The Free Lance–Star is the principal daily newspaper distributed throughout Fredericksburg, Virginia, United States, with a circulation area including the city of Fredericksburg and all or parts of the counties of Spotsylvania, Stafford, King George, Caroline, Culpeper, Fauquier, Louisa, Orange, Prince William and Westmoreland.
The Free Lance was first published on January 27, 1885, when Col. John W. Woltz and William E. Bradley founded the paper as a twice-weekly publication to serve the news and advertising needs of the community. A one-year subscription that first year cost $1.50. In 1900, the Free Lance operation merged with its competitor, The Fredericksburg Daily Star. The two papers continued to be published separately until 1926 when, under the leadership of Josiah P. Rowe Jr. (a World War One fighter pilot with the 147th Aero Squadron November 1917 to November 1918), they were combined into The Free Lance–Star, a single newspaper published 6 days a week.
The paper has occupied three addresses in its history. The offices of The Free Lance, and later the Daily Star and The Free Lance–Star, were at 303 William St in Fredericksburg. In 1965 the newspaper moved to 616 Amelia Street where it remained until December 2016. Currently, the Free Lance-Star offices are located at 1340 Central Park Blvd. Ste 100. Charles and Josiah Rowe inherited the paper from their father in 1949, and in 1997, upon Charles' retirement, the family of Josiah P. Rowe III purchased total ownership of the business.
The Free Lance–Star was owned and operated by members of the Rowe family from 1926 until 2014, when The Free Lance–Star Publishing Co. filed for bankruptcy. The newspaper was purchased by Sandton Capital Partners on June 19, 2014, ending the Rowe family's involvement. BH Media acquired The Free Lance–Star in 2015.
|The Free Lance–Star|
|Founded||January 27, 1885|
|Headquarters||Fredericksburg, Virginia, United States|
WFLS (AM), the company's first radio station housed at the same location, went on the air in 1960. WFLS-FM was added to the company in 1961. Later on, in 1994, The Star Radio Group bought 99.3 WYSK: The Rock Alternative The company purchased WWUZ, a classic rock-formatted station out of Bowling Green in 2001. In 2009, WYSK became 99.3 The Vibe (WVBX), advertised as "Fredericksburg's #1 Hit Music Station. In September 2010, the company added a sports talk station, ESPN The Game, at AM 1350 and FM 96.5. In March 2012, WWUZ became 96.9 The Rock, advertised as "Your Classic Rock Station". BH Media did not acquire the radio stations.
In the mid-1990s the company maintained a web presence under FLStarWeb.com. Those efforts have since shifted to fredericksburg.com. In 1984, The Free Lance–Star was named by Time magazine as one of two top small daily newspapers in the country.
In March 2010, The Free Lance–Star began printing in their new production facility, Print Innovators. Print Innovators is a 92,000-square-foot (8,500 m2) facility, and a $45 million investment. Print Innovators is the only press in America that uses the Goss International Flexible Printing System. In mid-2008, the installation began for the new printing systems. Goss also provided the Ferag press gripper and storage components, plus the Magnapack packaging system with 34 packaging stations.
The 29-foot (8.8 m) high press, includes four printing towers, and two folders that are capable of being run as two separate processes. Each unit can produce 24 pages, making a total capacity of 96 full-color pages. John Jenkins, operations director at The Free Lance–Star and Print Innovators says, "The fundamental technologies are well proven, but the FPS platform presents breakthroughs in print quality, efficiency and versatility that will allow us to better serve our readers, advertisers and contract print partners well into the future."
Print Innovators is also environmentally conscious. The building is mostly lit by skylights, using sunlight in the day, and moonlight and low-energy fluorescent lights at night. Print Innovators uses post-consumer recycled paper fiber. From all of the newspapers that don't pass quality control are recycled and then used as roofing material. Print Innovators immediately planted native grass after construction ceased, to bring back the natural environment. In this natural environment live frogs, deer, rabbits, and turtles. Print Innovators has a bike rack outside for employees, and so far, one employee uses it daily.
The press is run mostly by computers, but is maintained by many workers. The computers serve many purposes, including how much ink to use in each column, how many newspapers to put in a bundle, how to place papers in storage according to when they will need to be used, and where to get stored papers when they need to be accessed.
