Warren County Habitat for Humanity (WCHFH) will open in their new office located at 109 Water Street, in Front Royal, on June 1, 2020. Beginning June 1, the office will be open by appointment only. Normal office hours (Mon-Fri, 10-2) will resume June 15. The Habitat office will have hand sanitizer and masks available for clients and visitors.
“The Board is excited to be moving to this new space. The location will allow for better visibility and access for our current and future clients and partners.” According to Amanda Slate, WCHFH Board President.
Due to COVID-19 risks and in keeping with guidelines from Habitat International and the state government, Warren County Habitat for Humanity had suspended much of its activity and closed its office on March 31. With the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions through Governor Northam’s Forward Virginia Plan, WCHFH will begin implementing plans to reopen its office and resume programming. To see the full reopening plan, click here.
Applications for the WCHFH Home Repair Programs will be accepted from June 1-15. Work on new repairs should begin late July to early August, following stringent safety and health precautions. Warren County Habitat for Humanity offers home repairs with affordable financing to qualified homeowners living in Warren County, Virginia. The homeowner must be a full-time resident of the home and meet income guidelines below 60% of AMI. Mortgage, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance accounts must be current. This program is not available to landlords, tenants, land contract holders, or trailer home residents. For more information on the home repair program and to complete the eligibility questionnaire, click here.
For more information about Habitat’s home repair program or to schedule an appointment, contact Jessica Priest-Cahill, WCHFH Executive Director, at (540)551-3232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded locally in 1993, Warren County Habitat for Humanity seeks to build homes, community, and hope in Front Royal and Warren County. Habitat for Humanity homes are sold with no profit received. The homes are built utilizing volunteer labor, donated resources, and money from the community. Homeowners must meet three qualifications: willingness to partner; ability to pay; and have a need for decent, affordable, and safe housing. In addition to the Habitat Homeownership Program, WCHFH provides home repair programs for low-income homeowners, homeownership and home maintenance education, and advocacy for local affordable home ownership. To learn more visit www.warrencountyhabitat.org.
160 years later – Jackson’s Valley Campaign strategies and the Battle of Front Royal’s unique part in that campaign are recalled
A small crowd of historical buffs joined by an honor guard of reenactors presenting the colors of the United States, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Southern Confederacy gathered early Monday evening, May 23, at the Warren Rifles Museum in Historic Downtown Front Royal. They gathered NOT to celebrate a fight to preserve slavery as an American socio-economic institution, but rather to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers on both sides and the Psychological Warfare (PsyWar) strategies employed during Confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson’s Valley Campaign before there was a term to describe such strategies.
It was a joint celebration of the military genius of the Valley Campaign 160 years past, the Battle of Front Royal in which Jackson’s forces defeated an outnumbered Union force as part of that campaign, and of Jackson’s life that would end on May 10, 1863, as a result of a friendly fire incident at Chancellorsville the following year.
Royal Examiner columnist and U.S. Army retired Lt. Col. John Paul Morgan was the featured speaker, expanding on his commentary titled “PsyWar in the Valley,” published here in acknowledgment of the 160th anniversary of Confederate General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson’s “Valley Campaign” of 1862.
Morgan pointed to radical strategies of troop movements and deployment, security from even Jackson’s own commanders on his battle plans, and disinformation on what numerical force he had in the Shenandoah Valley.
That latter aspect created in part by the first two was crucial, as Union leaders believed Jackson’s actual force of about 16,000 was 60,000 or more, threatening the Union capital from the west in 1862 as the Union Army was poised to take the Confederate capital of Richmond with a vastly larger force than Richmond was defended by.
That Union leadership misperception led them to pull key forces from the planned Richmond offensive to the defense of Washington D.C. Those Lee-Jackson developed strategies leading to troop movements to protect the Union capital from a phantom force created one of the greatest military-strategic shifts of wartime history, Morgan asserted of strategies still studied in military schools and training to this day.
It was this advanced strategical plan developed between Confederate Commanding General Robert E. Lee and General “Stonewall” Jackson, playing to concerns and psychological tendencies of the opposing side’s leadership, that was the focus of Morgan’s presentation.
Watch the presentation on a unique aspect of military history in this exclusive Royal Examiner video.
Blue Ridge Wildlife Center Patient of the Week: Common Snapping Turtle
Shooting Turtles is a Crime.
This Snapping turtle patient was brought to the Center after being found with multiple gunshots.
To make matters worse, this is a gravid female (carrying eggs); you can see the eggs in the x-ray below. These adult breeding animals are especially important from a population survival standpoint.
