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Town Talk: A conversation with Lauren Kopishke, Town of Front Royal Planning Director – Comprehensive Plan Rewrite

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In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Lauren Kopishke, Town of Front Royal Planning Director about the upcoming Comprehensive Plan Rewrite.

Front Royal is updating its Comprehensive Plan, a visionary document that will help guide the Town’s future. Stakeholder input is a critical element in this nine-month process. This is the opportunity to make your voice heard in order to influence the future of our community. The topics include transportation and roads, affordable Workforce Housing, broadband infrastructure, desired growth, and development areas, economic development and tourism, environmental resources and sustainability, historic preservation, hazard mitigation, and more.

On November 23, 2021, the Town will be holding two events at the Town Commons. The first one starts at 11 am and the second at 5 pm. Please join the Planning team, for a donut and a cup of coffee in Town Square’s Rear Pavilion and share your vision of Front Royal’s future.  Stop by anytime during the mid-day (11 am – 1 pm) or the evening (5 pm – 7 pm) session.

To participate in the survey, click here.



Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com

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Town Talk: A conversation with Rick Novak, Royal Cinemas – Free Christmas Movies

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In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Rick Novak. Rick is the owner of the Royal Cinemas and Royal Family Bowling Center.

Christmas Movies, they seem to be everywhere – – but no better place to watch than on the BIG screen.

Starting this weekend, December 4 & 5, 2021, the Royal Cinemas in Front Royal will present several FREE Classic Christmas Movies, starting with a naughty or nice triple-feature, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. These movies start at 1 pm.

The next weekend, December 11 & 12, 2021, the movie is Arthur Christmas.  The final in the series is on December 18 & 19, 2021, and that is White Christmas.


On Thursday, December 16, 2021, there will be the adult Christmas Classic National Lampoons Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. This movie starts at 7:30 pm.

Jean Plauger of Jeans Jewelers and Tana Hoffman of Sager Realty have co-sponsored this event. If you see them, please thank them as well.

The first 75 children 13 and under will receive a free child combo for the first two movies in the series.

Watch the video for a special offer for Clifford the Big Red Dog starting this Friday.


Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied, but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com

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Local Government

County and Town officials try to get on the same page for joint tourism marketing effort

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On Monday, November 29, a joint Front Royal Town Council and Warren County Board of Supervisors work session on “Tourism” marketing indicated some confusion and several communication breakdowns about exactly what path the two municipalities have taken toward a new cooperative strategy to draw tourism dollars their way. High on that list of confusion appeared to be dueling January and July MOAs (Memorandum Of Agreement) the County and Town appear to be working with, or without. County Administrator Ed Daley noted the county apparatus was working with a January MOA. Town Manager Steven Hicks pointed out that the Town had submitted an updated, counter MOA in July that may have been lost in the cracks of the Warren County Government Center.

Wait, which MOA are you working with? County Administrator Ed Daley, right, references a January Memorandum of Agreement he said the County continues to use as Steven Hicks, center listens. Hicks soon noted that the Town had sent a counter, updated MOA to the County for consideration in July. Town Finance Director B.J. Wilson, far left, listens – as long as he, and his County counterpart, knows where the money is, everything should be okay. Royal Examiner Photos by Roger Bianchini

However, Daley did note that the County’s last two months of lodging and restaurant business during the Fall leaf season have set revenue records. That might indicate that the tourism promotional path, even in an unfinished and partial holding pattern one, is having a positive effect. Or maybe it’s just a consequence of stir-crazy Northern Virginia/D.C. Metro residents “running to the hills” to take advantage of the statewide easing of COVID-19 Coronavirus public gathering restrictions. After all, while new marketing strategies are being developed, for decades it hasn’t been a secret that the river, mountains, national and state parks, and hiking trails are here 50 to 70 miles west of the D.C. Metro area.

North River County Supervisor Delores Oates took the lead in moderating the work session but noted that Front Royal Vice-Mayor Lori Cockrell had requested it in the wake of conversations between the two on the status of the joint tourism marketing initiative.


