REC awards grants to 14 local organizations

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Fourteen local organizations were recently awarded grants totaling over $72 thousand from Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC).

Over 27,000 REC member owners donated to the cooperative’s power of change charitable program.

Recipients include Faithworks and Literacy Volunteers both of Winchester as well as Northern Virginia’s 4-h Center along with 11 other nonprofits.

Connect at for more information as well as applications for the program.

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WPS recognized for approach to digital media

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Winchester Public Schools (WPS) has been designated a Common Sense District.

Common Sense (CS) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in the world of media and technology.

The WPS was recognized by CS for taking a community approach to preparing it’s students for digital media while limiting the perils that exist online.

WPS has been praised for teaching students to explore, create, connect and learn.

At the same time WPS is teaching students to avoid the perils of plagiarism, loss of privacy and cyberbullying.

The recognition acknowledges WPS’s commitment to creating a culture where the community is invested in helping kids thrive in the digital world.

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Clarke County Historic Preservation Commission award winners

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The Clarke County Historic Preservation Commission announced winners of their Historic Preservation Awards.

Recipients of the 22 annual awards were White Post Village Association, Frank S. and Luanne T. Carey, Patricia L. Corbat and Dion Bernier.

All were recognized for distinctive efforts to preserve and maintain historic structures and places that define Clarke County’s history.

The Preservation Commission plans to honor this year’s winners as well as last year’s at a July event.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here. 

Arrests, seizures target Sinaloa drugs destined for Virginia

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By Associated Press | Published May 27, 2021 7:15 a.m.


ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A trafficking network that ferried drugs from the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico through California to multiple drug dealing organizations around the nation’s capital has been dismantled, according to local and federal officials.

An investigation that began in 2017 with work from a Loudoun County sheriff’s deputy assigned to a federal task force eventually stretched to seven states and resulted in more than 30 arrests, the seizure of more than 100 firearms; $6 million in cash, jewelry and other assets; 473 pounds (215 kilograms) of methamphetamine; 42 kilograms of fentanyl; and 129 kilograms of cocaine.

At a time when drug overdoses have been on the rise during the pandemic, getting those drugs off the streets “undeniably spared the lives of countless members of our communities,” said Raj Parekh, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The distributors from California linked to the Sinaloa cartel — once led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman — were also suppliers to a drug crew in Dayton, Ohio, that was connected to the 2019 slaying of Dayton police Officer Jorge Del Rio, 55, who was shot while executing a search warrant as part of a Drug Enforcement Administration task force, said Jarod Forget, special agent in charge of the DEA’s Washington Division.

One specific seizure in Loudoun County that included 50 kilograms of cocaine and $1.4 million in cash was the largest seizure in county history, Sheriff Mike Chapman said.

Seven drug dealing organizations operating in and around the nation’s capital were dismantled as part of what agents dubbed Operation Angels Envy, officials said.

In Alexandria earlier this year, Romaine Anthony Dixon, 32, of Camp Springs, Maryland, was sentenced to nearly 12 years in prison for his role in the conspiracy. Another Maryland man, Roger Vincent 42, of Temple Hills, has been sentenced to 15 years.

Two California men linked to the Sinaloa cartel — Michael Barroso of Bellflower and Roberto Ramirez Jr. of Fullerton — received 10-year prison sentences in Alexandria, and a third man awaits sentencing.

(All contents © copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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John Warner dies; former GOP senator was military expert

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By Associated Press | Published May 27, 2021 7:10 a.m.


ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Former Sen. John W. Warner of Virginia, a courtly figure and longtime military expert whose marriage to Elizabeth Taylor gave him a potent dash of starpower, has died at 94.

Warner died Tuesday of heart failure at home in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and daughter at his side, his longtime chief of staff, Susan A. Magill, said Wednesday.

A centrist Republican, Warner had an independent streak that sometimes angered more conservative GOP leaders. But he was hugely popular with Virginia voters.

