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St. Patrick’s Day: Wearin’ the green brings us together

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People still say “everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.” Not that most people are really interested in whether or not their forbearers actually came from the emerald isle. We all just want to be part of the celebration.

The touch of the Irish positively spans the country with parades from New York to Louisiana. In Chicago, the river runs green for the day and everywhere people drink a lot of green beer.

Don’t forget that touch of green. Green socks or a green tie put people in the spirit.

And what would good old St. Pat think of the various revelry and green-wearing? Being a pretty serious type himself, he might be a little shocked by some of the partying. On the other hand, he did preach on love for one’s fellow man and would approve of the togetherness.


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Agriculture

4 benefits of supporting local farmers

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This year, National Ag Day is celebrated on March 21. The theme is Agriculture: Growing a Climate for Tomorrow. This campaign encourages Americans to recognize and celebrate the farmers, ranchers, foresters, farmworkers, and other agricultural stewards across the United States. In honor of this event, here are four benefits of supporting local farmers.

1. Protect the environment. Most small, local farmers employ sustainable growing practices to minimize their environmental impact. Moreover, when food products don’t have to be shipped across the country, it reduces air pollution and minimizes the amount of packaging that ends up in landfills.

2. Eat healthier. The less distance your food travels, the less chance for contamination, expiration, and other issues. Besides, seasonal fruits and vegetables taste better and have a higher nutrition content.

3. Bolster the community. Supporting local farmers means supporting the local economy. When you buy from a local farmer, that money is reinvested into other businesses and services that help improve community life for everyone.


4. Support animal welfare. Local meats, cheeses, and eggs often come from family farms where the animals have been raised in favorable living conditions without hormones or antibiotics. You can feel good about what you’re eating.

Each farmer in the United States feeds 144 people, much more than ever. This National Ag Day, thank a farmer for all they do.

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Health

March 19-25: National Poison Prevention Week – Steps to take when poisoning is suspected

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has this important information for you.

If you suspect a child or adult has ingested poison, remain calm first.

  • Call 911 if the victim has collapsed. If the victim is not breathing, call 911, then give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • If the victim is awake and alert, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. It is open 24/7.
  • Be prepared to give the victim’s age and approximate weight.
  • Describe the substance. Read from the container if available.
  • Never make the victim vomit unless instructed to do so by Poison Control.
  • Give your address and phone number. Stay on the phone for instructions from the emergency operator. The specialist may need to call you back.

Poison Prevention

  • Medicines: Turn on a light when you give or take medicines. Read medication directions. Keep medicines in their original bottles. Store them in a safe place where they can’t be reached by children or teenagers.
  • Household cleaners and chemicals: Keep chemicals, cleaners, and beauty products in their original containers. Always read the label before using it.
  • Never mix cleaning products together. Doing so could produce toxic gases. Wear clothing that covers the skin when you spray pesticides or other chemicals.
  • Open the windows and use a fan when using chemicals in the house.

Protecting young children


  • Keep drugs and chemicals in childproof cabinets that children can’t reach.
  • Don’t take medicine in front of children since they often try to copy adults. When giving children medication, never call it “candy.”
  • Caution guests are not to leave drugs where children can find them. Don’t leave your own next dose on the counter.
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Interesting Things to Know

The Irish ballad of beauty and mystery

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The ballad Danny Boy perhaps perfectly reflects the pain of the diaspora from Ireland and has become an Irish anthem. But the tune’s origins are obscure, its lyrics a mystery.

Interestingly, the lyrics weren’t written by an Irishman, but English lawyer Frederic Edward Weatherly, who wrote two stanzas of the song in 1910 without a tune to go with it. How the lyrics were set to music is hotly debated. Some say that in 1912, Weatherly’s Irish sister-in-law sent him the music to Londonderry Air. Others say that Weatherly’s sister-in-law was living in Ouray, Colorado, and set Frederic’s poem to the tune of Londonderry Air herself.

Londonderry Air is an ancient tune with roots in Ireland and Scotland, perhaps even Celtic origins. The tune was first published in 1851 by Jane Ross, who heard it played by a blind traveling fiddler. Before the tune became famous as Danny Boy, it had been arranged many times as Londonderry Air with many different lyrics, usually patriotic.

