The woman who has filed a legal challenge of the Warren County Board of Supervisors authority to revoke her permit to operate a commercial dog breeding kennel had multiple animals seized from her property on Wednesday, September 12.
Wendy Tenney, who had her dog-breeding kennel permit revoked by the county supervisors on April 17 in the wake of a March 2017 kennel fire in which 16 dogs died, is now facing criminal charges related to animal cruelty and inadequate care.
According to a press release issued early Thursday afternoon from the Office of Warren County Sheriff Daniel McEathron, a total of 30 dogs and cats were seized after an animal control deputy visited Tenney Wednesday, September 12, regarding some goats loose in the road in the vicinity of her 3-1/2 acre home property where her kennel had been located.
From the sheriff’s release on the matter: “The Warren County Sheriff’s Office reports on September 12, 2018 at approximately 10:30 a.m., Animal Control Deputy Gomez while on patrol observed several goats in the roadway at Limeton Church Rd. in Warren County. Deputy Gomez made contact with the owners, Brian and Wendy Tenney, at their residence located at 63 Limeton Church Rd.
“While speaking with Mrs. Tenney, Deputy Gomez heard multiple dogs barking from a locked garage on the property. Based on prior incidents related to the welfare of animals at this residence, Deputy Gomez asked to check the welfare of the animals located inside the garage. While checking the welfare of the animals, unclean and unsafe conditions were observed. Deputies responded to secure the garage and residence on the property while Deputy Gomez obtained a search warrant for the property.
“During the execution of the search warrant, 13 dogs were seized from the garage. One dog and eights cats were also seized from the residence and eight additional cats were seized that were running loose on the property. Based on the conditions, all of the animals were seized and are currently being evaluated, treated and cared for by the Humane Society of Warren County.”
According to the sheriff’s office, the goats remain in Tenney’s custody.
The sheriff’s office acknowledged the assistance of several agencies in the September 12 search and seizure of animals from the Tenney property, including: the Warren County Department of Social Services, Warren County Fire and Rescue, Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management for hazmat concerns, and especially the assistance provided by the staff from the Humane Society of Warren County.
The sheriff’s release notes that the case regarding pending charges of “Animal Cruelty” and “Inadequate Care” remains under investigation and asks “anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Deputy L Gomez at 540-635-4128 or by email at email@example.com”
Perhaps ironically, Deputy Laura Gomez was in the middle of the county planning staff’s investigation and recommendation of revocation of Tenney’s commercial breeding kennel permit after the March 6, 2017 fire that killed 16 dogs in Tenney’s kennel on her 3-1/2 acre Gethsemane Ranch property. Gomez had been to the property a number of times regarding the kennel’s operation prior to the fatal fire. She was the officer who warned Tenney not to use space heaters as a means of permit compliance in a dog kennel due to documented dangers of dogs chewing on the wiring – something Tenney herself was reported acknowledging signs of to Gomez during one inspection of the kennel three months prior to the fatal fire.
Of the county kennel fire investigation, Royal Examiner reported, “The County fire investigation indicated the cause of the fire to be a space heater run from an electrical box investigators were told was wired without a county inspection or permit.”
Despite this evidence among other issues regarding cleanliness, noise and cancelled inspections described by county staff at the kennel prior to the fire, as also previously reported here, “In a series of letters Tenney aggressively shifted blame for the fire on county officials and codes.
“And again, for the record, the night of the fire I was in complete compliance according to Warren County Code. And, my dogs were up as it was after 10 p.m., according to code; and they had heat, according to code. They couldn’t escape and it Killed Them. They died adhering to Warren County Code,” Tenney wrote County Planning Director Taryn Logan on October 20, 2017.
Tenney has filed an appeal of county revocation of her permit on the grounds the county board of supervisors does not have the authority to revoke her permit, only their appointed zoning administrator, with any appeals being heard by the also-appointed Board of Zoning Appeals. Neither Tenney nor her attorney at the time, Jay Neal, expressed any opposition to the review process through the county planning commission and elected board during a process that ran from January through April 17 of this year.
Tenney has retained the services of new counsel, Michael Sharpe, in pursuing her permit revocation appeal. A hearing date of January 3, 2019 has been set in Warren County Circuit Court on Tenney’s appeal.
