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Pro-Trump demonstrators raise the volume and confrontational levels

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Perhaps taking the lead of their president as the 2018 mid-terms approach, pro-Trump supporters gathered to counter the anti-Trump Administration messages of Vigil for Democracy demonstrators across Chester Street upped their volume and confrontational tone on Wednesday, August 1.

Back from his summer fishing vacation, one of the two original Chester Street pro-Trump demonstrators, Ralph Waller, sported a sign reading “Honk 3 times for Trump”.  That request was up by two honks from previous “Honk for Trump” signage displayed on the Trump side of Chester Street on Wednesday afternoons.

Perhaps Ralph was seeking to differentiate between the occasional, unsolicited honks of support offered to the “Vigil” side of the street in past months.

Back from an annual summer fishing trip, Ralph Waller seeks honks of support. Photos/Roger Bianchini

However, the most noticeable change – one this reporter had not previously witnessed over 16 months of visits to the dueling political demonstrations – was the introduction of a megaphone to directly confront and challenge the other side.

A new development – a red megaphone on the ‘red’ side of the street

“Don’t look away,” came one megaphone message from what appeared to be about a 16-year-old Trump supporter after issuing a political-perspective challenge toward vigil participants across Chester Street.  The megaphone-broadcast challenges continued from among the 12 pro-Trump supporters, while vigil participants we counted at 15 maintained the focus of their signage-transmitted issues toward passing motorists.

The dueling anti-and pro-Trump political demonstrations have faced off for over a year in downtown Front Royal after Vigil organizer Len Sherp began his protests of Trump and his administration policies on March 8, 2017.

From the vigil side, ‘red state’ may have a differing meaning dating to Soviet-era alliances

The megaphone messaging came one week after the “turf war” on the Gazebo side of Chester Street.  As Royal Examiner reported last week, FRPD officers explained to five Warren County Republican Committee pro-Trump demonstrators in the Gazebo on July 25 that the Vigil for Democracy is permitted by the Town for the “Gazebo area” for one specified hour weekly.  So it was back to the west side of Chester Street where the pro-Trump contingent in front of Waller’s pawn shop has been permitted for its gatherings. See Related Story

Since our August 1 photo-taking visit was short due to conflicting assignments, we later asked one Vigil for Democracy participant present for the duration how the megaphone messaging went over the course of the hour between 5 and 6 p.m.

“They were playing ‘Big Bad Don’ at us through the megaphone and trying to taunt us with 60-solid minutes worth of ‘Communists, Baby Killers, Socialists,’ ” came the reply.

Sounds like fun.  Sorry we missed the full performance – or not.

We counted a full contingent of 12 on the Trump side of the street – counting the Trump cutout returned to lead his supporters.

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CARES Act and REBUILD! Virginia informational WebEx on Friday, August 7th, 9:00 am

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The Town of Front Royal in partnership with the consulting firm, Strategic Solutions by Tricia (SST), will host a webinar to Front Royal local businesses to aid in kick-starting business recovery.

The webinar will include guidance and actionable steps for navigating small business relief through CARES Act grants and REBUILD! VA grants. Interested business owners can join the meeting by visiting http://www.frontroyalva.com/meeting

● CARES Act Application: www.FrontRoyalVA.com/CARES

● Rebuild! VA Information: www.governor.virginia.gov/rebuildva/

The Town of Front Royal supports local businesses in getting #BackToBusiness#BackTo Nature. Front Royal has never allowed setbacks to stop our Town from coming together and supporting each other. We are a resilient community. Together, we will recover and be stronger than ever.

About Rebuild! VA

The Rebuild VA Grant Fund is a program to help small businesses and non-profits whose normal operations were disrupted by COVID-19, including restaurants, brick and mortar retail, exercise and fitness facilities, personal care, and personal grooming services, entertainment and public amusement establishments, and campgrounds.

Businesses and non-profits that are approved for a Rebuild VA grant may receive up to 3 times their average monthly eligible expenses up to a maximum of $10,000.

Who is eligible for the grant?

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

The business or non-profit must be organized as one of the following:

Corporation (C-Corp), pass-through entity (S-Corp, Partnership, LLC), or other legal entity that is organized separately from the owner; A 501(c)(3), 501(c)(7), 501(c)(19) organization or a Virginia tribe; A sole proprietorship; or An independent contractor.