Even so, Danny Boy’s well-known lyrics continue to intrigue.


For one thing, we can only speculate about the narrator, who says that Danny Boy must leave for a long while, but the narrator must stay, pledging to wait for him always, even to death. While the song is a favorite of tenors, the lyrics can be read as a woman longing for her beloved, a father lamenting his son, or even a paean to a sibling. In the second to last verse, we know it is not the mother singing because she has been brought low by Danny Boy’s absence.

In addition, nowhere in the lyrics does it say why Danny Boy must leave. Some say the ‘pipes calling across the glen’ suggest that Danny Boy participated in an uprising. In some versions, notably that of Sinead O’Connor, the verses are changed to be explicitly political: Danny Boy is fighting for the freedom of Ireland.

Finally, the longing for Danny Boy changes in the last two stanzas. It becomes clear that Danny Boy has been so long gone that he is feared dead. Only in heaven will they all be reunited.

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Interesting Things to Know

Don’t rely on luck, designate a sober drive this St. Patricks Day

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Even though it feels like spring sprung a couple of weeks ago, St. Patrick’s Day is often looked at as the unofficial start of spring and a time to celebrate with friends at pubs, parties, and festivals.

Unfortunately, these celebrations have resulted in St. Patrick’s Day becoming one of the year’s most dangerous times to be on the road. During the week of St. Patrick’s Day in 2022, five traffic fatalities and 72 individuals were injured in alcohol-related crashes on Virginia roadways.*

“With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Friday this year, there will be even more opportunities for Virginians to celebrate the beginning of the warmer seasons,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Don’t let your first celebration of the season be your last. St. Patrick’s Day can be a fun time to have a pint with a pal but remember, getting behind the wheel when intoxicated is no way to celebrate. Driving drunk is a choice with deadly consequences for you, your passengers, and every other motorist sharing the road with you. Never drive drunk or under the influence of drugs.”

Safety isn’t about luck. If you’re going to party, party with a plan:


  • Ensure you have a designated sober driver and a plan to use public transportation or a ride-share service BEFORE any drinking begins.
  • Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Be honest with yourself and know that even if you only plan on having one drink, you should plan on having a designated driver.
  • Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly. Being under the influence can cause a lack of attention to their surroundings and put pedestrians at risk of being hit by a vehicle.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, pull over safely and dial #77 on a cell phone or call 911.
  • If you know someone who has been drinking and is about to drive, take the keys and make arrangements to get them home safely.
  • If you are driving, keep an eye out for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users on the roadways.

To further prevent traffic deaths and injuries during St. Patrick’s Day and during the traditional Spring Break season, the Virginia State Police will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., the Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort. The state-sponsored, national program incorporates a nine-day statistical counting period that begins at 12:01 a.m., March 11, 2023, and concludes at midnight on March 19, 2023.

All Virginians are reminded to keep safety first anytime you are behind the wheel. Always buckle up, avoid distractions, put your phone down, share the road, and drive drug and alcohol-free.

*Source: Virginia Highway Safety Office, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles

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Seasonal

3 countries leading the way in women’s rights

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To celebrate International Women’s Day, here’s a look at three nations working hard to advance women’s rights.

1. Iceland
For over ten years, Iceland has topped the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index. Iceland established an equal pay law mandating equal pay and terms of employment for both men and women. Iceland also passed a law in 2010 requiring company boards to have a minimum of 40 percent women. In 2009, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir became Iceland’s first female prime minister.

2. New Zealand
New Zealand was the first self-governed nation to allow women the right to vote in 1893. Two women have held the position of prime minister so far in New Zealand, and around one-third of the parliament is female. In 2018, New Zealand’s parliament unanimously passed the Equal Pay Amendment Bill, guaranteeing equal pay for workers, regardless of gender.

3. Denmark
Women in Denmark generally work outside the home and pursue careers while raising a family because of the country’s generous parental leave and tax-subsidized daycare. Additionally, over 40 percent of the representatives in Denmark’s parliament are female, and so are many of the country’s ministers. Denmark’s first female prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, took office in 2011.


Many countries have made considerable efforts to advance gender equality in recent years. Still, there’s a long way to go to achieve full parity between men and women.

