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Town citizens get a close-up look at ‘their’ new police building



Town and police officials led by Vice-Mayor Bill Sealock and Chief Kahle Magalis cut the ribbon on FRPD’s heaven on earth at 900 Monroe Ave. Royal Examiner Photos/Roger Bianchini

The Town of Front Royal and its Police Department officially cut the ribbon on the new police headquarters, accompanied by a color guard flying of the national, state and town flags over the 900 Monroe Avenue address. FRPD transferred its base of operations from multiple locations into the approximately $10 million, 21,000 square-foot, two-building facility in late April.

Police Chief Kahle Magalis welcomed the public to an open house celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday morning in pleasant late spring weather. The event featured departmental presentations and refreshments punctuating the public look-see at what after years in undersized and separated locations must certainly seem like an operational heaven on earth to the town police force.

It is a facility the FRPD Chief pointed out is designed to carry the department 40 years into the future. FRPD currently employs 52 staff, including 39 sworn law enforcement officers and 13 civilian support staff.

Chief Kahle Magalis greets town citizens to ‘their’ new FRPD headquarters

One of the first rooms visitors saw was a public meeting room. As Chief Magalis told us during our late April tour, “If somebody needs a meeting space and we’re able to make it happen for them then we’ll do that – this is the citizen’s building, we’re just living in it,” Magalis said of the community’s $10-million investment in a state-of-the-art police headquarters.

Magalis called the police headquarters project and its result a sign of community unity and purpose he hopes will help move us past the division and legal repercussions stemming from the EDA financial scandal.

“I hope it can help us to stand up and look to the future with positivity and put aside a lot of the negativity that has been plaguing our community for a while. So moving forward that’s what we’re looking for; and we’re just thankful you could all be a part of this special day for us. Thank you for coming out – enjoy the day,” Magalis said in inviting the first wave of citizens present for the ribbon cutting and presentation of colors at 11 a.m.

Captain Crystal Cline plays door officer at front entrance

And as Royal Examiner documented in our photographic tour of the facility on April 29, what FRPD has located to from its temporary headquarters based out of the 7,236 s.f. former Warren County Sheriff’s Office rented at $5,000 per month from the County is a 21,000 s.f. facility, including a 14,600 s.f. main structure and 6,400 s.f. auxiliary building.

FRPD settles into its new home with a smile – and continued unpacking

The last Town-owned police headquarters in the former post office at the intersection of West Main Street and Luray Avenue totaled 4,032 s.f. FRPD left that building in 2013 under a combination of space and mold issues, the latter uncovered during renovations undertaken at the time.

Artist’s rendering of aerial perspective on the two-building complex

The FRPD Color Guard raises the national, state and town flags over FRPD to kick off Saturday’s open house – WITH refreshments!!!

It’s true – some officers have gone to the dogs – but that’s NOT always a bad thing

And the tour is on, WITH hot dogs, pizza, cookies and sodas served in the garage area to rear of complex – YUM …

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Local Government

Warren follows Frederick in approval of boundary adjustment



Warren County Administrator Doug Stanley points to a map indicating what was, and will now be following joint county approval of a boundary adjustment agreement between the North River and Opequon Districts of Warren and Frederick Counties. Royal Examiner Photo/Roger Bianchini . Video by Mark Williams.

After hearing from people on both sides of the county line, all urging them to approve the submitted Warren-Frederick County Boundary Adjustment as presented along Foster Hollow Road, the Warren County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the suggested agreement.

The unanimous vote accommodating the wishes of people who have incorrectly been listed in and paying taxes to, schooling children in, and voting in one county and state electoral district while actually being in the other for decades and sometimes generations, was achieved with less effort than on the other side of the municipal government divide.

Discussion indicated an earlier 4-3 split in favor of the agreement by the Frederick County Supervisors. Warren County Administrator Doug Stanley said the dissenting votes in Frederick came from elected officials who appeared to favor not changing a straight county line apparently lost to surveyors for over half a century that has at least theoretically been in place since Warren County was created out of a division of existing counties, including Frederick about three centuries ago.

