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VDOT: Warren County Traffic alert for December 7 – 11, 2020

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The following is a list of highway work that may affect traffic in Warren County during the coming weeks. Scheduled work is subject to change due to inclement weather and material supplies. Motorists are advised to watch for slow-moving tractors during mowing operations. When traveling through a work zone, be alert to periodic changes in traffic patterns and lane closures.

*NEW* or *UPDATE* indicates a new entry or a revised entry since last week’s report.

INTERSTATE 66
No lane closures reported.

INTERSTATE 81
No lane closures reported.

PRIMARY ROADS
*NEW* Route 340/522 (Winchester Road) – Shoulder closures for sign work between Route 658 (Rockland Road) and Route 720 (Toray Drive), December 7-18 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

SECONDARY ROADS
Various roads – Flagger traffic control for utility tree trimming, Monday to Friday (except holidays) during daylight hours.

Vegetation management may take place district wide on various routes. Motorists are reminded to use extreme caution when traveling through work zones.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at www.511Virginia.org.

The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile-friendly website at my.vdot.virginia.gov. Agents are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

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County update on COVID-19 vaccine distribution locally

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On Friday, January 15, 2021, Warren County Emergency Services Deputy Director Rick Farrall released the latest information on the multi-pronged effort to distribute the COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccine through the combined efforts of the Lord Fairfax Health District, Valley Health, and CVS Pharmacy. Royal Examiner will have more on the bulk of these efforts centered at the 15th Street Warren County Health and Human Services Complex Parks and Rec gymnasium in a follow-up story in the coming days.

As noted below in category “d. xiii” there are no dates yet established for Phase 1b and 1c categories, including second and third round essential workers categories and the general public.  However, that is expected to be announced and begin in the coming week.

Above, approaching the 15th Street Health & Human Services complex from the south on Massanutten Avenue, the gym entrance is at the far left of the photo. Below, a closer look at the lone vaccine access point at the rear or west side of the old middle school facility. Royal Examiner Photos by Roger Bianchini

An outline of Warren County distribution efforts as currently available is below. We have moved the “Prioritized Distribution” information related to various qualifying categories, item “d” up, but keep reading if you might be interested, or know someone who would, like to volunteer to help with vaccine distribution efforts at the 15th Street location in Front Royal:

COMMUNITY INFORMATION:

1. Valley Health – VDH Lord Fairfax Health District Vaccine Information (as of 1/15/2021)

a. VACCINE SIGN-UP: In partnership with Valley Health and the Lord Fairfax Health District, distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is now occurring in Warren County. For the most up-to-date information on where and when to locally receive the vaccine, visit: https://www.valleyhealthlink.com/patients-visitors/coronavirus-covid-19-updates/covid-19-vaccinations/

d. PRIORITIZED DISTRIBUTION: The CDC’s Advisory Council on Immunization Practices (ACIP) prioritized the initial distribution of the vaccine (as available) to health care personnel (hospital and EMS based) and residents of long-term care facilities (LTCF). Other Phase I groups (in order) include essential workers, people at higher risk for severe disease (over the age of 75); Phase II – other (specified) populations; and Phase III – the general public. Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination began late last month in Warren County.

ix. December 2020: Lord Fairfax Health District began Phase 1a distribution of the vaccine last week and this week (Clarke and Warren County first responders/age 75+).

1. Health Care personnel (Round 1 complete, Round 2 planned)

2. LTCF Residents and Staff (see below)

x. January 2021: The CDC is allocating the vaccine directly to CVS to vaccinate Phase 1a long-term care residents. CVS began this process locally this month (going directly to our long-term care facilities).

1. Commonwealth Senior Living (Round 1 complete, Round 2 scheduled)

2. Fox Trail Senior Living (Round 1 scheduled. Round 2 TBD)

3. Heritage Hall (TBD)

4. Hidden Springs (Round 1 and 2 scheduled)

5. Lynn Care (Round 1 complete, Round 2 scheduled)

6. Shenandoah Senior Living (Round 1 scheduled, Round 2 scheduled)

7. Woods Cove (TBD)

xi. January 2021: The next allocation (“Phase 1b”) of vaccinations the County receives will be for front-line essential workers and persons age 75 and older. Front line essential workers include (in priority order):

