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Warren Democrats protest Chamber’s surprise limit on candidates’ participation during Oct. 24 forum



Laura Galante, Democrat candidate for Virginia House of Delegates, District 18.

On November 1st, Warren County Democratic Chair Steve Foreman formally protested the local Chamber of Commerce’s refusal to allow Democrats Laura Galante, candidate for the 18th VA HOD, and Irina Khanin, candidate for the 29th VA HOD, to participate in the Forum sponsored by the Chamber at the Warren County Government Center on Oct. 24.

Mayoral candidate Eugene Tewalt also was limited from fully participating in the event.

The moderator informed the candidates and the audience that because their opponents were not present, they would not be allowed to answer audience questions on issues. All three were cut off after two minutes and not permitted to add to their remarks.

Neither Democrat was informed in advance that Republican incumbents Del. Chris Collins (R-29th HOD) and Del. Mike Webert (R-18th HOD) would not attend the event. Hollis Tharpe, candidate for mayor of Front Royal, also failed to appear.

The forum is an important opportunity for local residents to compare candidates on the issues, Foreman noted, adding, “we protest the Chamber’s decision to prohibit Laura Galante and Irina Khanin from participating fully in the forum simply because their opponents failed to attend.”

“There was ample time to allow them fuller participation, as the event took little more than an hour. Preventing them from interacting with the audience was a disservice to the public. It also sends a terrible message to future candidates: If you fail to attend a forum, the Chamber will reward you by handicapping your opponent’s ability to express their opinions.”

Republican incumbents Sen. Mark Obenshain and Del. Todd Gilbert did attend the event and their opponents were allowed to respond to questions from the audience. “We are mystified as to why the Chamber banned them from answering questions submitted by the audience members,” Foreman said. “Ms. Galante and Ms. Khanin prepared for the forum and arranged their schedules to field questions from voters in our county; their opponents’ absence was not within their control and should have had no impact on their valuable time with the voters. Mayoral candidate Eugene Tewalt was also allowed only two minutes because his opponent was also missing.”

Foreman pointed out that at the first forum held for local candidates on Oct. 17, Sheriff’s candidate Mickey Licklider was absent and the Chamber did not limit his opponents’ participation in any way.

“The WCDC would like assurance that this decision will not be repeated and looks forward to working with the Chamber to ensure all candidates receive fair and equal treatment at future
forums,” Foreman said.

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Cyberstalking indictment highlights the dark side of social media contacts



The indictment filed October 15 (2019) against a 19-year-old Odessa, Texas man accused of cyberstalking and making social media threats against the family of a 16-year-old Linden girl who was found dead not far from her Apple Mountain home 12 days after going missing the evening of April 26, 2018, show the dark underbelly of social media use to dark and pathological ends.

While Adrian Raul O’Dell is charged on four counts related to online threats and harassment of Sarah Rose Genari’s mother, father, sister and brother occurring between June 2018 and June 2019, the indictment indicates O’Dell’s claim of driving the 16-year-old Warren County girl two thirds of the way across the country to suicide through their social media contacts prior to her disappearance and the May 8, 2018, discovery of her body in a heavily wooded area just off the road not far from her home.

SRG, as Sarah Rose Genari is referred to in the indictment, died of what was ruled by the state coroner’s office as a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“From on or around September 2017, to on or around March 2018, SRG had an online relationship with defendant ADRIAN RAUL O’DELL, with whom she communicated about, among other topics, depression and suicide,” the indictment states. It continues to describe several subsequent online and social media interactions in which O’Dell references himself in the third person or uses Facebook alter egos to direct credit for SRG’s death to “Adrian O’Dell”.

A WCSO note on her disappearance was accompanied by this photo of Sara Rose Genari posted on social media.

“In or around June 2018, defendant ADRIAN RAUL O’DELL sent an email to the WCSO using a Gmail account, In the email, defendant told a WCSO investigator that he knew who drove SRG to suicide and that the person was ‘Adrian,’ who lived in Odessa, Texas … In or around June 2018, defendant ADRIAN RAUL O’DELL, using Amino, an online social media application, made posts and messaged others also using Amino in which he claimed responsibility and took credit for SRG’s death,” the indictment continues.

The indictment also describes a November 29, 2018, “anonymous tip” to the FBI stating that a suspect named Adrian O’Dell of Odessa, Texas “has willingly admitted to killing (SRG).”

