Local News

School Board approves student suspensions, staff changes

The Shenandoah County Public Schools Board  approved 365-day suspensions Thursday night for two students. If the students agree to drug testing and successfully complete education programs the terms of the suspension could be re-evaluated by Superintendent Mark Johnston. Members discussed ...

Maurertown man pleads guilty by Alford to child sex charges

WOODSTOCK -- Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp accepted a plea agreement Friday that called for a Maurertown man to enter an Alford plea of  guilty to two amended child sex offenses. Dennis Lee Branham, 69, entered the plea to two counts of taking indecent liberties with children after he sexually ...

Man charged with child abuse accused of breaking infant’s ribs

WOODSTOCK -- A Mount Jackson man facing several charges related to a child abuse incident is accused of breaking the 3-month-old victim’s ribs, the criminal complaint alleges. According to the complaint, Hirving Ayala, 23, was sleeping in the bed with his 3-month-old daughter on Tuesday ...

County to consider dog tether rules

FRONT ROYAL – Warren County could put dog owners on a short leash with proposed tethering rules under consideration. The Board of Supervisors plans to hold a public hearing Tuesday on a proposed ordinance that establishes regulations governing the use of tethers on dogs. Supervisors already ...

Authorities looking for regional jail inmate

Authorities say a Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail inmate in the work-release program walked away from his job Thursday. Jeffrey Aaron Staples, 34, left FDR Services at 26 Kelly Drive, Front Royal, at approximately 1:30 p.m., according to information from the Warren County ...

Another arrest in shooting of child

Another arrest has been made in the shooting of a 4-year-old girl by a 2-year-old boy. The Fauquier County Sheriff's Office charged Destinie Rochelle Beach, 21, of Stephens City, with abuse and neglect of children and possession and/ or transportation of a firearm by a non-violent ...

County grants tax break to church thrift store

WOODSTOCK – Shenandoah County took another piece of real estate off its tax rolls this week to help a local church provide services to the needy. The Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 on Tuesday to approve a request by the Catholic Diocese of Arlington to exempt its property at 207 N. Main St., ...

Man pleads guilty to child endangerment, DUI charges

WOODSTOCK -- A Front Royal man charged with child endangerment and DUI after driving an all-terrain vehicle while intoxicated with his two young children as passengers pleaded guilty to related charges on Wednesday as part of a plea agreement. James Robert Eury, 44, was arrested on Father’s ...

Mount Jackson man arrested on child abuse charges

A Mount Jackson man was arrested Wednesday on several charges related to a Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office investigation into a reported child abuse incident. Hirving Ayala, 23, is accused of injuring a 3-month-old girl in the 6000 block of Railroad Street in Mount Jackson, Sgt. Robert Poe ...

Luncheon speech delves into partnerships between companies, nonprofits

WINCHESTER — Look at the Jackie Robinson Foundation to see how corporations and nonprofits can work together. That was the message Della Britton, president and CEO of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, delivered in a speech at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley Business Forum Luncheon on ...

VDOT to orient public on new intersection

FRONT ROYAL – Motorists can expect traffic-pattern changes on U.S. 340-522 as work on the new South Fork Bridge enters the home stretch. The Virginia Department of Transportation said Thursday that changes should take place in October and November as crews complete construction of the ...

The Day of Caring: 1,000 volunteer time to help area nonprofits

WOODSTOCK -- United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley mobilized a record number of volunteers Wednesday for its 15th Annual Day of Caring. Kelly Bober, executive director of ChildSafe Center,  expressed her gratitude for the event. “Every year we ask the United Way for aid. With the help ...

Strasburg police chief criticizes mayor in search committee selection

STRASBURG — Mayor Rich Orndorff has announced the names of members of a search committee that is set to choose the next police chief, drawing criticism from Police Chief Tim Sutherly that the mayor is trying to place a family member in the position. During Tuesday’s Town Council meeting, ...

Stephens City man charged after 4-year-old shot by child

A Stephens City man was arrested Friday evening after an incident earlier in the day in Fauquier County in which a 4-year old girl survived being shot by a 2-year-old boy. Isaiah Marshall Davis, 26, and a woman stopped at a truck stop in the 9700 block of James Madison Highway in the Opal area ...

Stephens City asks for jury trial in lawsuit

Stephens City is asking for a jury trial in its long-standing lawsuit against the Frederick County Sanitation Authority. The motion was filed recently in Frederick County Circuit Court. "Taking this dispute to court was never our preferred path but the town felt it had little choice, given ...

Panel denies permit to raze Afton Inn

FRONT ROYAL – A town panel on Tuesday denied a developer’s request for a permit to demolish the former Afton Inn. But, despite the Board of Architectural Review’s unanimous decision to protect the 150-year-old building, members acknowledged that the Town Council could go the opposite way ...

Old Triplett School project moves forward

MOUNT JACKSON – The Town Council cleared the way for developers to build homes behind the old Triplett School Tuesday. The council voted 3-0 on Tuesday to approve an application to subdivide property at 6044 Main St. that would allow the construction of eight duplexes, or 16 units, on open ...

State releases official school accreditation results

The Virginia Department of Education released accreditation results for state schools on Wednesday. The results verified expectations that Ressie Jeffries Elementary School in Warren County and North Fork Middle School and W.W. Robinson Elementary School would have their accreditation denied ...

Bond denied, trial set in DUI maiming case

WOODSTOCK -- Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp on Wednesday denied a defense request for the reinstatement of bond in a case involving a Strasburg man accused of hitting a bicyclist with an SUV in November 2016. Ernest Linwood Tharpe III, 35, was allegedly driving under the influence on Nov. 9, ...