1. Police, Fire, and HAZMAT (Round 1 complete, Round 2 scheduled)

2. Corrections workers (Round 1 scheduled)

3. Childcare, K-12 Teachers and Staff (Round 1 scheduled)

4. Food and Agriculture (TBD)

5. Manufacturing (TBD)

6. U.S. Postal Service workers (TBD)

7. Public Transit workers (TBD)

8. Grocery Store workers (TBD)

9. Persons Age 75 and older (Round 1 in progress)

xii. The following allocation (“Phase 1c”) of vaccinations will be for other essential workers, persons age 64-75, and persons age 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions. Other essential workers include (in priority order – all below 1-10 categories planning TBD):

1. Transportation and Logistics

2. Food Service

3. Shelter and Housing (construction)

4. Finance

5. IT and Communication

6. Energy

7. Media

8. Legal

9. Public Safety (engineers)

10. Water and Wastewater

xiii. There is no date established for the Phase 1b or 1c allocations at this time.

b. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: In order to distribute the COVID-19 vaccination in the quickest and most efficient manner, volunteers are needed to fill essential roles in the operation of the Warren County Point of Distribution (POD) site at the 15th St. Gym. The six essential roles are:

ii. Greeter: an adult that checks patients in and directs them to the next station

iii. Navigator: a clinical provider that reviews forms and looks for any “red flags”

iv. Observer: an adult that monitors patients for 15 minutes after the injection of the vaccination to monitor for any adverse side effects; must have Basic Life Support certification or above

v. Pharmacist: prepares the vaccine for injection; must be currently licensed

vi. Runner/Floater: monitors vaccine inventory and assists in communicating between POD stations

vii. Vaccinator: a health care provider that administers the COVID-19 vaccination; must be a currently licensed/certified LPN, RN, M.D., D.O., AEMT, EMT-I, EMT-P

c. SIGN-UP GENIUS: If you meet the above criteria, and are willing to volunteer during the operation of the COVID-19 POD in Warren County, please visit the below site to sign-up:
viii. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d44aaaa22a7f8c43-clinic1

e. No further details available at this time, more to follow.

While there is only one entrance to the sign-in table, there are two usable exits, the second shown here, slightly to the north of the entrance door.

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LFCC seeking speakers and voters for “I Have a Dream” speech contest

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LFCC’s students are encouraged to participate in a virtual “I Have a Dream” speech contest in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 25. Students, LFCC employees, and the public at large are invited to join the Zoom meeting to watch the speeches and vote on the winner.

Those interested in being a contestant should email LFCC campus life and student engagement specialist Chris Lambert at clambert@lfcc.edu by Friday, Jan. 22. Speeches are to be 3-5 minutes long and can be about your own dreams for yourself or for those around you.

“The topic shares the name of one of Dr. King’s most well-known speeches, but does not have to cover or mirror the same information,” Lambert said. “Please be creative and tell us about your dream. Is it educational? Political? Is your dream for yourself, your family, the world? After telling us your dream, share how it might be achieved.”

The first-place winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card, with the runner-up receiving a $50 card.

LFCC’s Fauquier Campus has traditionally welcomed the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Choir under the direction of the Rev. Lemuel Montgomery to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day – which is Monday, Jan. 18 this year – but that commemoration can’t happen on campus this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Join the virtual event at www.lfcc.edu/MLK.

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VDOT: Warren County Traffic alert for January 18 – 22, 2021

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The following is a list of highway work that may affect traffic in Warren County during the coming weeks. Scheduled work is subject to change due to inclement weather and material supplies. Motorists are advised to watch for slow-moving tractors during mowing operations. When traveling through a work zone, be alert to periodic changes in traffic patterns and lane closures.

*NEW* or *UPDATE* indicates a new entry or a revised entry since last week’s report.

INTERSTATE 66
*NEW* Mile marker 5 to 7 including Exit 6, eastbound – Right shoulder closures for sign work along interstate and off-ramp, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through January 29.

*NEW* Mile marker 12 to 9, westbound – Daytime shoulder closures and overnight alternating lane closures for maintenance of traffic monitoring equipment, Monday to Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

INTERSTATE 81
*NEW* Mile marker 299 to 300, northbound and southbound – Overnight alternating lane closures for inspection of Cedar Creek bridges at Shenandoah County line, 8 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday.

