NVDaily Update

Rick Slusser, a rod buster from Williamsburg, stands along the north end of the U.S. 340-522 bridge under construction in Front Royal on Wednesday. Virginia Department of Transportation spokesman Ken Slack said Wednesday the project remains on schedule for completion in late 2017. Crews are expected to lay the last steel beams in the next couple of weeks, install a deck pan and start pouring concrete for the deck on the new section this summer, Slack said. VDOT will open the new bridge over the South Fork of the Shenandoah River to traffic in phases by the end of the year and crews will begin dismantling the old bridge and construct the rest of the new crossing. Rich Cooley/Daily


Note to readers: The purpose of this blog is to share the latest local and wire news of the day with you. I’ll be keeping an eye on our AP wires up to around 6 p.m. each day, and I’ve asked our reporters to send me the first few graphs of their stories as they are writing them for tomorrow’s paper. You’ll also find photographer Rich Cooley’s photos here as well as any interesting photos or videos I find on the Web. The updates will occur when news breaks. Visit this page at nvdaily.com, or at facebook at facebook.com/nvdaily.
— Linda O’Dell Ash, editor

Friday, May 29

Military school graduations

Massanutten Military Academy will graduate 24 cadets at 10 a.m. Saturday on the campus in Woodstock. Among them is Cadet Lt. Col. Jeffrey Brown, 18, of Nags Head, North Carolina, battalion commander and two-time Golden Boot Award winner in the school’s JROTC fall competition in Canada. Commencement speaker will be Hubert Horatio “Skip” Humphrey III, son of late Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

Front Royal seniors Tyler Vaughan and Jacob Dodson, both 18, will graduate from Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal at 10 a.m. Saturday among 59 seniors, two postgraduates and five Falcon Scholars. Vaughan is valedictorian and Dodson salutatorian.

Motorists are stranded along Interstate 45 along North Main in Houston, Texas, after storms flooded the area on Tuesday. Cody Duty/Houston Chronicle via AP


A story that ran in Wednesday’s paper mistakenly had the wrong date for ticket sales for upcoming Patsy Cline Classic featuring country music star Vince Gill as Friday at 7 a.m. Tickets went on sale Thursday morning.

Christian Schweiger, of of Bonnie Blue Concerts, noted via email that tickets have sold out for the event.

Thursday, May 28

Toss the caps in the air

Sherando High School is the first of several area public high school graduations.  It will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at the school’s Arrowhead Stadium.  We’ll have a preview of the ceremony in Friday’s paper.

A man walks next to the FIFA logo at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday morning. Swiss federal prosecutors say they have opened criminal proceedings related to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. (Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP)


Odd news of the day: Wife, husband say they hit back-to-back holes-in-one

GRAND LEDGE, Mich. (AP) — A wife and husband from Michigan say they both got a hole-in-one in consecutive shots at the same hole.

Tony and Janet Blundy tell the Lansing State Journal (http://on.lsj.com/1AzT4iA ) that their aces came while golfing Sunday at Ledge Meadows Golf Course in Grand Ledge. The couple says Tony hit a hole-in-one first at the 16th hole, and Janet then equaled his feat.

The newspaper says two golfers who didn’t know the Blundys verified the back-to-back holes-in-one.

Rescue personnel grab the the hand of a man stranded in rushing water at the northwest corner of Lamar Blvd. and 15th St. in Austin, Texas. Shoal Creek overflowed its banks and inundated the major traffic artery with rushing water. Several cars were stalled under and near the 15th St. bridge Monday. (Alberto Martinez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

According to contest prize insurer National Hole-in-One Association, the odds of two amateur golfers in a foursome getting an ace on the same hole in the same round are 26 million-to-1.

The Blundys say they typically golf at least 18 holes a week together.

Today’s weather

The National Weather Service forecasts rain this afternoon – 40 percent chance – with a high near 85 and low tonight around 63.


John Jones of Stephens City purchased a 20x The Money Scratcher ticket at a Strasburg store and won. He had a choice of a cool million over 30 years, or cash -- $537,393. Virginia Lottery photo


What we’re covering today

  • Noon, Shenandoah-Warren-Rappahannock Regional Jail Authority
  • 2 p.m., Shenandoah County District Court: Hearing on cigarette smuggling case
  • 5 p.m., Warren County School Board meeting

(More to come as reporters file their budgets)


Today’s meetings

This combination of undated photos provided by the Washington, D.C., police shows Daron Dylon Wint. Wint is a suspect in last Thursday's quadruple homicide of a wealthy Washington family and their housekeeper inside their multimillion-dollar home. (Metropolitan Police Department via AP)

• Town Council’s Personnel Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the old Woodstock School on West Court Street. The Finance Committee and the Planning Commission holds a joint meeting at the school at 6:30 p.m.

