The “Epilogue” bookstore at Samuels Public Library in Front Royal is turning out to be a goldmine for the library and a worthwhile project for a host of volunteers.
Melody Hotek, president of “Friends of Samuels Library” (FOSL), reports in her latest newsletter that most of the $21,500 raised by FOSL during the last fiscal year came from the quaint bookstore booth in the library’s entrance hall – $16,132. Other income came from the usual sources, membership and donations ($5,460) which led to a healthy $18,405 being passed to the library.
Donated hard cover books and DVDs sell for $2.50; kid’s books and paperbacks for 50 cents.
Hotek announced the date of FOSL’s annual meeting – September 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the library’s white meeting room – and promised home made (by board members) light refreshments.
She also produced information on the number of programs held by the library from July 2018 to June 2019 which was 839, attended by 33,190 adults and children. “FOSL hosted or supported a number of these programs,” she reported. Upcoming this fall are events covering landscape photography; degenerate art: the Persecution of Modern Art; holiday photography and … Lyme Disease. There will also be a book and bake sale on September 21.
Next April 25, for the library’s annual fundraiser, the theme is “A Taste for Books … on the High Seas” and the library will be transformed with tropical islands and famous ships to set the tone.
“Mark your calendars … you won’t want to miss this one – it’s always the best party in town,” Hotek wrote.
Changes coming to North Royal Avenue
The former Title Max building (and for some us the old Hardees) is coming down. Dupont Credit Union has purchased the property. So we’ll see if we’ll have another credit union in town soon. Also changes coming to to the other end of town too. CVS is moving into the RiteAid building, Big Lots to the old Food Lion and rumors that Starbucks in looking at the current CVS space. Now everyone is asking where will Chick-fil-A go?
Thermal Shelter of Front Royal will open on December 21st
The Thermal Shelter of Front Royal will open on December 21st and will be open every night until April 4, 2020.
The Thermal Shelter is a non-profit organization, non-denominational, low barrier, overnight shelter for homeless adults (over 18) men and women. The Thermal Shelter works in partnership with local churches, during the winter months. Their guests are provided a hot dinner, bed and a packed breakfast & lunch in the morning.
Free transportation to Shelter is provided each night. Guests are picked up between 6:30pm – 6:45pm at the CCap office, which is located behind St. Luke’s Community Clinic at 316 N. Royal Avenue in Front Royal.
Mike McCool, the publisher of the Royal Examiner spoke with Michele Smeltzer along with Jim Bunce from Marlow Heights Baptist Church, Eric Repleog from Virginia Hills Church and Bobby Stepp from New Hope Bible Church in the exclusive video:
Here is the list of local churches and times when they will be the host for the Thermal Shelter:
Saturday, December 21, 2019 New Hope Bible Church – 80 N Lake Dr., Front Royal
Saturday, December 28, 2019 Dynamic Life Church – 1600 John Marshall Hwy, Front Royal
Saturday, January 4, 2020 (Fauquier) Linden United Methodist Church 13466 John Marshall Hwy, Linden
Saturday, January 11, 2020 First Baptist Church – 14 West 1st Street, Front Royal
Saturday, January 18, 2020 Front Royal United Methodist Church- 1 West Main St. Front Royal
Saturday, January 25, 2020 Calvary Episcopal Church- 132 N. Royal Ave, Front Royal
Saturday, February 1, 2020 Riverton Methodist Church – 55 E. Strasburg Rd, Front Royal
Saturday, February 8, 2020 Marlow Heights Baptist Church – 517 Braxton Rd, Front Royal
Saturday, February 15, 2020 Marlow Heights Baptist Church – 517 Braxton Rd, Front Royal
Saturday, February 22, 2020 Virginia Hills Church – 737 Rockland Rd, Front Royal
Saturday, February 29, 2020 Virginia Hills Church – 737 Rockland Rd, Front Royal
Saturday, March 7, 2020 First Baptist Church – 14 West 1st Street, Front Royal
Saturday, March 14, 2020 Church of the Rock – 620 Virginia Ave, Front Royal
Saturday, March 21, 2020 Church at Skyline – 7655 Stonewall Jackson Hwy, Front Royal
Saturday, March 28, 2020 Front Royal Presbyterian Church- 115 Luray Ave, Front Royal
For more information, please visit their Facebook Page here. Also you can contact: Michelle Smeltzer (540) 892-6108
Donation are accepted (and needed) and can be mailed to :
Thermal Shelter of Front Royal
PO Box 454
Front Royal, VA 22630
January 10th set for decision on EDA civil defendant motions to quash
Attorneys for multiple Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority civil litigation defendants argued for dismissal of their clients’ inclusion in that list in Warren County Circuit Court on Thursday, December 12. After hearing over 4-1/2 hours of testimony surrounding a 45-minute lunch break, Judge Bruce D. Albertson took those arguments and plaintiff counsel counter-arguments under advisement.