*NEW* Mile marker 300 to 301, northbound and southbound – Right shoulder closures for tree removal operations, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

PRIMARY ROADS
No lane closures reported.

SECONDARY ROADS
Various roads – Flagger traffic control for utility tree trimming, Monday to Friday during daylight hours.

Vegetation management may take place district wide on various routes. Motorists are reminded to use extreme caution when traveling through work zones.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at www.511Virginia.org.

The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile-friendly website at my.vdot.virginia.gov. Agents are available 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

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44 new troopers graduate Virginia State Police Academy

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The 44 men and women of the Virginia State Police 132nd Basic Session graduated in a virtual ceremony on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Due to COVID-19 protocols, a virtual ceremony was the safest means of allowing the graduates and their families to celebrate the culmination of 27 weeks of the trooper-trainees’ hard work, sacrifice, and dedication. Also in virtual attendance were state police executive staff, academy staff, and Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. A previously-recorded video of Governor Ralph Northam congratulating the new troopers was played during the ceremony.

“This Basic Session class has been like no other. Every one of these steadfast men and women heeded strict attention to detail as they navigated the ever-evolving COVID-19 safety protocols,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “The attention to detail wasn’t just to ensure a safe environment for the entire class, their families, academy staff, and instructors, but also for the greater good, something all Virginia State Troopers understand as they put their lives to the test daily to protect and serve the citizens of the Commonwealth. I could not be more proud of this graduating class and I know they will represent us well as they serve their communities.”

The new troopers received more than 1,300 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including de-escalation techniques, strategies to assist people in a mental health crisis, ethics and leadership, fair and impartial policing, constitutional law, emergency medical trauma care, and public and community relations. The members of the 132nd Basic Session began their 27 weeks of academic, physical, and practical training at the Academy on June 29, 2020.

The graduates of the 132nd Basic Session are from every corner of the Commonwealth, as well as Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and New York. They include two second-generation troopers, four first-generation Americans, and numerous prior military service personnel.

For their final phase of training, each trooper will spend an additional six weeks paired with a Field Training Officer learning his or her new patrol area.

132nd Basic Graduate Assignment
Arfan M. Arif  – Fairfax County
Michael L. Albert – Shenandoah County
Zachary T. Barnes – York County
Moses I. R. Blakey – New Kent County
Vontasia T. Britton – York County
Andrew J. Brown – Prince William County
Taylor C. Brown – Prince William County
Jawaan D. Cook – Greensville County
William T. DiBerardine  – Warren County
Hunter C. Dickenson  – Gloucester County
Julian B. Edwards – Prince William County
Kayla B. Edwards – Surry County
Christian L. Elkins – Prince William County
Arthur P. Falin – Greensville County
Jacob A. Farmer – Prince George County
Adelaide E. Fischer – Hampton / Newport News
Robert L. Flynn – Accomack County
Tony Fuentes – James City County
Austin K. Gallaway – Hampton / Newport News
Zachary M. Homlish – Caroline County
Hunter C. Jensen – New Kent County
Stephanie H. Kapusta – Fairfax County
Sarah A. M. Kendrick – Prince William County
Aaryn J. Kerry – Cumberland County
Steven R. King – Accomack County
Timothy L. LaFountain – Buckingham County
Joshua O. McClure – Frederick County
Alexander W. Meyers – King George County
Thomas J. Mills – York County
Justin R. Mull – Caroline County
Connor R. O’Quinn – Hampton / Newport News
Earl J. Pritchett – Prince George County
Andrew R. S. Sanders – Sussex County
Gabriel A. Santillan – Fairfax County
Austin M. Sloan – King William County
Jeffrey A. Spencer – Fairfax County
Sean M. Stinnett – Clark County
Seth A. Sullivan – Accomack County
Andrew M. Toth – Fairfax County
Joseph J. Trombley – Shenandoah County
Richard C. Warner – Gloucester County
Jacob K. Weitzman – Fairfax County
Isaac D. Wilson – York County
Joseph T. Worley – Greensville County

State police are currently hiring for future Basic Session Academy classes. Those interested in joining the ranks of the Virginia State Police are encouraged to visit www.vatrooper.com for more information.