The business or non-profit must also fall within one of the following businesses categories:

Restaurant and Beverage Services
Restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, cideries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, and farmers markets (or vendors within the farmers market)

Non-essential Brick and Mortar Retail
Non-essential brick and mortar retail establishments include everything EXCEPT the following:

Grocery stores, pharmacies, and other retailers that sell food and beverage products or pharmacy products, including dollar stores, and department stores with grocery or pharmacy operations;
Medical, laboratory, and vision supply retailers; Electronic retailers that sell or service cell phones, computers, tablets, and other communications technology; Automotive parts, accessories, and tire retailers as well as automotive repair facilities; Home improvement, hardware, building material, and building supply retailers; Lawn and garden equipment retailers; Beer, wine, and liquor stores; Retail functions of gas stations and convenience stores; Retail located within healthcare facilities; Banks and other financial institutions with retail functions; Pet and feed stores; Printing and office supply stores; and Laundromats and dry cleaners.

Fitness and Exercise Facilities
Fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, swimming pools, indoor sports facilities, and indoor exercise facilities

Personal Care and Personal Grooming Services
Beauty salons, barbershops, spas, massage practices, tanning salons, tattoo shops, and any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are performed

Entertainment and Public Amusement
Theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums, racetracks, historic horse racing facilities, bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, arts and craft facilities, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, indoor shooting ranges, public and private social clubs

Private Campgrounds and Overnight Summer Camps

The business or non-profit must meet the following additional eligibility criteria:

Principal Place of Business is in Virginia
25 or fewer full-time employees
Gross revenue of less than $1.5 million in the last fiscal year
Operating prior to March 12, 2020
Currently, in good standing with the Virginia State Corporation Commission
The applicant must engage in legal activity

The following applicants are ineligible for the Rebuild VA grant funds:

Applicants that are not individually owned and operated; Applicants that have already received CARES Act funding from any federal, state, regional or local agency or authority; Applicants that are delinquent on Virginia state income taxes and do not have a payment plan in place; Applicants that are lobbyists; An applicant, owner, or a principal of the business with 20 percent or greater ownership interest is more than sixty (60) days delinquent on child support obligations.

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VDOT: Warren County Traffic alert for August 3-7, 2020

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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 entry or a revised entry since last week’s report.

INTERSTATE 66
Mile marker 1 to 15, eastbound and westbound – Overnight alternating lane closures for maintenance of various bridges, Sunday through Thursday nights from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. through August 7.

INTERSTATE 81
No lane closures reported.

PRIMARY ROADS
*NEW* Mile marker 0 to 7, eastbound and westbound – Right shoulder closures for sign installations at various locations, Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

SECONDARY ROADS
*NEW* Route 658 (Rockland Road) – Flagger traffic control for soil and rock testing between Route 620 (Bennys Beach Road) and Kelley Drive, August 3-14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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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Girl of Destiny 2020 Awards – A celebration of leadership, service, and empowerment

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This weekend Reaching Out Now held the Girl of Destiny Luau Awards Ceremony. The girls and their families gathered to celebrate, enjoy delicious food by Chef Devin Smith, and wish the graduating 8th graders good luck as they move into leadership roles in 9th grade! There were several tears shed when remembering how far the girls have come.

Watch this video to hear some of the kind words shared by Samantha Barber (Founder and President) and Marlena Conner (Board Member & Mentor Liaison) as they present the awards. Michelle Rutledge (Board Member & Community Outreach) shares the opening prayer and recognizes Samantha for her hard work and dedication. The video also features Kendallee Walker (Samantha Barber’s daughter) as she addresses the group regarding a “Note on Leadership”, Anne Cobb (Vice President) reads a special letter from Dr. Michelle Edwards written to the girls, and closing prayer by Judith James:

To learn more about Reaching Out Now and programs, please visit: www.reachingoutnow.org

Special thanks was given to all of the community supporters who have helped Reaching Out Now throughout the year. Extra shout-out to the Front Royal Women’s Resource Center and Rotary Club of Warren County represented by Jen Avery at the ceremony. Thank you to Royal Examiner for helping to spread the word about Reaching Out Now.

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Virginia War Memorial seeks entries for 2020 Veterans Day Student Essay Contest

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The Virginia War Memorial in Richmond is seeking entries for the Virginia War Memorial 2020 Veterans Day Student Essay Contest.  The contest is open to all Virginia middle and high school age public, private and homeschooled students.

One winner will be selected from among all middle school entries (grades 6-8) and one from high school (grades 9-12) entries.

The topic for the 2020 contest is “An American Who Served in The Military During World War II Who Inspires Me.”  Students can consider a member of their family, of their community, or a famous man or woman who served in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces as their subject.  Essays should be 500-750 words in length and utilize interviews and primary sources whenever possible.