In addition to Cockrell, present on the Town side were council members Letasha Thompson, Gary Gillespie, Amber Morris, Joseph McFadden and Scott Lloyd, Town Manager Steven Hicks and Finance Director B.J. Wilson.

Joining Oates from the County side were board Chair Cheryl Cullers, incoming Fork and Happy Creek Supervisors Vicky Cook and Jerome “Jay” Butler, Deputy County Administrator Taryn Logan, Deputy Purchasing Agent Alisa Scott and Daley. Also present were Joint Tourism Committee members Kerry Barnhart and Scott Turnmeyer.

Town and County officials, along with Joint Tourism Committee members in two of the three ‘cheap seats’ in right background, listen as work session moderator Delores Oates, speaking right-center, summarizes where the joint municipal tourism effort is at, or believes it’s at, or may be at some point in the future.

An accompanying Power Point reviewed the four options on a path forward that had been considered, with the fourth in that list – “Fully Contracted Out with Committee Leadership” – having been the one settled on. That structure begins with Town and County oversight of the existing appointed Joint Tourism Committee. A decision was also made after the Town disassembled its in-house Tourism and Community Development Departments under the leadership of former interim town manager Matt Tederick, to hire a marketing company, JLL (Jones, Lang, LaSalle Inc.), with expertise in tourism promotion, to an 18-month contract.

Contacted the following day, Oates said the result of the approximately three-hour work session is that that in-progress fourth option will be continued with the conversion of the Joint Tourism Committee into a 501-3c non-profit entity that will eventually take over the Town-County marketing function once the contract with JLL expires – possibly in June of next year if by mutual agreement. Oates explained that the 501-3c was necessary to legally access certain state “Tourism” funding sources. However, Daley pointed out that other related revenue sources didn’t require the non-profit organizational status, being available under categories like “Recreation” and “Trails” apart from “Tourism”.

At the outset of the 6 p.m. meeting the difference between “Big-T” and “Little-t” tourism was defined. Big-T was cited, not only as our natural resources that draw tourists, but also large promotional events like the Festival of the Leaves designed to draw a large tourist crowd from outside the community that will spend money while here on tourism-related activities and hopefully overnight accommodations and meals. Little-t was defined as smaller, community-building events more directed to local residents. The latter was cited as important in creating a higher quality of life for the local population that can contribute to tourism marketing of the community.

Downtown restaurant owner and Joint Tourism Committee member Kerry Barnhart, right center, offers her perspective on where the committee and contracted tourism marketer JLL are in bringing a cohesive, mutually beneficial, and 21st century marketing strategy into play for Front Royal and Warren County.

Also discussed at the outset of the meeting was how the Town and County will manage future growth – “Do we want sprawl from Northern Virginia?” Oates asked of visitors who might be attracted by a perceived higher quality of life to relocate. How tourism and “bedroom community” sprawl might interact was a sidebar to the main focus of increasing tourism as a major revenue source for both the town and county governmental structures.

Councilman Scott Lloyd argued long and hard against the creation of an independent “EDA-like” entity at the center of future tourism promotion, fearing future financial scandals from another quasi-governmental organization. – “Why did we create our own EDA?” he asked rhetorically at one point.

Councilman Joseph McFadden raises his hand to interrupt fellow councilman Scott Lloyd’s objections to the involvement of an independent entity overseeing the joint tourism marketing effort; and extends that hand to reassert the point that municipal control will remain in play with funding (and appointment) control, as well as an exit clause to any contractual arrangement.

However, several others asserted the Town and County would retain control of the seemingly legally necessary 501-3c or DMO (Destination Management Organization) through authorizing funding and having membership representation and appointment authority. In addition to local business representatives Barnhart and Turnmeyer, current Joint Tourism Committee members present included Council members Thompson and Gillespie, and herself, Oates pointed out.

Whether Monday’s sometimes circular and disjointed work session discussion will lead to a clearing up of the somewhat muddy waters of the Town-County tourism marketing effort remains to be seen. But at least the discussion and various explanations of legal aspects of tourism-related grant access was a start toward a clearing of those waters – jointly.

