The Warren Sentinel

Developer: Afton Inn too costly to renovate

FRONT ROYAL — A developer interested in the Afton Inn property at the corner of Royal Avenue and Main Street believes it would be cheaper to raze the historic structure and build new than to renovate. So said Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Jennifer McDonald during her report to Council Monday night. The EDA is working to market the vacant building, which the town acquired in a 2014 property swap for the former town hall. The three-story structure at 2 E. Main St. was built in 1867. The property is zoned for commercial use and has an assessed value of $261,300, according to the Warren County Commissioner of the Revenueís Office. Officials have targeted the building for redevelopment because of its location at a prime downtown intersection.

United Way exec to retire next month

FRONT ROYAL — The executive director of the United Way of Front Royal-Warren County announced her retirement this week, according to a news release. Lee Smith-Osina has run the United Way of Front Royal-Warren County since 2007, and said in a letter to the board of directors that now is the correct time to move on in her professional career. Her retirement will become effective on June 30.

Beer museum on tap

FRONT ROYAL — The stateís 400-year history of beermaking will soon be on display just a few hops from the home of the annual Brew and Blues Festival. David Downes plans to establish the Virginia Beer Museum at 16 Chester St. He said the objective is to represent the heritage of Virginia beer, stretching from Jamestown to the current craft beer renaissance. "I have two great passions in life, beer and history, and this project gives me an opportunity to combine those two passions," said Downes, a local attorney. The building is undergoing numerous renovations to restore it to its 1900 state, Downes said. He added that the museum would mimic several eras with architecture representative of different times. Downes said artifacts on display would include old mugs, bottles, steins and photographs of old breweries. There also will be stories about Virginian founding fathers who brewed their own beer, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. He hopes to have a tour guide after the museum is esablished.

THIS WEEKEND: Wine and Craft Festival

FRONT ROYAL — Downtown will come alive with wine, crafts, music and food as the town celebrates the 30th annual Wine and Craft Festival this weekend. Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce President Nikki Foster said about 12,000 people usually attend the festival and it is the chamberís biggest fundraiser of the year. "From a planning perspective and from an attendance perspective, it is our biggest event of the year," Foster said. The festival will stretch from the Warren County Courthouse to the visitor's center on Main Street and from the gazebo to Crescent Street on Chester Street from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Representatives from 17 Virginia wineries will offer tastings. The festival also will feature about 15 food vendors and 150 artisans and crafters from throughout the East Coast, Foster said. There will also be music all day at the gazebo, the Warren County Courthouse and on Chester Street.

Teacher resigns amid probe; officials mum about possible misconduct investigation

FRONT ROYAL — An unidentified Warren County High School teacher has been put on administrative leave because of possible misconduct, School Superintendent Greg Drescher said. The Warren County Sheriffís office is investigating. Neither Drescher nor Warren County Sheriff Daniel McEathron would reveal the teacherís name or what type of misconduct was under investigation. Drescher said he could not discuss any particulars of the investigation. He said publishing the names of those accused or the names of accusers could have damaging effects on individuals who could ultimately be exonerated.

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