Former R-MA president Turner dies, remembered as financial savior, mentor

COL Trevor D. Turner, USA (Ret.)

Col. Trevor D. Turner was President of Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, VA from 1980 to 1997. Col. Turner arrived during a time of dire financial straits and presided over a period of dramatic turnaround, seeing the addition of an academic building, a girls dormitory and dining hall, a new middle school campus and a four-fold increase in enrollment, paving the way for a new focus on overall quality. Col. Turner died Wed. February 24. Courtesy photo/Cindy Rodney, R-MA Photography.

By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report

FRONT ROYAL, VA – Feb. 26, 2010 – Former Randolph-Macon Academy President Col. Trevor D. Turner died Wed. Feb. 24.

A retired Army chaplain, Turner came to R-MA in 1980 and served as president for 17 years, arriving during a time of extreme financial hardship for the school. During his tenure, the school saw the addition of a new girls dormitory, an academic building and a middle school. In 1995, only two months after the opening of the middle school campus, R-MA’s main administration and dormitory building was severely damaged by a fire that rendered it uninhabitable. Students were sent home and eventually housed at the local Super 8 Motel while reconstruction began on the building which retains the historic facade, dating back to the 1920s.

In an email to the R-MA community, current president Maj. Gen. Henry M. Hobgood described Turner as having served with distinction. “He will be missed by all,” he said.

Like most military-oriented schools, especially in Virginia, R-MA suffered a severe enrollment decline during the post-Vietnam 1970s.

R-MA Chief Financial Officer Joan Burke, who began working as the school’s mail clerk in 1977,  remembered Turner as a financial savior for the school.

“He took R-MA over during a time of financial crisis and brought it back to be a viable and successful institution. It was a true financial crisis for the school.  He was always very proud to have brought it back to a solid financial condition,” she said.

Burke described Turner as having laid the foundation for quality improvements that would follow.

“We were truly on the brink of ruin–very bad shape. He left a solid foundation for Gen. Hobgood to build on in terms of overall quality. That would not have been possible had Col. Turner not built up the financial aspects,” she said.

Front Royal attorney Joseph Silek, Jr., who joined R-MA’s board of trustees in the mid 1990s and is currently the board’s chairman, spoke in a similar vein. “Col. Turner led us out of some very bleak financial times and brought us to where we could focus on quality without the thought of financial ruin looming over our heads,” he said.

Burke also thinks of Turner as a professional and personal mentor.

“I learned a lot from him. He always believed in me as a person. He taught me a lot about managing a business and a lot about people. That’s what I remember most about him on a personal level. He always believed in me,” she said.

According to the academy’s web site, enrollment was 118 around the time Turner arrived and grew to an all-time high of 508 by 2002.

Col. Turner retired from R-MA in 1997.

The school says that funeral arrangements are not finalized but anticipates a service at Turner’s church in Fredericksburg, VA on Mar. 20 and internment at Arlington National Cemetery on Mar. 22.

Located in Front Royal, VA, Randolph-Macon Academy is a private co-educational boarding and day school with an Air Force JROTC  program for grades 9-12 and a civilian middle school housed on an adjacent campus. The school began with 42 students in 1892.

Dan McDermott is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Warren County Report and The Sherando Times. He worked at Randolph-Macon Academy from 1990 to 1999. He was hired by Col. Turner as an assistant officer in charge and became a teacher and then Director of Communications before leaving to start his own business.

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Published in: on February 26, 2010 at 11:48 am  Comments (1)  

Culpeper police seeking fugitives in robbery and abduction

From left are Devin Michael Copeland, 26, of Front Royal, Antrina Bright, 25, of Culpeper and Quintel Juwan Levenberry, 26, of Woodbridge.

Culpeper police have arrested a woman but are seeking two men, from Front Royal and Woodbridge, wanted in connection with the abduction and robbery of a Culpeper man Feb. 17.

Detectives are looking for Devin Michael Copeland, 26, of Front Royal and Quintel Juwan Levensburg, 26, of Woodbridge. Copeland is a black male 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighing 240 pounds. Levenberry stands 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds.

