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R-MA Graduates Encouraged to Remember Who They Are

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The R-MA Class of 2019 throws their hats in celebration after being dismissed from the military parade for the final time on Friday, May 17th.

Throughout the speeches and ceremonies of the graduation season, Randolph-Macon Academy’s 45 graduating seniors and eight Falcon Scholars were challenged to hold fast to their values. With 191 acceptances to 110 different colleges and universities, the class garnered over $5.1 million in college scholarships. In addition, all eight of the Falcon Scholars earned appointments to the U.S. Air Force Academy.

During the Baccalaureate Service on Thursday, May 16th, Chaplain Josh Orndorff had challenged the class with, “Remember who you are.” His words were a foreshadowing of the messages the graduating seniors would hear throughout the weekend.

After the Final Parade, R-MA valedictorian Noelle Kramer of Front Royal and Yuyang “Mike” Wang of China show off their hats, which are decorated with the names of the colleges to which they plan to matriculate in the fall (MIT and Kings College London, respectively).

During the graduation ceremony, valedictorian Noelle Kramer told her classmates, “If you don’t understand your goal now, that’s okay. That’s what the next years of your life are for. But be sure that while you seek to know your purpose, you never forget to understand yourself. Listen to what your own interests are, and know that a change of heart is never a failure.”

Noelle recounted the difficult personal time she had had during her second semester of her senior year. Her personal struggles impacted her studies tremendously; she stopped participating in class, left assignments undone, and subsequently risked all she had worked for. “I forgot who I was and why I wanted to achieve in the first place. I didn’t care about my schoolwork, my health, my friends… All I could manage to do when I got home was sleep or watch Netflix. Naturally, my grades suffered as a consequence,” she confessed. “After running for miles and miles with the wind at my heels, I tripped and fell when I was yards away from the finish line. But it was only through the love and support that I have found here at R-MA that I was able to pick myself off the ground and make my way across at the end.” Thanks to that and the fact that she did rally to finish the year well, R-MA’s Valedictorian will head off to MIT in the fall.

Gen Darren McDew, USAF, Retired, jokes with several members of the audience during his address at Randolph-Macon Academy’s 127th Commencement Ceremony.

Guest speaker Gen Darren McDew, USAF, Retired, gave an engaging presentation that resonated with the students. Like Noelle, Gen McDew had researched speeches, and learned he should give the students a charge–and so he did. “My charge is simply, ‘Beware, decide, be,” he said. “Your story begins again today. You don’t have to have it all figured out yet, but you’ve got to get to understand who you are now, and most importantly who you’re not. And it’s okay to play around on the edges of that. So beware of the tests. Most of you believe that your academic journey was where the tests were and where the test will be. I’m here to tell you those are the easy ones. They’re the ones that most of the time are scheduled. They’re the ones that you get a letter grade for. They’re the ones that you can recover from. It’s life’s tests that are most damaging and challenging. Be careful and beware that they’re coming. Someone will test your integrity. Someone will test your honor. Someone will test your core. Understand that test is coming and be ready for it. You’ve been given all the foundation and tools you need to deal with it.”

Gen McDew then told the story of his first sortie. As a newbie, he read the training manual to refresh himself the night before the flight. Because he was prepared, he did well, and the first block of his reputation was laid. From there, he continued to build his reputation by ensuring he was prepared.

“That’s why I say, ‘Decide.’ Decide who you are,” he explained to the soon-to-be graduates. “Not forever, but what’s in your core. Many people in the world, some of the people you admire, know what right looks like, but they can’t live it. Decide today you’re going to live it and then keep doing it. And the last part is ‘Be.’ Beware the test, decide who you want to be and then just be. And the ‘Be’ is ‘Be it every day.’ Be it when times are tough. Be it when it’s inconvenient. Every single day, be who you are at your core, and continue to get stronger.”

Woven throughout the weekend’s events were acknowledgements of the many successes of the school year, such as the Drill Team’s repeat state championship and the girls’ varsity soccer team championship. Also acknowledged was the fact that they were missing someone: the late Mr. Robert Davies, who had taught many of the graduates when they were freshmen and sophomores. Throughout the extreme ups and downs of the 2018-19 school year, the Class of 2019 bonded, and now, with a firm foundation, they move onto the next phase in life. For the eight Falcon Scholars, that is the US Air Force Academy. For one senior, that will mean enlisting in the military. The other 44 graduates will move onto colleges such as the The George Washington University, Penn State, Arizona State, Babson College, VMI, Virginia Tech, the U.S. Naval Academy, and other institutions.

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I-81 southbound closed April 2nd in Augusta County for crash investigation

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Southbound Interstate 81 is scheduled to be closed from about 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the morning of Thursday, April 2, for Virginia State Police to investigate a recent crash in southern Augusta County.

I-81 southbound motorists will detour at exit 213A, take Route 11 (Lee-Jackson Highway) south into Rockbridge County, and then take Route 606 (Raphine Road) west to return to the interstate at exit 205.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at http://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 https://my.vdot.virginia.gov/. Agents are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany, and Bath counties.

