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Second Saturday night fire causes flame jetting phenomenon, injuring two

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On Saturday, April 4, 2020, at approximately 7:40 pm, the Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services were dispatched to the 200 block of 19th Street, Front Royal for a reported
explosion with people injured.

Fire and EMS units along with units from the Front Royal Police Department quickly arrived on the scene to discover that an outside fire pit had been extinguished prior to their arrival. Two patients were noted to have sustained burn-related injuries. One patient was treated on the scene and transported to MedStar Washington Hospital Burn Center via helicopter with significant burn injuries. A second patient was treated at a local medical facility for minor burn injuries.

The incident which was investigated by the Warren County Fire Marshal’s Office was determined to be caused by a phenomenon called “Flame Jetting”. Flame jetting happens when a container of flammable liquid meets an ignition source, causing flames to shoot out of the container for distances of 15 feet or greater. This type of event is often unexpected and extremely dangerous. This blowtorch-like effect can engulf bystanders in flames, leading to serious injury or even death.

Photo courtesy of Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services.

In this incident, a container of “weathered” gasoline was utilized in an attempt to accelerate the combustion within the outdoor fire pit. As the vapors ignited, the fire traveled into the container causing an over pressurization and rupture of the container resulting in the flame jetting event to occur. This caused the significant burn injuries to the bystander, burn injuries to the victim holding the container and damages the home ten feet away.

Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico stated, “while this event is certainly unfortunate, it should serve as a reminder that flammable liquids and open flames are a potentially deadly combination.” The Department of Fire and Rescue Services urges the following safety precautions when conducting fire pit activities:

• Never use gasoline as a starter fluid for any type of fire.

• Never leave a fire pit unattended.

• Never leave children or pets unattended near a fire pit.

• Consider investing in a wire mesh cover to keep embers inside and help prevent children
or pets from falling in.

• Limit the amount of fuel you put in the fire—just put what’s necessary to keep it burning
gently.

• Don’t put garbage or paper products into the fire. They can easily spark and throw off
embers or burning remnants.

• Don’t wear flammable or loose-fit clothing while near the pit.

• Don’t burn softwoods like pine or cedar. These can “pop” and throw sparks.

• Even if you follow all of these guidelines, accidents still happen. Keep a container of
water and a hose nearby in case of an emergency.

For more information with regards to the flame jetting phenomenon, visit www.ameriburn.org/stop-the-flame or visit www.warrencountyfire.com.

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Sheriff’s Office seeks info on road rage shooting

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On Sunday, January 17, 2021, at approximately 7:15 PM, an alleged road rage incident involving two passenger vehicles was reported eastbound on John Marshall Highway in the area of Ashland Court. Witnesses described hearing a single gunshot, and when inspecting the trunk of their car, observed what appeared to be a bullet hole. The suspect vehicle was described as black 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer with dark tinted windows, last seen travelling eastbound onto Interstate 66. Thankfully, no one was injured during the incident.

Anyone who has information regarding this incident is asked to contact WCSO Deputy John Gregory at (540) 635-4128.

Vehicle shown in photo is similar to suspect vehicle. Photo courtesy of Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

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COVID-19 updates for County, Health District, State, Nation and Global

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As of midday Friday, January 15, County Emergency Management Deputy Director Rick Farrall released the latest COVID-19 novel Coronavirus pandemic statistics for Warren County, the Lord Fairfax Health District of which we are a part, as well as state and national numbers. In the two weeks since our last published report of December 30, Warren County reported 312 new cases (to 1,633 from 1,321) and saw its deaths rise by 3 to 36. Seventy-one county citizens had been hospitalized with the virus over the nearly a year it has been reported on our shore.

As Phase 3 of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic continues post-holiday season the county has seen its cases nearly double over the past six weeks to that 1633 mark from 859 reported on November 30; with 10 reported fatalities attributed to the virus over that six-week period. As previously noted, through the first nine-plus months of the year Warren County had counted 12 deaths attributed to the pandemic, with that number tripling in just over three months.

Above, file photo of County Deputy Emergency Services Director Rick Farrall updating county officials on COVID-19 numbers and measures being enacted locally and statewide to counter those numbers. Below, Va. Health Department chart indicating daily case numbers, with LFHD numbers below chart. One can see that as December rolls through January, Phase 3 cases are spiking from the feared post-holiday surge within a surge. Royal Examiner File Photos by Roger Bianchini

Our six-jurisdiction Lord Fairfax Health District (LFHD) saw its case count climb to 12,733 from 9,877 reported December 30. LFHD’s cases have more than doubled over the six weeks since 859 cases were recorded on November 30.