Warren County
• The Anti-Litter Council meets at 4 p.m. Thursday in the government center.

Frederick County
• The Conservation Easement Authority meets at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the government center.

Stephens City
• The Public Safety Committee meets at 5 p.m. Thursday in the town office.


Wednesday, May 27

Country star Vince Gill to perform at Patsy Cline Concert

The Winchester Educational Foundation announced that 20-time Grammy Award-winning country star Vince Gill will headline the 7th annual Patsy Cline Classic on Sept. 11.

In a news conference at the Patsy Cline Theater at Handley High School in Winchester this afternoon, Foundation Executive Director Russ Potts said, “Vince is a master showman and entertainer and a great human being.”

Past performers of the classic include Willie Nelson, Wynnona Judd and Kenny Rogers.

The show will be presented by Bonnie Blue Concerts, with tickets going on sale at 7 a.m. Friday at ticketfly.com.

Strasburg has a new town manager

Strasburg’s next town manager is a valley native with government experience under his belt.  Ryan Spitzer, assistant to the town manager of Vinton, east of Roanoke, takes the helm of Strasburg in July. Town Council recently decided to hire Spitzer and will take official action to appoint him to the position June 9. Spitzer is expected to begin employment with the town July 6.  Read more in Friday’s Northern Virginia Daily.

Hurricane Season 2015

A slower than average hurricane season is predicted this year. Here’s some info from today’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration news conference: six to 11 named storms, three to six of those will become hurricanes, and zero to two will be Category 3 or higher – up to 111 mph.


Death toll climbs to 19 from storms in Texas, Oklahoma

[Associated Press] The forecast was for 2 to 3 more inches of rain in the Houston area, a day after flooding triggered by nearly a foot of rain in a matter of hours swamped neighborhoods and highways and stranded hundreds of motorists.

Crews resumed the search for 11 people missing and presumed dead after the swollen Blanco River surged through the small tourist town of Wimberley, between San Antonio and Austin. Houston Mayor Annise Parker said two people whose boat capsized during a rescue effort were also missing.


Four plead guilty in U.S. soccer corruption probe

ZURICH (AP) — Four men have already pleaded guilty in the U.S. soccer corruption investigation involving bribes totaling more than $100 million. Chuck Blazer, for nearly two decades the most senior American official at FIFA, the world soccer body, was among those whose guilty pleas were unsealed Wednesday by U.S. authorities.

Nine  in Virginia die in traffic crashes over holiday weekend

RICHMOND  (AP) — Virginia State Police say nine people died in the state from traffic accidents over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

That’s one more death that occurred over the same weekend this past year.

This year’s fatalities occurred in the counties of Albemarle, Campbell, Franklin, Page, Prince George, Prince William, Rockingham and Roanoke. Police say one fatality in Prince William County involved a pedestrian and the crash in Campbell involved a motorcycle. A double fatality occurred in Page County. Alcohol was a factor in three of the crashes. At least four of the crash victims were not wearing seat belts.

During the 2015 weekend, troopers responded to and investigated 768 total traffic crashes statewide.


Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders launches his campaign for president

DECISION 2016: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders launched his bid to secure the Democratic presidential nomination for the…

Posted by FB Newswire on Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bad hair day

The humidity might be curling your hair today. Expect scattered showers and thunderstorms today, with some severe thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts today and tonight, according to the National Weather Service. It will be mostly cloudy today with a high near 84. Tonight’s low will be 65.

Tuesday, May 26

A musical tribute

Virginia C. “Ginna” Looney taught math for at Warren County High School for 22 years, but her legacy to area music and theater students is just as strong.

In tribute to Looney, who died last year after relocating to Tennessee in 1989, area teachers, students, alumni and professional musicians plan to raise the curtain on her life’s work to help it play on in the community she loved for many years to come.

The musical tribute “Curtains Up!” will begin at 7 p.m. Friday at Warren County Middle School, which housed the county high school while Looney taught there. The performance will spotlight a dedication of the school stage in Looney’s name, said middle school band director Pam Dyke.  Read more in Wednesday’s Northern Virginia Daily.


Guest columns

We’ve just posted two guest columns – check them out:

Laura de Medici-Bentley: From Pinterest perfect to fun and simple

Cody Fitchett: Next up: Culinary class for bakers


Hot, humid today

Turn on the air conditioner today – it’s going to be hot and humid.  The high will be around 84 and tonight’s low will be round 68.   The National Weather Service is forecasting showers and scattered thunderstorms through this weekend, with a 50 percent chance of precipitation after noon today.