That popularity was only amplified by his marriage to a mega movie star, which drew huge crowds when he was elected to the Senate in 1978. The “Doonesbury” comic strip lampooned him as “Sen. Elizabeth Taylor.”

Warner was the sixth of Taylor’s seven husbands. The two were married in 1976 and divorced in 1982. Taylor wrote later that they remained friends, but she “just couldn’t bear the intense loneliness” when he became engrossed in his Senate duties.

President Joe Biden, who served with Warner in the Senate, said Warner took “principled stances” guided by two things: “his conscience and our Constitution.”

“He neither wavered in his convictions nor was concerned with the consequences,” Biden said, noting Warner wasn’t afraid to buck his party on issues of “rational gun policy, women’s rights, and judicial nominees” and even crossed party lines to support Biden’s presidential candidacy in 2020.

Warner served five Senate terms before retiring from the chamber 30 years later. He was succeeded in 2008 by Democrat Mark Warner — no relation — who had challenged him for the Senate in 1996. After years of rivalry, the two became good friends.

“In Virginia, we expect a lot of our elected officials,” Mark Warner said Wednesday. “We expect them to lead, yet remain humble. We expect them to serve, but with dignity. We expect them to fight for what they believe in, but without making it personal. John Warner was the embodiment of all that and more. I firmly believe that we could use more role models like him today.”

Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia said, “Once I came to the Senate, I understood even more deeply the influence of John Warner. I came to know John McCain, Carl Levin, and so many others who served with him and attested to his integrity and outsized influence in a body he loved so dearly.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lauded Warner as “a great patriot … a leader unafraid to speak the truth but always committed to finding common ground and consensus.”

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served both Democratic and Republican administrations, said Warner’s “steadfast support for our men and women in uniform made a difference in their lives and in the security of our country. His friends and admirers came from across the political spectrum and he set an example for all of bipartisan leadership.”

Flags at the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol were flown at half-staff. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised Warner as a “consensus builder” and an “authority on military affairs.” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky called Warner a “principled patriot across the board.”

The courtly senator with chiseled features and a thick shock of gray hair was so popular with Virginia voters that Democrats did not bother to challenge him in 2002.

A veteran of World War II and Korea, Warner devoted most of his career to military matters. He served as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and as Navy secretary.

He was a key supporter of President George W. Bush’s declaration of war in Iraq and often defended the Bush administration’s handling of the war. But he also showed a willingness to buck the White House.

After a 2007 trip to Iraq, Warner called upon Bush to start bringing troops home. He summoned top Pentagon officials to hearings into the torture of detainees at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison and the Iraq war.

In 2005, Warner was the lone senator to formally object to the federal government stepping in on the Terri Schiavo right-to-die case. She had suffered brain damage and her husband sought to remove her feeding tube, over the objections of Florida lawmakers.

“Greater wisdom is not always reposed in the branches of federal government,” he said at the time.

In 1994, Warner angered conservatives by opposing GOP nominee Oliver North’s bid to unseat Virginia Democratic Sen. Charles S. Robb. Warner declared the Iran-Contra figure unfit for public office and backed independent J. Marshall Coleman, who drew enough independent and moderate GOP votes to ensure Robb’s reelection.

“I sure risked my political future, that’s for sure,” Warner said in 1994. “But I’d rather the voters of this state remember that I stood on my principle. … That’s the price of leadership.”

Steamed by what they viewed as disloyalty, GOP conservatives tried to deny him a fourth term in 1996, backing a primary challenge by former Reagan administration budget director Jim Miller. Miller portrayed Warner as an elitist who spent too much time squiring celebrities, including Barbara Walters. But Warner easily defeated him and then beat Mark Warner in the general.

John Warner mended his strained GOP ties by helping Jim Gilmore become governor in 1997 and George Allen take Robb’s Senate seat in 2000.

