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Summer in full bloom: Front Royal’s vibrant petunias set the stage for months of visual delight

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In a remarkable display of nature’s artistry, Front Royal will undergo a breathtaking transformation as flowers start to burst into bloom, painting the town with vibrant colors and enchanting fragrances. From street corners to parks and residential gardens, this floral spectacle will bring immeasurable beauty and a sense of unity to our community, capturing the hearts of residents and visitors alike.

Lisa Schwartz (president BFRC), Beautiful Petunias, and a beautiful happy gardener.

 

The Beautification of Front Royal Committee (BFRC) and the Department of Public Works joined forces earlier this week to embark on a colorful mission. Armed with their gardening tools, these dedicated individuals rolled up their sleeves and planted an impressive array of forty-five hanging baskets filled with vibrant petunias. These blooming beauties will soon adorn Main Street, just in time to celebrate the upcoming Family Day and Mother’s Day festivities.

A morning’s work. Allen Packs, Lisa Schwartz, Lorraine Hultquist, Bill Simmons. Supertunia – Royal Magenta, Giant Pink, Supertunia Vista – Bubblegum, Silverberry, Surfina Sky Blue

 

Jon MacDonald gives water and care.|

 

Our Ace reporter getting his hands dirty.

To witness the careful planting and nurturing process, watch the video below that showcases the skilled hands of Jon MacDonald from the Department of Public Works as he tends to the hanging baskets.

The BFRC, a non-profit organization, takes pride in enhancing the natural beauty of Front Royal and Warren County through various planting initiatives. Their commitment to creating a visually appealing environment is evident in their numerous projects throughout the area. Among their upcoming endeavors, the highly anticipated Greening party in September promises to be a memorable event. Held at the historic Tanglewood estate on Happy Creek Road, this fundraiser will further support the committee’s efforts in transforming public spaces into breathtaking floral displays.

For those inspired by the BFRC’s work and eager to contribute, donations can be made to support their endeavors. Simply address your contribution to the Beautification of Front Royal at P.O. Box 24, Front Royal, VA 22630. Every contribution, regardless of size, will help nurture the beauty that blossoms within our community.

As the hanging baskets prepare to grace the streets of Front Royal, the combined efforts of the BFRC and the Department of Public Works serve as a reminder of the power of collaboration and the impact that small acts of beautification can have on a community. So, let us celebrate the upcoming festivities and bask in the vibrant allure of the petunias while supporting the ongoing efforts to make our town a floral paradise.

 

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A Day of Remembrance: Colonel James Wood II Chapter, Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution and American Red Cross hold Memorial Day event

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The hallowed grounds of Winchester’s National Cemetery reverberated with the echoes of history this Memorial Day. Local citizens, the youth of Cub Scout Den 45, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution (named after Colonel James Wood II, an influential figure in the American Revolution), and the American Red Cross (a humanitarian organization tracing its roots back to 1881) came together to pay homage to the heroes of our past.

The participants of the ceremony from the Sons of the American Revolution, the American Red Cross, and the Disabled Veterans of America.

 

This event beautifully encapsulated a tradition that traces its lineage to the era of the Civil War. The roots of this observance trace back to a suggestion by Henry Welles in 1865 in the village of Waterloo, New York, for a day of decorating the graves of the fallen Civil War heroes, which came to be known as Decoration Day.

In keeping with this rich history, ahead of the Memorial Day ceremony on May 29th, flags were placed on the graves at the National Cemetery. Leslie Caliva of the American Red Cross, an organization with a rich history of service, hosted the formal observance. The color guard, led by Commander Brett Osborn, and the honor guard, led by Jim Cordes, presented colors in a show of respect for the fallen.

 

CJWII Chaplain Thomas Reed, inheriting the historic title of Chaplain, offered an inspiring invocation, while the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Charles Hunter, USA (Ret), from the storied VFW Post 2123. The keynote address was given by Terry Stotler, Chief of Voluntary Services at the Martinsburg Veterans Administration Medical Center, detailing the myriad of services the VA provides to support the veterans in the tri-state area of northwest Virginia, northern West Virginia, and western Maryland.

The Colonel James Wood II Chapter enacted a solemn flag folding ceremony, in which the American flag was folded into the symbolic tri-cornered shape reminiscent of the hat worn by the Patriots of the American Revolution. Left to right, Richard Tyler, Patrick Moore, and Thomas “Chip” Daniel. 

 

Musket Squad firing a salute. Left to right, Doug Hall, Brett Osborn, Allan Phillips, Will Reynolds, Jim Cordes, Dave Cook, Chip Daniel, Brian Bayliss, Sean Carrigan, and Paul Christensen. (Photos courtesy of Thomas “Chip” Daniel.)

 

Following a musket salute fired by the SAR Musket Squad and renditions of ‘God Bless America’ and ‘Taps’ by Charles Hunter, SAR members stood alongside dual members Bryan Buck (Fort Harrison), Dave Cook, and Jim Cordes (Fairfax Resolves), participating in the ceremony and bringing history to life.