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Virginia Interstate and bridge closures in advance of Presidential Inauguration

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Drivers urged to avoid the area and use alternate routes Jan. 19-21
PLEASE NOTE: These closures are subject to change

The Virginia Department of Transportation and Virginia State Police will support the United States Secret Service Joint Transportation Plan, which calls for several bridge and road closures from Virginia into Washington, D.C. beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19. Local law enforcement will be assisting with the closures as part of the multi-agency, inaugural security efforts.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and U.S. Reps. Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly, and Jennifer Wexton (all D-VA) issued the following statement on the agreement between the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States Secret Service (USSS) authorizing the use of Virginia State Police assets, resources, and personnel, to assist with the closure of bridges spanning the Potomac River during the 2021 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony:

“The 2021 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony will see the strongest Capital-area security response in history. We worked together to push for a response that balances protecting public safety in a manner commensurate with available intelligence about threats without going too far. It is very important now that the U.S. Secret Service and its partner agencies communicate road and bridge closures swiftly and clearly in order to keep disruptions to a minimum. All of us want the transfer of power to be as peaceful as possible, and we thank all of the men and women in uniform helping to make this historic occasion safe.”

From 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19 through 6 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 21, I-66 and I-395 bridges into D.C. will be closed and traffic will be diverted as follows:

I-66: Eastbound traffic will be diverted at Route 110 (Exit 75).
I-395: Northbound traffic will be diverted at the George Washington Memorial Parkway (Exit 10B).
I-395 Express Lanes: When the lanes are northbound, all traffic will be diverted into the main lanes near Edsall Road.

Drivers are urged to plan ahead, avoid the area, and use alternate routes during this time. Portable and overhead message signs will remind drivers to avoid the area. Those needing to travel in and around Northern Virginia between Jan. 19 and Jan. 21 are encouraged to check www.511virginia.org before they travel.

For reversal schedules and more information on the I-95 and I-395 Express Lanes, visit www.expresslanes.com.

Ramp and bridge closures:

I-395

  • I-395 NB Express Lanes (Rochambeau Memorial Bridge)
  • I-395 NB main lanes (Arland Williams, Jr. Memorial Bridge)
  • I-395 NB Express Lanes slip ramp from the main lanes (last left-side slip ramp in Virginia also known as “Ramp G”)
  • I-395 NB main lanes will be diverted at GW Parkway exit
  • I-395 NB Express Lanes will divert to the main lanes near Edsall Road
  • Route 1 NB from Reagan National Airport (DCA) to I-395 NB (Arland Williams, Jr. Memorial Bridge)
  • Eads Street NB ramp to I-395 NB Express Lanes
  • OPEN: I-395 SB (George Mason Memorial Bridge)

I-66

  • I-66 EB at the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge closed; all traffic diverted to Route 110 SB
  • Route 50 EB ramp to I-66 EB

George Washington Memorial Parkway

  • GW Parkway SB ramp to I-66 EB
  • GW Parkway NB ramp to I-395 NB
  • GW Parkway SB ramp to I-395 NB

Arlington Memorial Bridge will be closed by the National Park Service.

Follow VDOT Northern Virginia and Virginia State Police on Twitter: @vadotnova and @vsppio

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Record drop in cancer mortality for second straight year due to improved lung cancer treatment; COVID-19 impact still unknown

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Overall cancer death rates in the United States dropped continuously from 1991 through 2018 for a total decrease of 31%, including a 2.4% decline from 2017 to 2018. The news comes from the American Cancer Society’s annual Cancer Statistics, 2021 article, appearing in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, and its consumer version, Cancer Facts & Figures 2021. This year marks the American Cancer Society’s 70th anniversary of reporting this data to inform the nation’s fight against cancer.

The report estimates that in the U.S. in 2021, almost 1.9 million (1,898,160) new cancer cases will be diagnosed and 608,570 Americans will die from cancer. These projections are based on currently available incidence and mortality data through 2017 and 2018, respectively, and thus do not account for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer diagnoses or deaths.

“The impact of COVID-19 on cancer diagnoses and outcomes at the population level will be unknown for several years because of the time necessary for data collection, compilation, quality control, and dissemination,” said Rebecca Siegel, MPH, lead author of the report. “We anticipate that disruptions in access to cancer care in 2020 will lead to downstream increases in advanced-stage diagnoses that may impede progress in reducing cancer mortality rates in the years to come.”