However in the end the municipal majorities on both sides of the county line adhered to the expressed wishes of impacted residents whose community ties, while perhaps legally mistaken, were deep emotionally and in some cases professionally.

The boundary adjustment must now be forwarded to involved circuit courts for judicial approval.

One speaker who had long believed he had been a Warren County and Sixth State Congressional District resident and voter all his life, Sammy Campbell, told this reporter following the meeting he hopes the judicial approval comes quickly so he can vote in the upcoming November election for candidates he is familiar with.

See the public comments, board and staff discussion and vote in this Royal Examiner video:

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Republicans prep for mayoral forum; deal with Sayre-Mabe canvass backlash



Two former mayors, Gene Tewalt, center, and Hollis Tharpe pictured at town council meeting in early 2017 will be facing off for mayor in the November 2019 Special Election to fill out the balance of the term Tharpe resigned from May 2. But will they face off Thursday, August 22, at the Republican Committee-sponsored Mayor’s Forum? Perhaps if Bébhinn Egger, left, returns to moderate – Royal Examiner File Photos/Roger Bianchini

Front Royal mayoral candidates Eugene Tewalt and Hollis Tharpe will have the opportunity to face off in a Candidates Forum held by the Warren County Republican Committee this Thursday, August 22.

However since by town charter and code Town elections are non-partisan – meaning candidates may not campaign under a party banner and their names may not carry a political party designation by them on the ballot – no party nomination is at stake. Rather candidates will simply be trying to court potential voters present for the event, and garner a Warren County Republican Committee endorsement.

Contacted two days before the mayoral forum scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Villa Avenue Community Center (aka the old library), former Mayor Hollis Tharpe said he planned to attend as a committee member but was undecided on participating in the forum surrounding a non-partisan election. Tharpe noted he remains a Republican County Committee member, an affiliation he said he has maintained since 2010.

The other person on the mayor’s ballot, Councilman and former Mayor Gene Tewalt said he would be present to participate. While a former committee member who noted he was endorsed by the local Republicans in his initial run for mayor, Tewalt said he let his Republican Committee membership lapse around 2010. He remains unaffiliated politically at this time.
Partisan pledge uproar

And while the Republican Committee waits to see how its planned mayoral pre-endorsement forum unfolds, it is also dealing with repercussions of the decision not to let independent
Shenandoah District Board of Supervisors candidate Walter Mabe’s wife vote in the party canvass of August 15.

Committee Chairman Steve Kurtz verified that Mabe’s Republican incumbent opponent Tom Sayre, present to help hand out ballots, identified Taffy Mabe entering the voting area. Sayre then approached Mrs. Mabe and asked if she was going to support Republican nominees in the November general election, which obviously include him as her husband’s opponent in the Shenandoah District supervisor’s race.

“Hell no,” was reported by observers as her answer, one might imagine pointedly directed Sayre’s way.

As Ruth Clatterbuck listens Walt Mabe chats with Janice Hart, right, at July 12 candidate’s meet and greet at Strokes of Creativity Boutique & Studio on South Royal Ave. across from the Warren County Courthouse. Mabe is challenging incumbent Shenandoah District Supervisor Tom Sayre in November. Sayre in turn challenged Mabe’s wife’s right to vote in the recent Republican nominating canvass.

A source close to Mabe’s campaign said that Mrs. Mabe’s perception was that Sayre then declined to give her a ballot. However Kurtz said that Sayre looked his way for acknowledgement of a response and the committee chairman standing about 10 feet away, instructed that she not be given a ballot due to her response.

However Kurtz also said that Mrs. Mabe was the only person who showed up to vote in the canvass who was asked that question about general election party support. The committee chairman said he hoped to make a point that a Republican canvass should be for Republican voters.

However asked by this reporter at the canvass what the rules of participation were, Kurtz explained you had to be a registered voter and not show up online as having voted in a Democratic primary in the past several years.

We asked the committee chairman were it answered honestly, how many canvass voters of the nearly 600 who showed up he thought might have been lost had all been asked the same question Mrs. Mabe was about blanket party nominee support in November. In this volatile election season Kurtz admitted half, perhaps more.