Nationally, COVID-19 numbers continue to climb at an alarming rate with cases increasing by over 3.7 million since mid-December, to 22,965,957, with fatalities climbing to 383,351 from the 334,029 reported on December 30, an increase of nearly 50,000 deaths at 49,322. Over 63,000 U.S. deaths were reported in December, the most of any month since the pandemic arrived here early last year.

A check of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website Monday afternoon, January 18, showed the U.S. death count climbing over 400,000 to 401,256, with an additional 1,151,802 cases (to 24,117,759).

With Monday’s global numbers reported by the CDC at 95.18 million cases and over 2.03 million dead, the U.S. continues to stand between 20% and 25% at about 24% of the world’s cases and 20% of its fatalities, as noted previously with 4% of the world’s population.

Below are the full county, health district, state and national numbers for the January 15 report, with December 30 and the final day of November for comparison; and below that updated mid-January local and state guideline information and LINKS:

Above, chart of cases in U.S., part of Canada and Central America; below, the little bug at the root of the pandemic. And now it’s decided to mutate as such viruses are prone to do.

  1. COVID-19 Information (January 15, 2021):
    1. Lord Fairfax Health District:  As of today (per the VDH website), there are 12,733 confirmed COVID-19 cases (Clarke 491, Frederick 4,661, Page 1,289, Shenandoah 2,756, Warren 1,633 (71 are/were hospitalized, 36 deaths attributed to the County; deaths 2.20% total cases), Winchester 1,903); the current status of these patients is unknown (admitted to hospital, discharged to home isolation/quarantine, departed the District/County).
    2. Commonwealth:  4,730,680 total people tested (PCR only); 422,634 total cases [15.2% positive rate (PCR only)]; 19,741 total hospitalized; 5,656 total deaths (1.34%total cases).
    3. United States:  As of January 14, 2021 at 12:16 PM, there are 22,965,957 total cases and 383,351 total deaths (1.67%total cases) attributed to COVID-19.
  1. COVID-19 Information (December 30, 2020, at 11:54 a.m.):
    1. Lord Fairfax Health District:  As of today (per the VDH website), there are 9,877 confirmed COVID-19 cases (Clarke 385, Frederick 3,703, Page 1,015, Shenandoah 2,186, Warren 1,321 (69 are/were hospitalized, 33 deaths attributed to the County; deaths 2.50% total cases), Winchester 1,637); the current status of these patients is unknown (admitted to hospital, discharged to home isolation/quarantine, departed the District/County).
    2. Commonwealth:  4,220,943 total people tested (PCR only); 344,345 total cases [12.7% positive rate (PCR only)]; 17,910 total hospitalized; 4,984 total deaths (1.45%total cases).
    3. United States:  As of December 29, 2020 at 2:25 PM, there are 19,232,843 total cases and 334,029 total deaths (1.74%total cases) attributed to COVID-19.

