Connect with us

Local News

Rockland resident celebrates 103rd birthday – with a game of pool!

Published

on

Marvin Reifsnyder – Royal Examiner File Photo/Malcolm Barr Sr.

Marvin Reifsnyder of Rockland chalked up another one December 10 – another birthday, that is.

On that day, World War II veteran Reifsnyder was 103 years old and celebrated with the visit of his son, Alan and his wife Libby, visiting from Florida, plus several neighbors who stopped by individually to say “Happy Birthday!”

“Uncle Marvin” who some call him (behind his back) was born in 1914, the year World War I, the “war to end all wars”, broke out in Europe.  Unfortunately that assessment of an end to war was wrong, and Reifsnyder enlisted in the U.S. Navy after the U.S. entered World War II some 27 years later. He served in the Pacific aboard a destroyer, which was anchored off the island of Iwo Jima the day in 1945 the Japanese surrendered.

Marvin lives alone – or rather with a caregiver – at the home he moved into with his late wife in 1986. She died in 2006 after 69 years of marriage. He is a native of Pennsylvania and worked in the Department of the Army at the Pentagon almost 50 years.

Despite diminishing eyesight, he is driven to the American Legion in Front Royal each morning to play pool, and once in awhile takes his place at a poker table. “I’m having trouble sometimes, seeing the ball, but I still enjoy going there,” he said.

Marvin is well remembered at the Shenandoah Valley Golf Club (SVGC) where he played the course into his mid-’90s. For exercise, he leaves his home for a daily stroll on the golf course, weather permitting.

“We still remember Marvin,” said Janet Maucione, banquet manager at SVGC, when told of his 103rd birthday at a Rockland Christmas banquet December 14.

Share the News:

Local News

Citizens Voice Frustration at Special School Board Meeting

Published

on

The Warren County School Board convened a unique session on October 3, 2023, featuring an elongated time for public feedback.

Several parents raised concerns about safety issues, with bathrooms identified as a particular problem. One mother said her son was assaulted in a bathroom at Skyline Middle School, but administrators did not properly address it. She asserted the school has a bullying problem tied to the principal.

Other parents lamented increased fear-mongering and social media attacks against the schools, arguing issues are not unique to the county. A few speakers vouched for Superintendent Chris Ballinger’s leadership, with one teacher saying most staff support him despite a looming no-confidence vote from the board.

Tensions escalated when board member Melanie Salins was directly called out for previous “prison-like schools” comments. A teacher said Salins has not been supportive, and her words set staff back.

The public comment section displayed intense emotions around problems in the schools, proper solutions, and accountability. Speakers on all sides urged more open communication and collaboration between officials, educators, and parents to address challenges.

Several commenters referenced political agendas and national groups they felt were inappropriately influencing school policies. Others asked the board to focus on students’ health and safety first and foremost.

The session spotlighted just how deeply issues in Warren County schools are impacting families and dividing the community. As one speaker noted, cooperative solutions require stakeholders to work together instead of attacking each other.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Local News

Blue Ridge Wildlife Center Patient of the Week: Woodland Box Turtle

Published

on

Can a turtle get an ear infection?

Although the weather is cooling, we are continuing to get many turtles in for care. On Saturday alone, we received and performed surgery on FIVE new turtle patients!

One of those patients was this woodland box turtle who came into care with a severe aural abscess (an ear infection that causes internal swelling). These abscesses can sometimes be caused by trauma, but many are associated with vitamin A deficiency, which changes the tissues that make up the ear lining and predisposes these turtles to develop abscesses.

In captive turtles with abscesses, this is often due to a lack of dietary vitamin A. In the wild, some pesticides are known to alter the metabolism of vitamin A and have been linked to these abscesses.

While ear infections in mammals often travel from the mouth to the ear canal via the eustachian tube, turtles lack an open, external ear canal. When an infection reaches their ear, it can’t escape, leading to the accumulation of pus with a firm, cheese-like consistency.

This unusual characteristic means that pus doesn’t readily drain back into their mouth, resulting in the formation of a substantial pocket within the ear. Without treatment, these abscesses and will often cause turtles to stop eating, which could lead to death.

This patient is healing well and will be spending the winter at our Center, and we expect him to be ready for release on May 1st!

Where do turtles go in the winter?

Woodland box turtles undergo a period of dormancy called brumation during the winter months, characterized by reduced activity and metabolic slowdown in response to colder temperatures and reduced daylight.