The press is capable of full-color on every page, every day. In one hour, the press can produce up to 90,000 newspapers. Print Innovators can service customers of The Free Lance–Star in a 400-mile (640 km) radius, twice as fast as the previous press. Earlier production allows for earlier delivery times, and more services are available for production.
Print Innovators prints many local and out-of-area publications, not just a local paper. Some other newspapers that they print are the Washington Examiner, Alexandria Times, Southern Maryland Today, and many more.
Print Innovators created a new Web site in 2011 to direct users to their services. The site is at printinnovators.com.
The Free Lance–Star has been the title and secondary sponsor of several events in Fredericksburg, such as the Free Lance–Star Classic All-American Soap Box Derby (which for many years has been the biggest Soap Box race in the country), and The Great Train Race & Caboose Run, a youth mile run through downtown Fredericksburg. The newspaper is no longer affiliated with the derby. The newspaper does co-sponsor the regional spelling bee.
The race was run on William Street in downtown from 1951 to 1972. The AASBD was incapable of running after the loss of Chevrolet as the national sponsor. This left many towns and communities with no local race.
For many years, Fredericksburg, Virginia had gone without a local derby. In 1996, Ralph "Tuffy" Hicks, a city councilman, brought up the idea of bringing the race back to Fredericksburg. The City Council agreed to this idea, because they thought that it would be a great activity for the community to get together. The running of the derby would be the responsibility of the Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation Department. Many local businesses purchased cars and donated what was needed to get the race going. The first race was in 1997, 25 years since it had stopped.
The first title sponsor of the race in 1997 was Purvis Ford, a local Ford dealership. In the first year of the new race, there were 85 racers in two divisions, Stock and Super Stock. As of 1998, the race had increased by 40 racers, bringing the total drivers to 125.
In 2000, The Free Lance–Star became the title sponsor of the Fredericksburg Derby. By 2001, The Free Lance-Star Classic was the largest local race in the country. In 2004, the Masters Division was added to the race, so that there would be options for different age groups. This made for three champions sent to Akron, Ohio, where the Nationals are held.
The 1996 United States Senate election in Virginia was held on November 5, 1996. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator John Warner won re-election to a fourth term over Democratic challenger Mark Warner, who is of no relation.2011 Virginia earthquake
On August 23, 2011, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit the Piedmont region of the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, at 1:51:04 p.m. EDT. The epicenter, in Louisa County, was 38 mi (61 km) northwest of Richmond and 5 mi (8 km) south-southwest of the town of Mineral. It was an intraplate earthquake with a maximum perceived intensity of VII (Very strong) on the Mercalli intensity scale. Several aftershocks, ranging up to 4.5 Mw in magnitude, occurred after the main tremor.
The quake was felt across more than a dozen U.S. states and in several Canadian provinces, and was felt by more people than any other quake in U.S. history. No deaths and only minor injuries were reported. Minor and moderate damage to buildings was widespread and was estimated by one risk-modeling company at $200 million to $300 million, of which about $100 million was insured.The earthquake prompted research that revealed that the farthest landslide from the epicenter was 150 miles (240 km), by far the greatest landslide distance recorded from any other earthquake of similar magnitude. Previous studies of worldwide earthquakes indicated that landslides occurred no farther than 36 miles (58 km) from the epicenter of a magnitude 5.8 earthquake. The Virginia earthquake study suggested that the added information about East Coast earthquakes may prompt a revision of equations that predict ground shaking.Chloe Webb
Chloe Webb (born June 25, 1956) is an American actress, best known for her roles in films Sid and Nancy (1986), The Belly of an Architect (1987), Twins (1988), and Heart Condition (1990). She also was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her role as Laurette Barber in the ABC drama series China Beach, and had a recurring role as Monica Gallagher on the Showtime comedy-drama Shameless.Clayton Jones
Clayton Jones (born June 1, 1966) is an American editorial cartoonist based in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was the staff editorial cartoonist for The Free Lance-Star from 1998 to 2012. From 2000 to 2012 his work was syndicated to over 400 publications by Creators Syndicate Inc. Today Jones is self-syndicating his work nationally to over 50 newspapers and news websites from his website, claytoonz.com, where he also occasionally writes a blog. He drew cartoons for The Daily Dot in 2014-2015. He occasionally will create an exclusive cartoon for various publications.
Previously, his work was also a feature on the website liberalamerica.org, until he resigned over disagreements of their policy allowing article to be published under pseudonyms and other ethical concerns with the site's news coverage.