COVID-19 update as of November 30, 2020

  1. Lord Fairfax Health District:  As of today (per the VDH website), there are 6,357 confirmed COVID-19 cases (Clarke 208, Frederick 2,228, Page 593, Shenandoah 1,403, Warren 859 (61 are/were hospitalized, 26 deaths attributed to the County; deaths 3.03% total cases), Winchester 1,066); the current status of these patients is unknown (admitted to hospital, discharged to home isolation/quarantine, departed the District/County).
  2. Commonwealth:  3,326,327 total people tested (PCR only); 237,835 total cases [7.5% positive rate (PCR only)]; 14,619 total hospitalized; 4,062 total deaths (1.71%total cases).
  3. United States:  As of November 29, 2020 at 1:32 PM, there are 13,142,997 total cases and 265,166 total deaths (2.02%total cases) attributed to COVID-19.
  1. Current (Jan. 15, 2021) CDC Guidance Regarding When to Quarantine/Options to Reduce Quarantine
    1. New CDC guidance as of December 2, 2020.
    2. Recommend everyone familiarize themselves with the updated guidance.  See attached and website link below for details.
    3. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html
  1. Congregate Living Conference Call:
    1. There are currently one (1)COVID-19 outbreak at County congregate living facilities.
    2. Expect the NEXT Congregate Living (Long Term care facilities, RSW Jail, and WCPS) teleconference call to be Tuesday (15:00-15:30), January 26, 2021; invites and “Zoom” call-in instructions are posted, agenda to follow on the invitation.
  1. Key Leader Conference Call:
    1. Expect the NEXT County/Town Key Leader teleconference call to be Thursday morning (10:30-12:00), January 28, 2021; invites and “Zoom” call-in instructions are posted, agenda to follow on the invitation.
  1. Current Executive Orders and Local Directives (not all inclusive):
    1. EO-74: Number Seventy-Four (2020) Protecting Businesses From Increasing Cost of Unemployment Insurance; effective December 22, 2020.
      1. https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/executive-actions/EO-74-Protecting-Businesses-From-Increasing-Cost-of-Unemployment-Insurance.pdf
    2. EO-72: Number Seventy Two (2020) and Order of Public Health Emergency Nine Common Sense Surge Restrictions Certain Temporary Restrictions due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19); effective Monday, December 14, 2020 until January 31, 2021.
      1. https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/executive-actions/EO-72-and-Order-of-Public-Health-Emergency-Nine-Common-Sense-Surge-Restrictions-Certain-Temporary-Restrictions-Due-to-Novel-Coronavirus-(COVID-19).pdf
    3. EO-67 (Phase Three):  Sixth Amended Number Sixty-Seven (2020) and Order of Public Health Emergency Seven Phase Further Adjusting of Certain Temporary Restrictions Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19); effective November 16, 2020
      1. https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/executive-actions/EO-67-FIFTH-AMENDED-and-Order-of-Public-Health-Emergency-Seven—Phase-Three-Further-Adjusting-of-Certain-Temporary-Restrictions-Due-to-Novel-Coronavirus-(COVID-19).pdf
      2. Changes include new guidance for public and private gatherings, etc.
    4. Designation of Critical and Essential Employees during an Emergency Memorandum, effective May 7, 2020 until further notice
  1. CDC Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes:
    1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html?deliveryName=USCDC_2067-DM26911
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Martin Luther King Jr.’s enduring legacy: ‘Beyond Vietnam’ and to our collective doorstep

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Sometimes words remain appropriate, not only for the era in which they are spoken, but for multiple eras, and perhaps for the length of humanity’s struggle to overcome the worst aspects of our collective nature – greed, avarice, hypocrisy and the bondage of others to forward one’s own self interests – in other words, FOREVER.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s words of March 4, 1967 now known as the “Beyond Vietnam” speech are such words.  They illustrate the depth of Dr. King’s comprehension that the Civil Rights Movement was a struggle of more than one race in one nation at one point in time.

These words, spoken exactly one year to the day before his assassination, are why some pause each January to remember and celebrate his life; while others are simply reminded of why he was, and continues to be hated by those attracted to power without compassion.

And this year of 2021, as in each since these words were uttered, we must again ask ourselves one final question – how close to the “too late” moment Dr. King described in 1967 are we as a people and a nation today?

Due to the speech’s length, some introductory comments and other details on the Vietnam era have been edited out – deletions are indicated by (…) and some points have been emphasized with bold highlights.

There is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent us from reordering our priorities so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. – Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photos/Public Domain)

Martin Luther King, Jr.
‘Beyond Vietnam’

I come to this great magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization that brought us together, Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” … The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one …

Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world … Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.  And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history … For we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us …

“Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King?” “Why are you joining the voices of dissent?” “Peace and civil rights don’t mix,” they say. “Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people,” they ask?

And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live …

Since I am a preacher by calling, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision. There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I and others have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor, both black and white, through the Poverty Program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and I watched this program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political plaything on a society gone mad on war. And I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such …

My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettos of the North over the last three years, especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked, and rightly so, “What about Vietnam?” They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today – my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent …

Now it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read “Vietnam.” It can never be saved so long as it destroys the hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that “America will be” are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land.

As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough, another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1964. And I cannot forget that the Nobel Peace Prize was also a commission, a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for the brotherhood of man. This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances.

But even if it were not present, I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me, the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I am speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the Good News was meant for all men – for communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the one who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them? What then can I say to the Vietcong or to Castro or to Mao as a faithful minister of this one? Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life?

