The Warren Sentinel

Valley Health prepares for future hospital in Warren County

FRONT ROYAL — Although a timeline for the construction of a new acute care hospital off Leach Run Parkway is unknown, Valley Health recently took preliminary steps to get ducks in a row through a series of deals with Warren County Public Schools. Valley Health purchased about 150 acres off Leach Run Parkway in 2008 for $2.6 million. Of that land, the hospital may cover about 25 acres. The land is currently zoned agriculture and open-space preservation, and would have to be re-zoned before construction. Valley Health recently received about 0.5 acres of land on the southeast corner of Leach Run Parkway from Warren County Public Schools, which the hospital will use for storm water management and signage. The schools, in return, were given a small patch of land adjacent to Warren County Middle Schoolís track and field.

High rent, low quality: Poor conditions irk renters; officials look at ways to address issue

FRONT ROYAL — Flushing toilets, taking showers and washing laundry are everyday tasks usually accomplished without negative consequences. In Candi Plaugherís recent house, however, heavy water usage would cause a septic tank to flood her backyard. "It wasnít a puddle, it was kind of like a stream going through the backyard," Plaugher said. "We could smell it in the house, and you couldn't go outside because you'd gag." Two months after the first leak, Plaugher's landlords had the tank "jerry rigged," she said. The leaks resumed a month later and the tank was never fixed again, she said, because the landlord claimed not to have money for repairs. The house was ìcompletely unlivable," Plaugher said. Other unaddressed issues included a hole in the ceiling, leaks and weak floors. Though extreme, the conditions at Plaugher's house are not unique in Warren County. An inquiry about rental conditions on the Facebook group What's Up Front Royal received more than 100 responses. Not all were negative, and some complimented their houseís conditions and landlords. But most renters who responded described issues including cracked walls, mold, leaks, holes in the ceiling, sinking floors, bedbugs, roaches, contaminated water, exposed wires, and more.

NTSB releases details of fatal plane crash

FRONT ROYAL — The National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary accident report on a fatal plane crash earlier this month includes details on the moments before the glider tow plane crashed onto private property off Ridgeway Road. Pilot Steven B. Zaboji, 76, of Reston, was killed in the crash. Zaboji was a member of the Skyline Soaring Club, which is based at the Front Royal-Warren County Airport, according to the report. He was towing a glider the afternoon of Oct. 7 in a Piper Pawnee plane. A flight instructor in the attached glider was giving an introductory flight to a passenger, the report said.

Inquiry ongoing: Authorities looking into suspicious device that halted Cedar Creek battle re-enact

MIDDLETOWN — Evidence collection continued this week at the Cedar Creek battlefield, where a device that may have been a bomb was found Saturday. Using metal detectors, eight Frederick County Sheriffís Office deputies and two members of the Frederick County Fire Marshal's office examined an approximately 40-yard-long, 20-yard-wide area from about 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday. The area was where a vendor found the device in a vendor tent about 4 p.m. Saturday. It was detonated by state police. The discovery prompted the evacuation of about 2,500 people Saturday. Sundayís scheduled events for the annual re-enactment were canceled, but a private re-enactment of the historic 1864 Confederate defeat at the Battle of Cedar Creek occurred Sunday morning.

A slice of history, fun - Warren Heritage Society event expected to draw thousands

FRONT ROYAL — Downtown will be packed Saturday to host Front Royal's oldest and largest festival as the Warren Heritage Societyís annual fundraiser, the Festival of Leaves, returns for a 47th year. Thousands of attendees are expected to attend Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m along Main and Chester Streets. The festival was founded to raise awareness about local history and heritage, while also attracting out of towners who are visiting to see fallís changing of colors, Warren Heritage Society Executive Director Patrick Farris said. The county's history will be celebrated at historic homes the Belle Boyd Cottage and Balthis House, where free tours will be available. History will further come alive in Heritage Square at 101 Chester St., as historical re-enactors provide demonstrations while period music fills the air.

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