Over the holiday weekend, deadly, devastating storms hit Oklahoma and Texas, where tornadoes and flooding have displaced thousands of people.    Today, rescue workers are searching for 12 people missing in Wimberly, Texas, after floodwaters knocked their vacation home off its foundation and carried it away, according to this Associated Press story.

Two die in collision with state police cruiser

Two people were killed on Monday after their vehicle collided with one driven by a Virginia state trooper near Luray in Page County.

Sgt. F. Les Tyler of the Virginia State Police stated in a news release that Trooper M.R. Leeds, 25, had his lights and sirens on while following a vehicle that was speeding.

“As the trooper proceeded east on Route 211 with emergency equipment activated, a 1965 Buick pulled out from Wallace Avenue to cross over Route 211. Despite his efforts, the trooper was unable to avoid the Buick and the two vehicles collided in the highway,” Taylor stated.

The driver of the Buick, Thomas R. Ramey and his wife, Barbara K. Ramey, both 64 of Luray,  died at the scene.  Leeds was treated for minor injuries at Page Memorial Hospital.

Today’s public meetings

 Shenandoah County
• The Board of Supervisors meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the government center, 600 N. Main St.

• Town Council’s Ordinance Committee meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the town office, 174 E. King St.

• Town Council’s Personnel Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the old Woodstock School on West Court Street. The Finance Committee and the Planning Commission holds a joint meeting at the school at 6:30 p.m.

Front Royal
• Town Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Warren County government center.

Frederick County
• The Sanitation Authority meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at 315 Tasker Road, Stephens City.
• The Electoral Board meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the county government center, 107 N. Kent St., Winchester.
• The county holds a public information and input meeting for the Kernstown Area Plan at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit, 125 Prosperity Drive, Winchester.

• The Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 7875 Church St.

Stephens City
• The Planning Commission meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the town office, 1033 Locust St.


Video of the Day


Posted by Brandon Burchett on Monday, May 25, 2015


Friday, May 22

He’s a winner!

John Jones of Stephens City is a lucky guy. He purchased a 20x The Money Virginia Lottery Scratcher ticket at a Strasburg store and won. He had a choice of a cool million over 30 years, or cash — $537,393. This is the second time he has won big. Visit nvdaily.com later today for details.


Suspect in killings of wealthy DC family arrested
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. marshals and police arrested a dangerous ex-convict and took his five companions into custody, safely ending a multistate manhunt in the slayings of a wealthy Washington family and their housekeeper. READ MORE



Editor’s note: Misspelled signs drive copy editors crazy.  Here’s an Associated Press story filed in today’s Odd News category:

Misspelled sign for VA Houston National Cemetery to be fixed

HOUSTON (AP) — A highway exit sign for the Veterans Affairs Houston National Cemetery has a misspelling and officials blame a contractor for the error.

KTRK-TV (http://abc13.co/1efAlPe ) reports a tarp was put over the sign after a station inquiry Tuesday.

The original version misspells cemetery, inserting an “a” to wrongly make it “cemetary.”

Officials with the Harris County Toll Road Authority on Tuesday blamed the misspelling on a contractor. Officials have ordered a correction to the big green highway sign.

The authority also issued an apology to members of the public and families of those buried at the cemetery.




Wanna watch a walrus frolick in the sea? Check out this cool Walrus Cam at Alaska’s Round Island (but don’t let your boss catch you!): Walrus Cam.



Thursday’s gloom is gone. The National Weather Service says the sun will show up today, but it will be a bit breezy, with wind gusts of up to 20 mph. The high will be 72, and low around 45.



Are you planning to join millions of other Americans on the highways this weekend? Travel organization AAA forecasts 34.8 million will travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend on the nation’s highways.  Local police will be out in force, watching for drunken drivers and those who don’t buckle their seat belts.



The Newtown Heritage Festival begins today in Stephens City with a free concert with Crosswinds at 6 p.m. and Souled Out at 8 p.m. They will be held at the Newtown Commons stage. View more local events on B7  in today’s newspaper.



The National Police of Colombia rescued a dog from the Liboriana River near Salgar, Colombia, this week. View the dramatic rescue online at http://tiny.cc/unmiyx



Send your story ideas to news@nvdaily.com


Editor’s note: The Daily Update includes news briefs and events taking place today as well as breaking news or other news of general interest.  Visit often!


Contact Editor Linda O’Dell Ash at lash@nvdaily.com or 540-465-5137.