After an explanation to defendants present, including Donald Poe, April Petty and Jesse Poe, about the reason for the time he will take before returning to court to make a ruling on their and other defendants’ counsel arguments, Albertson set a date of January 10, at 2:30 p.m. to make his ruling.
That is the same date the judge continued a scheduled Show Cause hearing on a Civil Contempt charge against primary EDA civil and criminal defendant Jennifer McDonald earlier during the Thursday docket. McDonald’s civil contempt hearing will follow an already scheduled McDonald criminal hearing on the 1 p.m. docket on January 10.
McDonald’s criminal case attorney Peter Greenspun informed Albertson he was taking over his client’s civil case as well in the wake of the withdrawal of her former civil attorney Lee Berlik.
Greenspun told the court he needed additional time to familiarize himself with the civil aspects of McDonald’s legal situation.
A third EDA-related hearing on Thursday morning’s docket was Donald Poe counsel William Ashwell’s motion to Quash a Perjury charge regarding the Earth Right Energy principal’s testimony to the EDA Special Grand Jury. That case went forward first on what was slated to be an 8 a.m. start to Thursday’s docket, delayed by late arrivals of a court reporter and McDonald’s Northern Virginia-based attorney.
After hearing Ashwell and new Rockingham County prosecutor’s arguments, Albertson deferred a ruling on dismissal of Poe’s perjury charge to the January 22 date on which that trial is scheduled to begin.
Ashwell told the court that his client was the one defendant “not on the continuance train” with an originally slated perjury trial date of December 6 having been moved to a three-day slot in January to accommodate the recent placement of a new prosecutor’s office to handle all the EDA criminal cases. Incoming Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney John Bell has recused himself from EDA cases and current County Commonwealth Attorney Bryan Layton has withdrawn due to his pending departure from the office.
In addition to McDonald on her case and Donald Poe, April Petty and Jesse Poe who were present with counsel Thursday, EDA civil defendants represented in Thursday’s Demurrer motions hearing were Truc “Curt” Tran and ITFederal and Poe’s Earth Right Energy Solar Panel Installation company.
The basis of those defense counsel arguments for dismissal of their clients from the civil case revolved around several points. Primary among those is the plaintiff notion of an overarching conspiracy that somehow links the various defendants to central figure and former EDA Executive Director McDonald; and that there were definable contractual breaches by those defendants making them individually liable for funds that came their way through McDonald.
Lead plaintiff attorney Cullen Seltzer argued that there did not have to have to be direct knowledge among all defendants of each interlocking conspiracy McDonald is alleged to having been a party to for that conspiracy to exist.
He used an analogy to a gang that planned to rob every Bank of America in Richmond, saying a gang member assigned to one “bank job” did not have to know the detail of every other bank robbery to be criminally liable for the entire take.
Seltzer dismissed defense arguments that “McDonald is a rouge tornado dumping all this EDA money into all these pockets” without the recipients’ knowledge that something illegal was transpiring that they were beneficiaries of.
However, Jesse Poe and April Petty’s attorney William Schmidheiser argued that such a conspiracy theory did not apply to his clients, whose alleged “unjust enrichment” did not go directly to them, but rather to real estate companies handling the closings on their homes.
Schmidheiser noted his clients’ limited incomes, telling the court the reason he represented them both was a necessity to pool their resources to finance their defenses. He called their being packaged as part of an alleged $21 million civil suit conspiracy for mortgage payoffs of $125,000 (Petty) and $280,000 (Jesse Poe) was, short of the loss of a child or a cancer diagnosis, one of the worst things that could happen to an average person.
He said that while there might be “unjust enrichment” claims the plaintiff could argue – we’ll deal with those down the road, he told the court – the circumstance of his clients’ involvement distanced them from the plaintiff EDA counsel’s conspiracy theory.
He compared his clients’ circumstance to that of the casino McDonald is alleged to have lost at least $750,000 gambling at, noting that while the casino received cash from McDonald that could have been EDA assets, the casino was not a defendant.
In arguing that Earth Right Energy’s (ERE) contracts with the EDA through its then-executive director were valid and binding, attorney Ryan Huttar told the court that at the time those contracts were enacted “Jennifer McDonald (was) the EDA”.
That was a point the EDA legal team disputed, noting that large dollar (over $10,000) transactions had to be approved by the EDA Board of Directors, which they stated, did not happen.
ITFederal attorney Brandon Elledge argued that the EDA Board did approve the $10 million dollar loan it is seeking recovery of from his client, as well as the subsequent vendor payments of $1.4 million also in dispute.
Sands Anderson plaintiff counsel countered that the loan and the vendor payments were received under false pretenses concocted by Tran and McDonald in concert.
Elledge also stressed that Tran remains current on his loan payments, and that no proof had been offered that his client personally benefited from the payments, rather than professionally as intended. Oddly however, the Deed of Trust on the property was amended so that Tran only has to spend $2 million of the $10 million loan on the Front Royal property.
In setting the January 10 date for a decision on the motions to dismiss the defendants from the civil suit, Judge Albertson compared himself to a student.