Snapping turtles are a protected species in Virginia. Unfortunately, we see intentional human-caused trauma, including gunshots, every year in this species. Luckily, these gunshot wounds were fresh and only into the bone of the carapace (upper shell). She does not appear to have damaged internal organs. The steel pellets were removed, the wounds cleaned, and pain medications and antibiotics provided.
Now, after about a week in care, this turtle was released back to her found location! We hope she will continue to thrive, lay her eggs, and avoid the world’s most dangerous species—humans.
This wildlife crime has been reported, and our Conservation Police Officers are investigating. If you see someone commit a wildlife crime, please report it as soon as possible. In Virginia, it can be reported to our Department of Wildlife Resources at WildCrime@dwr.virginia.gov, or you can contact them by phone at 1-800-237-5712.
Looking for an easy way to help native wildlife? Become a monthly BRWC donor! For as little as $5/month, you can provide year-round, sustainable support that helps us fulfill our mission.
Lifeguards sought to allow Community Pool to Open on schedule Memorial Day weekend; Splash Pad opens May 28
Claude A Stokes, Jr. Community Swimming Pool 2022 Opening:
Due to insufficient staffing, the Claude A Stokes, Jr. Community Swimming Pool is unable to open as scheduled on Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 28, 2022 through Monday, May 30, 2022. The pool is scheduled to open for its regular season, Monday, June 6, 2022. We will continue our efforts to obtain more staff and reevaluate the season opening prior to that date.
If you are interested in applying for a lifeguard position, please contact us at 540-635-1021 or visit www.warrencountyva.net/employment-opportunities to complete an application online.
Please continue to check the Warren County website and the Warren County Parks and Recreation Department’s Facebook page for any additional updates, as we will send out more information in June.
Warren County Splash Pad 2022 Opening:
The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department is delighted to announce the Warren County Splash Pad at Dr. Saul Seide Memorial Gardens Memorial Park will open for the 2022 season, on Saturday, May 28, 2022. Please review the rules and regulations posted at the site before using the Splash Pad.
The Splash Pad is located behind the Raymond E. Santmyers Youth Center at 200 East 8th Street, in the Dr. Saul Seide Memorial Gardens Park.
The Splash Pad will be open for water fun from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily (weather permitting). Please check the Warren County website and the Warren County Parks and Recreation Department’s Facebook page for any additional updates.
For additional information please contact the Parks and Recreation Administrative Office at (540) 635-7750.
Warren County High School: Spring Concert
On Sunday, May 22, 2022, the Warren County Music Department presented its Spring Concert, featuring the Jazz Band and High School Symphonic Band. David Dingess, Band Director, conducted both bands and played drums on a few pieces.
Dingess said, ” I want to thank the seniors for their work, dedication, and understanding during difficult times that in a way robbed us of this special time together, but they made the most of it. Thank you.”
He continued his thanks for the administration’s support throughout the year and the custodial staff who helped keep the building clean and in good shape for events like today. He also included the Band Boosters for their hard work and financial support. A special thanks to Ken and Donna Evans for their efforts in assisting with the fundraising for new marching uniforms.
Dingess ended his thanks with, “I would especially like to thank my wife for all her help and support. Without her, I would not be able to do what I do.” (Sounds like true love.)
Members of the Jazz Band include:
Heath Coe, Brady Donahue, Jim Farris, Daniel Flores, Andrew Grant, Kathleen Grant, Matthew Grant, Jaula Hodges, Trestyn Muterspaw, Margaret Plosh, Mason Polk, Katrina Richi, and Ward Sebastian.
Performance selections included:
Chattanooga Choo-Choo, My Funny Valentine, Moondance, a solo drum performance Drum Corp on Parade, Pratt (by James Riggs II), El Gato Gordo, Over the Rainbow, and Rock This Town.
Members of the High School Symphonic Band include:
Jason Becker, Kaydria Bennett, Morgan Brown, Heath Coe, James Crowell, Brady Donahue, Jim Farris, Daniel Flores, Andrew Grant, Kathleen Grant, Matthew Grant, Jayla Hodges, Devin Inlow-Mercier, Avayda Kemp, Arthur Kresge, Nicodemus Kozhenevsky, Savannah Mitchell, Trestyn Muterspaw, Connor Payne, Abigail Plosch, Margaret Plosch, Mason Polk, Katrina Riehl, James Riggs II, Sebastian Ward, and Tristan Wright.