… Finally, as I try to explain for you and for myself the road that leads from Montgomery to this place, I would have offered all that was most valid if I simply said that I must be true to my conviction that I share with all men the calling to be a son of the living God. Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of son-ship and brotherhood. Because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned, especially for His suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them. This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation, for those it calls “enemy,” for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.

And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond in compassion, my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula … They must see Americans as strange liberators  … We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops … Now there is little left to build on, save bitterness … They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded. Their questions are frighteningly relevant. Is our nation planning to build on political myth again, and then shore it up upon the power of new violence?

… At this point I should make it clear that while I have tried in these last few minutes to give a voice to the voiceless in Vietnam and to understand the arguments of those who are called “enemy,” I am as deeply concerned about our own troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved … and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor.

Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now.

If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I speak as a child of God … I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation: The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours.

This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words, and I quote: “Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism.”

The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit … and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing “clergy and laymen concerned” committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about … Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end, unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy.

And so, such thoughts take us beyond Vietnam, but not beyond our calling as sons of the living God. In 1957, a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution … It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments.

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin … the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, “This is not just.”

It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, “This is not just.”

The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them, is not just … America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent us from reordering our priorities so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood …

We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. – Martin Luther King Jr.

We must not engage in a negative anti-communism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take offensive action in behalf of justice … It is a sad fact that because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries … A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies … This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind … When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response … I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality … This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John: “Let us love one another, for love is God” …

We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too lateOver the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, “Too late.”

There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: “The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on.”  We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace … and justice throughout the developing world, a world that borders on our doors.  If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight … Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world …

As that noble bard of yesterday, James Russell Lowell, eloquently stated:

“Once to every man and nation comes a moment do decide,
“In the strife of truth and Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
“Some great cause, God’s new Messiah offering each the bloom or blight,
“And the choice goes by forever ‘twixt that darkness and that light.

“Though the cause of evil prosper, yet ‘tis truth alone is strong
“Though her portions be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong
“Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown
“Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.”

And if we will only make the right choice, we will be able to transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of peace. If we will make the right choice, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. If we will but make the right choice, we will be able to speed up the day, all over America and all over the world, when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

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Armed Front Royal man arrested at Capitol checkpoint Friday – job credential misunderstanding or more?

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Myriad news sources have reported the Friday, January 15, arrest of a Front Royal man with a loaded high-round capacity handgun, what was described as over 500 rounds of ammunition, and what authorities determined was an invalid, non-government-issued credential to enter an inauguration area Capitol checkpoint.

The Washington Post reported that “Wesley Allen Beeler, 31, of Front Royal, drove his Ford F-150 pickup to a checkpoint on E Street Northeast of the Capitol, where he was met by Capitol Police officers … Beeler was arrested on charges of carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of unregistered ammunition, a Capitol Police spokesperson said.”

Online report of Wesley Allen Beeler’s arrest accompanies a photo of the National Guard at Capitol checkpoint. But it was reported that Capitol Police were the arresting agency in the Beeler incident on Friday. He was released on his own recognizance Saturday. Stills from TV video by broadcast news agencies as cited

Contacted by the Washington Post, Beeler’s parents and wife said he was a security professional who told them he was doing late-night security work in the vicinity of the Capitol this week in the wake of the January 6 siege of the Capitol during Congressional certification of the presidential election result. The lapse of proper weapon registration by a security professional was not addressed. However, in an updated report almost three hours later shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday evening, Beeler was quoted upon his release as saying he was properly licensed in Virginia, if not D.C.

In what the Post described as “a tear-filled interview” after his Saturday release from jail on his own recognizance, Beeler confirmed what his parents and wife told the Post earlier, that he had “spent the past week working as hired security in downtown Washington ahead of the inauguration.

“It was an honest mistake,” Beeler told the Post, adding that he had forgotten “that his firearm was in his truck when he left his home in Virginia, where he said he has a license to carry. He said he realized it was there halfway through his trip but that he was running late, so he didn’t turn around.” He denied that he had the more than 500 rounds of ammunition listed in his arrest report.

“I pulled up to a checkpoint after getting lost in D.C. because I’m a country boy,” he said. “I showed them the inauguration badge that was given to me” by his employer, MVP Protective Services, he told the Post. Contacted by the Post at a phone number tied to the company, a man answering the phone said he was not authorized to address the matter due to its pending litigation status.

An anonymous source contacted by the Post told them that Beeler has “no extremist ties” and “cooperated fully with law enforcement and was cleared from further investigation, except for the charge of violating District law by carrying a pistol without a license.”