Born in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 18, 1927, Warner volunteered for the Navy at 17 and served as a 3rd class electronics technician. He earned an engineering degree from Washington and Lee University and entered law school at the University of Virginia in 1949, but volunteered for the Marines, serving in Korea before finishing his degree in 1953.

Warner clerked at the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, went into private practice, and then became a federal prosecutor. He was Navy secretary from 1972 to 1974.

Warner got an estimated $7 million fortune in the breakup of his first marriage, to Catherine Mellon, daughter of multimillionaire Paul Mellon. He married real estate agent Jeanne Vander Myde in 2003.

Warner had three children, Mary, Virginia and John, and was a member of the Episcopal Church.


Dena Potter, a former staffer of The Associated Press, was the principal writer of this obituary.

(All contents © copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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Old Guys Rule!

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Greetings From the Booth!

Well, the book is closed on Spring sports at Shenandoah University, as Hornet Baseball will not be headed to the NCAA D-3 Tournament, despite a 31-11 record and a top-20 national ranking for most of the year. SU fell short against Lynchburg last weekend in the ODAC Tournament, giving up 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th in a heartbreaking 9-8 loss in the deciding Game 3. The Hornets had hoped for an at-large berth, but because of a smaller number of “Pool-C” openings this year, were left out. While Shenandoah is certainly one of the best 48 D-3 teams in the country, the lesson learned is to take care of your business and not leave things in the hands of a committee…

What a year it’s been for “old guys!” Earlier in the year, 43 year-old Tom Brady led his Tampa Bay Bucs to a 31-9 Super Bowl win against the Kansas City Chiefs. And this past Sunday, 50 year-old Phil Mickelson held off a star-studded field to win the PGA Championship, becoming the oldest golfer to win a “major.”

In 2009 we saw 59 year-old Tom Watson almost win a British Open, and despite falling just short in a playoff, that is still one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in golf. But that was an “almost.” On Sunday, a golfer who is eligible for the Champions Tour won not the “ Invitational” but one of golf’s four major tournaments. And I don’t think the age thing is getting nearly enough play, and here’s why, IMHO:

There has been a quantum leap in the advancements made in sports medicine, fitness, and nutrition. When you think of a 50 year-old golfer of 40, 30, even 20 years ago, you think of pot bellies and cigarettes hanging out of the mouth. The great Lee Trevino, when he made the move to the former “Senior Tour,” referred to the regular tour as the “flatbelly” circuit, and for good reason. The Senior (now Champions) Tour was anything but.

When you saw Mickelson on Sunday, you saw a player who looked anything but 50. He was trim, fit, and ready for the rigors of four rounds of pressure-packed major tournament golf. He not only used his guile and experience, but was also able to bomb the occasional drive 300-plus when he had to. And, as always, there was the Mickelson magic from the sand and around the greens.

Will we see anything like this again? I don’t know, but if we do, we shouldn’t be surprised. It appears that 50 is the new 30.

Until the next visit from the Booth…GO OLD GUYS! GO HORNETS!


Sports: Thursday, May 27, 2021

Nats-Reds Suspended, Os Lose Ninth Straight, Wizards Routed In Game 2

The Washington Nationals’ contest with the Cincinnati Reds last night was suspended due to a line of storms that moved through the DC area. That game will be resumed today at 2:05 as part of a split doubleheader, with the Nats leading 3-0 in the fourth inning. The regularly scheduled game will now be a 7-inning contest and will start at 7:05. You can hear the action on Sports Radio 1450.

The Baltimore Orioles lost their ninth straight game yesterday, falling to the Minnesota Twins 3-2. The Twins were held to just 4 hits, but made them count by plating all 3 of their runs in the 6th inning. The Birds are now off to Chicago to take on the White Sox at 8:10 tonight.

And, the Washington Wizards were no match for the Philadelphia 76ers last night, as they were routed 120-95 in Game 2 of their NBA Playoff series. Bradley Beal had 33 points for the Wizards, who are now down 2-0 in the series, which now heads back to DC for a 7pm Saturday tip off.