Jason Poe interviews with Royal Examiner for the 2019 Warren County Sheriff’s race
Jason Poe, a Winchester City Police officer who is seeking the Republican endorsement as a candidate for the Warren County Sheriff’s race this year, sat down with Royal Examiner Editor Norma Jean Shaw earlier this week.
He addressed several issues, including what he says is a lack of transparency with the current administration. He said recent headlines involving a civil suit filed by the Front Royal-Warren County EDA that named his father, Donnie Poe, had left him and his family feeling bullied by social media.
Watch the interview:
Poe was the second candidate to announce a bid for the sheriff’s seat. Mark Butler, a Warren County resident and former football coach, announced his candidacy last summer. The independent has nearly 30 years of experience, and currently commutes to his job as a Herndon police officer. Watch Butler’s campaign announcement.
A third candidate, independent, Mickey Licklider, announced his campaign late last summer; he has not responded to Royal Examiner’s request for a sit-down interview.
Both Butler and Poe have agreed to participate in debates later this year.
W&OD Trail detours for construction of a new trail bridge over Route 29
FAIRFAX, Va. – Detours begin Friday, April 19, 2019, on the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail for construction of a new trail bridge over Route 29 (Lee Highway) near the Arlington-Falls Church line. Additionally, the Custis Trail will be detoured beginning in May where it passes under I-66 near Bon Air Park in Arlington due to I-66 widening construction above the trail. Both detours are expected to last until fall 2020.
Washington & Old Dominion Trail Bridge Detour at Lee Highway in Arlington (April 19, 2019, to Fall 2020)
On April 19, 2019, the W&OD Trail will close between Little Falls Street and Lee Highway (near mile marker 5.5) and for a short portion on the east side of Lee Highway.
• Pedestrians will be detoured to the north on Little Falls Street, then turn right on Fairfax Drive to reach the signalized crosswalk for Lee Highway. Sidewalk is available for this entire detour.
• Cyclists will be detoured to the south on Little Falls Street, turn left on West Jefferson Street to reach Lee Highway, then turn left on Lee Highway to the signalized crosswalk. Most of Jefferson Street does not have sidewalk.
• On the east side of Lee Highway, trail users will be shifted to nearby Fairfax Drive for about 200 feet. This portion of Fairfax Drive will be closed to vehicle traffic.
A new bridge is being built for the W&OD Trail over Route 29. This bridge will provide trail users a safer crossing at this busy intersection. Upwards of 2,000 people use the trail in this area near mile marker 5.5 on peak days. The bridge is expected to open in fall 2020.
Custis Trail I-66 Underpass Detour Near Bon Air Park
(May 6, 2019 to Fall 2020)
On May 6, 2019, weather permitting, the Custis Trail will close where it passes under I-66 near Bon Air Park in Arlington.
• Trail users will be detoured to cross over I-66 using an existing pedestrian bridge about 750 feet east of the underpass. The bridge can also be accessed from N. Fairfax Drive near Kensington Street.
• The detour will be marked and uses existing paved trails.
An additional lane is being added to I-66 East between the Dulles Connector Road and Fairfax Drive / Glebe Road (Exit 71). Extensive work will occur on the bridge that runs above the trail, which requires the underpass to be closed for safety. As part of the construction, the Custis Trail alignment will be shifted slightly south, improving visibility and safety for trail users. Work is expected to be complete by fall 2020.
W&OD Trail Bridge construction and I-66 Eastbound Widening are components of the Transform 66 Inside the Beltway Eastbound Widening Project. The I-66 Eastbound Widening Project will add a travel lane along four miles of eastbound I-66 and install approximately 12,000 linear feet of new and replacement noise barriers. The project also includes constructing a new direct access ramp from eastbound I-66 to the West Falls Church Metro Station at the Route 7 interchange. Learn more about the project at inside.transform66.org.
The additional eastbound lane is scheduled to open to traffic in fall 2020, and the overall project is expected to be complete in fall 2021.
Skyline High School Latin students earn top awards
Kitty Dean, Latin Teacher at Skyline High School as announced that four students have won awards from the National Latin Exam Committee. These Skyline H.S. students “were joined by over 139,000 other Latin students from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 20 foreign countries including Australia, Belize, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Republic of Georgia, Russia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe.”