They seek shelter in burrows or natural cavities, becoming lethargic and unresponsive to stimuli, conserving energy and not eating or drinking. While they continue to breathe, it’s at a much slower rate, and they can absorb oxygen through their skin.

As the weather warms in spring, they gradually emerge, becoming more active and resuming their usual activities.

In our area, wild turtles brumate in the fall and winter months which is why the law in Virginia does not allow rehabilitators to release reptile patients between October 1 – April 30. Luckily, we were able to release nine turtles on September 30!

Any turtle we can’t release before October, or who came to us within that time, overwinters with us at the Center. We keep them in a warm and humid room so they don’t fall into brumation and can continue to be rehabbed.


Looking for an easy way to help native wildlife? Become a monthly BRWC donor! For as little as $5/month, you can provide year-round, sustainable support that helps us fulfill our mission.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Local News

Valley Health Touches the Future with 5,000 Robotic-Assisted Surgeries

Published

on

Pioneering Progress: The Evolution of Robotic Surgery in Winchester.

In a major stride towards medical excellence, Valley Health recently celebrated its 5,000th robotic-assisted surgery using the acclaimed da Vinci Xi robot. This accomplishment underscores the institution’s commitment to delivering top-tier medical services in the Winchester region.

Jorge Posadas, MD, a distinguished board-certified general surgeon with Valley Health Surgical Partners, highlighted the significance of this achievement. “The advantage of having this capability is that surgeries like robotic cancer surgery, or complex ventral hernia surgeries can be done in town. Otherwise, people would be traveling to Northern Virginia, at least, for the same surgeries. Now they have the same care they get in larger places right here in Winchester,” Dr. Posadas said.

Drs. Jorge Posadas and Devin Flaherty stand next to a new da Vinci Xi robot that arrived in September at WMC.

The da Vinci Xi robot is a groundbreaking surgical apparatus that enhances the dexterity and precision of a surgeon’s hands. It equips surgeons with high-definition 3D visuals, magnifying the operation site to unprecedented degrees. “We have more range of motion in a patient, compared to laparoscopic surgery, and we see a lot more detail. We are now able to perform superior surgery, and as a plus, it is ergonomically better for the surgeon,” stated Dr. Posadas.

The advantages of robotic surgery are multifold: reduced incision size, accelerated recovery, diminished pain, and minimized risk of complications. Notably, this technology has transformed the landscape of surgeries, allowing complex operations, like colon and hernia surgeries, to be less invasive than they were years ago.

Valley Health’s pioneering journey with robotics began in 2016 when they welcomed their first robot. Their inaugural robotic surgery was a gynecologic oncology procedure. “It was really great to be on the crest of the [robotics] wave as it was coming in,” remarked Devin Flaherty, DO, a fellowship-trained surgical oncologist. Today, Winchester Medical Center proudly houses five da Vinci robots, making it a standout facility in the state. With around 20 surgeons skilled in robotic surgeries, the institution has solidified its reputation in various specialties.

The commitment to this technology extends beyond regular hours. Valley Health ensures round-the-clock patient access to robotic surgery. “This milestone shows the work the surgeons, staff, and administration have put into making this possible. It’s impressive how quickly it happened. I think where it goes from here, it will be twice as fast to the next 5,000 cases,” observed Nicole Rogers, Valley Health’s robotics coordinator.

Concluding on a forward-looking note, Dr. Flaherty emphasized the broader implications of this milestone, “Five thousand is a good number, but more importantly, we need to look at the growth rate of the program, which is just exponentially increasing. We may hit 10,000 cases within the next two years. Valley Health has really bought into the program, and we’ll continue to strive to offer patients the most advanced, top-level care.”


Valley Health is a nonprofit health system serving a population of more than 500,000 in the Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the Eastern Panhandle and Potomac Highlands of West Virginia, and western Maryland. As a healthcare provider, employer, and community partner, Valley Health is committed to improving the health of the region. The system includes six hospitals, more than 70 medical practices and Urgent Care centers, outpatient rehabilitation and fitness, medical transport, long-term care, and home health. www.valleyhealthlink.com

 

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Local News

Virginia DMV Rolls Out Permanent Farm Use Placards

Published

on

Seeking Safer Roads and Clearer Use of Farm Tags.

Farmers across Virginia have something new to be thankful for. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has announced that permanent placards for unregistered farm vehicles are now available. These placards come as a response to a legislative decision aiming for safer roads and better regulation of farm vehicle identification.

