Remembering “Mr. August”

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Greetings From The Booth!

Well, the NFL Preseason is underway, and how strange was it to see the Washington Commanders in action last Saturday in the new uniforms that look nothing like the ‘Skins of old. It’s going to take some getting-used-to, as the saying goes. While the Commanders dropped their preseason opener 23-21 to the Carolina Panthers, which really is no big deal, one player stood out. Rookie QB Sam Howell played the entire second half, and led a Commanders comeback with 145 yards passing and 2 rushing touchdowns.

Now, before we crown Howell the next Tom Brady, let’s dial the excitement back just a bit. As we know, the second half of preseason games are filled with second and third stringers, some of whom won’t be playing pro football come September, at least not in the NFL. That being said, Howell seems to have all the tools necessary to be a quality pro quarterback. He has a strong arm, pocket awareness, and escapability, and athleticism. Let’s not forget that at one time Howell was projected to be a high draft pick before his stock fell a bit at the end of last season.  A few more performances like last Saturday, and Howell might move ahead of Taylor Heinicke as the Commanders’ backup.

Watching Howell Saturday made me think of a Washington quarterback who was nicknamed “Mr. August,” and though he never played a regular season snap for the burgundy-and-gold, became a folk hero in DC because of his exciting preseason play. Babe Laufenberg led many a Redskins comeback in games that didn’t count in the 1980’s. If you look up his NFL stats, you’ll see that Babe only played in 16 “for real” games, throwing for a grand total of just over 1,000 yards and had a less-than-stellar 45.9 passer rating.

Laufenberg was also a footnote in 2 of the ‘Skins Super Bowl appearances. In 1983, his rookie season, the Indiana University product was declared inactive in every contest, as Washington reached Super Bowl XVIII. After bouncing around with several teams in 1985 and 1986, including another stint with the Redskins, Babe was signed by Washington to be Doug Williams’ backup in 1987, but the players’ strike interfered, and replacement players were used. Long story short, Laufenberg was only on the roster for 2 games that year, and when the ‘Skins eventually won the Lombardi Trophy, he missed out on a Super Bowl share by one game.

Laufenberg would go on to play for the Dallas Cowboys, and again, was the bridesmaid, but never the bride, backing up the likes of Troy Aikman. It was in Texas that Babe would earn his fame after football, becoming a highly regarded broadcaster, earning several awards from the National Sports Media Association and working as a color analyst beside Cowboys play-by-play man Brad Sham. Laufenberg also suffered personal tragedy in 2019, losing his son Luke to lymphoma. But it’s those great Redskin comebacks that Babe Laufenberg will be remembered for in Washington.

Sam Howell has big shoes to fill…

Until the next visit from The Booth…GO COMMANDERS!



Front Royal beautifies South Street with plants

On Saturday Aug. 13th members of the Front Royal Warren County Tree Stewards, Anti-Litter Council, Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee and volunteers planted trees and shrubs along South Street.

According to the emailed news release funding for the project was made available by the Beautification of Front Royal Committee.

The idea was to simply create a better experience for users of the street by creating a boulevard of trees to enjoy.

A total of 18 Crepe Myrtles and 4 native Sweet Spire shrubs were planted some of which show signs of healthy growth already.

Additional street lighting has also been added for safety along the route.

Plans for more collaborative projects are in the works all headed by the Town’s Arborist Jim Osborn.

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

Berryville reminds residents of low flying craft

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Berryville reiterated the warning of low flying aircraft in a news release.

The craft include low flying helicopters and the Town Government reminds residents to not be alarmed.

The project is a part of the ongoing efforts to collect data for the Virginia Department of Energy and The U.S. Geological Survey from Clarke and Frederick Counties.

The aircraft are piloted by personnel trained for low level flight at altitudes of 300 to 1,000 feet and will fly through December.

This is part of a national effort to create maps that assist in domestic exploration for mineral resources critical to national security and prosperity.

Additional information on the project is available at the U.S. Geological Survey’s website.

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

Medical Examiner’s report on the death of Ralph Ennis

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The death of Ralph Ennis of Pennsylvania was determined to be natural causes according to the just released Medical Examiner’s (ME) report.

An email from Administrative Deputy Arkuie Williams of the Richmond ME’s Office confirms the cause of death as natural.

Williams goes on to list the cause verbatim as complications from Alzheimer disease, cerebral amyloid angiopathy and hypternsive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

No other information is allowed to be divulged according to Williams as the job of the Medical Examiner’s Office is to simply determine the cause and manner of death and nothing more.

The 77 year old Ennis sustained injuries in an arrest April 2 was treated at Warren Memorial Hospital then transferred to Winchester Medical Center after complications were observed.

Ennis passed away on April 15 while in Hospice Care in Winchester.

An internal and Virginia State Police investigation into the arrest has been launched with no results reported at this time.

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

SCSO makes arrest in a shots fired situation

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The Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) reports making an arrest in the Sat. Aug. 13 shots fired situation.

Shots were reported fired in the 500 block of Hamburg Road in Edinburg.

The unidentified victim reported that Edgar Uriel Padron-Rodriguez came to his residence to pick up someone.

The victim told Padron-Rodriguez to leave his property.

Padron-Rodriguez produced a gun and fired one shot toward the victim.

Padron-Rodriguez then fled the property with the victim left uninjured.

Assistance from agents of the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force with Sheriff’s Deputies were able to locate Pardron-Rodriguez and take him into custody.

Pardon-Rodriguez has been charged with attempted malicious wounding, shooting from a vehicle, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, reckless handling of and brandishing a firearm and driving without a license.

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