Congratulations to the following Skyline High School students for their outstanding achievement on the 2019 National Latin Exam:
- Latin 5 – Kelsie Keene – Cum Laude Certificate
- Latin 4 – Nancy Lay – Silver Medal (Maxima Cum Laude)
- Latin 4 – Thomas Stelzl – Cum Laude Certificate
- Latin 1 – Dylan Kuzmick – Magna Cum Laude Certificate
The National Latin Exam, sponsored by the American Classical League and the National Junior Classical League, is a 40-question, multiple-choice test with a time limit of 45 minutes, offered to students on seven levels: Introduction to Latin, Latin I, Latin II, Latin III, Latin III/IV Prose, Latin III/IV Poetry, and Latin V/VI+. These exams are not based on any specific textbook series.
On the Introduction to Latin, Latin I, Latin II, Latin III, Latin III/IV Prose, and Latin III/IV Poetry exams, there are questions on grammar, comprehension, mythology, derivatives, literature, Roman life, history, geography, oral Latin, and Latin in use in the modern world. The Latin V/VI+ exam contains two Latin passages (one prose and one poetry) as the basis for questions on grammar, comprehension, historical background, classical literature, and literary devices.
Students are expected to take the exam named for the level of Latin in which they are enrolled. The Introduction to Latin exam is designed for first-year Latin students who are enrolled in a two-year Latin I program and who cover approximately half the Latin I syllabus. The Latin V/VI+ exam is designed for Latin students in the fifth-year of study and higher, including advanced level classes in college. Students are allowed to take only ONE exam annually, and, with the exception of the V/VI+ exam, they should not take the same level exam for more than one year.
The philosophy of the National Latin Exam is predicated on providing every Latin student the opportunity to experience a sense of personal accomplishment and success in his or her study of the Latin language and culture. This opportunity exists for all students since, in the National Latin Exam, they are not competing with their fellow students on a comparative basis, but are evaluated solely on their own performance on the exam. The basic purposes of the NLE are to promote the study of Latin and to encourage the individual student.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals has voted to place the National Latin Exam on the Advisory List of National Contests and Activities. This is distributed to all secondary schools in the United States each September.
A.S. Rhodes Elementary School to get renovated
At the Warren County School Board meeting on April 15, 2019 the first thing on the agenda was the renovation of the A.S. Rhodes Elementary School. Melody Sheppard, assistant superintendent for Warren County school system started the meeting with the A.S. Rhodes Elementary School renovation plan.
Superintendent Greg Drescher said they would share the plan with the whole school board before moving forward.
The Royal Examiner’s camera was there:
EDA Investigation: FRPD’s initial interview of Jennifer McDonald, Part 2
In this second segment of the initial interview on June 15, 2017 with Front Royal Police Department Investigators Landin Waller and Crystal Cline, McDonald pushes forward a theory targeting this reporter as a player in the EDA office break-in revolving around inquiries into and source information acquired that ITFederal principal Truc “Curt” Tran was the “secret investor” in the planned Skyline Regional Justice Academy.
McDonald referenced a time I worked at local radio station WFTR (WZRV The RIver 95.3 FM) and claims I accessed public files. However I never actually was in the EDA offices suite while a radio station employee. After being fired from the radio station, perhaps coincidentally at the very time I was seeking information from Congressman Robert Goodlatte and his staff about the congressman’s involvement with and knowledge of ITFederal and its owner, McDonald invited me to come to her office “to talk”, presumably to glean information about what I had learned about Tran and his company.
The following is a transcript of the official incident report for the alleged break-in, reported on May 18, 2017:
Front Royal Police Department Investigation Narrative: Officer Report for Incident 17050871
Date, Time, Reporting Officer: 05/18/17, 14:00, Detective Landin J. Waller Description of the Incident:
On 05/18/17 I, Detective Landin J. Waller, was contacted by Captain Ryman in reference to an incident at the .Warren County Economic Development Authority (EDA) located at 400 Kendrick Lane. Myself and Detective King responded to the scene where we were met by Captain Ryman and Captain Nicewarner. Detective King and I were briefed about the scene by Captain Ryman.
