Schools Across Virginia Increase Focus on Fresh Produce for Lunches

RICHMOND—Updated federal guidelines are increasing the demand for fresh produce and transforming lunches in schools across the country.

The updated school lunch rules went into effect in July and are the first change in the standards in 15 years.

The guidelines increased requirements for fruits and vegetables in school lunches from the previous one-half to three-fourths of a cup of both per day to the new requirement of three-fourths to one cup of vegetables plus one-half to one cup of fruit per day. Schools must offer a variety of vegetables, including a weekly serving of dark green and red or orange vegetables and legumes.

“I hope that as many school systems as possible will utilize locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables to meet their students’ nutritional needs,” said Tony Banks, a commodity marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “Hopefully this will create new opportunities for farmers who may want to use high tunnels to extend their fresh produce growing seasons or begin packaging and processing local produce for use outside the fresh market season.”

The new guidelines also will help support the mission of the Virginia Farm to School program and will allow greater opportunity for Virginia-grown products to take a starring role on school menus, said Leanne DuBois, state coordinator of the Virginia Farm to School program for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The program is an effort to increase the amount of fresh and nutritious Virginia products offered in schools and to promote opportunities for schools and farmers to work together.

Nov. 5-9 will be the fourth annual Virginia Farm to School Week. Schools and farmers across the commonwealth will celebrate with menu items like apples, broccoli, sweet potatoes, beef, milk and more. Some schools hold special events that include visits by farmers, farm art contests and other activities.

A recent survey of school nutrition directors throughout Virginia, sponsored by VDACS, Virginia Tech and the Virginia Department of Education, revealed that all participants have knowledge of the Farm to School program and 70 percent have participated in a previous Farm to School Week.

Eighty-five percent of survey respondents said they serve local food in their school divisions; 46 percent have developed a purchasing relationship with a local farmer; and 30 percent plan to develop such a relationship within the next year. As for problems in sourcing local food,

50 percent said seasonal availability of local foods within the school calendar year was their biggest challenge.

via Virginia Farm Bureau

New Equinox Features Discovered at Clarke County Solstice Site

By René White (White Feather)

Remarkable discoveries are reported this week from the archeology team studying the 12,000 year old Spout-Run Paleoindian site found in Clarke County, VA in 2009. The Department of Historic Resources added the Paleo-site to the Virginia Landmarks Register as #44CK151 last year (Nov. 4, 2011). This week, just days before the Autumnal Equinox which occurs Saturday, Sept. 22, the team discovered a new solar alignment with a triangular rock formation.

On Wednesday (Sept 19), after the team took this year’s photos of the Equinox in alignment with concentric rings on the Paleoindian site, they visited a nearby triangular site, the land owner discovered last year. On an elevated partial nearby, the triangular rock configuration also aligns with the Equinox.

Wednesday, Sept. 19 photograph shows site owner Chris (Comeswithclouds) White standing on the two petroglyphs found Wednesday (Sept 19), as the equinox sun causes a halo effect over his head. Photo by René White (White Feather)

In 2011 during the Winter Solstice, land owner Chris (Comeswithclouds) White found a triangular shaped 12’- x 12’- x 12’-feet set of stones next to a small boulder set.

“The triangular shape has two lines of stones placed in the ground which form a V shape,” said White. “The open part of the V opens due East. On the west end of the V is a lead stone about 21” x 14” inches in diameter which has foot-type markings on it,” he added.

Lead Archaeologist Jack Hranicky confirmed the shapes as two incised petroglyph shapes carved into the lead stone: a foot shaped print approximately 9½” x 4” inches and a small foot shaped print approximately 7½” x 3½” inches, both attached together at the heel.

White used chalk to outline the shapes which face away from the Equinox sun rise.

“It appears the incising is the shape of two foot prints. When stood on, during the Equinox, the sun causes a halo effect over the person standing on the prints,” confirms Hranicky. “This is a new major feature,” he added.

The triangle of stones is in 105 degree alignment with the Autumnal Equinox as it crosses over the Blue Ridge Mountain, he added.

In 2010, Hranicky suggested the Virginia’s Spout Run Site as among the oldest above-ground Paleoindian ceremonial sites in North America. He describes these first people living approximately 12,000 years ago as, “Virginia’s first Engineers.”

Whats Next for the Site?

Jack Hranicky and Chris (Comeswithclouds) White analyzing the foot-type markings on the triangular shape days before the fall 2012 Equinox.