As we remember our fallen heroes on this Memorial Day, we recognize the historical journey from Decoration Day to Memorial Day and the nationwide observance it has grown into today. This commemoration at the Winchester National Cemetery symbolizes a steadfast tradition and a tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

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Traffic Charges filed after car strikes Downtown Front Royal Pavilion support beam

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The below photos show the result of a motorist striking one of the Front Royal Village Commons/Gazebo area Pavilion support beams on Thursday, May 25th. The time of the accident was listed on the resulting traffic summons as 2:27 p.m. (14:27). The driver was identified at the scene by responding Front Royal Police as local resident Elizabeth Smith. She was issued a summons for “Driving a vehicle which is not under control; Reckless Driving.” No injuries were reported as a result of the accident. Smith has a pending mid-July traffic court date in Warren County General District Court. As of publication, the pavilion remained cordoned off pending permanent repairs.

Some temporary emergency support is offered by the non-stained beam to the right of the damaged beam in the aftermath of a May 25 accident in which a car struck one of the Village Commons Pavilion support beams. Fortunately, no one, including the driver, was reported injured as a result of the accident. – Royal Examiner Photos Roger Bianchini

 

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Circle of Kindness: R-MA cadets and senior citizens forge a bond of encouragement

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It’s often said that what goes around comes around. This idiom recently played out in an unexpected and heartwarming way for the students of Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA).

This past February, the academy, a co-ed private boarding school for grades 6-12 located just an hour from Washington, D.C., participated in a unique initiative to spread kindness. The initiative, spearheaded by the local organization We See You Warren County, was designed to inspire residents to write letters filled with encouragement, gratitude, and hope. Randolph-Macon Academy hosted these LOVE letters during Valentine’s week, with the academy’s cadets penning thoughtful missives to the seniors at the Warren County Senior Center.

Little did these cadets know this act of kindness would soon be reciprocated.

In their final week of school, a time typically filled with anticipation and anxiety, the graduating cadets of R-MA received a surprise: a flood of kind and encouraging words from the very seniors they had written to earlier in the year.


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The cadets, graduating from a school renowned for its superior university-prep curriculum and elite Air Force JROTC program, were overcome with emotion at the gesture. This was a significant way to wrap up what has been one of the most memorable years of their academic journey.

Last year, R-MA celebrated the graduation of 59 students from the Class of 2022, all of whom secured university acceptances and together amassed over $16.6 million in scholarships. This year’s graduating class, buoyed by the seniors’ heartfelt messages, looks forward to taking their next steps into the world, carrying with them lessons in kindness, humility, and mutual respect.

This delightful exchange between the cadets and senior citizens demonstrates the strong bonds that can be built within a community, even between the youngest and oldest members. It reminds us all of the power of simple gestures of kindness and the joy of giving and receiving.

Photos courtesy of R-MA.

Find out more about the Randolph-Macon Academy experience by visiting their website: RMA.edu.

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Sheriff’s Office to provide more transparent information to County residents

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Sheriff Mark Butler is pleased to announce that the Warren County Sheriff’s Office is the 1st agency in the Commonwealth to make Citizen Connect available to a community. Citizen Connect is an application from Southern Software, Inc. that provides a host of services for our community to see.

This is an opportunity to increase transparency, provide more convenient customer service and ensure better communication with our residents. S

Starting May 30, residents will be able to receive automated crime notifications using the free Citizen Connect website. You can sign up for these services through our website. This Application provides the following online services:

• Daily Reports – A listing of Arrest, Incident, and Accident Reports will be available to the public. This is what is commonly referred to as the “police blotter” and will keep residents better informed as to the incidents around their homes, businesses, or routes of travel.

• Incident Reports – An abbreviated report may be downloaded by Incident Number, Date Range, Name, or Location. Please note that there will be no narrative included. Persons wishing to obtain a complete report will still be required to file a Freedom of Information request with our office.

• Wanted Persons – A list of the most wanted people will be made available to the public in this searchable database.

• Missing Persons – A list of active missing persons reports will be posted. Once located, these reports will be closed and can no longer be seen on the website. This will be helpful in keeping the public aware of endangered people, with the intent to locate them quickly.

• Anonymous Tip Line – Allows residents to report a tip without leaving their personal information.

• Submit a Report – This allows our citizens to submit non-emergency reports that do not require a response from a Deputy immediately. These include damage to property, lost property, and harassing phone calls.

Click here to sign up for crime alerts. 

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Statement of Commonwealth’s Attorney Bell on Case Filing regarding Sheriff Butler

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Shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 30, under the above headline Warren County Commonwealth Attorney John Bell issued the following press release regarding an official inquiry into the credibility of Warren County Sheriff Mark Butler as a potential prosecution witness moving forward. This is that release in its entirety:

“Warren County Commonwealths Attorney John Bell issued the following statement:

“This office has received a number of inquiries in response to a recent online article at theshawreport.org which discusses, in part, a filing made by this office in a pending Circuit Court case involving Sheriff Butler. All prosecutors have a legal and ethical duty to disclose exculpatory evidence about a witness, that is, any information that casts doubt on the truthfulness of that witness.  It is a painful duty when that witness is a law enforcement officer. It is a particularly painful duty when that officer is your elected Sheriff.

