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RSW Jail, substance abuse rehab program mark progress with summit

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From left, Diana Lieber, Chris Ronquest and Russ Gilkison explain and reflect on implementation and results from an aggressive, peer-based substance abuse recovery and reentry program at RSW Jail. Royal Examiner Photos. Video by Mark Williams.

On Thursday, August 8, Royal Examiner spoke with Virginia Recovery and Reentry (VRR) Program Project Director Christopher Ronquest of the McShin Foundation, McShin-RSW Jail Program Facilitator Diana Lieber and Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren County (RSW) Regional Jail Superintendent Russ Gilkison about the first eight months of implementation of an aggressively proactive effort to rehabilitate inmates dealing with substance abuse issues.

As Gilkison notes during our video interview, in addition to people convicted and jailed on drug offenses, many jailed on other criminal charges have substance abuse problems as a basis for that criminal activity.

And the VRR program launched at both RSW Jail and Prince George County’s Riverside Regional Jail last December takes direct aim at addiction and substance abuse through a peer-to-peer approach to recovery aimed at reducing criminal recidivism related to substance abuse and addiction. LINK-McShin Foundation, AG Mark Herring help launch RSW Jail rehab program



To mark the program’s personal success stories, stories that will remain in progress for the rest of participating inmates’ lives, the two jails and the Richmond-based McShin Foundation will hold a VRR Organizational Summit in southern Warren County on August 29, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mountain Bed & Breakfast at 3471 Remount Road. The event is open to the public.

RSW Superintendent Russ Gilkison welcomes Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, center, and McShin Foundation President John Shinholser to the Dec. 14, 2018 launch of the Virginia Recovery and Reentry Program at RSW.

In addition to program and jail officials the summit will include scholarship recipients from the VRR re-entry program. Those inmates now facing transition back into the world will tell their stories of hope for meaningful change in their lives brought to them through the partnership of the McShin Foundation’s Virginia Recovery and Re-Entry Program and the RSW and Riverside Jails.

The scholarships or grant offers will help fund 20-plus inmates, a majority from RSW, transition back toward productive lives away from the environments that led to their substance abuse and criminality, in residential recovery settings as they seek jobs and meaningful change in their lives.

As Ronquest, Lieber and Gilkison explain in our video interview, the heart of the VRR Program is that peer-to-peer interaction with program members and inmates who share a background in substance abuse and addiction. It is an approach that removes the “why don’t you straighten up and do something positive with your life” lecture to “this is how I overcame my addiction issues and have maintained sobriety, I think you can do it too” path of empathy and shared mutual experience.

Lieber, an Air Force veteran who is a volunteer program facilitator at RSW told us, “It is a win-win for everybody and a miracle to see in action”.

And that “everybody” who wins from the VRR Program includes you as a taxpaying member of this community. For when the pattern of behavior of addiction and associated criminality is broken, those inmates and VRR Program alumni are much less likely to return to that previous lifestyle and consequently are less likely to return to jail to be housed again for longer periods of time on the taxpayer’s dime.

Things are changing for the better in VRR Program pods inside the RSW Jail in northern Warren County.

The McShin Foundation was established in 2004 and is Virginia’s leading non-profit, full-service Recovery Community Organization (RCO), committed to serving individuals and families in their fight against Substance Use Disorders. The VRR Programs at RSW and Riverside Jails was enabled by a matching grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s Building Communities of Recovery initiative.

Please watch the linked Royal Examiner video interview for more detail on the VRR Program, the upcoming summit, and the project’s potential to enable meaningful, positive change in individual lives and consequently in the life of, not only our community, but communities across the commonwealth.

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Wakefield Country Day School welcomes the world!

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Article and photo: Suzanne Zylonis

Gutentag! Hola! Ciao! XieXie! Hello! Wakefield Country Day School is known for welcoming students from several surrounding counties, including Rappahannock, Fauquier, Prince William, Culpeper and Warren. This year, WCDS also welcomes a dozen high school students from Germany, Italy, China and Spain — as well as DC and NYC!