The University of Washington State has agreed to use the Thermoluminescence (TL) method to help date heat-treated jasper found during the 2011 excavation. The TL technique has a range of 1,000 to 500,000 years, according to the U.S. Geological Survey web site. The team is also in the process of registering the Spout Run Site as a state-recognized prehistoric site with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and as a National Historic Landmark with the U.S. Department of Interior.

White said he is continuing plans to preserve the site for future generations and welcomes partners who wish to do the same. The team has been studying the PaleoIndian site for three years now.

Autumnal Equinox

On Sept. 22, during the Autumnal Equinox, the sun will be perpendicular (directly above) the equator. Viewers along the east coast will see the sun rise at a 90 degree in direct line-of-site to the east. In comparison, the site does not have direct line-of-site to the east coast because of the mountain so the sun has to rise higher and at an approximate 105 degree angle as it makes its way over the mountain to be seen at the Paleo-site here.

The Equinox is a precise moment in time which is common to all observers on Earth. Twice a year, in September and March, day and night become equal. There are only two Equinoxes only two days during the year, in September and March. The length of the day and night are approximately 12 hours a part, giving 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness at all points on the earth’s surface. The word Equinox comes from the Latin language “equi” meaning “equal” and “nox” meaning “night,” thus “equal nights.”

Most people recognize the September Equinox as the beginning of fall or autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere. Others believe the Fall Equinox marks the mid-point between Autumn (which begins in August and ends in October). Seasons are opposite on either side of the equator during the Equinox. Many cultures and religions celebrate holidays or observe festivals around the September Equinox.

The triangular lead stone with foot-type markings outlined in chalk.

The Fall Equinox day of transition shows up on Mayan, Judaism, Buddhist, Druid, ancient Irish, Native American Indian calendars and more. René White (White Feather) is a resident of Clarke County, Bluemont, Virginia and owns the property described above.

By René White (White Feather) is a resident of Clarke County, Virginia and owns the property described in this story

no images were found

Sheriff’s Office Participates in Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Berryville, Virginia – On September 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  Bring your medications for disposal to John H. Enders Fire Company at 9 South Buckmarsh Street, Berryville, Virginia.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds—276 tons—of prescription drugs at over 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners.  In its four previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds—nearly 775 tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them.  The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.  DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act.  Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like Clarke County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Sgt. Travis M. Sumption at 540-955-5182.


Cool Spring Among Civil War Battlefield Preservation Grants Announced Today

Site of proposed Cool Spring Battlefield Park – Photo courtesy Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority

RICHMOND – With the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War now into its second year and attracting visitors to the Commonwealth from around the nation, Governor McDonnell today announced 11 state grant awards to organizations working to conserve historic battlefield lands for present and future generations of Americans.

The grant awards are drawn from the Civil War Historic Sites Preservation Fund that Governor McDonnell and the General Assembly permanently established in 2010. Funds for the grants, this year totaling up to $2,620,500, will be awarded by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, which determines the awards based on a rigorous evaluation process.

This year’s awards will provide vital assistance in protecting more than 2,792 total acres associated with battles at Appomattox, Cedar Mountain, Chancellorsville, Cool Spring, Kelly’s Ford, Peebles Farm, Port Republic, and Second Manassas.

The grant recipients include the Civil War Trust, the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. These organizations will match state funds dollar for dollar either to purchase lands approved as part of the awards process or to obtain easement rights on the tracts. All awards will result in the donation of perpetual easements to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources.

“Virginia is a premier destination for tourists from around the nation and the world, thanks to our legacy of renowned historic sites, including those connected with the American Civil War,” said Governor McDonnell in announcing the awards. “By preserving battlefields through public and private partnerships, we save hallowed ground and honor the Commonwealth’s past while we simultaneously make an investment in its future through heritage tourism.”

Battlefield lands that will be protected through the grants are geographically and militarily diverse and include sites of significant Union and Confederate victories. They cover farmlands, wetlands, and woodlands and range from the mountainous northern and central Shenandoah Valley to the rolling hills of the Piedmont and to the flat coastal plain of south central Virginia.

“I can think of no more appropriate way to honor our brave ancestors who fought in the Civil War than to set aside the physical landscapes where that conflict was decided,” said Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech. “In addition to their educational benefits, these battlefields are also environmental resources consisting of open spaces, working farms and forests, and wetland that offer habitats for fish and wildlife,” said Domenech.

“Protecting battlefield lands goes towards Governor McDonnell’s commitment to conserving 400,000 new acres of open space and scenic rural lands in Virginia,” Domenech added.