Progress in reducing mortality has slowed for other leading causes of death in the U.S. but accelerated for cancer, which is the second-leading cause. An estimated 3.2 million cancer deaths have been averted from 1991 through 2018 due to reductions in smoking, earlier detection, and improvements in treatment, which are reflected in long-term declines in mortality for the four leading cancers: lung, breast, colorectal, and prostate.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death, accounting for more deaths than breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers combined. Sluggish progress against these latter cancers in recent years contrasts with accelerating reductions in the death rate for lung cancer, from 2.4% annually from 2009 to 2013 to 5% annually from 2014 to 2018. As a result, lung cancer accounted for almost half (46%) of the overall decline in cancer mortality in the past 5 years and spurred a record single-year drop (2.4% from 2017 to 2018) for the second year in a row.

Recent rapid reductions in lung cancer mortality reflect better treatment for the most common subtype – non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Two-year relative survival for NSCLC has increased from 34% for patients diagnosed during 2009 through 2010 to 42% for those diagnosed during 2015 through 2016, including absolute gains of 5% to 6% for every stage of diagnosis. Two-year survival for small cell lung cancer remained at 14% to 15% during this time period.

Cervical cancer is almost 100% preventable through screening and, in recent years, the HPV vaccine, but continues to cause thousands of deaths in the U.S. annually. Approximately 11 women per day died from cervical cancer in 2018, half of whom were in their 50s or younger. It is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women in their 20s and 30s. Although the HPV vaccine holds promise to nearly eliminate cervical cancer with complete population coverage, U.S. vaccination rates remain far below those in other high-income countries: 57% of U.S. adolescent females are up-to-date vs >80% in Australia and >90% in the U.K. Per ACS guidelines HPV vaccinations are recommended in children starting between the ages of 9 to 12, and cervical cancer testing (screening) in young women should begin at age 25.

Other highlights from Cancer Statistics 2021/Cancer Facts & Figures 2021 include:

• Cancer is the leading cause of death in Hispanic, Asian American, and Alaska Native persons.

• The 5-year survival rate for all cancers combined diagnosed during 2010 through 2016 was 68% in White patients versus 63% in Black patients.

• For all stages combined, survival is the highest for prostate cancer (98%), melanoma of the skin (93%), and female breast cancer (90%), and lowest for cancers of the pancreas (10%), liver (20%), esophagus (20%), and lung (21%).

• Survival rates are lower for Black patients than for White patients for every cancer type except pancreas.

• Prostate, lung and bronchus, and colorectal cancers account for 46% of all incident cases in men, with prostate cancer alone accounting for 26% of diagnoses.

• For women, breast, lung, and colorectal cancers account for 50% of all new diagnoses, with breast cancer alone accounting for 30% of female cancers.

• In contrast to declining trends for lung and colorectal cancers, female breast cancer incidence rates increased by about 0.5% per year from 2008 to 2017, which is attributed at least in part to continued declines in the fertility rate and increased body weight.

• Colorectal cancer overtook leukemia in 2018 as the second leading cause of cancer death in men aged 20 to 39 years, reflecting increasing trends in colorectal cancer in this age group, coinciding with declining rates for leukemia.

• The Black-White disparity in overall cancer mortality among men and women combined has declined from a peak of 33% in 1993 (279 vs 211 per 100,000, respectively) to 13% in 2018 (174 vs 154).

• Geographic disparities are widest for the most preventable cancers, such as lung and cervical cancers, for which incidence and mortality rates vary up to 5- and 3-fold, respectively, across states.

“While recent advances in treatment for lung cancer and several other cancers are reason to celebrate, it is concerning to see the persistent racial, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities for highly preventable cancers,” said William G. Cance, M.D., chief medical and scientific officer, American Cancer Society. “There is a continued need for increased investment in equitable cancer control interventions and clinical research to create more advanced treatment options to help accelerate progress in the fight against cancer.”

Article: Siegel RL, Miller KD, Fuchs H, Jemal A. Cancer Statistics, 2021. CA: CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 2021. doi: 10.3322/caac.21654.
URL upon embargo: http://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.21654

Note: Estimates should not be compared year-to-year. They are based on computer models of cancer trends and population and may vary considerably. Cancer trends should be based on age-adjusted cancer incidence and death rates (expressed as the number of cancer deaths per 100,000 people).

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