Candidate stands outside the Aug. 15 Republican Canvass – why was only one visitor asked THE question?

Anything to be learned from this experience, we asked.

Not on the record apparently.

Republicans who have won their party’s nomination for the November ballot include Stephen Jerome, Circuit Court Clerk; John Bell, Commonwealth’s Attorney; Jamie Spiker, County Treasurer; Sherry Sours, Commissioner of the Revenue; Jason Poe for Sheriff; and Sayre, Delores Oates and Robert Hupman for Shenandoah, North River and South River County Supervisor seats, respectively.

Deputy Circuit Court Clerk Janice Shanks, who is currently serving as Circuit Court Clerk in the wake of Daryl Funk’s departure for a seat on the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court bench, has filed enough signatures with the Registrar’s Office to be included on the November ballot as an independent.

In the wake of her 15-vote loss to Silek Law firm attorney Jerome in last week’s Republican Canvass, Shanks has not responded to Royal Examiner inquiries about whether she intends to campaign as an independent for that office in November. If she does it would make it a three-way race. Former County Deputy Clerk Angie Moore, now in the Frederick County District Court Clerk’s Office, is on the November ballot as an independent in the Circuit Court Clerk’s race.

Poe is in a four-way Sheriff’s race with Democrat Jorge Amselle, and independents Mark Butler and Mickey Licklider; Oates is facing off against independent and former Town Councilman and Vice Mayor Shae Parker in the North River District; and Hupman is taking on independents Leslie Matthews and Cheryl Cullers in the South River District.

North River Supervisor and Board Chairman Dan Murray (R) and South River Supervisor Linda Glavis (I) have both announced their retirements and are not seeking reelection.

So as summer and political temperatures rise toward triple digits, stay tuned as Warren County and Front Royal move through an already volatile 2019 election season in the shadow of public discontent over “business as usual” in the wake of the Town-County Economic Development Authority financial fraud investigation and consequent civil and criminal cases stemming from it.

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Local Government

Town Notice: Energy Services Alerts



As temperatures are expected to reach well into the 90’s in the next few days, the Town of Front Royal’s electric customers are being asked to conserve power. If we can conserve during these peak hours (3:pm – 6:pm), we can save on transmission and capacity costs, and help keep the electricity rates low.

The Town requests electric customers to voluntarily reduce energy consumption beginning today,Aug 19, 2019 from 3:pm – 6:pm through Aug 21,2019 from 3:pm – 6:pm each afternoon.

Customers can take simple conservation steps such as:

• shutting off lights when not needed

• avoid using ovens/stoves from 3:pm-6:pm

• unplugging small appliances and electric chargers

• raising the air conditioner thermostat, a degree or two

• doing laundry and other household chores that require hot water or electricity during hours other than 3:pm-6:pm

• turning off televisions, computers, radios and other electronic devices when not being used.

If you have any questions or concerns please call the Energy Services Department at (540) 635-3027, Monday – Friday, 7:00am – 3:30pm

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Local Government

New splash pad under construction for October debut



Rendition of forthcoming Warren County Splash Pad, which won’t include the shrubs. Photo courtesy of Dan Lenz, director of Warren County Parks & Rec.

FRONT ROYAL — Construction started earlier this week on a new splash pad that’s being built in the Dr. Saul Seide Memorial Botanical Gardens on 8th Street, near the Parks & Rec Youth Center across the creek from Bing Crosby Stadium.

The Warren County Splash Pad will be completed and operational in early October, Warren County Director of Parks and Recreation Daniel Lenz told Royal Examiner
“Splash pads have been an attraction around the country for a number of years,” said Lenz. “This facility will hopefully entice our citizens to come out and enjoy the features.”

Lenz explained yesterday that Warren County personnel are performing the site work, including the demolition of the existing fountain and the pouring of the concrete pad for the project.

SeaSpray, LLC will be installing the splash pad components.