In August 2018, just three months after Sara Genari’s death, O’Dell is described establishing contact with the Genari family through Facebook Messenger, asking if they were related to the deceased girl.

By December 2018, O’Dell is said to have made contact with the family and friends of SRG through a Facebook account named “Amanda Williams” in which screenshots of Snapchat messages in which Snapchat user “EN stated how he killed SRG.”

The family did not respond and/or blocked the “Amanda Williams” account, the indictment states.

The cutback section of overgrowth at right indicates where Sarah Genari’s body was found 12 days after her disappearance. Royal Examiner File Photos/Roger Bianchini

O’Dell then is alleged to have used other Facebook identities to contact Genari’s family and friends, two under the name “Tim Johnson” in which O’Dell began sending profanity-laced, “gangsta”-tinged lingo berating and threatening family members and bragging about causing the girl’s death.

“…I’m glad I called that hit out on her, I’m glad I killed her … was fun to do. Posting about me on here?? You dumb af hoe I’ll put a 5k bag on your head and have you dead just like I did your … daughter I know your exact address hoe Go ahead and press charges and try and arrest me. You better hope they do or its ur a** I’ll come to Virginia and blow up yo sh*t … I made his daughter take y’all gun for some fun. Guess I am Satan …Give me two months and y’all gonna be in a coffin … Don’t mess with gang sh*t bruh You’ll end up like your daughter … Post about me again and I’ll show you wtf happens,” was part of a December 20, 2018 message to Genari’s mother.

On December 28, 2018, he wrote Genari’s sister, “… that’s why we … killed her, Adrian and all of us. You think you guys are gonna catch us, y’all won’t bruh …a whole a** police investigation. Y’all Stoopid! I guess we will just keep getting away with it …”

I guess “he” and “they” guessed wrong.

“The subscriber information for the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses associated with the above accounts and messages – i.e. <; Amino; FBI Tip; and Facebook accounts for ‘Adrian O’Dell’, ‘Amanda Williams’, and ‘Tim Johnson’ – correspond to defendant ADRIAN RAUL O’DELL’s residence in Odessa, Texas,” the final evidentiary paragraph of the indictment reads leading into the five counts O’Dell was arrested on.

“Cyberstalking and communicating threats through social media are serious federal crimes and prosecuting them is a priority of this office,” U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen stated in the Western District of Virginia, Harrisonburg Division press release on the O’Dell indictments, adding, “I am grateful for the hard work of the FBI and the Warren County Sheriff’s office in identifying this defendant and bringing him to justice.

“This case is important to us because a young girl’s family, while still mourning her death, was re-victimized with the messages sent by the accused. We are grateful for the assistance of the FBI El Paso Division’s Midland Resident Agency and the United States Attorney’s Office during the course of this investigation.”

The Western District press release on the O’Dell arrest notes that Assistant United States Attorney Kate Rumsey will prosecute the case for the United States.

That location was soon marked by a cross commemorating a life lost too young.

Texas man charged with cyberstalking, making interstate threats

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The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 recalled this Veterans Day 2019



Officials from the Giles B. Cook Post 53 of the American Legion again hosted Front Royal’s Veterans Day ceremonies on the grounds and in the street in front of the Warren County Courthouse. The marching bands of Warren County and Skyline High Schools and Randolph Macon Academy were on hand, as well as a color guard of R-MA cadets.

RMA Color Guard. Photos and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

The weather cooperated with sunny and balmy temperatures the day before snow flurries have been predicted for the area.

Post 53 Commander Rick Kinsey hosted the event, introducing veterans present and speakers including Marine vet and Front Royal Vice-Mayor Bill Sealock and keynote speaker John F. Kokernak, U.S. Army retired.

Tribute was paid, not only to those who have served and sacrificed, but those family members left behind to ponder whether their loved ones will ever return home.

John F. Kokernak, U.S. Army retired was the guest speaker.

“You know it’s a pleasure to be here because I have been at (battle site location), I have seen the poppies, I know about those kinds of things; I’ve been to the wheat field, I’ve been to Iwo Jima. I know these battlefields,” Sealock said of the respect paid to those who have served, adding, “but I sat there today thinking about things for the service I thought about the forgotten ones. The one who are left behind during the deployments and time overseas, those people, the Gold Star mothers, the spouses, the children, the family as a whole, the parents. These people are forgotten in my estimate, and I always think of those who do not return – what effect did it have on these individuals and families? For that, I welcome you to this great celebration,” Sealock concluded.