We were advised four (4) 4″ by 6″ personal photographs and a large cut out photograph of Jennifer McDonald were taken from McDonald’ s office and found in the conference room. Three ( 3) of ‘the 4″ by 6″ photographs had McDonald in the picture with her face scratched out with a sharp object. The fourth 4″ by 6″ photograph was a picture of McDonald1 s niece and her toddler aged son with the word “NIGGAR” written in black marker across the face of the child. The large cut out photograph had a black plastic handle steak knife plunged through the forehead of the photo and it was stuck to the head rest of a brown leather office chair where McDonald admittedly normally sits.
There were no signs of forced entry to the buildings windows, and doors. As I noted there was undisturbed dust on the window ledges and on the blinds at every window. The window to McDonald’s office was raised up about two inches and not secured; However there was cobwebs and undisturbed dust on the blinds and window ledge. The two doors of access to the building and office did not have pry marks or signs of tampering.
The scene was photographed and processed by Detective King. Detective King took overall, midrange, close-up, and close-up with scale photographs. All photographs will be attached to this report in the images file. There were 6 items of evidence collected and packaged from this scene. Item #1: (4″ by 6″ photograph of niece and son), Item #2: 4″ by 6″ photograph of McDonald with Dolphin), Item #3: (4″ by 6″ photograph of McDonald with Niece), Item #4: (4″ by 6″ photograph of McDonald and family) , Item #5: (cutout picture of McDonald) , Item #6: (black plastic handle steak knife) . Detective King dusted the conference ‘ table and drawer for latent prints but was not successful.
I interviewed the two employees that were at the office, Jennifer McDonald and Missy Henry. These interviews were audio recorded and will be added to the case file.
From the interview with McDonald, I was informed that she was the Director of the EDA inhere she has been employed since 1999, She advised there are two other employees, Missy Henry and Maria Jones, that work out of this office. McDonald advised me she left the office last evening (05/17/18) at 17:00 or 17:30. She said she went to a Rotary meeting at 19;30. McDonald said left from the Rotary meeting and went directly home and the next morning she arrived to work at about 07:30. McDonald said she went to her office and she and Missy were talking when she noticed some pictures were missing from her office but she was not sure which ones. She said a while later she was notified by Missy of the scene in the conference room – McDonald did say that last Thursday morning she noticed a large knife (from the kitchen area of the EDA) was in her chair in the conference room on 05/11/17, but did not notify the police but thought it was odd.
I asked McDonald if she could think of anyone that might be mad enough to do something like this, she said “yes”. She informed me that there is a group of people who have made derogatory statements about the Work-Force Housing Project in the Royal Examiner. McDonald went on to explain there was a piece of land that was to be gifted to the town for this project; However, the EDA missed the deadline for the land to be gifted and now the land must be purchased. She said the piece of land in question was gifted by her family members (Aunt & Uncle). She stated the Royal Examiner has posted articles about this land deal in which many persons have commented negatively about her and the EDA. She listed Councilwoman Bebhinn Egger, Mike Graham, Stan Brooks, Shea Parker, Tom Conkey, Roger Bianchini, and Norma Jean Shaw as persons who she felt were angry with her.
McDonald informed me that herself, Missy, and Maria Jones are the only ones with keys to the outside of the building and to the office door. She did say there was a spare key for each door in a real estate type lock box that was located on the iron railing of the stoop. She advised that Maria Crigler, The Administrative Assistant of Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission, (the neighboring business) also has the code to the lock box because they have a spare key in the lock box. McDonald informed me the keys are kept in the lock box incase someone forgets their key to the office and needs to gain entry to the office. I was then informed that all 9 employees at Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission have the code to the lock box.
I also interviewed Missy Henry in the conference room. Henry stated she has been employed at the EDA as an Administrative Assistant since 2012. She advised that she left the office on 05/17/17 at 17:05 and did not return to the office around 0800 on 05/18/17. Henry advised me she was the first to notice the conference room scene. Henry also advised me that she had just changed the code to the lock box this past Monday to a 3 digit code instead of a 4 digit code. She advised that no one has been notified of the change except herself, Jennifer and Maria.
