Stories by Melissa Topey

Woman hit, killed after stepping out onto I-81

A woman was killed on Interstate 81 in Shenandoah County early Saturday morning after being struck by a commercial vehicle. Tamika Sheree Smith, 27, of Georgia, died at the scene as a result of injuries she sustained after being struck by a 2010 Volvo tractor trailer at 1:21 a.m. Saturday, ...

Woodstock unveils proposed budget

Woodstock officials are proposing in their 2019 budget a meals tax increase that would fund two new full time police officers and a town fleet mechanic. Town manager Angela Clem unveiled the proposed $12.5 million budget Thursday night at a town work session, which includes a $7.5 million ...

RSW Regional Jail: This bed is for rent

The Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail in Warren County is bringing in extra revenue by renting out available bed space. Jail Superintendent Russ Gilkison said the jail took in about $121,000 of extra revenue by renting out jail space to two other local law enforcement agencies from ...

Town may make training mandatory for planning panel members

MIDDLETOWN – The town's Planning and Zoning Committee members may find themselves back in school. Town Council members at their Monday meeting discussed the possibility of training Planning and Zoning Committee members. Certification needs to be mandatory, even for the current committee ...

No residents appear for Stephens City budget hearing

The Stephens City Town Council heard  the town's proposed 2018-2019 budget of about $1.5 million at a public hearing Tuesday,  but no one from the public did. No residents were at the meeting to discuss the budget Town manager Mike Majher said tax rates will remain the same. “The fact ...

New Stephens City budget calls for tax rate to remain same

Stephens City administrators will be introducing the town's proposed 2018-2019 budget of about $1.5 million at its meeting today. The tax rate, town manager Mike Majher said, will remain the same. The budget amount is a decrease of about $135,000 from this year's budget of $1.63 ...

Staying at home presentation to discuss options for aging

WOODSTOCK – An upcoming talk might be able to help answer questions of whether someone who is aging can remain in his or her home. Understanding Home Care and Home Health will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Woodstock Moose Lodge. It is sponsored by The Woodstock Rotary and Woodstock ...

Portion of Reliance Road soon to be restricted

Commercial truck traffic will be permanently restricted from using a six-mile stretch of Reliance Road (Va 627) beginning Tuesday. The affected portion of Reliance Road extends from the Interstate 81 northbound ramps at the Middletown exit (exit 302) in Frederick County to the Winchester Road ...

Sheriff finds woman, child who were subject of search

First responders scoured the ponds and woods around the southern end of Fort Valley to the Taskers Gap area for hours Wednesday looking for a mother and her 6-year-old son. The two, from Burke, went with a group to the Fort Valley Ranch in the morning and while others went horseback riding, ...

Rail car tips in Strasburg

A rail car that tipped over on the grounds of Ag Mark in Strasburg at about 8 p.m. Tuesday forced the closure of Powhatan Road for several hours. Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office Capt. Wesley Dellinger confirmed the incident and said the contents of the car, a corn-based product, possibly ...

RSW inmates could soon have access to tablet computers

Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail Superintendent Russell Gilkison is working with a vendor for inmates to be soon assigned computer tablets while in the jail. Paytel Inc., the jail's provider for inmate phone service, would cover the cost of the program. “The computers are on a ...

No shows for Middletown meeting mean discussion only

MIDDLETOWN – With not enough members present to vote on anything, the town's Planning Commission meeting Monday night was discussion only. Planning Commission member Joan Roche began the meeting with a request. Roche said she had to read about the reduction in the number of members sitting ...

School division working toward accreditation

In the aftermath of two of its nine schools being denied accreditation for the 2017-2018 school year Shenandoah County Public Schools has created a game plan and is working on qualifying for accreditation. School divisions that did not have all of their schools accredited were required to enter ...

Vote on RSW jail budget postponed

The Rappahannock-Shenandoah Warren Regional Jail Authority postponed its vote Thursday on the proposed 2019 budget. Warren County Sheriff Daniel McEathron, a member of the Jail Authority, suggested holding off on the vote because some other members of the authority were not there. Chairman ...

Winter stalks start of spring

Despite the calendar, winter is not allowing spring to arrive. Snow hit the Shenandoah Valley region on Tuesday and is expected to keep falling through today, possibly into the afternoon. “The commute Wednesday morning will not be fun,” said Jason Elliott, a meteorologist at the ...

Crashes keep law enforcement busy

Law enforcement agencies were busy responding to crashes as drivers took to the roads, even one that involved a Virginia State Patrol trooper. No agency, however, reported any fatalities as of Wednesday afternoon. From midnight through 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Virginia State Police statewide ...

School Board-approved budget now moves to supervisors

WOODSTOCK – The Shenandoah County Public School Board has approved a $67.4 million 2018-2019 operating budget, despite General Assembly lawmakers failing to nail down the state's budget. The school division's budget is an increase of $4.1 million from this year's operating budget. State ...

Crash sends one to hospital

A crash on Interstate 81 at the Edinburg exit Friday morning sent one person to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. The crash occurred about 5 a.m. between a tractor-trailer rig and a box truck, said Corrine Geller, public relations manager for Virginia State Police. A driver of ...

Winchester Toys R Us employees learn of store’s closing

Toy store chain Toys R Us announced Wednesday it was closing all 735 of its U.S. stores, including the store located near Apple Blossom Mall in Winchester.  Employees at that store were notified Thursday, a store employee said. The closing timeline for the Winchester store as well as for ...