The vice mayor’s remarks echoed what makes this annual celebration that began as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of “the war to end all wars”, World War One on November 11, 1918, so special. The honor of service and sacrifice of all impacted, both on the battlefields of the world, and those waiting anxiously at home for their return; as well as the enduring desire for a peace achieved through a commitment to international justice for all nations that will make those sacrifices of war someday a less necessary part of our collective history.

Armistice Day, now Veterans Day, is traditionally celebrated at 11 a.m., November 11. That was the moment when the guns along the fronts of World War One fell silent a final time in 1918 as the Armistice to end that war was achieved.

RMA Cadet Kiyesioluwa Abiodun plays taps.

The poppies Sealock referred to on this 101st celebration of service and an end to war come from a poem from World War One “In Flanders Fields”. The poem, often referenced at these services, was written in May 1915 by Canadian military doctor and artillery commander Major John McCrae. Its impetus is believed to have been McCrae’s conduct of the field burial service for Lieutenant Alexis Helmer in the absence of a company chaplain:

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

“We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

“Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.”

See Front Royal and Warren County’s celebration of Veterans Day 2019, including keynote speaker John F. Kokernak’s full remarks and the laying of the wreaths in this exclusive Royal Examiner video:

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Sons of the American Revolution honor Veterans at Commonwealth Senior Living



The Sons of the American Revolution honored veterans on Friday, November 8th at the Commonwealth Senior Living Center in Front Royal. The Color Guard from Randolph Macon Academy also participated. Watch on this exclusive Royal Examiner video.

For more information about the Sons of the American Revolution, click here to visit their website.

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Veterans Day: Success after service



We’ve all been taught to honor our veterans on Veterans Day, November 11. They served in the military and fought battles the rest of us couldn’t or didn’t know how to fight. They learned a trade and fulfilled a commitment to support the American presence abroad. In many cases they were separated from family; in some cases, they lost friends and colleagues on the battlefield. But when they return to civilian life, as eventually they must, what then?

Getting back on track
A crucial element of successful reintegration after service is experiencing a sense of belonging. Veterans’ organizations such as The Mission Continues aim to help former service members cultivate that essential quality. In this case, it’s done through volunteerism and giving back to the community through teamwork. As The Mission Continues puts it, “We redeploy veterans in their communities, so that their shared legacy will be one of action and service.”

Team Rubicon, another veterans’ organization, has a similar mission. It pairs experienced veterans with first responders to create dynamic, skilled emergency response teams in our communities.

There are other groups out there that aim to help veterans feel good about civilian life. They’re run by veterans or concerned Americans who want reintegration to go better both ways. They want to build relationships with potential employers to show that veterans are valuable human resources for their organizations, and they want to help veterans transfer their leadership skills to the civilian sector.

This Veterans Day, let’s celebrate the social power and potential of our veterans, who are an asset to daily life in every community.

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Women’s Resource Center invites applications for “Dare to Dream” grants



Celebrating the 20th year of its program, the Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) invites women of Warren County to apply for up to $1,000 each to aid them in launching or aiding their careers. They have until January 17, 2020, to do so.

Since 1999, three years after its founding, FRWRC has provided thousands of dollars toward its imaginative “Dare to Dream” grants that have helped individuals to, for example, start or build a business, buy a computer, learn a new skill, train for a profession, start a non-profit, support certification and continuing education goals, and more.

Application forms are available at Samuel’s Public Library and directly from the FRWRC office at 27 Cloud Street, Front Royal. Also from the FRWRC website: or call 540-636-7007 or email the office at Applications are available to residents of Warren County ages 18 and older and who are not currently enrolled in high school.

To date, the FRWRC has awarded 158 grants totaling more than $114,000 “to empower women and girls in Warren County” according to Melanie Mullinax in behalf of the organization.

“Former grant recipients have not only gone on to finish their educations and start successful businesses, these grants have helped them gain confidence in their goals, strengthen their families, and contribute to our entire community,” she said, adding, “If you have a dream or know a Warren County woman in your life who has a dream and needs financial support to make it happen, this is your opportunity.”