“The attorneys teach us their view of what the law is” related to their cases “and it will take several weeks to fact check their arguments – I will treat this seriously, please be patient,” he asked the defendants present.
Clear Brook woman charged in South Royal Avenue traffic incident
A 44-year-old Frederick County woman has been charged regarding a Monday evening traffic incident on South Royal Avenue in Front Royal. According to the RSW Jail website, Susan Miller Harbaugh, from Clear Brook, Virginia, was booked on two charges, Driving While Intoxicated and Vandalism, Intentional Destruction of Property (monument).
Harbaugh was booked into the jail at 12:29 a.m. Tuesday morning, December 10, and released at 5:28 p.m. that afternoon.
According to Front Royal Police Sgt. Jason Winner, “On December 9, 2019, at approximately 9:50 p.m. FRPD officers were dispatched to the area of the 200 block of South Royal Avenue for a report of an accident. While responding to the area, officers were informed that a vehicle had left the scene of that accident and was traveling North on Royal Avenue.
“Officers located the vehicle that left the accident and conducted a traffic stop. It was determined during the accident investigation that the vehicle had struck a light pole on the side of the road.
That pole was knocked down into the roadway and was struck by another vehicle.”
Harbaugh was apprehended on North Royal Avenue.
Front Royal man arrested after reported shooting in the 200 block of Cloud Street
On November 27, 2019, at approximately 11:55 pm, the Front Royal Police Department responded to a report of a shooting in the 200 block of Cloud Street. When Officers arrived on scene, they encountered a male subject with non-life-threatening injuries, including a gunshot wound to his inner thigh.
Based on investigative findings, a suspect was identified as George Lee Good, 28, of Front Royal. Warrants were obtained on Good for 18.2-51 Maliciously Shoot or Wound; 18.2-53.1 Use of a Firearm in the commission of a felony; and 18.2-308.2 Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Other charges may be forthcoming regarding other involved individuals.
George Good was taken into custody without incident by Winchester Police Department during a DUI checkpoint. Good is currently at Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center where he is being held without bond. This investigation is on-going and anyone with further information is asked to contact Detective D. L. Fogle at (540)636-2208 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three hospitalized after Saturday night Route 55 East head-on collision
A 20-year-old Front Royal woman has been charged with reckless driving in connection with a three-car accident at 10:53 p.m. Saturday evening, December 7, off John Marshall Highway near Linden. According to a Virginia State Police Press Release issued Tuesday afternoon, December 10, a head-on collision between two of the involved vehicles sent the three occupants of those cars to Winchester Medical Center with serious injuries.
The driver of the third vehicle, which was being passed westbound on Route 55/John Marshall Highway 100 feet west of Route 651 (Gore Road), was uninjured.
Virginia State Police Trooper D. Ayers is investigating the accident. That investigation is ongoing.
According to VSP, “A 2014 Chevy Cruze was traveling west on Rt. 55 when it crossed a double solid yellow line and attempted to pass a westbound 2006 Nissan Murano. The Chevy attempted to avoid an approaching eastbound 2006 Hyundai Sonata and collided with the Nissan. That impact caused the Chevy and Hyundai to collide head-on.”
The driver of the Chevy, Brittney N. White, 20, of Front Royal, Va. was charged with reckless driving (46.2-854) passing at a hillcrest. White, along with a 19-year-old female passenger in her car, were two of those transported to Winchester Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries. Both were wearing seat belts.
The driver of the eastbound Hyundai, a 17-year-old female of Front Royal, was also reported to be wearing a seatbelt and was also transported to Winchester Medical Center with serious injuries.
The driver of the Nissan that White was attempting to pass, a 58-year-old male, of Stanley, Va. was uninjured and was also wearing a seat-belt.
The crash remains under investigation.
The Virginia State Police were assisted by the Warren Sheriff’s Office, and Warren County Fire and Rescue.
According to a Warren County Fire and Rescue post on the incident one of the occupants of the head-on collision vehicles had to be cut out by responding units, a process that took 10 minutes. The other injured and uninjured parties were able to self-extricate from the vehicles. Of the incident Warren County Emergency Services wrote:
“Just before 11:00 p.m. on Saturday night, WCFR units were dispatched for a reported motor vehicle traffic crash in the area of John Marshal Highway and Faith Way.
“An EMS unit from Linden Station 4 quickly arrived on the scene to find two vehicles with major damage from what appeared to be a head-on type collision. It was determined that a total of three vehicles were involved in the crash which contained a total of four possible patients. Three patients were able to self-rescue from their vehicles, a fourth was trapped as a result of the crash.
“Crews began to treat the injured victims while firefighters worked to extricate the trapped driver. It took approximately 10 minutes to extricate the trapped patient.
“Three total patients were ground transported to Winchester Trauma Center, the fourth refused any treatment on the scene.
“Crews were assisted on the scene by Warren County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police.
“Units on the call: Ambulance 4, Medic 1, Medic 10, Rescue Squad 1”