Royal Examiner was recently contacted on our website regarding social media posts of a somewhat inflammatory political nature alleged to have been made by a Front Royal Police Officer. The link and query as to whether we knew if the Town Police Department was addressing the matter after having been contacted by the posting source was actually found in our website SPAM folder, as the email inquiry to us was from firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Thought you should be aware of this: (followed by LINK) I know that the police chief has been contacted and has not responded. What actions are they taking?” we were asked by Mister or Missus “Anonymous”.
The LINK took us to a Twitter page with a double flagged “Content Warning” from the posting source “Firestorm on Fascism@AntifascistF12” which self-identified to the right of the page stating, “We ID fascists, bigots, supremacists, propagandists & funders. Not organized/funded. 100% outraged”.
Okay then – this reporter found himself wondering if he had landed at an ANTIFA or ANTIFA offshoot site, ANTIFA being an acronym for “Anti-fascist” as the site was identified. From information I have read, Antifa’s original MO or Mode of Operation was the outing of members of neo-fascist organizations to their employers as such.
Below that was the apparent Twitter handle of the alleged FRPD officer who had aroused this group’s ire. Since Royal Examiner has not independently verified if the named officer actually made the featured posts, we will not use his name in this story. However, we will note that the officer included in his self-identification as a “Common Sense Conservative” and that, “Tweets are my own, not of my agency or other personnel.”
And it did not appear there was any claim this officer was a member of any known neo-fascist group; rather suggestions his anti-BLM posts indicated racism and his intolerance for opposing political views, a tendency toward right-wing fascism.
A quick scroll through of posted Tweets opened with a reference to a story lead “Police union to replace American flags on NJ Turnpike after official …” above which the officer allegedly posted, “Local governments are now banning the American Flag.. Line these scum up and shoot them for treason!”
Several negative references to the Black Lives Matter movement were posted, including, “Now that BLM and Antifa have served their usefulness to the Democrats, will they now issue stand down orders to their commanders in the field? Retire your banners and send your mentally-challenged foot soldiers back into their basements until they are needed for another election.”
Another accusation was the officer’s repeated posting of retired professional wrestler Hulk Hogan memes, which the “Firestorm on Fascism” posters alleged is often used by American neo-fascists as an “HH” code to mean Heil Hitler”. Or also self-identifying as “a fitness guru” I guess he could just be a pro-wrestling fan of the “27-inch pythons”.
We did notice in another post where the officer references a protester running a vehicle into police vehicles and/or officers, the observation, “A vehicle is the preferred method lately of radical extremists…this is another example. Don’t care if the driver is BLM, Antifa, Neo Nazi or a PETA member. The driver should be put down immediately!” – Not sure how PETA got drug into the conversation, but the post perhaps suggested little patience with radicals of the left or right – “Neo Nazi” being referenced – clashing violently with police.
Okay, was the FRPD Administration aware of these allegations. We decided to inquire of Chief Kahle Magalis and Communications Officer Crystal Cline by email Thursday afternoon, October 12. A short time later we received this reply from Captain Cline:
“Recently, the Front Royal Police Department was made aware of posts made on the personal social media account of one of our officers. We appreciate your concern and have taken steps to open an investigation into this personnel matter. The Front Royal Police Department strives to maintain a professional and unbiased agency and recognizes that all actions by police officers can impact community relations. We take this matter very seriously and will be conducting a thorough investigation. Due to this being a personnel matter, no further information on the investigation may be released at this time.”
So I guess that answers email@example.com’s question posed to us under the SUBJECT field “Racist FR police officer”.
As to the allegation of racism, we noticed a post by the officer acknowledging the on-duty shooting death of a black St. Louis police officer with the notation, “RIP Officer… Anyone else getting tired of this? How about you BLM?”
The entire experience of sifting through both the quite shrill posts against BLM, Democrats and leftist politics in general by the officer and equally shrill accusatory posts of his critics on the opposite end of the political spectrum reminded me of lyrics from a song from another era of sometimes violent political unrest in the late 1960’s, early ‘70’s. Stephen Stills of the Buffalo Springfield penned the song “For What It’s Worth” which included some timeless lyrics:
“What a field day for the heat; A thousand people in the street; Singing songs and a carrying signs mostly say ‘Hooray for our side’ …
“There’s battle lines being drawn; Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong …”
When opposing political sides lose the ability to rationally converse over differing philosophical perspectives without immediate deterioration into demonization and vilification, the odds become increasingly slim that a democratically based, representative republic form of government will continue to function as planned.
From Twitter posts and claims about a Front Royal Police officer to the ongoing Tweets from a “white house” 70 miles to our east, is it any wonder that the post-2020 national Election conversation has drifted from a peaceful transfer of power towards the potential of an attempted coup to overturn the electoral result due to unsubstantiated claims of fraud by an incumbent installing loyalist civilians at the Pentagon to join others already in place at the Justice and State Departments and U.S. Supreme Court?