While clarity and consensus were sometimes missing, at least there was food and drink available to bolster the ‘troops’ over the three-hour (6-to-9 p.m.) work session – and promisingly, no food fights broke out.

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Town Talk: A conversation with Lori Oaks, Front Royal Light Fight-Update

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In this Town Talk, we’ll have a conversation with Lori Oaks. Lori has started a new community event called ‘Lori Loves Homes Front Royal Light Fight’. If you have ever watched Christmas Vacation, you’ll understand the concept.

This event is open to all Warren County residents. This event blossomed from Lori Oak’s love for her Warren County community and her desire to create an annual event that all could look forward to.

Participating in this event couldn’t be easier! Simply decorate your home with as much Christmas spirit as possible, sign and return your Waiver of Liability, take photos of your home, submit the photos to be entered, and wait until December 31st when our CASH prize winners will be announced. All voting will take place online, and there will be first, second, and third place winnings selected by our judges, as well as a fan favorite selected by… well you!

Judges picks:


  • 1st place – $1,000
  • 2nd place – $500
  • 3rd place – $300
  • Fan favorite – $500

Stay tuned for specific timelines to be announced, more information on our generous sponsors, and other fun community events involving the Front Royal Light Fight! More information on her website.

The Front Royal Light Fight is all made possible by its wonderful sponsors; Green to Ground Electrical, LLC, Compass West Realty, LLC, Royal Examiner, National Media Services, Inc., Clatterbuck Home Inspections, LLC, 3 Dave’s Moving and Storage, The Apple House, Finance of America Mortgage, Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co., Nicholls Construction, Inc. Quality Title, LLC, and C&C Frozen Treats. All of these businesses are staple parts of this community and bring so much value to our daily lives. Thank you!


Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied, but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com

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Crime/Court

Accused Brinklow murderer gets 30-years-9-months on plea agreement and probation violation charges

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Following emotional testimony from Jennifer Brinklow, the mother of 20-year-old Tristen Brinklow on the devastating impact on her life of her son’s 2019 murder, and a perhaps surprisingly emotional series of apologies from his accused killer for his role in that murder, the Commonwealth and defense counsels debated at which end of sentencing guidelines 38-year-old Richard Matthew Crouch should be incarcerated on Second Degree Murder and related and unrelated charges he submitted guilty pleas to as part of a plea agreement.

By plea agreement already accepted by Warren County Circuit Court Judge William Sharp, the sentencing range was between 8-years-and-7-months and 28 years-and-9-months. The other involved suspect, George Good, received a 10-year prison sentence with 25 years suspended on August 13, on a similar plea agreement involving two charges of helping Crouch dispose of Brinklow’s body and a variety of unrelated charges. Good was 29 at the time of his sentencing three months ago.

After hearing about an hour and a half of testimony, questions, and arguments Judge Sharp adjourned to chambers at noon, Monday, November 29th to consider his sentencing decision. After 17 minutes Judge Sharp returned to deliver his ruling. That ruling was the high-end 28-years-and-9-months according to sentencing parameters of the plea agreement, after imposing two, 5-year sentences on concealing and defiling (allowing to decompose) a dead body; and 30 years on the Second Degree Murder charge. Crouch will also get credit for time served, about two years. It was said that currently it is estimated that inmates will serve about 85% of their sentence with good behavior time taken off. Crouch also had four, 5-year sentences related to an earlier attack on an ex-girlfriend and his drug possession with intent to distribute charges imposed with all 20 years suspended. He will be on supervised probation for five years after his release.

While getting credit for his time served, two years was later tacked on to the 28-year-9-month sentence, on a probation violation charge argued outside the plea agreement. Arguing that aspect of the cases, Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Nick Manthos countered defense co-counsel Eric Wiseley’s call to waive the two additional years of active incarceration after his client received nearly three times the sentence George Good did for their respective roles in Brinklow’s murder.


Richard Matthew Crouch in July 2021 mug shot from Northwestern Adult Regional Detention Center. Below, charged as an accessory in the murder of Tristen Brinklow, George Lee Good (Oct. 2020 RSW Jail mug shot). Good received 10 years of active incarceration for his believed role in the killing. On Monday Crouch was sentenced to a total of 30 years and 9 months.