Arrest warrants charge both men with malicious wounding, wearing a mask, abduction, conspiracy to commit abduction, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, conspiracy to commit abduction and extortion and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Police charged Antrina Bright, 25, of the 600 block of Claire Paige Way, with felony conspiracy to commit robbery and accessory before the fact.

The alleged abduction happened about 11 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17. Police were notified by the 26-year-old male victim’s sister that two masked armed men, wearing gloves, had abducted him from Claire Paige Way and were demanding money for his safe return. The victim, calling from his cell phone, told his sister to get the money together and proceed to a location provided by his captors. The victim again called his sister while she was talking to the police.

The victim, his girlfriend and Bright lived together in an apartment on Claire Paige Way.

As police began to investigate, they focused on Bright, who claimed to have been tied up with duct tape by the masked men when they abducted the victim. As authorities questioned Bright, her story began to change, police said.

Sgt. Tim Chilton sent teletype messages to neighboring jurisdictions notifying them of the possible abduction and to be on the lookout for the victim and a suspect vehicle.

Shortly thereafter, the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office received a call of man bound in duct tape who had come to a house in Midland seeking help after being thrown from a car. The victim was transported to Fauquier Hospital where he was treated and released for abrasions and contusions to his face, arms and legs.

Police have identified Copeland and Levenberry as suspects. Both men knew the victim, police said.

Due to the nature of the case, Culpeper County Commonwealth’s Attorney Gary Close already has assigned an attorney to prosecute the case.

“Because of suspected gang ties, I will be assigning David Barredo, who handles gang-related cases,” said Close.

Bright is being held in the Culpeper County Jail. She is scheduled for preliminary hearing at 9:30 a.m., Monday, April 12.

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Copeland and Levenberry may contact Detective Sgt. Andrew Terrill at 540-829-5521or anonymously call Culpeper Crime Solvers at 540-727-0300.

From a release.

Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 2:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dog poisoning case closed

On January 21, 2010 the Warren County Sheriff’s Office was called to the residence of Deputy Brad Pugh after he found his retired Sheriff’s Office canine, Logan, staggering and obviously in poor health. Deputy Pugh immediately transported Logan to the Valley Veterinary and Referral Center in Winchester VA for emergency treatment. A test conducted at the veterinary clinic indicated Logan tested positive for Ethylene Glycol (Anti-freeze) poisoning. Deputy Brad Pugh contacted the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and deputies and investigators responded to the scene to investigate the poisoning of Logan. Warren County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officers took possession of three other canines housed in the same kennel: Zeus (personal pet), Miso, (retired Warren County Sheriff’s Office canine), and Ammo, (a current Warren County Sheriff’s Office canine). The dogs were immediately transported to the Valley Veterinary Emergency and Referral Center in Winchester VA to be tested for Ethylene Glycol poisoning. Miso tested “a strong positive”, Zeus tested “a weak positive”, and Ammo tested negative for Ethylene Glycol poisoning. All three dogs were treated for possible Ethylene Glycol poisoning and Logan was euthanized due to his poor medical condition and poor prognosis.

Evidence collected from the kennel by Investigator Chris Williams and Deputy James “Junior” Darr was sent to the Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services in Richmond VA for analysis. Logan was transported to the Warrenton Regional Animal Health Lab, Division of Animal and Food Industry Services, where a Necropsy (animal autopsy) was performed.

All laboratory tests have been completed and the investigation reveals that none of the dogs were poisoned by Ethylene Glycol or any other toxin. The Necropsy revealed that Logan was suffering from chronic kidney disease and liver disease. All of the evidence collected from the kennel was analyzed and the tests came back negative for Ethylene Glycol poisoning or any other toxin.

On behalf of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Daniel McEathron would like to thank the community, media, as well as other local law enforcement agencies, for your support during this investigation.

From a release.

Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 2:36 pm  Comments (1)  

The Sherando Times: February 24 – March 2, 2010

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The Late February edition of Warren County Report

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The Sherando Times: February 17-23, 2010

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The Sherando Times: February 10-16, 2010

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Brrrr: The Mid February edition of Warren County Report

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The Sherando Times: February 3-9, 2010

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Published in: on February 5, 2010 at 11:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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