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Veterans Day: What our grandfathers didn’t talk about



Most of us recognize that the Americans who served in the military over the last ten years gave up their safety and comfort to fight for beliefs and values that most of us hold dear. But it’s not just that — many of these veterans gave up their peace of mind for a long, long time to come.

The fact is that over 11 million American veterans of service suffer from PTSD. And anybody who’s ever had anything to do with the military knows that the man or woman who steps forward to seek help and be counted is a rare bird; the pressure is huge to “man up” and deal with it alone. Plus, VA centers are overburdened and it can sometimes take months to get an appointment for the right kind of care. When lumped all together, what that means is the true numbers of returned veterans who suffer remains untold.

It shouldn’t surprise us to learn that so many of our soldiers came home with nighttime terrors, difficulty adjusting to family life again, and a dependence on drugs or alcohol — just think about what they saw over there. But what can we do about it? Let’s support vets and their families. Make donations to veterans’ organizations that work hard on the home front. Ask your politicians to make caring for veterans a priority. De-stigmatize getting psychological help. And honor our veterans by standing solemnly and reverently as the Veterans Day parade goes by, this November 11.

Things aren’t easy for many veterans. Show some support with kind words and by donating to veterans’ organizations.

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‘Tis the Season


Front Royal
06:5217:01 EST
Feels like: 30°F
Wind: 13mph WNW
Humidity: 51%
Pressure: 30.05"Hg
UV index: 1


Upcoming Events

1:30 pm Botanical Drawing II: Drawing in... @ Art in the Valley
Botanical Drawing II: Drawing in... @ Art in the Valley
Nov 12 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanical Drawing II: Drawing in Color @ Art in the Valley
Learn and practice the art of botanical drawing in colored pencil with local artist and instructor Elena Maza. This four week course will focus on continuing to build drawing skills as applied to botanicals: students[...]
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Nov 12 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, November 5: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! Based on the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we will do some taffy pulling and have a[...]
7:00 pm Learn how the Old and New Testam... @ Macedonia United Methodist Church
Learn how the Old and New Testam... @ Macedonia United Methodist Church
Nov 12 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Learn how the Old and New Testaments reveal God's plans @ Macedonia United Methodist Church
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Nov 13 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, November 6 and Thursday, November 7: It’s playtime! Come in for stories, songs, and a craft about our favorite toys, games, and imaginings! Siblings welcome.[...]
1:00 pm Tech Bytes @ Lord Fairfax Community College
Tech Bytes @ Lord Fairfax Community College
Nov 13 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Tech Bytes @ Lord Fairfax Community College
A look at the rapid-fire evolution of cybersecurity through the lens of a veteran cybersecurity journalist who has been covering this space for more than two decades. Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor of Dark Reading,[...]
1:30 pm Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
Nov 13 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
This four week course with instructor, Elena Maza, will deal with the basic three-primary color palette, different pigments and how they interact, how to mix all colors from three primary colors, how to apply washes,[...]
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Nov 14 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, November 6 and Thursday, November 7: It’s playtime! Come in for stories, songs, and a craft about our favorite toys, games, and imaginings! Siblings welcome.[...]
5:00 pm FAFSA Party @ LFCC Middletown Campus
FAFSA Party @ LFCC Middletown Campus
Nov 14 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
FAFSA Party @ LFCC Middletown Campus
Join other college-bound students and their parents at LFCC for a FAFSA Party on the Middletown Campus on the following dates: Monday, Nov. 4 Thursday, Nov. 14 Monday, Nov. 18. Time: 5-7 p.m. Learn about[...]
7:00 pm Winter Living Forum @ Middle of the Main
Winter Living Forum @ Middle of the Main
Nov 14 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Winter Living Forum @ Middle of the Main
An open forum for the foods and methods suggested for optimum healthy and robust winter living. Open to All: 7.00 p.m. EASTERN / 6.00 p.m. CENTRAL / 4.00 p.m. PACIFIC – This is an open[...]
12:30 pm Kaine Connects in Front Royal @ Samuels Public Library, Lou Benson & Naomi Salus Conference Room
Kaine Connects in Front Royal @ Samuels Public Library, Lou Benson & Naomi Salus Conference Room
Nov 15 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Kaine Connects in Front Royal @ Samuels Public Library, Lou Benson & Naomi Salus Conference Room
Dear Friends, On November 15, my staff will host Kaine Connects office hours in Front Royal from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM. Although I can’t be there in person, this is a terrific opportunity to[...]