The $94,140-project is being funded by Warren County ($45,000); Warren County Parks and Recreation ($16,254); the Dominion Foundation ($15,000); the Warren Coalition ($11,386); the Rotary Club of Front Royal ($6,000); and the Kiwanis Club ($500).

To maximize the potential of the splash pad, Lenz said it is centrally located at the existing park adjacent to the Raymond E. Santmyers Youth Center; has access to ample parking areas, restrooms and picnic areas; and is just a short stroll to a second park system, athletic fields and Bing Crosby Stadium.

Construction has started on the Warren County Splash Pad, which opens in October. Photo by Kim Riley

Phase one of the Warren County Splash Pad project gets under way. Photo by Kim Riley

“The first phase of the Splash Pad project will include the installation of the actual Splash Pad facility,” Lenz said. “A second phase will include the installation of a sidewalk, benches, trash receptacles, and landscaping.”

He said that the second phase will be implemented as funding allows.

The Warren County Splash Pad is part of the overall revitalization of the 3.5-acre Dr. Saul Seide Memorial Botanical Gardens, which along with the rest of the local park system is experiencing increased usage, Lenz said.

The existing fountain is gone at Dr. Saul Seide Memorial Botanical Gardens to make way for the new splash pad being constructed behind the Front Royal Youth Center (background). Photo by Kim Riley

The recently removed lighted water fountain at Seide Memorial Gardens was over 40-years-old and — according to the Request and Proposal for the splash pad’s design and installation — had started “to look unsightly and worn down.”

At the same time, park technicians had to make repairs to the fountain several times a year over the course of the operating season that runs from April through September.

“Installation of the splash pad will provide citizens with a new form of outdoor recreation currently unavailable in our community and encourage citizens to participate in outdoor recreation in Warren County rather than traveling to other localities for this feature,” said Lenz.

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EDA in Focus

Tederick discusses status of EDA, Crooked Run 2 water request & his brief tenure as interim mayor in this Royal Examiner video interview



Interim Mayor Matt Tederick discusses his plans for the future with Roger Bianchini. Photo and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

Front Royal’s Interim Mayor Matt Tederick sat down with the Royal Examiner and yours truly on Thursday, August 15. Over nearly an hour Tederick discusses his decision to accept the May 28 appointment as mayor in the wake of Hollis Tharpe’s May 2 resignation; as well as his decision not to run in the November Special Election to serve out the final year of Tharpe’s term; as well as two prominent issues – the EDA and Crooked Run 2 central water request – facing council over the final three months of his tenure as mayor.

Included in the EDA discussion is the revelation Tederick plans to seek appointment of a citizens’ committee to review the report of the Town-County governmental personnel-staffed EDA Reform Committee announced at Tuesday’s joint meeting of the Town Council and Warren County Board of Supervisors.

Regaining public trust will be crucial to successfully moving forward with a re-tooled EDA mission, Tederick told Royal Examiner. The interim mayor hopes a citizens’ review committee can help achieve that trust.

Tederick also discusses the status of the County’s request for Town central water to facilitate the revamped Crooked Run 2 plan to establish a primarily residential development outside the town limits just west of the Crooked Run Shopping Center near the Route 340/522 and I-66 intersection.

Tederick also responds to our suggestion that the status of the planned Front Royal Limited Partnership (FRLP) residential development of approximately one thousand homes on about 750 acres of town land be included in discussion of the Crooked Run 2 request.

And if you hang to the interview’s conclusion you will hear the interim mayor promise other potential “exclusive” revelations regarding planned residential development in the community in future Royal Examiner interviews during his term of office.

It is a term slated to end shortly after the November 5 Special Election in which Tharpe will try to regain his mayoral seat in a two candidate face-off with current Councilman and former Mayor Eugene Tewalt.

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Hints of Deeper Issues: The many problems with the Crooked Run Development



Linda Allen reminds Town Council that no one speaks in favor of the proposed rezoning of Crooked Run West to residential.