Virginia’s DMV now offers permanent farm use placards for unregistered farm vehicles at all customer service centers. Applications for the permanent farm use placard are available on our newly redesigned website, dmv.virginia.gov.

This move has been met with support and encouragement from key officials. DMV Commissioner Gerald Lackey expressed his optimism about the new system, stating, “It is our hope that these placards will help ensure the proper use of farm use tags and, most importantly, make Virginia’s roads safer.” Farmers can avoid lines and long waits by mailing their applications in advance, which Lackey highly recommends.

Beginning July 1, 2024, these DMV-issued placards will be mandatory for unregistered farm-use panel trucks, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. This new requirement emerges from legislation the 2023 General Assembly passed, aiming to replace unofficial farm use tags often bought at local stores. Unlike the informal tags of the past, these placards are priced at $15 and last for the vehicle’s entire lifespan. However, it’s essential to note that they can’t be passed between vehicles. In cases where the vehicle’s title isn’t already with the owner, an extra $15 charge will apply.<br><br>

For those considering this service, the application will ask for several details, including:

  • Vehicle owner’s name and a corresponding FEIN, SSN, or DMV customer number.
  • Specific vehicle details such as the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Detailed information about the farm’s location, its size, and the agricultural products it produces.
  • A promise, through signatures, that the vehicle will strictly serve the purposes covered under the farm use exemption and that the vehicle is properly insured.

However, this new convenience doesn’t extend to online transactions for placards. Applicants are advised to either mail their forms with enough time for processing or set an appointment at the DMV to handle the matter in person. Further information about the right plates or placards for farm vehicles is available on the DMV website.

With the introduction of these placards, Virginia takes a step forward in ensuring safety on its roads and clarity in farm vehicle identification. As the 2024 enforcement date approaches, the state’s farmers are equipped with the information and tools they need for a smooth transition.

 

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Local News

Honoring Old Glory: A Flag Retirement Ceremony in Middletown, Virginia

SAR Chapter Conducts Reverent Farewell to Worn U.S. Flags at Historical Inn.

On a memorable day at the historic Wayside Inn in Middletown, Virginia, the air was thick with nostalgia and reverence. The Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) convened to perform a solemn duty: retiring U.S. flags that had served their time with honor.

Dating back to 1797, the Wayside Inn holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating inn in the nation. Its foundations, laid in the 1740s, resonate with tales from America’s history. In such a place, what could be more fitting than paying homage to the flag that embodies the nation’s spirit and pride? When a flag becomes worn out, the United States Code mandates its respectful destruction, preferably by fire.

The Color Guard at Present Arms l. to r. Paul Christensen, Doug Hall, Sean Carrigan, Paul Parish, Ken Bonner, Brett Osborn, Jim Cridge, Marc Robinson and Art LaFlam. (Photo courtesy of Chip Daniel.)

Chaplain Tom Reed’s invocation heralded the ceremony’s commencement, paving the way for a vibrant display of colors by a combined Virginia State Color Guard, marshaled by Commander Sean Carrigan. With the stage set, Emcee Dale Corey led the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance. A weighty silence descended as attendees prepared for the ritual’s crux: the flag’s formal retirement.

The audience listened, spellbound, as a tribute penned in 1933 by Master Sergeant Percy Webb of the United States Marine Corps echoed through the space. Titled “I Am Old Glory,” the piece captures the flag’s journey through America’s evolution, its significance during times of war and peace, and its enduring representation of national unity and freedom. Its words reminded everyone of the timeless values the flag stands for and the sacrifices made to preserve them.

I Am Old Glory

I am old Glory; for more than ten score years, I have been the banner of hope and freedom for generation after generation of Americans.  Born amid the first flames of America’s fight for freedom, I am the symbol of a country that has grown from a little group of 13 colonies to a united nation of 50 sovereign states.  Planted firmly on the high pinnacle of American Faith, my gently fluttering folds have proved an inspiration to untold millions.  Men have followed me into battle with unwavering courage.  They have looked upon me as a symbol of national unity.  They have prayed that they and their fellow citizens might continue to enjoy the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness which have been granted to every American as the heritage of free men.  So long as men love liberty more than life itself, so long as they treasure the priceless privileges bought with the blood of our forefathers, so long as the principles of truth, justice, and charity for all remain deeply rooted in human hearts, I shall continue to be the enduring banner of the United States of America. (Originally written by Master Sergeant Percy Webb, USMC.)