He briefly returned to The Free Lance-Star in 2014-2015 as a freelancer to contribute a weekly cartoon and a weekly caption contest for fredericksburg.com.
He has been providing a weekly cartoon to The Costa Rica Star since June, 2016.Dave Smalley
Dave Smalley is an American musician, best known as the lead singer for the hardcore punk bands DYS, Dag Nasty, and All and as lead singer/guitarist with Down by Law. He is known for his influence on pop punk music and his early contributions to the emo genre. He also founded a side project called The Sharpshooters, whose music is influenced by mod revival bands such as The Jam. Smalley has also produced and appeared on Canadian punk band Penelope's second album, Face au silence du monde, recorded by Don Zientara at Inner Ear Studio in Arlington, Virginia.
He received a bachelor's degree from Boston College and a masters in political science from California State University Los Angeles. He resides with his family in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he works as a features editor of the Weekender section of the town's newspaper, the Free Lance-Star. He previously worked as the youth editor for it!, a teen news supplement to the Free-Lance Star, and won several awards for that section.
In 2016, Smalley released a solo album, Punk Rock Days, featuring acoustic arrangements of Dag Nasty and Down by Law material, as well as new songs and Irish folk music. The album featured contributions by guitarists from Down by Law and Dag Nasty, as well as family members of Smalley. In 2018, he started fronting a new band called Don't Sleep and a tour with Shelter.Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women
Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women is a prison operated by the Virginia Department of Corrections. It is located in the town of Troy, about 55 miles (89 km) northwest of Richmond. The security level 3 facility housed 1,199 female inmates as of June 2008, including the women's death row for the Commonwealth of Virginia.Fredericksburg, Virginia
Fredericksburg is an independent city located in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,286, up from 19,279 at the 2000 census. The city population was estimated at 28,360 in 2017. The Bureau of Economic Analysis of the United States Department of Commerce combines the city of Fredericksburg with neighboring Spotsylvania County for statistical purposes.
Fredericksburg is located 53 miles (85 km) south of Washington, D.C. and 58 miles (94 km) north of Richmond. Fredericksburg is a part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area.
Located near where the Rappahannock River crosses the Atlantic Seaboard fall line, Fredericksburg was a prominent port in Virginia during the colonial era. During the Civil War, the town, located halfway between the capitals of the opposing forces, was the site of the Battle of Fredericksburg and Second Battle of Fredericksburg, preserved in part as the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. More than 10,000 African Americans in the region left slavery for freedom in 1862 alone, getting behind Union lines. Tourism is a major part of the economy, with approximately 1.5 million people visiting the Fredericksburg area annually, including the battlefield park, the downtown visitor center, events, museums, and historic sites.Fredericksburg is home to several major retail and commercial centers including Central Park (as of 2004, the second-largest mall on the East Coast) and Spotsylvania Towne Centre, located in Spotsylvania County adjacent to the city line. Major employers include the University of Mary Washington, Mary Washington Healthcare, and GEICO. Many Fredericksburg-area residents commute to work by car, bus, and rail to Washington and Richmond, as well as Fairfax, Prince William, and Arlington counties.Fredericksburg Dog Mart
The Fredericksburg Dog Mart is an annual dog show event currently held in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. The event first took place in 1698 to facilitate trading between the Manahoac Tribe of King William County, Virginia and settlers in and around the area that would become the city of Fredericksburg. At the Dog Mart, the Manahoac (and later, the Pamunkey and the Mattaponi) would trade furs and produce for prized English hunting dogs. Though it has not been held continuously since that year, it is the oldest event of its kind in the United States.Miss Virginia
The Miss Virginia competition is a scholarship pageant for women, with the titleholder representing Virginia in the Miss America pageant. The competition was founded in 1953 as a scholarship contest for young women, although women had represented Virginia in the Miss America pageant since the 1930s. Three Miss Virginia winners have gone on to be crowned Miss America, including former national titleholder Caressa Cameron.To compete in the Miss Virginia pageant, a contestant must first win one of many local competitions. Contestants may compete at the local and state level more than once, but having won a state title may only compete in the national Miss America competition one time. The state pageant was formerly held in Roanoke, Virginia at the Roanoke Civic Center in June or July, and moved to Liberty