The two students who write the winning essays will each receive a $200 gift card and each of their teachers, will earn receive a $100 gift card to purchase classroom supplies.  The student winners will also be invited to come to Richmond to read aloud their essays and participate in the Commonwealth’s Veterans Day Ceremony at the Virginia War Memorial on Wednesday, November 11, 2020.

The deadline for entries for the Virginia War Memorial 2020 Veterans Day Student Essay Contest is 11:59 p.m., Sunday, October 11, 2020.  Complete information regarding the essay theme, rules, guidelines and how to enter is available online or by calling Virginia War Memorial Assistant Education Director Morgan Guyer at 804-786-2060.


About the Virginia War Memorial

The mission of the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond is to Honor Veterans, Preserve History, Educate Youth and Inspire Patriotism in All.  Dedicated in 1956, the Memorial includes the names of the nearly 12,000 Virginia heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and the Global War on Terrorism.  Located at 621 South Belvidere Street in Richmond, the Virginia War Memorial is a division of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and serves as an integral part of its mission in support of all Virginians who have served in our military.  For more details, visit www.virginiawarmemorial.org or www.dvs.virginia.gov.


About the Virginia Department of Veterans Services

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is a state government agency with more than 40 locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  DVS traces its history to 1928 and the establishment of the Virginia War Service Bureau to assist Virginia’s World War I veterans.  Today, DVS assists veterans and their families in filing claims for federal veterans benefits; provides veterans and family members with linkages to services including behavioral healthcare, housing, employment, education and other programs.  The agency operates two long-term care facilities offering in-patient skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/memory care, and short-term rehabilitation for veterans; provides an honored final resting place for veterans and their families at three state veterans cemeteries.  It operates the Virginia War Memorial, the Commonwealth’s tribute to Virginia’s men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice from World War II to the present. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov.

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Valley Health extends Paycheck Protection Plan to ensure workforce stability during COVID-19 uncertainty

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Valley Health System announced last week that it has extended the Paycheck Protection Plan enacted in April to provide income security to employees during a time of service disruption due to COVID-19. The protection initiative has been extended from an initial 90-day period, set to expire July 25, to remain in effect through the end of the year.

Valley Health implemented the Paycheck Protection Plan in mid-April as a pre-emptive response to significant declines in outpatient care, diagnostic testing, and elective procedures at Valley Health’s six hospitals and outpatient facilities. This reassurance to Valley Health’s employees was announced as hundreds of hospitals and health systems in the U.S. were laying off staff. Valley Health System’s Board of Trustees has authorized the use of reserve funds, if needed, to extend the Paycheck Protection Plan through 2020.

“As our health system and community were confronting COVID-19 and preparing for a potential surge of patients, we wanted our associates focused on one thing – providing safe, high-quality care and protecting their health — not worrying about their employment status or the financial impact of reduced hours,” said Valley Health President and CEO Mark Nantz. “Our initial commitment to the PPP initiative was for 90 days, and I’m proud to say that during this time, hundreds of our associates were able to maintain at least 70% of their pay and continued benefit coverage.”

The not-for-profit health system employs more than 6,000 dedicated associates, hundreds of whom benefited from the Paycheck Protection Plan after experiencing a reduction in hours due to service closures. While Valley Health’s day-to-day operations have not returned to pre-COVID normal, most full and part time associates have resumed their regular schedules, and the immediate need for the PPP has significantly decreased. But the local impact of the global pandemic has been difficult to predict.

“Acknowledging lingering uncertainty about the course of the virus in the months ahead, our leadership team and Trustees are committed to guaranteeing each associate a minimum of 70% of their regular pay should there be a reduction in hours related to COVID-19,” Nantz said. “Our priority is to remain strong and resilient, with our workforce intact, prepared to safeguard the health of our community.”


Valley Health is a not-for-profit health system serving a population of more than 500,000 in the Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle and Potomac Highlands, and western Maryland. Valley Health includes six hospitals, more than 50 physician practices, Urgent Care centers, regional medical transport services, home health services, and outpatient rehabilitation and fitness centers in six communities. Visit www.valleyhealthlink.com.

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Skyline High School Class of 2020 Graduation Ceremony

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On August 1, 2020, the Skyline High School Class of 2020 had their long-awaited ceremony.  The ceremony was in two sections with students last name A-K at 8 am and L-Z at 10 am.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020.



Congratulations to Skyline High School Seniors – Class of 2020

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