In a Town Council meeting held on August 12th, several items of importance were brought to public attention. Town resident Linda Allen spoke to the council urging them to be more open with the public on the matter of the Crooked Run West development. In a letter addressed to the Council, she raised questions and concerns of citizens regarding the development. (Read her letter here or watch on the video below)

Referencing the public hearing held by the Board of Supervisors on April 10, 2019, she stated that “There are no citizen comments from that hearing that favor this change.” The concerns caused by the change from commercial to residential are mainly due to the problems with water and sewer services. This concern has been raised in the past by citizens who question the town sending central water to the County for development when there is roughly 750 acres of undeveloped land in town earmarked for residential development.

Allen raised another issue she saw with the water service problem, telling council, “It would be a change that no longer restricts the Town’s obligation to provide water to the corridor for commercial development only. This change would set a precedent. It may not matter how restrictively the agreement is written, once the change is made, it is a basis for argument in court to expand water and sewer throughout the county.” Why would this be an issue for Front Royal citizens? The answer is simple: taxes.

Allen raised other questions, such as the lack of a traffic plan. “The citizens who spoke of the road there and projected traffic volume and access to our major highway are quite clear that it is a difficult, even dangerous set of conditions.”

Increased traffic would lead to a higher rate of accidents, and with a higher resident count the traffic would not be coming from highway travelers on road trips but from residents in town.

Without an updated traffic plan, the Crooked Run Development could cause an irritating and hazardous spike of cars in town.

And as to residents, Allen pointed to the potential need for a new elementary school should the projected growth of Crooked Run’s development be accurate. “A.S. Rhodes Elementary School is at capacity which would indicate that we would have to consider building another elementary school—up goes the debt service in the county budget.”

Interim Mayor Matthew Tederick responded to the list of grievances briefly: “We have not made any decisions in regards to the Crooked Run Development. We have had a business that has come here to do business, and we welcome that, but I believe in the process of gathering facts and presenting them to the public.” Hopefully this was an indicator that town citizens will get some more concrete information about the project prior to a decision being reached, rather than a dismissive gesture.

The real question here is why the Town would okay the extension of additional utilities into the county to facilitate residential development out of town when there are more profitable for the Town and less problematic places to build inside town limits?

Opponents of Town facilitation of County residential development believe the town council is overreaching its Enterprise Fund utilities and setting the stage for future problems that would seem avoidable by keeping the rules as they have been written, of facilitate community-wide commercial development.

The Council meeting proceeded with a second speaker, Mrs. Fern Vasquez who also expressed many of the same negative opinions that Linda Allen pointed out. “The amount of money that we would put in towards this project is not worth what we would get out of it.”

The third item presented to the Council was the celebration of a town hero. Fifteen-year-old David Deavers was awarded the certificate of Hometown Hero for his brave actions saving a young boy Jordan Beall from a wasp nest he was trapped near. David had rescued the young boy and ran with him over his shoulder to safety. David’s selfless actions saved Jordan’s life and the Mayor personally thanked him for his service.

Our local hero David Deavers.

Front Royal Police Chief Kahle Magalis introduced Matthew Stephenson as the newest member of the Front Royal Police Department. Officer Stephenson has extensive experience as a first responder and was welcomed warmly into the community by the Council. His wife, Jasmine Stephenson is also a police officer with the Winchester Police Department.

The Council then moved to officially approve several items that had made it through previous work sessions, such as a bid from Wesco for Okonite cable in the amount of $25,440 and to Anixter for 750 Okonite cable in the amount of $36,471.60 to be used by the Energy Services Department for Leach Run Parkway Infrastructure. The Council also approved the lease of space at 23 E. Jackson Street or 30 E. Jackson Street for the Probation and Parole District #11 sub-office of the Department of Corrections as well as approving the funding needed for the staffing of a regional CITAC (Crisis Intervention Assessment Center) proposed in last week’s work session. The Council also approved a new item, the request for a 20-foot Deed of Easement for Sanitary Sewer Utilities from the Warren County School Board near Warren County Middle School located on Heritage Drive.

The Council then moved into a closed session to discuss “specific legal matters” before opening again for their work session.