However, the Post team of eight reporters covering the story noted that while his non-valid Capitol access credentials were being examined, one officer at the scene noticed bumper stickers on Beeler’s truck, one of which read “If they come for your guns giv ‘em your bullets first” and the other “Assault Life”.

The incident began Friday, as Beeler was perceived to be attempting to enter the now fenced-in security area around the Capitol, Capitol Police checking his credentials found them to be non-government issued and not valid to grant him entry to the now restricted area around the U.S. Capitol as the inauguration of Joe Biden as president approaches on January 20.

Access to the U.S. Capitol is not as easy as it was on January 6, when Congress was under siege and some legislators feared for their lives.

Following notice of his bumper stickers as questions about the credentials he presented arose, Beeler was asked if he “had weapons in the car”. Beeler “volunteered that he had a Glock in his center armrest” the police-issued charging papers indicated leading to his removal from his truck at which point the Post reported the Capitol Police found a cache including the referenced 9 mm Glock handgun with 17 rounds in it, one in the chamber ready to be fired, as well as over 500 rounds of pistol ammunition, including hollow points, and almost two dozen shotgun shells the court filing indicated were “located in plain sight in the rear cargo area of the vehicle” the Post again cited from court documents on Beeler’s arrest.

The Post’s initial report quoted Beeler’s father Paul stating the weapon and ammunition were “things he needed for his armed security work”. His wife, Noelle, was also cited observing that she understood the alarmed reaction of authorities and the media in the current political environment – “It does sound suspicious,” she told the Post, adding that she believes her husband presented “no danger” and was glad he had been released by the court on Saturday.

Wesley Allen Beeler was released by a D.C. Superior Court judge on Saturday afternoon on his personal recognizance. He was ordered to stay out of D.C. other than for court appearances or meetings with his attorney. So much for that late-night security contract and the non-government issue Capitol grounds clearance document.

The above-quoted article was the work of a total of eight Washington Post reporters, three bylined, with contributions on the initial report by three more listed at the story’s end, and two additional on the updated 8:19 p.m. report – Thanks, ladies and gentlemen for a broad perspective on the incident involving a Front Royal resident. This reporter was unable to access any contact information for Beeler or his family, prior to publication.

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County update on COVID-19 vaccine distribution locally

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On Friday, January 15, 2021, Warren County Emergency Services Deputy Director Rick Farrall released the latest information on the multi-pronged effort to distribute the COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccine through the combined efforts of the Lord Fairfax Health District, Valley Health, and CVS Pharmacy. Royal Examiner will have more on the bulk of these efforts centered at the 15th Street Warren County Health and Human Services Complex Parks and Rec gymnasium in a follow-up story in the coming days.

As noted below in category “d. xiii” there are no dates yet established for Phase 1b and 1c categories, including second and third round essential workers categories and the general public.  However, that is expected to be announced and begin in the coming week.

Above, approaching the 15th Street Health & Human Services complex from the south on Massanutten Avenue, the gym entrance is at the far left of the photo. Below, a closer look at the lone vaccine access point at the rear or west side of the old middle school facility. Royal Examiner Photos by Roger Bianchini

An outline of Warren County distribution efforts as currently available is below. We have moved the “Prioritized Distribution” information related to various qualifying categories, item “d” up, but keep reading if you might be interested, or know someone who would, like to volunteer to help with vaccine distribution efforts at the 15th Street location in Front Royal:

COMMUNITY INFORMATION:

1. Valley Health – VDH Lord Fairfax Health District Vaccine Information (as of 1/15/2021)

a. VACCINE SIGN-UP: In partnership with Valley Health and the Lord Fairfax Health District, distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is now occurring in Warren County. For the most up-to-date information on where and when to locally receive the vaccine, visit: https://www.valleyhealthlink.com/patients-visitors/coronavirus-covid-19-updates/covid-19-vaccinations/

d. PRIORITIZED DISTRIBUTION: The CDC’s Advisory Council on Immunization Practices (ACIP) prioritized the initial distribution of the vaccine (as available) to health care personnel (hospital and EMS based) and residents of long-term care facilities (LTCF). Other Phase I groups (in order) include essential workers, people at higher risk for severe disease (over the age of 75); Phase II – other (specified) populations; and Phase III – the general public. Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination began late last month in Warren County.

ix. December 2020: Lord Fairfax Health District began Phase 1a distribution of the vaccine last week and this week (Clarke and Warren County first responders/age 75+).

