Local News

Steel’s arrival heralds start of VFW’s recovery

FRONT ROYAL — Jeff Cook, the commander of the Front Royal Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1860, was standing out in the cold at the site of the former post building Friday morning. There were other people watching with him — Front Royal Mayor Hollis Tharpe, Warren County Board of Supervisors ...

Bill Ortts remembered as a leader, respected man who loved community

Bill Ortts was a successful businessman who loved his family and his community. Ortts, who died Thursday,  founded Ortts Electric, now operated by his son Charlie, in 1967. Bill Ortts was on the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors for 12 years as well as joining the Shenandoah County Fair ...

Regional philanthropists celebrated at awards luncheon

WINCHESTER – More than 20 outstanding volunteers from tri-state non-profits were recognized Friday at the Association of Fundraising Professionals National Philanthropy Day luncheon. Non-profits including Hospice of the Panhandle, Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum, Handley Regional Library, ...

GoFundMe raises $27,000 for grieving family of Aimee Shemwell

Aimee Shemwell, 29, of Linden, died in a vehicle collision in Front Royal on Monday. Her husband, Spencer, and their four children survived, although she was pregnant at the time and the baby could not be saved. A fellow member of their church, Woodstock author Jason Wright, did what he could ...

Entrepreneur shares start up-to-sale story with SU students

WINCHESTER – Geoff Johnson, founder of the tablet-based food and beverage ordering company Parametric, later acquired by Bypass, was the final entrepreneur to share his experience with students at the Harry F. Byrd Jr. School of Business at Shenandoah University Thursday. Johnson offered not ...

Preliminary hearing set in child’s death

FRONT ROYAL -- A December preliminary hearing has been set for the local man and woman charged in the death of a 22-month-old boy. Chad Andrew Ritchie, 28, is accused of fatally assaulting the victim on Nov. 8 while the child’s mother, Tabitha Rose Zimmerman, 28, was away from their Blue ...

TruckVault to bring 60 new jobs to Mount Jackson

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday that TruckVault, Inc., is investing $1.5 million to open a manufacturing operation in Mount Jackson that will 60 jobs at full capacity. “From the town's perspective, we welcome them with open arms, and are certainly glad to have them here in Mount ...

Strasburg fire chief responds to accusations of rape by department members

STRASBURG -- Town Fire Chief Dale King on Thursday responded to accusations that several members of his department were involved in rape or other sex offenses detailed in recently-unsealed court documents. The affidavits for search warrants were unsealed in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on ...

Bailey seeks change in regional jail spending

FRONT ROYAL – An outgoing Shenandoah County supervisor took a last stab Thursday at trying to change the way the regional jail spends local money. The Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail Authority Board of Directors held its final regular meeting this year. Shenandoah County ...

Winchester man dies after being struck by car

Michael Lawrence Gaylord, 67, of Winchester, was struck by a vehicle around 5 a.m. Thursday and died at the scene as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Virginia State Police Sgt. F. "Les" Tyler, said Gaylord pulled his 2007 Toyota Camry to the side of the road facing northbound in ...

Valley Health holds ribbon cutting for new surgery center

WINCHESTER — Valley Health held a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday for its Valley Health Surgery Center at Botanical Boulevard. In opening remarks, president and CEO Mark Merrill described the new building as the result of a great amount of work put in by physicians and Valley Health ...

Graduation day: A drug court milestone

WINCHESTER — There was a celebratory tone inside the Northwestern Regional Adult Drug Court Wednesday, as the court held its first commencement celebration for three participants. As the commencement event began, judges R. Neil Bryant and Alex Iden praised the participants for the work ...

Supervisor-elect Morris doubles down on campaign promises

MIDDLETOWN – At his first public event since regaining his seat on the Board of Supervisors, Dennis Morris echoed his campaign promises and continued to push for economic development in Shenandoah County. “We've got to look at ways to diversify the tax base and not put all the marbles on ...

Comstock seeks to target sexual harassment on Hill

Capitol Hill and Congress remain plagued by sexual harassers, two members of Congress told colleagues during a committee hearing in the House of Representatives  this week. U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-McLean, spoke to the Administration Committee at a hearing Tuesday on the House’s ...

GOP tax plan nixes program for historic rehab

Some congressional Republicans want to end a program once used to turn the old Toms Brook School into apartments for low-income residents. The Republican tax plan would eliminate the Federal Historic Tax Credit – an incentive used in communities across Virginia to attract new businesses, ...

Strasburg approves first-floor apartments downtown

STRASBURG — The Town Council decided Tuesday to allow first-floor apartments in downtown Strasburg. In a 4-3 vote, council members decided that allowing business owners to apply to the town for ground-floor apartments would give businesses an incentive to move to downtown Strasburg. Council ...

Fashion designer stresses culture, conscience to SU students

WINCHESTER – Autumn Adeigbo, fashion designer and founder of MAKOKO, Inc., spoke Wednesday to students of the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business at Shenandoah University about the harsh realities of launching a business. The tagline for Adeigbo’s collection is “Culture. Color. ...

Edinburg woman enters Alford plea in drug case

WOODSTOCK -- An Edinburg woman entered an Alford guilty plea Wednesday to drug and child endangerment charges stemming from a February 2016 methamphetamine bust at her home. An Alford plea allows Becky Ann Pirkheim, 36, to maintain her innocence while acknowledging that it is in her best ...

VDOT preps for winter weather

STEPHENS CITY – State transportation officials say the Department of Transportation district covering the mid and northern Shenandoah Valley district stands ready to tackle any winter weather that hits the region this season. The district fared better this past winter than it did a year ...