Mayor, Town Council seek EDA financial answers, not just future plans

See the full Council Meeting, discussion and questions in the linked Royal Examiner video:

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

5:30 pm Medicare Basics Educational Pres... @ Samuels Public Library | White Meeting Room B
Medicare Basics Educational Pres... @ Samuels Public Library | White Meeting Room B
Aug 22 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Medicare Basics Educational Presentation @ Samuels Public Library | White Meeting Room B
Come learn the basics of Medicare including: Eligibility, Important Dates, Medicare Coverage, Medicare Parts A,B,C, and D and Supplement Options. No Cost No RSVP required Walk-ins welcome For Educational purposes only For accommodations of persons[...]
8:00 am Safe Driving Class for Seniors @ Front Royal Police Department
Safe Driving Class for Seniors @ Front Royal Police Department
Aug 24 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Safe Driving Class for Seniors @ Front Royal Police Department
Hosted By: Front Royal/Warren County S.A.L.T./TRIAD Are you a senior 50 and over in need of learning current driving trends, traffic laws and just an overall overview of driving safely? If so, AARP provides a[...]
10:00 am Sample an Irish Dance Class @ Jig 'n' Jive Dance Studio
Sample an Irish Dance Class @ Jig 'n' Jive Dance Studio
Aug 24 @ 10:00 am – 10:45 am
Sample an Irish Dance Class @ Jig 'n' Jive Dance Studio
Sample an Irish Dance Class at the Jig ‘n’ Jive Dance Studio. Saturday, August 24th. 10:00 – 10:45am. $2/dancer. Boys and Girls. No experience or registration required.
4:30 pm Front Royal Salvation Army Corps... @ Salvation Army
Front Royal Salvation Army Corps... @ Salvation Army
Aug 24 @ 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Front Royal Salvation Army Corps BBQ Cookout @ Salvation Army
The Front Royal Salvation Army Corps will host a BBQ Cookout on Saturday, August 24, 2019, from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm at 296 South Street, Front Royal. A BBQ chicken meal, including chips and[...]
1:30 pm Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
Aug 27 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
This four week course with the instructor, Elena Maza, will deal with the basic three-primary color palette, different pigments and how they interact, how to mix all colors from three primary colors, how to apply[...]
1:00 pm Substance Abuse and Recovery Summit @ Mountain Home Bed and Breakfast
Substance Abuse and Recovery Summit @ Mountain Home Bed and Breakfast
Aug 29 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Substance Abuse and Recovery Summit @ Mountain Home Bed and Breakfast
The McShin Foundation and RSW (Rappahannock, Shenandoah, and Warren County) Regional Jail would like to invite you to our substance abuse and recovery summit to be held on August 29, 2019, in Front Royal, Virginia.[...]
1:00 pm DJ Skyhigh’s End of Summer Blast @ Warren County Fair
DJ Skyhigh’s End of Summer Blast @ Warren County Fair
Aug 31 @ 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm
DJ Skyhigh's End of Summer Blast @ Warren County Fair
Come join DJ Skyhigh for his end of summer blast. Lisa Bell will be hosting wine tastings (at an additional charge) of over 50 international wines. Wines may also be purchased by the bottle to[...]
1:30 pm Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
Sep 3 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
This four week course with instructor Elena Maza will focus on learning basic skills to create watercolor landscape paintings: basic composition and use of color and value to create a sense of depth and distance.[...]
1:30 pm Botanical Drawing @ Art in the Valley
Botanical Drawing @ Art in the Valley
Sep 4 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Botanical Drawing @ Art in the Valley
Learn and practice the art of botanical drawing in pencil with local artist and instructor Elena Maza. This four session course will focus on learning basic drawing skills as applied to botanicals: basic line drawings[...]
10:00 am SHS Marching Band Mattress Fundr... @ Skyline High School
SHS Marching Band Mattress Fundr... @ Skyline High School
Sep 7 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
SHS Marching Band Mattress Fundraiser @ Skyline High School
Skyline High School Marching Band is having a mattress sale fundraiser on Saturday, September 7, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Skyline High School (151 Skyline Vista Drive, Front Royal, Virginia). There will[...]