Stories by Josh Gully

Front Royal man arrested on weapons, drug charges

WINCHESTER – An early Wednesday morning traffic stop turned up an array of weapons, drugs, and paraphernalia. Matthew Mark Ruddle, 41, of Front Royal, was pulled over at 2 a.m. on Washington Street for what Winchester Police Lt. Amanda Behan said were “minor traffic violations.” She ...

Proposed sanitary district set for public hearing

FRONT ROYAL – The county may soon create its 12th sanitary district, as registered voters in two neighborhoods have signed a petition in support of establishing the Wildcat Drive Sanitary District. The Board of Supervisors at its regular Tuesday meeting approved an advertisement for a 7 p.m. ...

Council agrees to advertise 1-cent tax hike

FRONT ROYAL – After reviewing expected expenses in the coming years, the Town Council unanimously agreed at its Monday work session to advertise a 1-cent real estate tax increase. The proposed tax rate will be advertised for two weeks, and be subject to a March 12 public hearing. The council ...

West Main Street extension project progresses

FRONT ROYAL – The West Main Street Extension project is moving forward with the Town Council's agreement at its Monday work session to put Phase 1 of its construction out to bid. Phase 1 consists of about 850 feet of roadway that will connect the ITFederal site at Royal Phoenix to Kendrick ...

Schools seek increased county funding

FRONT ROYAL – Salaries, staffing needs, and a health insurance hike are some of the primary driving forces behind the School Board's request for increased county funding. The schools are seeking a $1.7 million increase from last year's county contribution of about $23.4 million. Last year's ...

Local social services directors react to SNAP proposal

The federal government may hop on the bandwagon of a growing trend and become the latest home food delivery service. Proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the White House's recently released 2019 budget includes delivering a United States Department of ...

Criser Road bridge replacement out for bid again

FRONT ROYAL – The town is continuing to search for a contractor on its Criser Road bridge replacement project. The town put out its third bid this week on the project, which will remain open through April 10. Town Manager Joe Waltz said when bids were put out in August and September 2017, ...

Social services aims to curb fraud cases

FRONT ROYAL – The Warren County Department of Social Services cracked down on fraud cases in 2017. Social Services Director DeAnna Cheatham said the department had 125 fraud referrals totaling over $90,000 last year. Three Circuit Court indictments handed up this month involved accusations ...

Hearing regarding fate of burned down kennel extended

FRONT ROYAL – A recommendation will be made next month on whether the dog kennel destroyed in a March 2017 fire should continue operation. The Warren County Planning Commission was scheduled to hold a public hearing at its regular Wednesday meeting regarding the the continuance or revocation ...

Tharpe to seek re-election

FRONT ROYAL – Hollis Tharpe hopes to maintain his center seat at Town Council meetings, as he recently announced intentions to seek a second term as Front Royal's mayor. “When you get it in your blood, you get it in your blood,” Tharpe said. “My heart is in the town.” Tharpe served ...

Planning Commission proposes capital improvement priorities

FRONT ROYAL – The Planning Commission took a first look this week at a proposed capital improvement plan that lists priorities for major county projects in the upcoming budget year. The plan's purpose is to guide the Board of Supervisors during development of the county's budget, Warren ...

Sheriff seeks funding for career development

FRONT ROYAL – Warren County Sheriff Daniel McEathron is asking the county to implement a career development program to boost personnel recruitment and retention. This may be difficult, however, as the county faces a tough budget year. McEathron asked for the funding during a Tuesday budget ...

Police can now enforce park rules

FRONT ROYAL – The Police Department now has authority to properly patrol parks located within town limits. The Town Council at its regular Monday meeting approved an agreement with Warren County allowing the Front Royal Police Department to enforce the park system's code of conduct. The town ...

Proffer amendments made for housing development

FRONT ROYAL – Several changes were made in a proffer agreement between the town and a developer regarding a proposed housing development off Happy Creek Road. The proposed 320-unit development by Front Royal Limited Partnership, headed by David Vazzana, is on a 149-acre parcel near Norfolk ...

Councilman calls for college president’s resignation

FRONT ROYAL – Town Councilman John Connolly, a Christendom College graduate, said he thinks Timothy O’Donnell, the school's president, should resign or be fired amid the recent string of rape and sexual assaults that were alleged to have taken place under his watch. "If he truly loves ...

Council votes down property maintenance code

FRONT ROYAL –  After months of discussion, the Town Council at its regular Monday meeting voted 4-0 against the implementation of a property maintenance code. The vote came after a public hearing during which no one spoke.  Councilmen Jacob Meza and Christopher Morrison were absent. ...

One hospitalized in Warren County crash

A Luray woman was hospitalized after a crash on U.S. 340-522 in Warren County on Sunday morning, according to Virginia State Police Public Information Officer Sgt. F.L. (Les) Tyler. Frances Evans, 26, was southbound on U.S. 340-522 at about 6:30 a.m. when she lost control of her 2003 Ford ...

Veterans react to proposed parade

Nelson Ritter, commander of Winchester American Legion Post 21, does not think President Donald Trump's proposed military parade is a good idea. He said his  feelings do not speak for the entire post. That was immediately clear upon discussing the interview for this article at the ...

Public hearing set for property maintenance code

FRONT ROYAL – Citizens can voice their opinions about the proposed property maintenance code at  7 p.m. Monday during a Town Council public hearing. The council held a previous public hearing on the matter in August 2017. In November, it postponed action on the program. The previously ...

Supervisors kick off budget talks

FRONT ROYAL – Budget season is underway with the Board of Supervisors beginning discussions Tuesday with outside agencies. The board met in a work session with the health department, economic development authority, Northwestern Community Services, and the Shenandoah Area Agency on ...