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Stories by Melissa Topey

Woodstock Police Department attains state accreditation

The Woodstock Police Department is now an accredited agency by a unanimous vote earlier this week of a state commission made up six police chiefs and six sheriffs from Virginia. The department received the accreditation on its first attempt and with no corrective findings against it, a rarity ...

A path to fitness: Sandy Hook students work off energy on new track

STRASBURG – Students at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Tuesday morning could not wait to take a break from class to try out the school's new outdoor track. Third-grader Kolbie St. Amand said she has run on the track every day since it opened on Friday. “Me and Nana walk the track,” ...

More than a thousand students to graduate from LFCC on Saturday

Lord Fairfax Community College will see more than 1,100 students graduate at its 47th commencement exercise on Saturday. One of those students is Emily Hammersley, who along with her brother, is a first-generation college student. “I am so excited. My whole family is excited,” Hammersley ...

Front Royal business gives four cars away

A Front Royal business was able to help improve transportation for four area families. The Auto Care Clinic in Front Royal announced in January that it was hosting a car giveaway contest to someone in need and that it was seeking nominations. It turned out that four cars were given away. One ...

Maurertown resident arrested on sex crime charges

Winchester police arrested a Maurertown resident Tuesday evening on a warrant for charges of sexual assault. Gary Allen Ladd, 42, of the 6000 block of Zepp Road, was arrested after being located in Winchester. The Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office obtained the warrant to arrest Ladd on April ...

Ashby Lee teacher named division’s Teacher of the Year

QUICKSBURG – On Monday morning, Kathryn "Katie" Tusing, a second grade teacher at Ashby Lee Elementary School,  walked among students who sat on the classroom floor in pairs as they filled in a math worksheet, looking for similarities and differences in sequences of numbers that are written ...

Middletown mayor predicts no tax increase

MIDDLETOWN - Middletown administrators are working to complete the town budget. “It is pretty much on schedule to be approved at the June meeting,” Town Manager Rebecca Layman told council members in attendance at the Monday night work session. Middletown on average works with a budget of ...

Bloomers Luncheon proves all you need is friends

WINCHESTER – Close to 1,100 women dressed in beautiful dresses and wearing fabulous hats came out Friday afternoon to enjoy the company of friends, drink cocktails and dance -- a lot. Dawn Lindhurst began tailgating before the Bloomers Luncheon by drinking mimosas at 9 a.m. in the parking ...

Triplett Tech students advance to national competition

Triplett Tech will see three students move on to national competition after they took first places awards in the 54th Annual Virginia SkillsUSA Conference in Virginia Beach on April 21. "We are so proud to have these top-notch students who have demonstrated the highest skill level to compete ...

No show for public hearing on budget

WOODSTOCK - The Town of Woodstock continues to work on its budget. Residents did not come out for a public hearing on the budget held Tuesday night before the Town Council meeting. Administrators increased the general fund budget about $500,000 to about $8 million from the initial $7.5 ...

Woodstock mayor, 3 council members keep seats

Incumbents in two Shenandoah County towns were swept back into office after voters headed to the polls Tuesday. Woodstock's mayor and three council members all ran unopposed while seeking third terms. Mayor Jeremy McCleary, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, won with 156, or 96 percent ...

Voters in Shenandoah County towns head to polls on Tuesday

Shenandoah County residents in several communities can have their voices heard at the polling stations in Tuesday's election. Lisa McDonald, director of Elections and General Registrar for Shenandoah County, urged everyone to vote and make their vote count. "The elections are determined by ...

Four incumbents running unopposed for third terms in Woodstock

Woodstock's mayor and three council members are all running unopposed while seeking third terms. The is election Tuesday. Mayor Jeremy McCleary, an attorney, and his wife run a law office together. He was first elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. “I have really enjoyed serving the Town ...

Former Mount Jackson resident charged with sex crime

Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office investigators on Tuesday arrested a former Mount Jackson resident on sex-related charges. Richard James Provenzano, 60, was charged with three counts of sexual assault/ forcible sodomy of a victim under the age of 13. He was also charged with contributing to ...

Joining the workforce: Triplett Tech students meet recruiters at job fair

MOUNT JACKSON - Triplett Tech opened a path for its students to join the workforce when it hosted its second ever job fair Tuesday. One business at the event was M.C. Dean Building Intelligence, a worldwide company based in Tysons Corner. William Lilley, a recruiter for M.C. Dean, was with ...

Opening day for new sports field in Middletown Saturday

MIDDLETOWN – Middletown is ready to play ball. Thermo Fisher Scientific Field is scheduled to be unveiled at 10:30 a.m. Saturday with an inaugural game between Legacy Christian Academy and the Blue Ridge Christian Academy. The facility is the field of dreams for two men. Shawn Hibbard is ...

Stonewall Jackson FFA team going to national competition

The FFA meats judging team from Stonewall Jackson High School has advanced to the National FFA meats competition. The team made up of Faith Dellinger, Mindi Freed and Lindsay Zirkle with coach and FFA teacher Tarinda Showman placed first in the Block & Bridle State Meats Judging Career ...

Gas spill leads to a moment with ‘Walking Dead’ actor

MIDDLETOWN – Drama followed a television actor into town on Friday, but no one walked away dead. Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon on AMC's "The Walking Dead",  stopped in Middletown on Friday afternoon at the 7-Eleven at Main Street and Reliance Road to get gas and snacks. He stayed a ...

School division looking at ways to cut $675,000 from proposed budget

WOODSTOCK - Shenandoah County Public Schools is attempting to find ways to cut $675,601 from its budget. The budget reduction is necessary following last week's Board of Supervisors meeting in which board members chose not to fully fund the division's. The supervisors budgeted $27.77 million ...

Central students join national walkout

WOODSTOCK - On the 19th anniversary of a mass school shooting in Colorado, and about 90 minutes after a new attack in Florida, students at Central High School walked out of classes Friday to protest gun laws they believe are too weak, part of a nationwide event involving more than 2,500 ...