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DOJ announces $16 million available to Virginia governments and law enforcement agencies to aid coronavirus response

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ROANKOE, Va. – United States Attorneys Thomas T. Cullen and G. Zachary Terrwilliger announced today that the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, has made available more than $16 million to help Virginia public safety agencies and local government agencies respond to the challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.

The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) program, authorized by the recent stimulus legislation signed by President Trump, will allow eligible state, local and tribal governments to apply immediately for these critical funds. The department is moving quickly to make awards, with the goal of having funds available for drawdown within days of the award.

The Commonwealth of Virginia will receive more than $16 million from the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program. Allowable projects and expenditures include, but are not limited to: Overtime, training, travel expenses, supplies, including personal protective equipment for medical personnel and first responders, and initiatives focused on addressing the medical needs of inmates in state and local detention centers.

“Our local communities are waging a war to mitigate the awful effects of the Coronavirus,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated today. “These grants will provide additional funding to augment critical health and public-safety initiatives in cash-strapped counties, cities, and towns across the Commonwealth and increase safety for the brave health-care providers, police officers, and first responders on the front lines.”

“The Department of Justice is 100 percent committed to supporting our communities through these unprecedented times,” said U.S. Attorney Terwilliger. “In addition to upholding the rule of law, we are working daily to ensure that our state and local partners have the resources they need to effectively combat the spread of COVID-19. These grants underscore our commitment to stand with those on the frontline of this critical fight.”

Applications are currently being accepted and all applications are due by May 29.

For more information about this grant opportunity and instructions on the application process, please click here. To apply, please click here.

The Virginia Coronavirus Fraud Task Force:
https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdva/covid-19-fraud

Western Virginia Coronavirus Fraud Coordinator, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Baudinet, USAVAW.COVID19@usdoj.gov or 540-278-1494.

Eastern Virginia Coronavirus Fraud Coordinator, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaitlin G. Cooke, Kaitlin.Cooke@usdoj.gov or 804-819-5416.

To report a COVID-19 fraud scheme or suspicious activity, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) by calling the NCDF Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or sending an email to disaster@leo.gov.

FBI at: https://www.ic3.gov or 804-261-1044.

To report fraudulent activity to the Virginia State Police, Virginians can contact the Virginia Fusion Center (VFC) at vfc@vfc.vsp.virginia.gov.

For continuing information on the COVID-19 virus and the federal response, check https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

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Front Royal/Warren County Economic Development Authority seeks loan committee members

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In an effort to assist small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, the Front Royal/Warren County Economic Development Authority (FR-WC EDA) is reactivating it’s United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan programs. We realize there are hard times ahead for our business community and we’re working to provide financial assistance to help companies with operating capital and other expenses. This program will work in concert with the Small Business Administration (SBA) programs currently being offered through the U.S. Government.

Toward that end, the FR-WC EDA is seeking qualified citizens to serve on its USDA Microloan and IRP loan committee. This five-member committee will oversee the FR-WC EDA’s USDA loan program and work with the Board of Directors and staff to develop criteria for future loans, analyze applications and approve new loans. This committee will be chosen by the FR-WC EDA Board of Directors and will serve for a term of one year. We are looking for citizens with experience in banking, finance, and small business. We strongly encourage women and minorities to apply. Interested parties should submit a resume or summary of relevant experience to Doug Parsons, Executive Director, at dparsons@wceda.com Those with questions may also contact us by phone at 540-635-2182.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at 5 p.m.

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Virginia State Police enforcement practices of Governor’s executive orders and directives

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RICHMOND – The Virginia State Police encourages all Virginians to adhere to Virginia Governor Northam’s directives and does their part by staying home in order to best mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19 within the Commonwealth. State troopers, for their personal protection and for the safety of the public, are minimizing their direct contact with the public. All Department recruitment events, public presentations, training, ceremonies, etc., have all been canceled or postponed through June 10, 2020.

Governor Northam has directed state and local law enforcement to initially address violations of the following Executive Order 53 and Executive Order 55 directives with education and warnings. Persistent violation of these Executive Order (EO) directives can result in an individual(s) or business being charged with a class one misdemeanor, which carries up to a year in jail and $2,500 fine:

• Prohibition of all public and private in-person, indoor and outdoor gatherings of more than 10 individuals – with the exception of the operation of businesses not required to close under EO 53 and the gathering of family members living in the same residence;

• Closure of all dining and congregation areas in restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, and farmers markets;

• Any brick and mortar retail business (not listed in paragraph 5 of EO 53) failing to limit all in-person shopping to no more than 10 patrons per establishment. If any such business cannot adhere to the 10-patron limit with proper social distancing requirements, it must close.

• Closure of all public access to recreational and entertainment businesses;

• Closure of public beaches for all activity, except for exercising and fishing;

• Cancellation of in-person classes and instruction at institutions of higher education;

• Cessation of all reservations for overnight stays of less than 14 nights at all privately-owned campgrounds

Virginia State Police have been and will continue to assess Virginia EO violations on a case-by-case basis.