In awarding the grants, the Department of Historic Resources based its evaluations in part on each battlefield’s significance as determined by the Congressionally-commissioned “Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields” originally issued in 1993 and subsequently updated, including a 2009 update on Virginia battlefields. Other factors considered by the department included the proximity of each parcel to other protected lands; the threat of loss due to encroaching development, and the potential for education, recreation, research, or heritage tourism, among other factors.

“The Sesquicentennial of the Civil War offers Virginia an opportunity to pass forward a great legacy, namely the conservation of open space, natural resources, and historic hallowed ground of national significance through the protection of battlefields,” said Kathleen S. Kilpatrick, director of the Department of Historic Resources.

“The Department of Historic Resources looks forward to securing that legacy through the support and leadership of Gov. McDonnell and the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, which is chaired by Speaker of the House William J. Howell,” Kilpatrick said.

“This year’s awards will allow us to secure places with the power to connect us and future generations to the lessons of a defining period of our history,” said Kilpatrick. “Time is running out. Each year, battlefield lands are lost forever.”

Civil War Battlefield Grant Awards 2012

Summaries of Battles and the Affiliation of Preserved Land Tracts

Appomattox Court House Battlefield, Appomattox County:
Preserved Property: Webb Tract (49 acres)
Sponsor: Civil War Trust

In this final engagement of the war, on April 8, 1865 Gen. Robert E. Lee bivouacked near the village of Appomattox Courthouse, while nearby Union troops converged. The last Confederate offensive on April 9 initially gained ground, but the arrival of Union infantry stopped the advance and Lee found himself surrounded on three sides. Lee’s formal surrender took place the following day.

Cedar Mountain Battlefield, Culpeper County:
Preserved Property: Broomfield Tract (4 acres) and Proctor Tract (6 acres)
Sponsor: Civil War Trust

During this battle on August 9, 1862, which resulted in a Confederate victory, Union Maj. Gen. John Pope’s forces tangled with Confederate Maj. Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson’s troops, gaining an early advantage. The Confederate army counterattacked, however, and drove the Union army north. As a result, fighting in Virginia shifted away from the Peninsula and into northern Virginia, giving Lee an early tactical advantage.

Chancellorsville Battlefield, Spotsylvania County:
Preserved Property: Charles Link Trust Tract (81.69)
Sponsor: Central Virginia Battlefields Trust

Chancellorsville was fought near the village of Spotsylvania Courthouse from April 30 to May 6, 1863, raging along present-day Route 3 and the farmland to either side. The battle, pitting Union Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s forces against Gen. Robert E. Lee’s, “is arguably the most important Civil War battlefield in Virginia,” according to historian John S. Salmon. “It is the site of Lee’s greatest victory and of [Gen. “Stonewall”] Jackson’s mortal wounding, and it had greater consequences for the Confederacy than any other battle fought on Virginia soil,” writes Salmon in The Official Virginia Civil War Battlefield Guide. The battle is notable for Lee’s counter-intuitive decision to divide his smaller army (of roughly 60,000) prior to attacking Hooker’s larger force (of more than 133,000). Lee’s daring plan and Hooker’s timid response led to a Confederate victory.

Cool Spring Battlefield, Clarke County:
Preserved Properties: Textron Financial (195 acres) and Holy Cross Abbey Tract (955 acres)
Sponsor: Civil War Trust

Fought July 17-18, 1864, this battle resulted in a Confederate victory. Union troops under Maj. Gen. Horatio Wright pursued Confederate troops under Lt. Gen. Jubal Early as they fled following an unsuccessful attempt to take Washington, DC. Union troops forded the Shenandoah River to engage the Confederate army, which held its ground until the Union army withdrew under cover of darkness. The battle delayed the Union army’s pursuit of Early’s forces for several days, allowing the Confederates to regroup in Winchester.

Kelly’s Ford Battlefield, Culpeper County:
Preserved Property: Triple S Tract (964 acres)
Sponsor: Civil War Trust

Kelly’s Ford, fought on March 17, 1863, was an inconclusive battle for both sides. Union cavalry under Brig. Gen. William Averell forded the Rappahannock River to attack Confederate cavalry under Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee. Lee’s forces counterattacked, but lost Maj. Gen. John “Gallant” Pelham to an exploding artillery shell. Union forces retreated across the river without either side obtaining clear victory. It was one of the largest cavalry battles of the war, and set the stage for the battle of Brandy Station and the Gettysburg Campaign.

