need
• Choose the music and plan party games
• Clean the house from top to bottom
• Prepare a room for overnight guests
• Make sure your driveway and walk¬way are clear

Buying gifts
• Organize a gift exchange
• Start shopping early to avoid crowds
• Make note of what to buy for each person on your list
• Write Christmas cards and send them out early to ensure they arrive before the holiday
• Help your kids write their letters to Santa and send them off
• Buy wrapping paper, ribbons and bows
• Wrap gifts as you buy them to avoid doing it all at once, and hide them until the big day

Decorating the house
• Go through your decorations and throw out and replace anything that’s broken
• Hang outdoor decorations before the cold weather arrives
• Decorate the inside of your house
• Don’t set up your natural Christmas tree until a week or two before the day (or it will be dry by the time Santa arrives)

Getting yourself ready
• Make your appointments early (hair, esthetics, makeup, nails) to be sure you get the time slot you need
• Shop for your party clothes and visit the tailor if adjustments are needed

Keep this checklist handy to make sure you don’t forget anything this season.

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Computer Security Day: November 30th

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Yes of course: computer security should be serious business EVERY day. But it’s good to have a reminder.

An article on BBVA, one of the largest banks in the world, says the observance began in 1988 after the first case of malware, known as the Morris Worm. Although we are much more savvy today, we are also faced with constant threat.

Toward that end, here are some suggestions for observing the date:

* Improve your passwords. Hopefully you aren’t one of the millions who use “123456” or “password,” each of which made it to the Top 10 most common passwords in 2019. Use a password manager like LastPass, which stores and encrypts your passwords — and enables you to use something ridiculous that you’d never remember.

* Keep your software up-to-date. Yes, your laptop’s wallpaper gets wiped out and everything on your phone gets moves around or doesn’t work the same … but if you don’t have the latest version, you don’t have the latest protection.

* Don’t click on links that seem a little off — even if they come from someone you know. Learn about the various scams and how to protect yourself.

* Log out of banking or shopping sites after you’ve visited them

* Back up your data regularly. If something happens to your computer, you’ll likely have to erase everything and reboot.

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Shop till you drop: 4 great reasons to hit the stores on Black Friday

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Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, and stores across the country are hosting massive sales events. Here are four great reasons to brave the crowds on November 29.

1.You can get your Christmas shopping done. Black Friday provides the perfect opportunity to find Christmas presents for everyone on your list. Even if you can’t find all the things you’re looking for, you’ll likely be able to knock some items off your list and make a plan to get the rest before the big day arrives.

2. You can get ready for family visits. Stressful as it may be, receiving family is one of the best things about the holidays. One way to take full advantage of Black Friday is to purchase whatever you need to ensure that your next family visit goes well, such as new dinnerware or perhaps a second fondue set.

3. You can save on items you need. Look for deals on products you’ve been meaning to buy for a while. Whatever they are, you’re likely to find them priced for less than you originally allotted. You can use the money saved to treat yourself to lunch or even pick up extra hostess gifts for those impromptu holiday invites.

4. You can shop as much as you want. Many stores have extended hours on Black Friday. This means you can shop for as long as you want and find everything you need to buy. If you’re planning to make a day of it, however, make sure to take a few breaks.

Black Friday is a great opportunity to get everything you need at low prices. Circle November 29 on your calendar, keep an eye out for Black Friday sales and enjoy a fabulous start to the holiday season!

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King Cartoons

‘Tis the Season

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Front Royal
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Feels like: 50°F
Wind: 7mph SW
Humidity: 86%
Pressure: 29.78"Hg
UV index: 0
MonTueWed
min 51°F
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Upcoming Events

Dec
10
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 10 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
Dec
11
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 11 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
12
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 12 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
13
Fri
6:00 pm Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Dec 13 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Holiday Open House @ Ruby Yoga
Ruby Yoga will host a Holiday Open House Friday, Dec. 13. Doors open at 6 p.m. with free gentle yoga starting at 6:20, followed by refreshments and door prize drawings.
7:30 pm Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Dec 13 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
The Blue Ridge Singers presents its 2019 Christmas concert titled “Canticum Novum:  Sing a New Song” featuring some of the finest Christmas choral music across the centuries at one of the most popular events in[...]
Dec
14
Sat
11:00 am Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
December 14 is the 220th anniversary of George Washington’s death. Today we will learn more about this great leader of our country and celebrate his legacy. Refreshments will be served. For ages 7 to 18.[...]
Dec
15
Sun
4:00 pm R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
Dec 15 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas Concert @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
The local community is invited to join the Randolph-Macon Academy family for an afternoon of holiday spirit with the R-MA Band and Chorus! The annual R-MA Christmas Concert will be held on Sunday, December 15th,[...]
Dec
17
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 17 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
7:30 pm Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Dec 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert | Presented by the American Legion Community Band Tuesday, December 17, 2019, at 7:30 pm Boggs Chapel on the R-MA campus in Front Royal, VA
Dec
18
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 18 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]