Asked on Wednesday, November 11, by reporters about a “smooth transition” of power to a Biden Administration, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo actually said, “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump Administration.”
And I thought the LBJ and Nixon eras were weird.
EDA gets McDonald company property as part of settlement agreement
On Wednesday, October 20, Warren County Economic Development Authority Board of Directors Chairman Jeff Browne verified the EDA’s acquisition of the 41-acre “Happy Creek Road” parcel owned by former EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald’s Moveon8 real estate LLC. Acquisition of the undeveloped property assessed at just over a million dollars according to county court records is part of the $9-million-dollar no-fault settlement agreement reached between the EDA, McDonald, and the Harrisonburg Bankruptcy Court handling McDonald’s 2020 bankruptcy filing. The EDA will now be able to market the property as a developable EDA asset. It is located near the intersection of Happy Creek Road and Leach Run Parkway.
Browne said that in addition to receiving full value on the Happy Creek parcel, the EDA was in line to receive a percentage of the sale price of other McDonald assets distributed through the bankruptcy court proceeding. Exactly how close those percentages might get the EDA to the $9-million-dollar settlement figure remains to be seen. It was not immediately clear as to whether the EDA will have an outright full value claim to any other McDonald-held properties or assets.
McDonald is the central figure in the EDA financial scandal that began unravelling in mid-to-late 2018. She resigned in December 2018 under mounting pressure from her board of directors. She has been accused in civil and criminal court of utilizing her EDA position to misdirect EDA assets to her and others personal benefit. Western District of Virginia federal authorities have taken over the criminal side of the EDA case after a state special prosecutor’s office in Harrisonburg dropped criminal charges against McDonald and as many as 23 co-defendants due to speedy trial concerns as it wrestled with the volume of evidentiary material – estimated at 800,000 to over a million pages at the time. With charges against some defendants originating with the county commonwealth attorney’s office that initially handled the criminal investigation during Brian Madden’s tenure heading the department, failure to meet speedy trial timelines could have led to defense motions for dismissal of criminal charges against the defendants.
On August 31, 2021, federal prosecutors made their initial move, handing down a 34-count indictment against McDonald. Of those 34 counts, 16 were for money laundering, 10 for bank fraud, 7 for wire fraud, and 1 count of aggravated identity theft regarding someone identified as “T.T.” – ITFederal principal Truc Tran perhaps?
Joint Tourism Committee soliciting proposals for exclusive retail rights located at the Front Royal Visitor’s Center
The Front Royal & Warren County Joint Tourism Committee is soliciting proposals for exclusive retail rights located at the Front Royal Visitor’s Center. The proposal must include and respond to the following scope of services.
- The retailer will provide a merchandise for sale local to Front Royal and Warren County within a 35-mile radius. Merchandise should include local artists’ and photographer’s works, food items, branded material and other unique items to the Front Royal and Warren County area.
- The retail selection will include curated items exclusive to Front Royal and Warren County. The vendor must be willing to work with the Tourism Committee, and its contractor operating the Visitor’s Center, on merchandise selection. The Tourism representatives will have the right to approve or disapprove of merchandise to be incorporated for sale in the retail location to ensure quality product.
- The vendor will provide a cashless payment method at the vendor’s expense.
- The vendor will provide training to the Front Royal Visitor Center employees on the system and provide seven day a week support when necessary.
- The Front Royal Tourism Committee nor the employees of the Front Royal Visitor Center will be responsible for merchandise set up, inventory, or monitoring stock.
- The vendor will maintain the merchandise in an aesthetically pleasing manner neat and updated on a weekly basis.
- The vendor will provide a monthly report to the Tourism Committee representative on the sale of merchandise and provide suggestions for each season.
- The merchandise will reflect seasonal changes.
- The vendor will carry all necessary insurance and provide a current Warren County business license.
All potential vendors must address all the requirements as outlined including the time frame to begin the retail operation at the Visitors’ Center. A business plan for the merchandising must also be included. Bidders will be required to present their business plan and proposal to representatives of the Joint Tourism Committee.
Respondents are expected to organize their proposal to include:
- Operating model and requirements in response to scope above
- Proposed financial model i.e., lease for square footage or percentage of sales
- Relevant experience
- A minimum of three references
- 1 year with an option of a 2-year renewal.
- Awarded contractor must be operational at the beginning of the contract start date of 10/18/21.
- RFP released: 10/1/21
- Proposals due: 11/12/21
- Interview date: 11/22/21
- Contract begins: 12/1/21
- Contract Initial Term Complete: 12/31/22
- Potential Contract Term Extension through: 12/31/24
Front Royal ready for Fall tourists
The Town of Front Royal has hired three employees to staff the downtown Visitors Center.
Thousands of tourists travel to the area every fall for leaf viewing. The increased number of Visitor Center staff will play a key role in bolstering the Town’s continued effort to welcome tourists and assist them with experiencing the many attractions along with enjoying the fall foliage.