University in Lynchburg in June 2018 During her reign, Miss Virginia travels over 40,000 miles across the state making appearances to further her social impact initiative, visit schools, and for the Miss America Organization's national Children's Miracle Network campaign.Dorcas Campbell from Farfield was Miss Virginia of 1963 and won many singing contests was in the newspaper all the time and was a very talented opera singer. Kristi Lauren Glakas, Miss Virginia 2005, is one of only seven women who have competed in the Miss America, Miss Teen USA, and Miss USA competitions. She was Miss Virginia Teen USA 1999 and Miss Virginia USA 2004, placing in the top ten at Miss Teen USA 1999 and was a non-finalist at Miss USA 2004. Two other Miss Virginia titleholders later competed in the Miss USA pageant: Jennifer Pitts was Miss Virginia USA 2005 and Shannon DePuy was Miss Florida USA 1995.Camille Schrier native of Newtown, PA, a Virginia Tech honors graduate with dual degrees in Biochemistry and systems biology, who currently is a graduate student at VCU School of Pharmacy was crowned Miss Virginia 2019 on June 22, 2019 at Liberty University's Center for Music & Worship in Lynchburg, Virginia. She will compete for the title of Miss America 2020.Patawomeck
Patawomeck is a Native American tribe based in Stafford County, Virginia, along the Potomac River (Patawomeck is another spelling of Potomac). It is one of Virginia's 11 recognized Native American tribes. It is not federally recognized. It achieved state recognition in February 2010,
In the 17th century, at the time of early English colonization, the Patawomeck tribe was a "fringe" component of the Powhatan Confederacy. At times it was allied with others in the confederacy, and at others, the Patawomeck allied with the English colonists.
Today the tribe numbers approximately 2,300 members. Eighty percent live within ten miles (16 km) of their historic village of Patawomeck. They are undertaking to revive their historic Algonquian language.Penola, Virginia
Penola is an unincorporated community in Caroline County, in the U.S. state of Virginia.Special Delivery (TV series)
Special Delivery was an American anthology series on Nickelodeon, broadcast during weekend afternoons from 1980 until 1993, when the network's original programming output was deemed sufficient to discontinue the block. Special Delivery mainly carried a variety of productions for children purchased by Nickelodeon, including both live-action and animated programming. Much of this programming was made up of children-focused made-for-TV movies produced in Canada in the 1970s and 80s, short films originally made for the ABC Afterschool Special and CBS Schoolbreak Special anthology series, sports specials (often with the time purchased from Nickelodeon by the event's distributors), and some unsold television pilots adapted to an hour-long timeslot.Spotsylvania County Public Schools
Spotsylvania County Public Schools is a public school district serving Spotsylvania County, Virginia. It consists of 17 Elementary, 7 Middle, and 5 High Schools and has a total enrollment of over 24,000 students. The Spotsylvania County School division also has a Career and Technical Center and participates with other local school systems to offer the Commonwealth Governor's School. The district partners with area businesses to develop learning opportunities for the students. Spotsylvania County Public Schools works with the area Parks and Recreation Department to help maintain the area around the Schools (athletic facilities, etc.).Thero Wheeler
Thero Lavon Wheeler (1945–2009) was one of the founding members of the Symbionese Liberation Army.Virginia's 54th House of Delegates district
Virginia's 54th House of Delegates district elects one of 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates, the lower house of the state's bicameral legislature. District 54, in Spotsylvania County and Caroline County, Virginia, has been represented by Republican Bobby Orrock since 1990.Virginia Conference
The Virginia Conference was an intercollegiate athletic conference composed of member schools located in the state of Virginia. The league existed from 1928 to 1935.WHFV (Fredericksburg, Virginia)
WHFV, channel 69, was an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Fredericksburg, Virginia and owned by Television Fredericksburg, Inc. The station signed on in 1973, found itself heavily in debt and losing money, and was forced to fold in 1975.Widewater State Park
Widewater State Park is a state park in Virginia, located in Stafford County. Land for the park was purchased in 2006 from Dominion Resources, but the Great Recession prevented development of the property. Ground was finally broken for the new park in 2018 after money was appropriated by the Virginia General Assembly with a bond issue in that year. Current facilities include a visitor center and staff building along Aquia Creek and a soft boat launch and picnic shelter along the Potomac River. A formal opening date in fall 2018 has been set.The park is divided up into five parcels, separated by private property. It is located on a 1,100-acre peninsula situated between Aquia Creek and the Potomac River, and was the site of early flight experiments by Samuel P. Langley.