Several of these students will complete their high school careers here, while others are on a one-year exchange program. Natalia, from Spain, loves drawing, history and literature, and wants to become a journalist. It was the Journalism Program at WCDS that drew her to Rappahannock, and its annual trip to NYC and the New York Times! Jonah, from Germany, loves math and physics, and was most interested in joining the WCDS Jazz Ensemble as a trombonist. Alessia joins us from Italy. She loves travel and learning about new cultures and hopes to attend college in the States. Jeannel is from the Queens, NYC. In a meeting with Dr. Cameron Webb, she was inspired to become a dermatologist, and has dug into her chemistry classes.

While these students have added both culturally and academically to the student body at WCDS, it is also important to show them our beautiful surrounding counties. Be on the lookout for this group as they tour our surrounding counties of Rappahannock, Warren, Culpeper and Fauquier this Fall.



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Halloween Grams by the Skyline Middle School Interact Club

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Kids are making a difference by supporting our community. Kudos to the Skyline Middle School Interact students who have organized a fundraiser to benefit the Humane Society of Warren County: Halloween Grams! They will be sold at school to bring a little extra fun to Halloween and help our local furry friends. Well done kids!

The Rotary Club of Warren County is proud to sponsor the Interact Club at Skyline Middle School. The kids get to meet on a regular basis to discuss our community and brainstorm project ideas on how to support local causes or identify needs. If you have a middle school child at Skyline Middle School and think the Rotary Interact program sounds like a fit, let us know!

Contact us through our website: warrencountyrotary.org OR Facebook page: facebook.com/RotaryClubofWarrenCounty

Let’s get our kids active!


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Front Royal Zombie Walk 2021

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The 2021 Front Royal Zombie Walk was a great success. We raised almost $500 (so far)  in donations for the Front Royal/Warren County Humane Society.

Hundred of Zombies walked the streets of Front Royal on Saturday night. Fun for all at the Boomuseum. Good to see the community gathering at the Gazebo area and just enjoy the time together. People of all ages participated, some just came to watch, from a safe distance, of course.

A BIG thank you to all who helped this year. A BIG BIG thank you to Shae Parker and his band, River Driven. The music calmed even Zombies.

And we don’t want to Forget the Front Royal Police Department – they assisted in getting the Zombies across the busy traffic and safely downtown.


The Zombie Walk 2021 T-Shirts are still available at C&C Frozen Treats on Main Street.

Check out the Zombie Walk Facebook page for more pictures.

Did you miss it? Watch the event now on this exclusive Royal Examiner video:


 

Some celebrated their wedding anniversary at the Zombie Walk.

 

Zombies come in all ages.

 

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Everyone age 12 and older can now get the COVID vaccine

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Here are the COVID-19 vaccine locations in Warren County.  Be sure to call and check on vaccine availability and appointment times.

Walmart Inc #10-5105
10 Riverton Commons Dr, Front Royal, VA 22630
540-635-4140

CVS Pharmacy, Inc. #17367
10 Crooked Run Plaza, Front Royal, VA 22630
(540) 631-3291

Warren County Health Department
465 W 15th St #200, Front Royal, VA 22630
(540) 635-3159


CVS Pharmacy, Inc. #07509
800 John Marshall Hwy, Front Royal, VA 22630
(540) 635-1601

Martins #6282
409 South St, Front Royal, VA 22630
540-635-3175

Check at https://www.vaccines.gov/ for other locations in our area.

Protect yourself and others. Remember the following when receiving your COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Wear a cloth face covering or mask in accordance with CDC guidance
  • Keep at least six feet of distance between yourself and other people not in your household at all times
  • Respect the privacy of others when taking photos

 

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Warrior Psychotherapy Services opens on Main Street

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Niki Foster Cales of the Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce, along with fellow Chamber members and Supervisor Walt Mabe welcomed Courtney Patti to the community with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Warrior Psychotherapy Services is located at 130 E. Main Street in Front Royal.