Taps with Sentinel Bryan Buck and Bugler Richard Tyler. (Photo courtesy of Chip Daniel.)

In a poignant moment, sergeant-at-arms Richard Tyler presented a flag to Corey for inspection. Deeming it no longer fit for service, the presiding officer oversaw its respectful and dignified disposal. As flames consumed the flag, a three-round salute rang out, punctuated by the somber notes of Taps, played by Tyler.

The Musket Squad fires a salute l. to r. Bryan Buck, Sean Carrigan, Paul Parish, Paul Christensen, Erick Moore, Allan Phillips and Art LaFlam. (Photo courtesy of Anita Bonner.)

The ceremony became interactive as attendees, which included members from SAR, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Girl Scouts, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, and Veterans of Foreign Wars, stepped forward to retire their flags. It was an eclectic group of representatives, from Virginia State SAR President Ernie Coggins to DAR representatives Anita Bonner and Anne Simmons, reflecting the wide-reaching impact of the flag on diverse groups.

As the flames of the ceremony died down, they left behind not just ashes but a renewed sense of unity and appreciation for the flag’s enduring symbolism. Through ceremonies like these, we are reminded of the importance of traditions, the sacrifices made for our freedoms, and the perpetual flame of patriotism that burns in American hearts.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Local News

Virginia’s Attorney General Opposes Planned Dulles Greenway Toll Hike

Published

on

A Hefty Price for Daily Commuters: Proposed $2.00 Increase During Peak Hours.

If you’re one of the many Virginians traveling the Dulles Greenway, be prepared: your commute may get a tad costlier. The Toll Road Investors Partnership II (TRIP II) has put forward a proposal to jack up the tolls on this vital 14-mile stretch northwest of Washington, D.C. But not everyone’s on board with this increase, especially Attorney General Jason Miyares.

In a move signaling support for daily commuters, Attorney General Miyares has lodged a formal notice with the State Corporation Commission (SCC), indicating his intention to participate in TRIP II’s application process for the toll increase. His engagement in this case illustrates the office’s commitment to standing shoulder to shoulder with Virginia ratepayers, Northern Virginia’s denizens, and regular commuters who would be directly impacted by such a hike. A complete objection will be presented at a fitting moment down the line.

To break down the numbers, right now, Virginians are shelling out $5.80 during those bustling peak traffic hours and $5.25 during the more tranquil off-peak hours for a standard 2-axle vehicle. With TRIP II’s proposal, these tolls would jump to $8.10 and $6.40, respectively. That’s a sizeable leap for folks using the toll road, especially considering the cumulative cost over weeks, months, and years.

Speaking out on the matter, Attorney General Miyares voiced the struggles of the everyday commuter: “Traffic in Northern Virginia is a daily challenge, and rising inflation only adds to the costs of commuting to work.” He emphasized his office’s position of standing beside Virginia’s commuters, understanding their daily grind, and promoting fairness by pushing back against toll hikes. For Miyares, every penny earned by Virginians holds immense value, and his goal is to shield them from unwarranted financial strains.

The Dulles Greenway toll increase, while seemingly a matter of a few dollars, has a broader implication for the countless individuals using the road daily. As inflation continues to press down on households, any additional financial burdens can be distressing. Thankfully, with Attorney General Miyares stepping into the ring, Virginia’s commuters have a vocal advocate in their corner. It remains to be seen how this toll tug-of-war unfolds, but one thing’s certain: the fight for fair tolls has indeed heated up.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

 

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 Mountain Creative Consulting

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 Jamboree LLC

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

Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Treatment Center

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

Jean’s Jewelers

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 Arc of Warren County

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
64°
Clear
7:10 am6:53 pm EDT
Feels like: 64°F
Wind: 0mph N
Humidity: 82%
Pressure: 30.16"Hg
UV index: 0
WedThuFri
82/52°F
79/59°F
75/55°F

Upcoming Events

Oct
4
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Oct 4 @ 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[...]
Oct
7
Sat
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 7 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]
1:00 pm Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Oct 7 @ 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.
Oct
8
Sun
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 8 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]
Oct
11
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Oct 11 @ 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[...]
Oct
14
Sat
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 14 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]
6:00 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 14 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Discover our International Dark-Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA’s Jet Propulsion[...]
Oct
15
Sun
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 15 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]
Oct
18
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Oct 18 @ 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[...]
Oct
21
Sat
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 21 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]