State police are required to uphold the laws of the Commonwealth and will continue to have a visible presence within our communities and on the roads for the safety of those living, working and traveling in Virginia. The law still requires law enforcement to have reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop on a vehicle. Virginia State Police will not be making random traffic stops on vehicles nor conduct checkpoints to determine if a driver is traveling for a permissible reason, as granted by EO 53 and EO 55.

The current Governor’s Executive Orders related to COVID-19:

• Do not require an individual to carry documentation related to one’s purpose of travel;

• Do not close Virginia roads/interstates to Virginia residents;

• Do not restrict non-Virginia residents from traveling into and/or through Virginia;

• Do not prevent Virginians from traveling out of the state. State police do encourage any Virginian(s) traveling out-of-state to check, in advance, the other state(s) for any travel restrictions in effect for that state(s). Governor Northam has advised Virginians returning from out-of-state and/or international travel to self-quarantine for at least 14 days.

For any additional questions related to the statewide “Stay at Home” order, please go to www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/faq.

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Governor Northam COVID-19 update briefing – April 1, 2020

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Governor Northam joins the Virginia Emergency Support Team to share the latest updates on the COVID-19 response. Here is the latest update:

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Monday afternoon fire burns one acre, destroys vacant home

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On Monday, March 30, 2020, at approximately 2:00 pm, the Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services received a report of a residential structure fire in the area of the 200 block of Summit Drive in Front Royal.

Units arrived on the scene to discover a single story, single-wide house trailer with an addition with significant fire conditions throughout the home and approximately one acre of wooded area on fire. The home appeared to be vacant at the time of the fire and firefighters worked to extinguish the wildland fire and the structure fire from the exterior of the home for safety concerns.

As a result of the significant nature of the structure fire and wildland fire, firefighters received assistance from the Virginia Department of Forestry. Firefighters utilized the Town of Front Royal Hydrant System to supply water to the fire incident which caused the closure of John Marshal Highway for several hours, the Front Royal Police Department assisted with traffic control. It took firefighters approximately one hour to bring the fire under control. Units remained on the scene for several hours ensuring the fire was completely extinguished and assisting the Office of the Fire Marshal and Virginia Department of Forestry.

The cause of the fire was determined by the Warren County Fire Marshal’s Office to be a result of an electrical malfunction that caused a groundcover fire that spread to the abandon home. The fire caused an estimated $50,000.00 in property damage which rendered the house a total loss. The Fire Marshal’s Office received assistance from the Town of Front Royal Police Department Criminal Investigations Division, Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Town of Front Royal Electric Department.

Units on the call:

  • Engines 1, 4, 6, and 2
  • Brush 6 and 2
  • Chief 100
  • Fire Marshal 1
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Upcoming Events

Apr
2
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 2 @ 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, March 18 and Thursday, March 19: Our stories, songs, and craft this week will be about friends! Come to story time and see your friends,[...]
12:00 pm LFCC work from home training @ ONLINE
LFCC work from home training @ ONLINE
Apr 2 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
LFCC work from home training @ ONLINE
LFCC Workforce Solutions recognizes the challenges companies are facing as most workers are forced to temporarily work from home. That’s why it has developed this FREE live webinar “5 Ways to Support Employees During this[...]
6:00 pm FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
Apr 2 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Front Royal Christian School
3 exciting shows: APRIL 2 – 6pm, April 3 – 7pm, April 4 – 6pm. Bring the family! Filled with fun flappers and a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.[...]
Apr
3
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Apr 3 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
6:00 pm FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
Apr 3 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Front Royal Christian School
3 exciting shows: APRIL 2 – 6pm, April 3 – 7pm, April 4 – 6pm. Bring the family! Filled with fun flappers and a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.[...]
Apr
4
Sat
8:00 am Troop 53 Annual Mulch Sale @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire and Rescue
Troop 53 Annual Mulch Sale @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire and Rescue
Apr 4 @ 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Troop 53 Annual Mulch Sale @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire and Rescue
Spring is approaching, and Troop 53 is preparing for their annual mulch fundraiser. The funds raised will help support troop activities and send our Boy Scouts to summer camp, where they learn valuable skills in[...]
6:00 pm FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
Apr 4 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Front Royal Christian School
3 exciting shows: APRIL 2 – 6pm, April 3 – 7pm, April 4 – 6pm. Bring the family! Filled with fun flappers and a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.[...]
Apr
7
Tue
10:00 am Focus on Health Employment & Edu... @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Focus on Health Employment & Edu... @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Apr 7 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Focus on Health Employment & Education Fair @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Two sessions: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Different vendors at each session. Held in the Science and Health Professions Building at LFCC’s Middletown Campus. Contact Taylor Luther for more[...]
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 7 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, March 17 –  Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! This[...]
Apr
8
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 8 @ 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, March 18 and Thursday, March 19: Our stories, songs, and craft this week will be about friends! Come to story time and see your friends,[...]