Courtney Patti is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with over 15 years of practice working with the chronic medical and behavioral health population.

Her experience includes working in facilities such as Children’s National Medical Center, Washington Hospital Center Outpatient Behavioral Health, University of Virginia Medical Center, Sheppard Pratt Health System, and Ft Belvoir Community Hospital working in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Minor in Religion from Sweet Briar College in 2005. Courtney received her Masters of Social Work (MSW) from Catholic University of America: National Catholic School of Social Services in Washington, D.C.  in 2007.

Her specialty focuses on adults whose lives are impacted by depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and unresolved emotional issues. She is considered an expert in her field in formulating diagnostic and treatment recommendations, providing individual, couple, and family therapy.


Click here to find out more about Warrior Psychotherapy on their website.

 

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Motion to bar press from hearing on Luckey indecent sexual liberties with a minor charges delays hearing to January 6

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On Thursday, October 21, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge Daryl Funk ruled in favor of a defense motion to bar the press from the courtroom during the hearing of accused child sexual abuser Dr. William R. Luckey. The ruling, at the request of Luckey’s defense counsel Shannon Johnson, resulted in a continuation of the scheduled hearing at which the alleged juvenile victim was expected to testify.

Court records indicate the hearing was continued to January 6 of next year on the morning docket with an anticipated start time of 10:30 a.m. The delay will allow press organizations to file responses to the judge’s ruling on their exclusion, making their case to be allowed in the courtroom for future hearings or trials where testimony by and about the alleged victim would be heard.

According to reports Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Samantha Meadows was poised to call at least three witnesses Thursday, including the alleged victim and case investigator Kristin Hajduk of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. However, the youth’s testimony would have been by remote video hook-up, avoiding the necessity of an underage witness having to be in the same room with their accused abusers as they testify.

As of a J&D Court ruling on Thursday, October 21, media was excluded from hearings where testimony by or about the alleged victim in the William R. Luckey sexual solicitation and indecent liberties against a minor case would be heard. Below, Luckey upon his June 25, 2021, booking into RSW Jail. Mug shot – RSW Jail website; Courthouse photo – Royal Examiner File Photo


 

On June 25, 2021, the 72-year-old, retired (in 2015) Christendom College professor of 33 years and more recent teacher at the Padre Pio Academy at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Front Royal was charged with one count of “Solicitation of prostitution from a minor less than age 16” and two charges of “Indecent liberties … of a child less than 15”. Court documents list all three offense dates as June 22, 2021, three days prior to Luckey’s arrest. Original presiding Judge Nancy Reed initially denied bond in the case on June 30. However, upon defense appeal citing health issues and his long-term ties to the community, Luckey was released on a $50,000 secured bond on July 12.

Copies of warrants on those charges offered additional detail. Of the two indecent liberties charges, Luckey is accused of “with lascivious intent knowingly and intentionally sexually abuse a (age withheld by paper) female …” and “that the accused feel or fondle the sexual or genital parts of such child”.

Of the solicitation charge, the warrant alleges that Luckey offered “money or its equivalent to a minor under 16 years of age … with the intent to sexually arouse or gratify and thereafter perform a substantial act in furtherance thereof.” Commonwealth evidence indicated that money was ten dollars offered to the alleged victim to see and touch their “bottom”. The warrants indicate the money was refused by the child, but that Luckey followed through with the suggested behavior, leaving the ten dollars behind when he left the scene.

During initial hearings last summer the Commonwealth introduced recorded phone conversations between Dr. Luckey and his wife discussing her husband’s legal situation in the days following his arrest. Investigator Hajduk told the court that the couple knew they were being recorded on the phone line to the jail before introducing recorded segments of those conversations to the court and summarizing other sections. While the prosecution’s take on those segments was that they indicated an admission of some of the alleged behavior, the defense disputed that contention.
Rather, defense attorney Johnson argued certain conversational lines simply indicated Dr. Luckey’s reaction to the charges against him or social dynamics involved with those accusations. In fact, she told the court some of Dr. Luckey’s comments to his wife indicated a belief the charges “were invalid” and that his accuser could face the consequences of filing a false police report.

