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stories by Max Thornberry

Edinburg avoids loan, reduces tap fees through end of year

EDINBURG — Town Council members decided to try to forgo obtaining a loan to pay for the steep costs of providing water service to the town this year and moved forward on a variety of other business at Tuesday night’s meeting. Mayor Dan Harshman told council members the town was considering ...

Strasburg chamber misses filing, no longer tax-exempt

The Strasburg Chamber of Commerce lost its tax-exempt status in May for failing to file a tax return form for three consecutive years. As of Wednesday, its website does not reflect the change. Chambers of commerce are eligible to obtain 501(c)(6) tax-exempt status along with business leagues ...

Edinburg Town Council has full schedule

Following last month’s light schedule, Edinburg Town Council members have a full plate this evening. Last month, planning commissioners and council members discussed amending the town zoning code to remove the 600-square foot minimum for a dwelling unit. Mayor Dan Harshman said the language ...

It’s not winter yet, but freezing rain possible Thursday

Winter weather might be just down the road for the Shenandoah Valley as it prepares for a potential ice storm on Thursday. As temperatures continue to drop, drivers and employers are on the lookout for more than snow. Brian Lasorsa, a meteorologist in the Sterling office of the National ...

Farmers press Congress to act on farm bill

Now that election season has come and gone, some groups are urging lawmakers to get back to work and finish what they’ve started. Farmers, in particular, are concerned about the future of the farm bill, which Congress updates about every five years. The bill is packed with protections and ...

Despite wet weather, Virginia crops did OK this year

This past summer’s weather has mixed up forecasts for staple Virginia crops. The Virginia Department of Agricultural Consumer Services released its November Crop Production report on Friday that showed positive if unexpected trends in crop production. Soybean farmers had concerns about their ...

Nature Trails program breaks down agriculture for second-graders

STRASBURG – Strasburg High School has taken a $500 grant and bolstered its Nature Trails program for Sandy Hook Elementary School students. On Thursday morning about 130 elementary school students trotted down a nature trail behind the high school, stopping to learn about the water cycle, ...

Digging down deep: Students compete in state soils judging contest

STRASBURG – Dozens of high school and junior high students spent Election Day doing some digging, not through ballots, referendums or measures, but for a chance to get their hands dirty in a statewide soils judging competition. Tuesday's event was between junior high and high senior ...

Shenandoah County public transportation survey deadline extended

The deadline to complete a public transportation survey for the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce has been extended to Friday. Employers and individuals can take the survey online to let area leaders know how they feel about public transit opportunities such as buses between ...

Shenandoah Communications shares continue to rise

Shenandoah Communications reported third-quarter earnings of $15.5 million on Tuesday morning. Stock market values for the telecommunications company based in Edinburg have bounced back from a year-low of $30.25 per share. Stocks closed at $38.28 per share on Monday evening. In the last 52 ...

Unemployment rate falls while wages rise

Shenandoah County enjoyed a return to a below average unemployment rate as it dropped nearly 1 percent from 3.6 in August to 2.7  in September 2018. The Virginia Employment Commission released area numbers for unemployment on Tuesday afternoon. Virginia’s total unemployment rate was 2.8 ...

Cultivating a passion: Wine trail pulls back the curtain on farm winery

WOODSTOCK— The founder and owner of Muse Vineyards led a group of about 20 people on a new wine trail looping through his property Saturday afternoon, hoping to give them an appreciation for the hard work that goes into producing a bottle of wine from bud to glass. Robert Muse explained how ...

Virginia Tech students get hands-on experience at Burnshire Dam

WOODSTOCK – Civil engineering students from Virginia Tech visiting the Burnshire Dam recently found that  life in the field isn’t the same as life in the lab. Paolo Scardina is a civil engineer and professor at Virginia Tech. When Casey Harvey, a recent graduate and daughter of the ...

Bipartisan deregulation bill promises to help small businesses

A bipartisan effort to reduce the number of regulations for two state agencies is moving faster than expected. In February, Del. Michael Webert, R-Marshall, introduced House Bill 883 to start a three-year pilot program aimed at reducing by 25 percent the number of regulations for the ...

Tour Muse Vineyards’ new trail this weekend

WOODSTOCK – After winning the Virginia Governor’s Cup in 2015 and opening a tasting room the following year, Muse Vineyards in Woodstock, is adding another feature to its 60-acre estate this weekend. Robert Muse, the owner of Muse Vineyards, will lead guests on a guided tour of the ...

Tim Kaine stumps in Front Royal ahead of midterms

FRONT ROYAL — U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine campaigned in Front Royal on Wednesday evening, on behalf of himself and fellow Democrat Jennifer Lewis, the party's candidate in the 6th Congressional District. Kaine is running for reelection to the Senate against Corey Stewart. Much of Kaine’s stump ...

Shentel announces cash dividends go up

Shentel announced it will hand stockholders a cash dividend this year — as it has every year since 1960. The Shentel Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of 27 cents per share on Wednesday. Cash dividends are money paid to stockholders, usually out of the company's current earnings or ...

Two arrests made in attempted robbery, assault

Two men were arrested Friday evening on charges related to a robbery at the Front Royal skate park earlier in the month. Corey Smith, 19, of Stephens City, was charged with malicious wounding, robbery and brandishing a firearm. Connor Keane, 19, of Mount Jackson, was also charged with ...

Community turns out to beautify and dedicate new pavilion

Downtown Strasburg’s facelift received some finishing touches Monday evening as volunteers, public works and town employees got their hands dirty preparing to dedicate the Strasburg Square Market Pavilion. Michelle Bixler, economic development director for Strasburg, said the day ...