HSWC celebrates most profitable Tails and Ales in history

registration open polar plunge

The Humane Society of Warren County celebrated a fundraising record after the 12th annual Tails and Ales.

The yearly cash party and silent auction welcomed 250 animal lovers from around the community Saturday, November 18th at the Front Royal Moose lodge and helped the humane society reach $25,000 donated to the shelter.

This number greatly surpassed previous years which averaged between $10,000- $15,000 per event.

This year’s Tails and Ales was amped up thanks to the addition of three new games, the introduction of basket sponsors, and by raising the value and quality of the auction baskets and items.

In total, there were over 20 different baskets and items available for auction.

Interim Executive Director Kayla Wines has led the fundraiser since 2018 and has worked to elevate the event each year.

She said, “It has become a favorite in the local community and 2023 was the most profitable in its history, raising $25,000 for the shelter! We absolutely could not pull this off if it weren’t for the hard work of staff, volunteers, and board of directors.”

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

Safe driving jingle contest opens for Virginia teens

YOVASO, or Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety, is encouraging Virginia youth ages 11-19 to help everyone jingle their way to a safe holiday by creating a safe driving song or tune for a statewide competition with cash prizes up to $500.

The Jingle Your Way to a Safe Holiday: Buckle Up and Celebrate Responsibly Contest is now under way and accepting submissions until 11:59 pm on December 7th.

The safe driving jingle must be submitted as a video and no longer than 30 seconds.

The winning jingle in the high school division will receive a $500 cash prize with additional cash prizes for the top 3 high school and middle school participants.

Winners will be chosen by public vote on the Holiday Campaign webpage.

The contest is an effort to reduce teen fatalities during a high risk period for young drivers.

Over the past three years in the month of December, 17 teens have died and 1,235 were injured in motor vehicle crashes.

During that time period, teen drivers have accounted for an additional 4,245 crashes and 14 fatal crashes.

YOVASO is a peer-to-peer education group that advocates for safe driving and is supported by the Virginia State Police and DMV.

A link for more information or to enter the contest is available here

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

News Makers from the Salvation Army discuss the Red Kettle Campaign and community dinner

Scott Bradley speaks with News Makers from the Salvation Army about their holiday happenings.

Captain Ann Hawk discusses The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign including locations and how you can get involved.

Jason Neal looks forward to serving guests at the community dinner which is open to anyone who would like a good meal and comradery.

Donations are still being accepted for food items for the community dinner.

Click here to register to ring.

To listen to Captain Hawk and Jared’s News Maker, click here.

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

Wanted man in Front Royal captured by Border Patrol

Front Royal Police Department seal used by permission

On Sunday, November 20th the Front Royal Police Department received a call about an alleged stabbing in the area of South Street and Osage Street.

Upon arriving at the scene, officers first located the victim at a neighboring residence on Osage Street.

The victim was identified as a 35 year old female.

She was taken to Winchester Medical Center with potentially life threatening injuries.

Detectives of the Front Royal Police Department identified Humberto Vazquez as the suspect and obtained a warrant for his arrest for violation of a protective order and malicious wounding.

He was originally at large in the community before being captured by the U.S. Customs Border Patrol.

Vazquez was previously arrested in Warren County for unlawful and felonious breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony or larceny in October of 2022.

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

Fauquier puppy mill owner guilty of 60 counts of animal cruelty

Fauquier Co. Sheriff's Logo used by permission by Fauquier County Deputy Jeffery Long

A Fauquier County jury found Irina Barrett guilty of 60 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty for her role in a puppy mill on Friday.

In January of 2020, Fauquier County Sheriff’s executed a search warrant after learning about the neglect of an 8 month old Doberman puppy.

Officers found that the puppy was deprived of food and veterinary treatment.

Upon further investigation of her residence, 75 other Dobermans and French Bull dogs were found in terrible living conditions with serious health issues.

57 chickens, three turtles, two guinea pigs and a parakeet were also seized by authorities.

The dogs were discovered in rusty cages with no food or water.

In the garage, deceased dogs of different breeds and ages were found wrapped in newspaper in a box.

46 dogs were eventually euthanized due to their health and the remaining abused dogs have remained in the care of Fauquier SPCA since January of 2020.