The Visitors Center averages over 150 visitors daily and over 200 each day on the weekends. “Welcoming visitors and letting them know about all the area attractions, lodging, outdoor adventures, arts, and cultural programming, fine food and drink grow the economy,” said Mayor Chris Holloway. “Front Royal and Warren County are committed to increasing visitation beyond a day visit.”
Visitor Center staff are responsible for many customer experience activities, including being ambassadors, providing tourists with information that enhances their visit, and encouraging tourists to return to Front Royal.
Tourism is a major economic driver for Front Royal and Warren County and its hospitality businesses. Visit www.DiscoverFrontRoyal.com for the many things to do.
Blue Ridge Wildlife Center Patient of the Week: Southern Flying Squirrel
The most common rodent you never see:
Southern flying squirrels are quite common across Virginia, but since they’re nocturnal and much smaller than Eastern Gray Squirrels, people rarely see them and often have no idea they even exist!
Unfortunately, cats are quite skilled at finding these nocturnal tree squirrels. Approximately 60% of our adult flying squirrel patients, including this one, come the Center as confirmed cat attack victims.
This patient is very lucky. He had minimal wounds and is doing well on pain medications and antibiotics.
In general, only about 30% of cat attacked patients survive to release. We have already received over 480 confirmed cat attack patients so far in 2021. We hope that this flyer will be in that minority!
Though feral cats are estimated to cause two thirds of cat-related wildlife deaths, the patients we see are almost always from owned cats when they bring animals to their owners, or when the finder interrupts a neighbor’s cat with an animal.
Please help our native wildlife by keeping cats indoors, or leashed/in an enclosed space when outside.
Cats cannot change their instincts, but as the species that domesticated them, it is our moral responsibility to do everything we can to keep cats safe and healthy, as well as protect the health of humans and wildlife from the dangers outdoor cats pose.
Despite the name, flying squirrels do not actually fly. They have a fold of skin between their front and back legs that allows them to glide between trees. Their long, flat tail steers them in flight like a rudder. Some can cover more than 150 feet in a single glide!
To donate to Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, click here.
Show your support for the Warren County High School Band with their annual Fruit Sale Fundraiser
The Warren County High School Band has started our annual fruit sales, and we’re looking forward to another great year of sales!
We are offering 3 Whole and Half Box offerings of single types of fruit, and 2 mix box options for those who want variety. Here are the fruit options:
- Navel Oranges, Hamlin Juice Oranges, Pink Grapefruit
- Whole Boxes and Half Boxes: $40 for 40 lbs., or $30 for 20 lbs.
- Mix Fruit Box 1
- Navel Oranges/Grapefruit/Mandarin Oranges: 6 of Each, Total of 18 pieces of fruit – $30
- Mix Fruit Box 2
- Navel Oranges/Grapefruit/Apples: 6 of Each, Total of 18 pieces of fruit – $30
How to Pre-Order Fruit:
(PRE-ORDER Deadline: November 7th, 2021)
You may order online and pre-pay with a credit card or check. There is usually a $1 dollar fee for this, but it saves later on with convenience and for those looking to limit personal contact with others.
Second, you may pre-order with me or with any student in the band and then simply pay when you pick up the fruit. We will accept cash, check, and credit cards on site.
- Pre-Order with a WCHS Band Student.
- Pre-Order with me through email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pre-Order and pay online, and you may select a student to give credit to: order online
Pick up dates:
As of now, we do not have a firm date, but it will be a 1 day pick up sometime in the second week of December. We will email out to let customers know a week ahead of time the firm date. Our hours will be from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
We hope you hear from a student to pre-order your fruit, but if you do not, please contact me through email (email@example.com) with the heading “Fruit Order” and I will enter your order.
Thank you for supporting the Warren County High School Band program.
Director of Bands
Warren County High School
Reaching Out Now partners with Warren County and Skyline High Schools to host Senior Planning Night
With the 2021-2022 school year in full swing, Reaching Out Now is partnering with Warren County and Skyline High Schools to host a Senior Planning Night! The event will be held at Warren County High School on November 18, 2021, from 5:30pm – 8:00pm, in the gymnasium and auditorium.
Senior Planning Night will cover important dates to guide senior year, decisions to make before graduation, financial planning, application processes, provide an opportunity to meet with college reps from around the state, and much more. Dinner will be provided! All Seniors and parents are invited and encouraged to attend. Interested Juniors may also attend to begin preparing for their Senior year.
Mr. Knesh, Principal of Warren County High School stated, “We look forward to sharing food and friendship while learning about navigating the college application process. We are also thrilled to give out two scholarships to seniors this evening to give them a head start towards their future college plans.” Mrs. Sperling, Principal of Skyline High School echoed his sentiments sharing “I am grateful for the partnership established between Reaching Out Now, Warren County High School, and Skyline High School. We are excited to jointly host a college planning night… where students and families can learn more about the process of planning for post-secondary education.”
All interested families, please register at: bit.ly/registerSeniorNight