Manthos, as Commonwealth Attorney John Bell had earlier, noted that while Crouch held to his story that it was Good who actually beat Brinklow to death, the physical evidence matched Good’s story that it was Crouch who attacked and strangled Brinklow to death in a methamphetamine-induced paranoid delusional state. Crouch did admit to being up for at least five days straight, perhaps as many as 10 days, doing an extraordinary amount of methamphetamine – he estimated at 3.5 grams (an 8-ball) to twice that amount per day – while trying to finance being on the run from police from an incident several days earlier in which he non-fatally had strangled an ex-girlfriend.

The Commonwealth noted that in his earlier attack on the ex-girlfriend, Crouch had not only choked her but cut off a large portion of her hair. When Good led authorities to Brinklow’s decomposed body, a bone in the neck was discovered broken at autopsy indicative of strangulation, and a large portion of Brinklow’s hair was discovered cut off. Those aspects of the earlier Crouch attack on the ex-girlfriend were not known to Good, the prosecution told the court.

The fact that all the crimes he enter guilty pleas to, including the assault on his ex, the methamphetamine use, and dealing, as well as Brinklow’s murder, occurred while Crouch was on probation led Judge Sharp to side with the prosecution on the necessity of imposing the two probation violation years hanging over Crouch – “There has to be a consequence, otherwise probation means nothing,” Judge Sharp said in rendering his decision on that second part of the day’s hearing on Crouch’s fate behind bars.

While admitting to the drug use and paranoid state leading him to believe that he was going to be robbed of his meth stash worth several thousand dollars, Crouch insisted that Brinklow coming at him with a knife and Good’s response of pulling him off Crouch and beating him to death was not a part of his drug-induced delusions. However, it seemed Crouch and his attorney in the plea sentencing, Howard Manheimer, may have been the only two in court buying into that scenario. It appeared seven relatives and friends accompanied Jennifer Brinklow to court Monday.
Several times asked by the court if he had anything to say before decisions were rendered, Crouch in a low, emotional voice expressed remorse, saying, “I am so sorry, I am so sorry with all my heart.” Crouch told the court and Brinklow’s mother that he had become involved in a jailhouse ministry conducted at RSW and related drug abuse counseling to try and steer inmates away from drug addiction upon their release.

He also looked at Tristen’s mother testifying from the witness box directly in front of him as she recounted the multiple impacts, including being told she now suffers from PTSD (Post Traumatic Shock Disorder) in the wake of her son’s murder. “I didn’t know a person could live without a heart and soul,” Mrs. Brinklow told the courtroom of her life since December 13, 2019, when she was informed it was her missing son’s body discovered in an abandoned freezer near the river. The murder occurred in September 2019.

She said tears came often, stimulated by “a smell, food, a cloud – ANYTHING. I never had anxiety, now there are places I can’t go without breaking down … It’s beyond obvious those two did not know Trey – a few minutes with him and he’d give you anything he had … Four days after he turned 20 you took his life – he was just a kid.”

 

Tristen Brinklow’s photo from the family social media page was reproduced and displayed in court Monday in support of his mother Jennifer Brinklow’s testimony as an auxiliary victim of her son’s murder. The second photo of him with his mother and grandmother was also displayed. Below, ‘Justice for Trey’ demonstrators outside George Good’s plea agreement hearing in August. More support was promised during Monday’s plea hearing for Richard Matthew Crouch.

Following the rendering of his plea agreement sentence of 28-years-9-months, Judge Sharp told Crouch he hoped he made the best out of the portion of his life that will now be spent in prison; that he was truly remorseful for letting a dangerous, illegal drug get a grip on his life that led to this point; and that he would continue to work to counsel others away from a similar fate, and turn his life in a positive direction.

“I wish you luck,” the judge told Crouch.

“Thank you,” Crouch replied.