I spoke to all the employees at Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission and determined that the last employee to go leave the building was Brandon Davis. X was advised that Davis1 wife went into labor last night and he stopped by the office to grab some items from his desk before going to the hospital. I have yet to speak with him, but all the other employees did not notice anything out of the ordinary on 05/17/17.
Later on that day, I spoke with employee Marla Taylor Jones by phone. Marla advised she is the current Director of Marketing with the EDA and has been since 2009. She said she arrived to work at 08:10 on 05/17/17 and left at 17:00. She did say she noticed a man who was inside the gate of the property and he was holding a phone or a video recorder and it appeared he was recording. She described the male as a white male with a beard wearing blue plaid shirt, shorts, and a ball cap. ‘ She said he went outside to ask him if he needed assistance but he walked through the breezeway and towards Ameri-Sist which is a business on the east end of the building. Jones said she had Henry call Ameri-Sist to see if the man came to their business, but was informed that no one had stopped in. Jones also said that when she was leaving at 17:00 she noticed an old red Ford Explorer or Blazer with a white male inside and the engine was running. She said he was on the road behind the building and she asked him if he needed help. She said he told her he had just made a delivery and was routing his next delivery. She said she thought this was a bit unusual.
On 05/18/17 after clearing the initial asked McDonald if I might have the spare I wanted to set up surveillance cameras, keys. On 05/18/17 at 17:30 hours Myself, Sergeant Cline set up surveillance video scene, I responded back to* the EDA and keys to the building and office because McDonald agreed and gave me the spare Detective King, Detective Fogle and inside the office.
Watch Part 2 of Jennifer McDonald initial interview with Front Royal Police Department that occurred on June 15, 2017:
Flags of Valor president named Small Business Veteran of the Year by the Virginia Small Business Development Center
Middletown, VA. – The Lord Fairfax Small Business Development Center is proud to announce the 2019 Virginia Small Business Veteran of the Year Award from the Virginia Small Business Development Center (VASBDC) will be presented to its client, U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force veteran Brian Steorts. Steorts is the founder and president of Flags of Valor in Frederick County.
The award is given each year to a veteran small-business owner based on his or her contributions to the military, their business and the community. VASBC Director Jody Keenan will present the award during Lord Fairfax Community College’s annual Appreciation Luncheon April 19 on the Middletown Campus.
Steorts started Flags of Valor after being injured during his military service. After rehabilitation, he missed wearing the flag as part of his daily attire. When he tried to order a large wooden flag for his home, he could only find ones made in China.
That’s when Steorts decided to create his small business, Flags of Valor, and provide jobs to disabled veterans who could produce beautiful wooden flags here in the United States. He moved the workshop to Frederick County two years ago. That’s when he turned to the Lord Fairfax Small Business Development Center.
“Brian is an exceptional business leader and member of our community,” says the development center’s director, Christine Kriz, who has consulted with Steorts. “His dedication to his employees and his passion for our country shine bright. We are very fortunate to have veteran small business owners like Brian to support our returning veterans!”
Steorts’s and his team’s commitment to providing a top-quality products and connecting with each customer has led to huge success. He has been featured in numerous media, including NBC News, Fox News, ABC World News, Entrepreneur and ESPN Radio.
Steorts even presented a flag to President Donald Trump, which can be seen in this video:
In addition to employing dozens of veterans, Flags of Valor has raised nearly $700,000 for veteran and first-responder charities.
Steorts is civically engaged as a member of the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and as a Small Business Council Board member.
Steorts’s military awards and commendations include:
• Airman’s Medal, the highest non-combat medal
• Air Medal with 10 oak-leaf clusters for 200 combat missions
• Aerial Achievement Medal
• Air Force Commendation Medal
• Army Commendation Medal
• Meritorious Unit Award with two oak-leaf clusters
• National Service Defense Medal
• Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one service star
• Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
• Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
• Armed Forces Services Medal
• Air Force Overseas Ribbon
• Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold border and six oak-leaf clusters
• Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with two oak-leaf clusters
• Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with one star
• Army Service Ribbon
• NATO Medal
• 2018 Capital One Small Business Award for Veteran and Military Spouse Employment