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Stories by Melissa Topey

Woodstock officials see preliminary design for Route 42 improvements

Woodstock administrators and committee members on Monday night got their first peek at preliminary planning done by the Virginia Department of Transportation on the town's Route 42 corridor. Town officials, along with the Virginia Department of Transportation, in March hosted a public meeting ...

Seven Bends State Park improvements set to begin

WOODSTOCK – Seven Bends State Park in Woodstock is expected to begin the first phase of improvements in a couple of weeks. The state has been working on developing a master plan since 2015 and obtaining funding for improvements to the park. The first phase has been budgeted at $2.2 million ...

Protesters fight back against Trump administration policies

WOODSTOCK – Migrant families and border policy seemed to still be weighing on the minds of protesters who gathered at noon Saturday at the intersections of Main and Court streets. “It's heartbreaking,” said Lloyd Spinner, of Woodstock, as he talked to protesters Kay Pierce and Ron ...

ICE was looking for space

Immigration and Customs Enforcement was looking for housing for immigrant detainees in Virginia. The agency  sent out an email about 10 days ago to the Virginia Sheriff's Association asking members to help with providing 65 short-term bed spaces for immigrants, according to area officials. ...

Area professor named regional coordinator of honors society

  Jenni VanCuren, an assistant English professor at Lord Fairfax Community College, has been named the Virginia/West Virginia regional coordinator for Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society for two-year colleges. She had previously been the associate regional ...

Redskin players will appear as Middletown parade grand marshals

MIDDLETOWN – Middletown officials announced Friday that a Washington Redskins player and former team member will appear as co-grand marshals for the Fourth of July parade. “This is a special year,” said a smiling Mayor Charles Harbaugh, who worked along with six other committee members ...

Hazardous materials incident occurs at Toray Plastics

Emergency responders rushed to Toray Plastics in Front Royal Wednesday afternoon for a hazardous material incident. Warren County Fire and Rescue Units were called to Toray at 1:07 p.m., according to a statement from the department. Fire and rescue personnel, along with Toray safety employees ...

I-81 funding option could be challenged

A possible funding option for the Interstate 81 improvement plan – tolls on commercial-only trucks – could face a legal challenge. P. Dale Bennett, president and CEO of Virginia Trucking Association, is among those who object to the commercial trucks-only toll proposal. "We agree that ...

Rally planned in Woodstock on Saturday

Shenandoah Indivisible, Shenandoah County Democrats and the Democratic Caucus will gather from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday in Woodstock for a rally to protest the treatment of undocumented migrant families. “Stripping children from their parents and effectively jailing them is unconscionable and ...

A new gymnasium for Sandy Hook Elementary

Sandy Hook Elementary School is getting its new auxiliary gym. “I was super excited but I did not believe it," Principal Robin Shrum said. "We have been asking for it for 12 years. I said I would not believe it until they broke ground. Crews came last week and took out the playground ...

Korean War veteran meets daughter for first time

On his 82nd birthday in May, Korean War veteran Wieland Charles Johnson woke from a nap to a surprise visitor. On that day, he met his 59-year-old daughter for the first time. Johnson served in a non-combat support role in the Air Force on Okinawa Island from 1956 to 1958. While there, like ...

School division sees boost to budget

Additional school funding in Virginia's  budget could allow Shenandoah County Public Schools to hire more staff. That was the message Shenandoah County School Board members heard at Thursday night's meeting. When the state budget was adopted May 30, the schools found that projected state ...

Big Brothers Big Sisters hopes to expand into Shenandoah County

Shenandoah County hopes to be a participant in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in the fall. The pilot program would be administered by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Harrisonburg-Rockingham County. It seeks to match up to 25 children with volunteer mentors who live or work in Shenandoah ...

‘Something has to be done’: Crowd tells VDOT what’s wrong with I-81

STRASBURG – Kermit Orndorff Jr., 64, was one of about 100 people attending Tuesday night's Virginia Department of Transportation's Interstate 81 corridor improvement plan public meeting held at Strasburg High School. Orndorff has a home on Junction Road in Strasburg, and he is concerned ...

Deputies ask for help solving robbery

Warren County Sheriff's Office investigators are asking for the public's help in solving a recent break-in at a local business. A burglar alarm was activated about 5:13 a.m. on Saturday at the Tobacco Plus store at 90 Riverton Commons Drive, said Lt. Phillip Henry. Responding deputies found ...

Rains have delayed farmers, affected some crops

Recent rains have had an impact on some area farmers. Jerod Stephens, owner of Stephens Custom Farming in Woodstock, farms fields in nine counties including Shenandoah, Frederick and Warren counties. He plants mostly feed corn and soybean crops. “There has been extremely wet conditions in ...

Middletown names Citizen of the Year

MIDDLETOWN – Gary Fletcher has been named by town officials as Middletown's Citizen of the Year. “He has done a lot for Middletown,” said Rebecca Layman, town manager. “He is a fabulous guy, always willing to help out.” Fletcher, who is a Korean War veteran, played a key role in the ...

Woodstock police arrest three after reported shoplifting incident

Woodstock police arrested three individuals after they were found with a stolen car at a gas station hours after they are alleged to have shoplifted from that town's Walmart. At about 2 p.m. Sunday, Walmart employees reported three individuals in the store had shoplifted $750 in camping ...

Middletown looking at water options

Middletown is looking at all options when it comes to its water service. In a recent work session, the Middletown Public Works Committee disclosed that it had met in May with the Town of Stephens City Public Works Committee to explore new options for utilities, such as water. They are looking ...

Public hearing Tuesday on I-81 study

Government agencies working on developing a plan to study the entire length of I-81 are seeking input from the public. Feedback provided by members of the community, industry, and others will be considered as agencies study the corridor. Concerned citizens are invited to attend the first of a ...