 

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Local Government

Town Council doesn’t look this opioid-negotiated gift horse in the mouth

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With no public hearings scheduled for its meeting of Monday, November 22, the Front Royal Town Council faced a 10-item Consent Agenda and three “Business Items” that expanded to five with the addition of one item – Purchase of Rebuilt Transformers, Energy Services Department – and the removal of one Consent Agenda matter to “Business” discussion. The latter was a no-brainer vote on participation in Virginia’s share of a national Opioid Settlement Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) about that agreement. Councilman Gary Gillespie, who has been involved in anti-opioid efforts locally, asked to pull the item to allow some comment on his excitement at news of the Opioid Settlement Agreement and the potential impact of the Town of Front Royal’s share of the state portion of that settlement.

Councilman Gary Gillespie was enthusiastic that Front Royal will get a portion of a Settlement Agreement with opioid distributors and manufacturers now estimated at $26 billion nationwide. Royal Examiner Photos by Roger Bianchini

The resolution essentially states that you as a municipality will abide by the rules established within the Virginia State Governmental apparatus to distribute Virginia’s share of the proceeds negotiated or ruled liable against corporate entities found to have profited off the promotion and manufacture of, and distribution of super-strong opioid drugs that have led to so much addiction and overdose deaths nationwide.

The staff agenda summary states that “settlement proposals have been negotiated that will cause the entities of McKesson, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and Janssen” – and the Resolution adds “their related corporate entities” – “to pay up to $26 billion nationwide to settle claims against them”. And while the MOU is still being formulated in the Office of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring in conjunction with establishment of a Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority to oversee distribution of the Virginia Opioid Abatement Fund revenue that comes the state’s way, both the Settlement Agreement and MOU must be signed by municipalities by January 2, 2022, to qualify for participation.



An online search about the settlement led to a description of McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen as “the three largest pharmaceutical distributors” and noted that involved drug manufacturer Janssen’s parent company was Johnson & Johnson.

Also under “Business Items” council referred consideration of short-term tourist rental code “text amendments” to the planning commission for review and recommendation; and approved a Valley Health request for a 5-year-extension of a stormwater easement at its old Warren Memorial Hospital/Lynn Care location. Last week Valley Health announced the pending sale of the old WMH/Lynn Care site to Hill Valley Health Care, a company that a Valley Health Press Release described as specializing in “skilled nursing, rehabilitation and long-term care” which “owns and operates facilities throughout Virginia” including in Luray, Warrenton and Winchester.

Staff COVID bonuses approved

Approved without discussion as part of the Consent Agenda was a Fiscal Year-2022 Budget Amendment of $476,617 and Interfund Budget transfer of $216,635 that will enable a one-time employee bonus of $3,096 of which the employee will net about $2,000 after taxes and deductions. The bonuses are for work through the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, which council spent considerable time debating the necessity or legality of private, public, and health care sector COVID-19 vaccination mandates. In the end council rejected approval of a code forbidding private and health care sector vaccine mandates, but did not issue a mandate for its own employees.

In fact, prior to the Consent Agenda vote Mayor Holloway reiterated a point (at 23:40 mark of video) that he would not sign an order rescinding the non-vaccination status of Town employees were a federal mandate for public employees to be approved and handed down to municipalities. Having made his point, the mayor then acknowledged the pandemic bonus’s inclusion in the evening’s Consent Agenda.

Following Mayor Holloway’s comments, Councilwoman Letasha Thompson noted that insurance coverage cost for employees who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 is higher than for vaccinated employees. She suggested council and staff start looking at ways to put money aside to cover those additional costs across the board, rather than offer individual lower rates to vaccinated employees. Then on Thompson’s motion, seconded by Vice-Mayor Cockrell, the nine-item Consent Agenda passed on a 6-0 roll-call vote.

Some pandemic skeptics on council may have wondered why employees were getting a $3,000-plus bonus for working through the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, but the item was kept on the Consent Agenda and approved without opposition.