Performance selections included:
Courage March, a solo performance of Yellow After The Rain, Mitchell Peters (by James Riggs II), Wyndham Variations, Legend of Knife River, Ludlows, a solo piano solo by Margaret Plosch, and Maelstrom.
Wine & Crafts Festival returns from 2-year COVID break into a Spring heatwave
On a steamy Saturday, May 21st, Front Royal welcomed the annual Chamber of Commerce sponsored Wine & Craft Festival back after a two-year absence due to COVID-19 pandemic precautions.
An impressive array of booths highlighting that two-pronged theme stretched up and down East Main and Chester Streets in the town’s Historic Downtown Business District to the delight of a throng of hearty “winers” and arts and crafts fans of all ages.
A live musical accompaniment was kicked off by Leesburg-based Jumptown, with frontman Michael Gauvreau leading the band through an impressive array of Soul, Rhythm & Blues, and Blues tunes that kept the crowd on its collective “good foot.” Mandatory Fun would be a later musical theme.
And if you didn’t want to risk mixing wine with the Weather Alert heat soaring into the mid-90s, there were also a variety of concessions and cooling liquids of the non-alcoholic variety available as well. So, if you missed it, or even if you didn’t but want a little reminder of the good time you had in the comfort of your air-conditioned abode, relax and take a visual tour of the Wine & Crafts Festival 2022 below.
Memorial Day weekend ‘double header’ honors the dogs of war and local police K-9s day before downtown Memorial Day ceremonies
Memorial Day weekend in Front Royal will feature separate ceremonies this year honoring the dead of all wars at the Warren County Courthouse grounds on East Main Street and the dogs of war that protected American servicemen and women in those conflicts, as well as local law enforcement K-9 teams, at a newly installed “Garden of Remembrance” at the Julia Wagner Animal Shelter at 1245 Progress Drive in the Happy Creek Commercial Park off Shenandoah Shores Road.
The K-9 ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, May 29, and the downtown tribute to the fallen will begin at noon on Monday, May 30, on the courthouse lawn.
The twin tribute to the military working dogs (MWDs) and those K-9s on duty with local law enforcement is likely a first for the Shenandoah Valley. Front Royal re-established its downtown Memorial Day ceremony a decade or more ago, with veterans Robert MacDougall (U.S. Marine Corps) and Malcolm Barr Sr. (Royal Air Force – UK) taking the helm and attracting crowds up to 300 for the annual salute, including to America’s war dogs, at the Gazebo.
Barr, a military reporter in the mid-Pacific during the Vietnam War, stumbled on a military dog cemetery on the Pacific island of Guam in the 1960s, vowing at that time to gain more recognition and home life after completing their missions for the military dogs.
Barr is a past president of the Humane Society of Warren County (HSWC) and said: “I always thought it appropriate for the dogs to have their own memorial, particularly when we came to Warren County to live in retirement 20 years ago and found that the first K-9s of World War II were trained in Front Royal in 1942. I am grateful to the HSWC, which last year provided a small parcel of land at the shelter upon which, last year, we had constructed a “garden of remembrance” to last in perpetuity, a site upon which to honor the dogs for their service.”
The former RAF NCO thereupon provided the funding for the development of a garden carved from the shelter grounds last fall and the installation of a life-sized German Shepherd statue, which arrived at the site, appropriately, on Nov. 11, 2021.
Meghan Bowers, HSWC executive director, said at the time: “I just love to have such an important memorial to the bravery, companionship, and accomplishment of dogs here at the shelter. There is nothing as special as the dedication and love of a dog (or cat), and we are so proud to have such a beautiful reminder to see every day.” Wreaths provided by Fussell Florist will be laid at both locations.
At Monday’s Memorial Day Ceremony, Front Royal will pay tribute to our nation’s fallen service members from noon to 1:00 pm on the front lawn of the Warren County Courthouse. Front Royal Memorial Day co-chair, Marine Reserve Lt. Col. Robert MacDougall noted, “This solemn ceremony each year is an opportunity for our local community to pause, reflect and take stock in the tremendous sacrifice that has been made by our fallen service members and their families to maintain our nation’s freedom.”
The ceremony will include a flag detail comprised of cadets from Randolph-Macon Academy, remarks from the Commemoration chairs and guest of honor, and a tribute to service members from Front Royal/Warren County that have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of the United States. All residents are encouraged to attend as a way of honoring the meaning behind the nation’s annual Memorial Day tribute.
The American Legion Community Band will be holding a concert at the Town Commons-Gazebo at 7:00 pm.