Manassas II Battlefield, Loudoun County:
Preserved Property: Wotring Tract / Gen. Longstreet’s Line (2.99 acres)
Sponsor:  Civil War Trust

The Battle of Second Manassas, fought August 28-30, 1862, was a decisive victory in Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Northern Virginia Campaign against the Union’s Army of Virginia under the command of Maj. Gen. John Pope. The battle marked the height of Confederate power and opened the way for the first Confederate campaign in the North and involved forces under Confederate generals James Longstreet, “Stonewall” Jackson, A.P. Hill, Richard S. Ewell, and William B. Taliaferro, among others. During the battle, Pope’s forces mounted a sustained attack against Jackson’s men, who were entrenched along an unfinished rail line. Upon the arrival of reinforcements under Longstreet, the Confederate army launched the single largest mass attack of the Civil War (known as “Longstreet’s Line”), which crushed the Union army and sent it into retreat.

Peebles Farm Battlefield, Dinwiddie County:
Preserved Property: Dear Tract (19.3 acres)
Sponsor: Civil War Trust

The Battle of Peebles’ Farm, fought Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 1864, resulted from Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s attempt to extend his army’s left flank at Petersburg and cut the Confederate army’s last rail link into Petersburg from the west. Union forces overran Confederate positions on the southern Petersburg defensive line, resisted a counterattack by Confederate Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill, and captured Fort MacRae. While the battle allowed Grant to extend his lines significantly, Confederates were able to protect the vital South Side Railroad.

Port Republic Battlefield, Rockingham County:
Preserved Properties: Prillaman Farm (92 acres) and Heatwole Tract (424 acres)
Sponsor: Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation

Fought on June 9, 1862, during this battle forces under the command of Confederate Maj. Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson repulsed multiple Union attacks, ultimately forcing the Union army into retreat. It resulted in giving Jackson and the Confederate army undisputed control of the upper and middle Shenandoah Valley.

Celebrate Autumn in Clarke County with ArborFest

Celebrate autumn in the Arboretum at ArborFest, the State Arboretum of Virginia’s annual fall festival and plant sale, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Oct. 13 & 14, 2012. ArborFest features a select group of high-quality vendors offering small trees, fall perennials, and Virginia native plants, as well as a wide variety of other fall landscape plants and fine items for the home and garden.

Date: Saturday and Sunday, October 13 & 14
Time: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., rain or shine
Where: Blandy Experimental Farm
Cost: $10 per car
Public Contact: 540-837-1758 Ext. 0

ArborFest visitors can enjoy an Arboretum tour on foot or on a hay ride, and kids can make their own scarecrow and birdfeeder ($5 per child). Visitors can also check out live alpacas and new this year, Storytime in the Arboretum will feature a reading of “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss.

Shade Tree Farm will demonstrate their huge tree spade both Saturday and Sunday, relocating a large pine tree from a nursery area on the Arboretum grounds to a permanent spot along the property’s perimeter. Visitors can follow the action on a special hay ride as workers from Shade Tree Farm relocate the tree.

The Arboretum will accept plastic pots for recycling or exchange throughout the weekend, and Arboretum staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer gardening questions from plant selection to fall pruning.

Artwork by members of the Blandy Sketch Group will be on display and available for purchase throughout ArborFest, and a reception is planned Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m.

FiddleFest will kick off ArborFest weekend with a concert from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, in the Arboretum’s outdoor amphitheater. Linda Lay and Springfield Exit will perform bluegrass music, and Mr. B’s Bar-B-Q will provide dinner. Advance tickets are $20 for adults, and $5 for anyone under 12; after Oct. 5 the price rises to $25 for adults. FiddleFest is sponsored by Bank of Clarke County.

ArborFest is hosted by the Foundation of the State Arboretum, and is underwritten by Bartlett Tree Experts, with support from event sponsors Valley Health, Shade Tree Farm, Nancy Sanders Video Production, Sara Festivals, radio station Q102, and Nibblins. Most activities are FREE (although donations are appreciated). Admission to ArborFest is $10 per car, so bring the whole family and a friend or two and enjoy autumn in your State Arboretum of Virginia.

The State Arboretum of Virginia is part of historic Blandy Experimental Farm, a research field station for the University of Virginia. The Arboretum grounds are open dawn to dusk 365 days a year. Blandy Experimental Farm is on Route 50 in Clarke County, about 10 miles east of Winchester and 20 miles west of Middleburg. For more information call 540-837-1758, or visit online at

Local Flavor at Barns of Rose Hill




Local Flavor

Featuring folk singer Bill Johnston

At Barns of Rose Hill

Friday September 21st at 6:30 pm

Free Admission

Join us for an evening of fine acoustic music

Author-led Book Discussion – Vonn Perry’s “Desperate Destiny”




Join us for author-led discussion of Ms. Vonn Perry’s book “Desperate Destiny”

A gripping account of one woman’s harrowing odyssey of self-realization!