Barrett will be sentenced in February, 2024.

Each of the 60 misdemeanors could lead up to 1 year in jail.

The jury did not find Barrett guilty on the three criminal charges investigated in the trial.

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

WMH and WMC earn an “A” in hospital safety

heart attack treatment

Valley Health’s two acute care hospitals, Warren Memorial Hospital and Winchester Medical Center, earned an “A” Hospital Safety Grade from the Leapfrog Group.

This makes them the highest graded facilities in the Northern Shenandoah Valley/Eastern Panhandle region.

Grades reflected in the 2023 review are the first since the pandemic and represent WMC’s 8th straight A rating and fourth for WMH.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is based exclusively on hospital prevention of medical errors and harm to patients utilizing 30 different safety performance measures.

The grading system is peer reviewed and open to the public for additional transparency.

Grades are updated each fall and spring.

Tonya Smith, president of Winchester Medical Center and senior vice president of acute care for Valley Health said, “I’m extremely proud to work alongside a team of caregivers who prioritize patient safety- every day, on every shift, throughout the hospital.”

A link to the full announcement with Fall 2023 Hospital Safety Grades is available here.

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

Miyares announces $30 million in relief for illegal student lending practices

Attorney General Jason Miyares announced that student lender Prehired will be required to provide over $30 million in relief to student borrowers for making false promises of job placement, trapping students with “income share” loans that are against the law, and abusive collection practices.

The order was approved by a federal court and requires the company to cease operations, pay $4.2 million in redress to affected customers, and void all income share loans totaled at $27 million.

Prehired was based in Delaware and operated a 12-week online training program which claimed to prepare students for entry-level software sales roles with “six figure salaries” and a “job guarantee.”

The company also offered students income share loans to finance the costs of the program.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 10 additional states joined Miyares in the lawsuit in July earlier this year.

The lawsuit alleges borrowers were deceived by claiming its loans were not loans, kept borrowers in the dark about key information, tricked students with deceptive debt collection practices, and sued students in locations far away where they could not be present when they executed the financing contract.

Prehired students affected by this action can submit a claim through a link available here.

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

News Maker Casey Hollins of REC on cutting winter energy costs

Scott Bradley speaks with the Newsmaker Casey Hollins of the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative about how to save money on your electric bill as the temperatures drop.

She provides a few tips like removing window a/c units and checking for gaps in windows.

Casey also shares the resources REC members can contact if they fall behind on payments during this difficult economy.

Click here for Casey’s News Maker.

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

Rockslide Repair Project on 340 issues update

West Virginia state seal. Used by written permission by Chief Deputy and Chief of Staff of West Virginia Chuck Flannery

The Rockslide Repair Project along U.S. 340 near Harpers Ferry provided an update over the weekend.

The repairs are estimated at 65% completion and currently on schedule to be finished by December 10th, 2023.

Contracting crews have removed loose rocks and boulders from the mountainside above the roadway since September.

The one mile section of 340 has remained closed for motorist’s safety during the duration of the work by the West Virginia Department of Transportation as boulders the size of cars have fallen during the work, sometimes unexpectedly.

Since September, more than 1,500 cubic yards of rock totaling 2,300 tons have been removed.

Until the work is completed, motorists will need to plan to continue to use the 22 mile, 35 minute long detour.

A link to the project’s website which includes picture updates of the repairs is available here.

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

Click It or Ticket Campaign begins

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and local law enforcement are teaming up for the annual “Click It or Ticket” Campaign November 19-30.

So far this year, fatalities among drivers and passengers who were not wearing a seatbelt are down 12% from last year.

Of the fatalities, 73% were male and 20% in their 20s.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that wearing a seatbelt can reduce the chances of a fatal crash by 55%.

DMV Commissioner Gerald Lackey said, “The good news is that fewer people who weren’t wearing a seatbelt were killed in crashes so far this year, but we can’t become complacent.”

The DMV provided a few refreshers to help make sure you start your holiday journey safely.

Those include making sure any children are buckled securely and in the correct safety seat, making sure the seat belt clicks and is tight across your hips and chest, as well as keeping your seatbelt on the whole trip, every time.

No matter how close you are to home.

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