1. Health Care personnel (Round 1 complete, Round 2 planned)

2. LTCF Residents and Staff (see below)

x. January 2021: The CDC is allocating the vaccine directly to CVS to vaccinate Phase 1a long-term care residents. CVS began this process locally this month (going directly to our long-term care facilities).

1. Commonwealth Senior Living (Round 1 complete, Round 2 scheduled)

2. Fox Trail Senior Living (Round 1 scheduled. Round 2 TBD)

3. Heritage Hall (TBD)

4. Hidden Springs (Round 1 and 2 scheduled)

5. Lynn Care (Round 1 complete, Round 2 scheduled)

6. Shenandoah Senior Living (Round 1 scheduled, Round 2 scheduled)

7. Woods Cove (TBD)

xi. January 2021: The next allocation (“Phase 1b”) of vaccinations the County receives will be for front-line essential workers and persons age 75 and older. Front line essential workers include (in priority order):

1. Police, Fire, and HAZMAT (Round 1 complete, Round 2 scheduled)

2. Corrections workers (Round 1 scheduled)

3. Childcare, K-12 Teachers and Staff (Round 1 scheduled)

4. Food and Agriculture (TBD)

5. Manufacturing (TBD)

6. U.S. Postal Service workers (TBD)

7. Public Transit workers (TBD)

8. Grocery Store workers (TBD)

9. Persons Age 75 and older (Round 1 in progress)

xii. The following allocation (“Phase 1c”) of vaccinations will be for other essential workers, persons age 64-75, and persons age 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions. Other essential workers include (in priority order – all below 1-10 categories planning TBD):

1. Transportation and Logistics

2. Food Service

3. Shelter and Housing (construction)

4. Finance

5. IT and Communication

6. Energy

7. Media

8. Legal

9. Public Safety (engineers)

10. Water and Wastewater

xiii. There is no date established for the Phase 1b or 1c allocations at this time.

b. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: In order to distribute the COVID-19 vaccination in the quickest and most efficient manner, volunteers are needed to fill essential roles in the operation of the Warren County Point of Distribution (POD) site at the 15th St. Gym. The six essential roles are:

ii. Greeter: an adult that checks patients in and directs them to the next station

iii. Navigator: a clinical provider that reviews forms and looks for any “red flags”

iv. Observer: an adult that monitors patients for 15 minutes after the injection of the vaccination to monitor for any adverse side effects; must have Basic Life Support certification or above

v. Pharmacist: prepares the vaccine for injection; must be currently licensed

vi. Runner/Floater: monitors vaccine inventory and assists in communicating between POD stations

vii. Vaccinator: a health care provider that administers the COVID-19 vaccination; must be a currently licensed/certified LPN, RN, M.D., D.O., AEMT, EMT-I, EMT-P

c. SIGN-UP GENIUS: If you meet the above criteria, and are willing to volunteer during the operation of the COVID-19 POD in Warren County, please visit the below site to sign-up:
viii. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d44aaaa22a7f8c43-clinic1

e. No further details available at this time, more to follow.

While there is only one entrance to the sign-in table, there are two usable exits, the second shown here, slightly to the north of the entrance door.

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LFCC seeking speakers and voters for “I Have a Dream” speech contest

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LFCC’s students are encouraged to participate in a virtual “I Have a Dream” speech contest in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 25. Students, LFCC employees, and the public at large are invited to join the Zoom meeting to watch the speeches and vote on the winner.

Those interested in being a contestant should email LFCC campus life and student engagement specialist Chris Lambert at clambert@lfcc.edu by Friday, Jan. 22. Speeches are to be 3-5 minutes long and can be about your own dreams for yourself or for those around you.

“The topic shares the name of one of Dr. King’s most well-known speeches, but does not have to cover or mirror the same information,” Lambert said. “Please be creative and tell us about your dream. Is it educational? Political? Is your dream for yourself, your family, the world? After telling us your dream, share how it might be achieved.”

The first-place winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card, with the runner-up receiving a $50 card.

LFCC’s Fauquier Campus has traditionally welcomed the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Choir under the direction of the Rev. Lemuel Montgomery to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day – which is Monday, Jan. 18 this year – but that commemoration can’t happen on campus this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Join the virtual event at www.lfcc.edu/MLK.

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