Where:  Josephine School Community Museum, 303 Josephine Street, Berryville, Virginia

“Desperate Destiny” is available at (a few copies will be available for purchase at the Museum as well)


Virginia Announce Governor’s Cyber Challenge

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell will host the first Governor’s Cyber Challenge this fall and is inviting Virginia high school students to participate in this initiative. This free competition will challenge students in skills related to the fast-growing industry of cyber security. The Governor invites Virginia’s students who have an interest in computers, information technology, and cyber security to compete in the upcoming free competition.

“There is a gap in our country right now between the skills of our high school and college graduates and the needs of employers in high growth fields like cyber security,” said Governor McDonnell. “Virginia has the highest concentration of high tech jobs of any place in the country. Inspiring Virginia students to pursue interests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is critical to their futures as well as the future of our nation. Events like this one will help to engage students and introduce them to the much-needed technology skills that so many careers of the 21st Century will require.”

The challenge is hosted by the U.S. Cyber Challenge, the SANS Institute, and George Mason University. The Challenge consists of 2 parts. The first part is a set of online quizzes and the top 40 scoring students will advance to the second part, which are in person finals held March 2, 2013 at George Mason University. Winners of the competition will receive scholarships in the amounts of $5,000 for first place, $3000 for second place, and $1,500 for third place.

More information can be found at

Berryville Police Report 9/9/2012 – 9/15/2012

 Date / Time 


Call Type 

9-9 00:49 

Rt 7/340 

Traffic Hazard 

9-9 08:55 

E Main/Jack Enders Blvd 

Dumping on roadway 

9-9 09:47 

Cobbler Dr 

Barking dog complaint 

9-9 10:13 

Blossom Dr 

Barking dog complaint 

9-9 22:00 

S Buckmarsh 

Public Service 

9-10 16:30 

Police Department 

Civil questions 

9-10 19:25 

W Main St 


9-10 21:53 

W Main St 

Road hazard 

9-10 21:57 

Hermitage BLvd 

Medical call 

9-10 22:15 

Hermitage Blvd 

Juvenile Offenses 

9-11 08:02 

Hermitage Blvd 

Welfare Check 

9-11 14:00 

Crow St 


9-11 18:03 

Hermitage Blvd 


9-11 19:38 

N Buckmarsh 

Animal Control 

9-11 23:21 

Walnut St 

Warrant service 

9-12 07:23 

E Main St 


9-12 17:11 

Mosby Blvd 

911 hang up 

9-12 23:24 

W Main St 


9-13 05:32 

E Main 


9-13 09:15 

S Buckmarsh 

Civil issue 

9-13 16:33 

N Buckmarsh 


9-13 23:54 

E Main St 


9-14 14:56 

First St 

Welfare Check 

9-14 19:08 

Ritter Pl 

Juvenile Offenses 

9-14 19:21 

Cobbler Dr 

Juvenile Offenses 

9-14 20:02 

Ritter Pl 


9-15 02:19 

Page St 

Barking dog complaint 

9-15 13:04 

Moore Dr 

Public Service 

9-15 14:56 

W Main St 


9-15 15:12 

Montgomery Ct 

Dog running at large 

9-15 18:58 

S Buckmarsh 

DUI arrest 

9-15 19:00 

Rice St 

Illegal burn 

9-15 22:27 

Rt 7 

Assist Sheriff’s Office 

9-15 23:59 

S Church St 

Suspicious Activity 

Local Church Focuses on Middle East Peace

The Middle East is in crisis mode.  Current unrest and national tensions appear to be escalating at an unprecedented pace.

For this reason, Apple Valley Baptist Church has partnered with Light to Israel Ministries to host a special one-day event, Sunday, September 23, 10 am at D.G. Cooley Elementary School.  The occasion will focus on God’s message of peace to all of the children of Abraham – Arab as well as Jew. 

During the special service, those attending will learn of the historical roots of their faith.  Church leaders hope that the educational focus will help the church to understand and replicate God’s love for the peoples of the Middle East.

During the one hour long service, ministry representatives will present “Christ in the Passover,” a 45-minute sermonic demonstration giving insight into what happened in the Upper Room as Jesus ate the Last Supper with His disciples. The speaker will explain the different items of the Passover service and give special emphasis to how they relate to the New Testament account of that last Passover Jesus ate with His disciples.

The event is open to the public and a nursery will be provided for children.  Additional information is available online at