“We were obligated to make such a disclosure in the case (click for linked material) of Commonwealth v Hutzell, CR22-533, a Circuit Court case in which Sheriff Butler was the arresting officer. The disclosure consists of the results of two Internal Affairs investigations conducted by the Town of Herndon Police Department when Sheriff Butler was employed there as an Officer in 2019. The Town of Herndon concluded that then-Officer Butler falsified statements in two different official Police report about two separate incidents.

“As a result of this information, we are unable to call Sheriff Butler to the witness stand as a credible witness.  We are currently evaluating all cases where Sheriff Butler is a potential witness to see if the prosecutions can proceed without him. There will also be a review of some prior cases to evaluate the impact of his participation.”

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Ukrainian Catholic Church of Saints Joachim and Anna to be consecrated in Front Royal by Archbishop Gudziak

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On Sunday, June 4, Front Royal is going to be honored by a visit from the Most Reverend Borys Gudziak, the Metropolitan-Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy (archdiocese) of Philadelphia.  The Archbishop will be in town to consecrate the Ukrainian Catholic Church of Saints Joachim and Anna, located at 1396 Linden Street in Front Royal.

Photo courtesy of Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.

 

Saints Joachim and Anna began in 2015 as a mission of the Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine of the Holy Family in Washington, D.C., and acquired the Linden Street property in November 2021.

The parish, which currently has 41 registered households, is served by Administrator Fr. Robert Hitchens, originally of Pennsylvania, and parochial vicar Fr. Andrii Chornopyskyi, originally of Ukraine, who take turns driving out from D. C.   Divine Liturgy is Sunday at 10:30 a.m., preceded by Confession.

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) is an Eastern Catholic church in communion with the Pope of Rome.  Byzantine Christianity was established among the Ukrainians in 988 A.D. by St. Volodуmуr.  The Ukrainian Catholic Church has been in communion with Rome since the Union of Brest (1596).  From 1946 until 1989, however, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was illegal and persecuted by the communist regime, as Ukraine had been annexed by the Soviet Union.  Archbishop Borys was born in 1960 in New York to parents who were World War II refugees from Ukraine.  The Ukrainian Catholic Church first arrived in the United States in 1884, following the first Ukrainian diaspora.  The current war in Ukraine has sent over 8 million people worldwide as refugees and over 5 million internally displaced. Over 250,000 have been allowed into the United States.

Here in Front Royal, only about 20% of the parish of Saints Joachim and Anna have a personal connection with the “old country.”  It, like other Eastern Catholic Churches, is growing because many are attracted to its ancient traditions, the beautiful Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, which was first written down around the fourth century A.D., and its vibrant community life.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Mountain Creative Consulting

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Jamboree LLC

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Treatment Center

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jean’s Jewelers

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Arc of Warren County

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Vetbuilder.com

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

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Upcoming Events

Jun
3
Sat
10:00 am Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Boston Mill Road Trail near the Park Office. Learn how fences and tree plantings improve water quality at Sky Meadows State Park with a special Explorer Outpost. Stop by our station along Boston Mill Road[...]
10:00 am National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 10:00 am – Jun 4 @ 1:00 pm
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Picnic Area. Join park trailblazers and get your hands dirty as we work to enhance the trail surface on Hadow Trail. All ages are welcome and no experience is required. Round trip hike to the[...]
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 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
Jun 3 @ 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
Jun 3 @ 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.
1:00 pm Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. What’s that buzzing? Meet with local apiarists of Beekeepers of the Northern Shenandoah (BONS – online at bonsbees.com) and discover the art of Apiculture (a.k.a. Beekeeping). This monthly program[...]
Jun
7
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 7 @ 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[...]
Jun
10
Sat
8:30 am Crooked Run Valley 5/10k @ Sky Meadows State Park
Crooked Run Valley 5/10k @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 10 @ 8:30 am – 12:00 pm
Crooked Run Valley 5/10k @ Sky Meadows State Park
Turner Pond Entrance. Explore the Crooked Run Valley and Sky Meadows State Park with Bishop’s Events 5k and 10k races. Get rejuvenated as you traverse through the meadows, pastures and woodlands of Sky Meadows and[...]
10:00 am Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth ... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 10 @ 10:00 am – Jun 11 @ 11:00 am
Backcountry Crash Course: Earth Connection Series @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet at the Overnight Parking Lot. Ready to try backcountry camping? Spend 24 hours in nature learning backcountry skills and survival techniques with professional outdoor instructor Tim MacWelch. With Sky Meadows’ Backcountry Campground as the[...]
Jun
14
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 14 @ 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[...]