“This isn’t what happened,” Julie Luckey told her husband of specific sexual acts described in one of the warrants, later adding, “It’s not like you raped somebody.”

“No, it doesn’t say ‘Show me your hiney,’ Dr. Luckey seemed to laugh in response to his wife’s dispute over the content of the warrants. At another point in recorded conversations in the days after his arrest, Dr. Luckey told his wife his situation was a result “of 15 minutes of stupidity on my part.”

Whether that “15 minutes of stupidity” will be viewed as a criminal solicitation and abuse of a minor remains to be seen; as does whether future preliminary hearings or a potential trial will be viewed and reported by the media.

 

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Upcoming Events

Oct
28
Thu
10:00 am Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 28 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie at Strokes of Creativity. Tickets: CLICK HERE Cost: $80 for 6 weeks Dates: Thursdays – Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 4 Time: 10 am[...]
1:00 pm Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 28 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
This class is for Grades 4th and 5th. Perfect for home schoolers. Recommended ages: 9 and 10 years old Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at[...]
7:00 pm Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Oct 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
White Horse Auto Wash is excited for the first Haunted Tunnel at their new Front Royal location this year! Located next to Lowe’s at 214 Country Club Road, Front Royal, VA. The event will be[...]
Oct
29
Fri
9:00 am Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 29 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Edmonds Lane Field: Join The Piedmont Environmental Council, Friends of the Rappahannock, Goose Creek Association, John Marshall Soil & Water Conservation District and We Plant Trees, for volunteer tree planting at Sky Meadows State Park![...]
6:00 pm Trunk or Treat @ Family Dollar Parking Lot
Trunk or Treat @ Family Dollar Parking Lot
Oct 29 @ 6:00 pm – Oct 30 @ 9:00 pm
Trunk or Treat @ Family Dollar Parking Lot
Non-profit organization Crown Vic Kiings & Queens, of Winchester, Virginia, is hosting our annual car club TRUNK OR TREAT, in Front Royal, on October 29th. The event is free but donations are greatly appreciated, as[...]
7:00 pm Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Oct 29 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
White Horse Auto Wash is excited for the first Haunted Tunnel at their new Front Royal location this year! Located next to Lowe’s at 214 Country Club Road, Front Royal, VA. The event will be[...]
Oct
30
Sat
9:00 am Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 30 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Edmonds Lane Field: Join The Piedmont Environmental Council, Friends of the Rappahannock, Goose Creek Association, John Marshall Soil & Water Conservation District and We Plant Trees, for volunteer tree planting at Sky Meadows State Park![...]
1:00 pm Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Oct 30 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fort Valley Museum Fall Craft Festival – Annual Fundraiser October 30 & 31, 2021 | Saturday 1-4pm, Sunday 2-5pm Come by and support the Fort Valley Museum at our annual Fall Craft Festival (formerly “Christmas[...]
1:00 pm Feed the Homeless Trunk or Treat @ T-Bone's Bar & Grill
Feed the Homeless Trunk or Treat @ T-Bone's Bar & Grill
Oct 30 @ 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Feed the Homeless Trunk or Treat @ T-Bone's Bar & Grill
Non-profit organization Crown Vic Kiings & Queens, of Winchester, Virginia, is hosting our annual car club FEED THE HOMELESS/TRUNK OR TREAT on October 30th. The event is free but donations are greatly appreciated, as Crown[...]
7:00 pm Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Oct 30 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
White Horse Auto Wash is excited for the first Haunted Tunnel at their new Front Royal location this year! Located next to Lowe’s at 214 Country Club Road, Front Royal, VA. The event will be[...]