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Seasonal

The great chocolate egg rescue

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The residents of Cocoaville were busy one morning preparing for the big Easter picnic. The whole town looked forward to this event, held yearly in a magnificent field of tulips. As was the tradition, each villager brought a dish to share.

Jen the Hen had just put the finishing touches on her succulent vegetable salad when she heard a knock on the door. Opening it, she saw her neighbor, Sonny the Bunny, holding a box of chocolate eggs and looking entirely despondent.

“What’s happening?” asked Jen with a worried voice.

“It’s my eggs,” he moaned, showing her his ruined chocolate eggs. “I left them by the window, and the sun melted them.”


“Oh, I see,” his friend replied. “But they’re not completely melted. I’m sure we can rescue them.”

“Do you really think so?” replied Sonny hopefully.

“Sure! Hurry home and get all your candies and come right back,” directed Jen, already rummaging through her cupboards.

A few minutes later, the rabbit returned with an assortment of sweets, including caramels, licorice, and all sorts of all sorts! Jen found jujubes, yogurt-coated raisins, and pralines in her own kitchen.


The two neighbors set out immediately, decorating the chocolate eggs. Their minds turned to the villagers.

“Look!” exclaimed Jen. “With all these colorful bits, this egg looks like Brock the Peacock!”

“And with the yogurt-covered raisins, this one will look like Sam the Lamb!”

After they’d given each egg a personal touch, they put them carefully into a cooler. Proud of their work, the hen and rabbit made their way to the tulip field, where they made a grand entrance. The locals were so impressed with Sonny’s unique chocolate eggs that they offered heartfelt congratulations.


“All the credit goes to my charming neighbor,” he replied, gesturing to Jen. “Her brilliant idea made my eggs turn out so beautifully.”

Ever since that day, Cocoaville has had a new tradition. A friendly chocolate egg competition takes place each year during the Easter picnic.

THE END

By Sarah Beauregard and Johannie Dufour
Translated by Lynette Adams


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Upcoming Events

Mar
29
Wed
11:00 am National Vietnam Veterans Day @ National Cemetery
National Vietnam Veterans Day @ National Cemetery
Mar 29 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
National Vietnam Veterans Day @ National Cemetery
This event will be held 11:00, National Cemetery, Winchester, Virginia.  It is to honor Vietnam Era Veterans for their service to the country.  It is being conducted by the American Red Cross and the Colonel[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Mar 29 @ 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[...]
Mar
31
Fri
5:00 pm No Foolin’ Warren County Rocks @ First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
No Foolin’ Warren County Rocks @ First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
Mar 31 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
No Foolin' Warren County Rocks @ First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
Warren Coalition’s No Foolin’ Warren County Rocks includes a team Scavenger Hunt for prizes! Top teams in each category will receive $25 gift cards for each team member, and the overall championship team will receive[...]
Apr
1
Sat
9:00 am Breakfast with the Easter Bunny @ Living Water Christian Church
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny @ Living Water Christian Church
Apr 1 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny @ Living Water Christian Church
Living Water Christian Church will once again be hosting our Pancake Breakfast with the Easter Bunny on April 1, 2023, from 9am – 12pm. Come on out and enjoy a great breakfast, pictures with the[...]
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 1 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Settle's Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Log Cabin in the Historic Area. Follow your nose to the Log Cabin to see what is cooking on the hearth. Immerse yourself within the 19th century enslaved culture and its foods. Explore the taste[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 1 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 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
Apr 1 @ 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.
2:00 pm Community Easter Egg Hunt @ Fantasyland
Community Easter Egg Hunt @ Fantasyland
Apr 1 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Community Easter Egg Hunt @ Fantasyland
Pre-Registration begins March 15th! Provide Name, Age, Child/Pup, Email and Phone in one of three ways: FACEBOOK MESSAGE Email Sheree Jennings at sheree@billpowersagency.com OR call the office at 540-635-2825
Apr
5
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Apr 5 @ 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[...]
Apr
8
Sat
10:00 am Patriot’s Day @ Warren Heritage Society
Patriot’s Day @ Warren Heritage Society
Apr 8 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Patriot's Day @ Warren Heritage Society
Join the fun with reenactors, a blacksmith, the outdoor kitchen, our smokehouse, and tours all day of Balthis House. Sons of the American Revolution will fire muskets at 3 pm. Free event for all ages![...]