Also on the Consent Agenda was an FY-22 Budget Amendment of $2,090 to allow acceptance of grant funds from the Virginia Department of Forestry for the placement of Playground Shade Trees at Gertrude E. Miller Community Park; another budget amendment of $2,690 to allow acceptance of a $2,690 Local Law Enforcement Block Grant from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services; a waiver to allow Boy Scout Troop 52 to sell Christmas Trees without payment of a License Tax; approval of another one-year extension on submission of a development plan by HEPTAD; and several matters regarding contracts and proposals related to mandated work on the Town’s wastewater treatment and Sanitary Sewer I&I Abatement work, the former involving a WWTP Centrifuge Conversion Engineering Report at a cost of $33,000; the latter involving a CHA consultant-recommended subcontract with Hydrostructures at a cost of $130,000.

Recognitions

At the meeting’s outset council was slated to recognize the achievement, service and contributions of three people, two staff, one retiring and one back from graduating the Southern Police Institute, and one apparently retiring member of the Board of Architectural Review (BAR). However, only one was present leading to suggested deferred recognitions for retiring Public Works Street Division Sign Tech “Billy” D. Sears and BAR member Andrea White, the latter whose deferred recognition may have occurred with approval of the nine-item Consent Agenda that included a Resolution acknowledging White’s term of service on the board tasked with preserving an architectural standard for the town’s Historic Downtown Business District – that recognition apparently still coming in her absence.

Captain Crystal Cline is welcomed back from completing classes at the Southern Police Institute by FRPD Chief Kahle Magalis. Cline told council her time there was well spent on a variety of fronts.

That left the recognition floor to Front Royal Police Captain Crystal Cline after her presentation to council by FRPD Chief Kahle Magalis. Cline described the benefits of her recent months at the Southern Police Institute in preparing officers for myriad issues facing law enforcement on a variety of fronts including intersecting administrative functions, officer retention and liability, procedural issues on street patrol, among others. Welcome back, Captain Cline; and good work Mr. Sears and Ms. White.

Scroll for highlights or watch the full meeting in the Town video:

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Local Government

Town re-releases planners investigative report with verified ‘final’ version

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The public review of a Front Royal Planning Commission investigative report prepared by Town Attorney Doug Napier on the approval process of a non-conforming sub-division request submitted by Mayor Chris Holloway’s construction company got an update Monday, November 22. That update addressed confusion expressed at the town planning commission meeting on November 17, just over two hours after the report’s release through the town administrative office.

As reported by Royal Examiner reporter Stephen Sill, the confusion revolved around which of several drafts of the report had been authorized for release that day, as well as whether the planners had the final draft before them that evening for approval. The planners eventually deferred action on the report till its December meeting to assure the final version was being voted on.

The November 17 report released at the authorization of the town council according to Town Manager Steven Hicks was dated October 7, 2021. But that version did contain what appeared to be two red color-coded wording corrections and several code passages highlighted in yellow, the latter would appear for emphasis as opposed to being corrections. At the planning commission meeting of November 17, the town attorney cited a final version dated October 21.

The report released Monday through Town Manager Steven Hicks Office is dated October 7, but with an “updated October 21, 2021” added in parenthesis and a handwritten notation at the top of the front page “FINAL” signed “Douglas W. Napier”. The color-coded corrections and highlights are gone, but the two grammatical corrections on the front page and page 5 are incorporated into the text without the color highlights, as is explained in the accompanying press release.


The 20-page report is accompanied by another one-page press release from new Town Public Information Office Director Joanne Williams of Williams Media LLC based in Richmond. The first three paragraphs focus on the above-referenced confusion over which version of the report had been released, concluding with this reference to Town Attorney Napier’s subsequent communication to council:

“As a result of much confusion on what appears to be various versions of the report circulated, the Town Attorney issued an email to Town Council members on November 19 stating, “I located the October 21 report. The changes are two, extremely minor, one is putting a space between two paragraphs, the other was cleaning up the language in the first report wherein it stated “CORRECTION” so that the corrected language is now simply an integral part of the report. I have marked one copy of the October 21 report to show the changes from the October 7 report and have also sent a clean copy of the October 21 report. The changes are so minor and technical that they were hardly worth making …” Napier observed.

And it does appear the one substantive grammatical change, color-coded in the original release on page 5 simply moves the word “not” from one location in a sentence to another, not changing the substance of that sentence: “CORRECTION: Another meeting on March 30, 2021, with Mr. Wilson was held to discuss what was needed for Mr. Holloway to build a private street on this property he was purchasing from the Town and re-subdividing. Mr. Wilson did not (removed) advise Mr. Holloway or the Town Manager that a “special use permit” was NOT (added) needed.”

And the press release restates the November 17 assertion that while fast-tracking of the application by the town manager, occasionally under the watchful eye of the subdivision applicant Mayor Holloway, was engaged in leading some staff to feel pressured to sign off on immediate approval without checking zoning codes, no wrongdoing occurred.

And as noted in our original introduction to the November 17 release, the town attorney did point out of the staff “fast-tracking” of the application: “It should be clearly and unambiguously stated that there is no current Town Code provision that states this it is impermissible for the Town Manager to do this, or for a Mayor or Town Councilman to have the Town Manager do this for them.”

However, could the fast-tracking and mayoral or council/applicant presence during some of that fast-tracking lead to staff oversights on code regulations under the real or implied pressure they felt they were under, particularly when some were in interim management positions due to staffing cutbacks? Maybe the promised administrative review of “outdated policies and procedures to ensure consistency” promised in the final sentence of both the report-accompanying press releases will address that issue.

Here are the links to the corrected documents and press release.

2 PR Town Clarifies Final Report Release of 11-17

3 FINAL VERSION-Report re-release 11-22 Memo

Town Administration beats Planning Commission to punch – releases report on Holloway LLC’s subdivision approval process Wednesday afternoon

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Auto Care Clinic

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Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

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

Warren County Department of Social Services

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Upcoming Events

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5:30 pm Cookies with Santa @ Strokes of Creativity
Cookies with Santa @ Strokes of Creativity
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Cookies with Santa @ Strokes of Creativity
Santa is coming to Strokes of Creativity. Bring your kiddos by and visit with Santa this Thursday evening, December 2nd. We will have a cookies to decorate with icing and sprinkles (while supplies last). Make[...]
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10:00 am Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
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Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie at Strokes of Creativity. Tickets: CLICK HERE Cost: $80 for 6 weeks Dates: Thursdays – Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 4 Time: 10 am[...]
1:00 pm The Nutcracker 2021 @ Skyline High School
The Nutcracker 2021 @ Skyline High School
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The Nutcracker 2021 @ Skyline High School
Italia Performing Arts is pleased to announce its own student production of the seasonal ballet The Nutcracker, to be presented in Front Royal, VA, on Saturday, December 4th, 2021. 1:00 and 5:00 pm Tickets: $35[...]
4:30 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
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Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meets in the Historic Area behind Mount Bleak. Discover our International Dark Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and[...]
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4:00 pm Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
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Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ First Baptist Church of Winchester
Sunday, December 5, 2021 4:00pm First Baptist Church of Winchester 205 West Piccadilly St. | Winchester, VA 22601 COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks are required for attendees Friday, December 10, 2021 7:30pm Front Royal United Methodist Church[...]
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6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 8 @ 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[...]
Dec
10
Fri
7:30 pm Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Dec 10 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Friday, December 10, 2021 7:30pm Front Royal United Methodist Church 1 West Main Street | Front Royal, VA 22630 COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks are required for attendees Sunday, December 12, 2021 4:00pm Trinity Episcopal Church 9108[...]
Dec
12
Sun
3:00 pm Valley Chorale’s Christmas Concert @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Valley Chorale’s Christmas Concert @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Dec 12 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Valley Chorale's Christmas Concert @ Calvary Episcopal Church
This year’s yuletide concert is titled THIS SHINING NIGHT.  Join us for a selection of seasonal songs — ranging in style from classical to spirituals to pop — sure to brighten your holiday and lift[...]
4:00 pm Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Dec 12 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Sweeter, Still… Holiday Concert @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Sunday, December 12, 2021 4:00pm Trinity Episcopal Church 9108 John Mosby Hwy. | Upperville, VA 20184 COVID-19 Guidelines: Masks are required for attendees
Dec
15
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 15 @ 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[...]