THIS WEEKEND: Memorial Day Festival

SHENANDOAH — Dave Hinkle, town council member, is proud to coordinate the planning of the Memorial Day Festival and Parade. Now in its 19th year, the day-long series of events is a way to honor past and present veterans. "People do not honor veterans any more," Hinkle said. "We don't honor the veterans and we don't tell them how much we appreciate them, as a country." Hinkle sees Shenandoah as the opposite. "Shenandoah does honor its veterans," Hinkle said. "Shenandoah is a patriotic town." The annual event is highlighted by a memorial ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning at the VFW hall, led by Mayor Clinton Lucas. He honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving. This year, Lucas will be honoring 22-year-old Daniel Gray, a native of Stanley who died in February. The day culminates with a parade at 3 p.m. beginning at Maryland Avenue and ending on Third Street.  
Page News and Courier /  05-27-2016  


MASSANUTTEN — May 28, Valley Fest, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Massanutten Resort, dancing to live music, sampling food, shopping for unique and handmade crafts and quality wines and microbrews of the Shenandoah Valley and beyond.

United Way exec to retire next month

FRONT ROYAL — The executive director of the United Way of Front Royal-Warren County announced her retirement this week, according to a news release. Lee Smith-Osina has run the United Way of Front Royal-Warren County since 2007, and said in a letter to the board of directors that now is the correct time to move on in her professional career. Her retirement will become effective on June 30.
The Warren Sentinel /  05-26-2016  

Moose Lodge fire ruled accidental

SHENANDOAH — Last Monday's fire at the Shenandoah Moose Lodge 2176 was ruled an accident, after an investigation by the Page County Sheriff's office. "We don't presently have any involvement," said Major Philip Baker. "Our fire investigator investigated the scene. An accidental cause could not be eliminated. Besides him looking, there was no investigation." The fire occurred around 1:30 a.m., May 16. Crystal McAlister, who works as the lodge's bar manager, lived in an apartment above the Moose Lodge and woke up to her home filled with smoke. She made the initial 911 call. It took 24 firefighters around 90 minutes to put the blaze out. The building was insured, with an initial damage estimate of $500,000 to $750,000, according to Dustin Lucas, Shenandoah Fire Department Chief.
Page News and Courier /  05-26-2016  
More News

Chopra, management team discuss development plans

ELKTON — Pham Chopra spoke before a crowd of 89 people last week at Elkton Area Community Center about his plans for the area. Although he offered no new specifics at the meeting, which was hosted by the East Rockingham Business Council, Chopra introduced several members of his volunteer management team. Chopra, who purchased some 16 area properties last year for more than $4.7 million, gave some of his personal history and noted his plans for converting Conrad’s Store into Conrad’s Pioneer Museum, renovating the Elkton Theatre, opening a restaurant at the former Kite Mansion and an art gallery somewhere in town, and building a greenway from behind the Kite Mansion to the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.
The Valley Banner /  05-26-2016

School Board raises pay, premiums for employees

WOODSTOCK — On Wednesday, the Shenandoah County School Board approved a 2-percent salary increase for school employees, but decreased its share of employees’ health insurance costs as part of the final adjustments to the school division’s fiscal 2017 budget. Starting July 1, division employees will also receive a 1 percent cost of living adjustment as part of their salary increase, which is provided by more than $253,000 in state funds. Active employees on the division’s “employee-only” health plan will have to pay 3 percent of their insurance premiums. Subsequently, employees on the cheapest health plan would pay a $14.88 monthly premium. The division currently pays 100 percent of insurance costs.

School system finds finance director, loses principal

WOODSTOCK — The Shenandoah County school division has chosen a longtime Virginia school official as its newest finance director. Barbara Stombock will start her new position on June 20. She was the finance director of Page County Public Schools from 2001 to 2011 and has held the same position for Spotsylvania County Public Schools for the last five years. Assistant Superintendent Ebbie Linaburg said Stombock has experience working in a variety of financial situations. The school division is also looking for a new principal for Signal Knob Middle School in Strasburg. On May 12, the county School Board approved the resignation of Christopher Cook, effective June 30. He will start teaching physics at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington in the fall. Cook has worked in Shenandoah County schools for 19 years.

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Local Sports

BASEBALL: Stanley sandlot records accepted by National Baseball Hall of Fame

STANLEY — The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is plastered with memorabilia from legends like Ted Williams, Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. But now the names of 40 men from Stanley will join the elite fraternity. Their childhood memories of sandlot baseball in the Shenandoah Valley will forever be preserved. Earlier this month, Donnie Wilson — who was part of a group of friends that played sandlot baseball in Stanley in the mid 1950’s — received a letter from the National Baseball Hall of Fame. After a discussion amongst board members, a decision was made to preserve the record books from the 1955 and 1956 seasons. Jennings Painter — who meticulously recorded every stat, trade, and memory from those unforgettable summer days — recently found the old records tucked away in his attic. “I never really thought much of where the records would go,” Painter said. “I’ve always wanted to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.”

SOFTBALL: Big three wrap up collegiate careers

FRONT ROYAL — Three of the best softball players from the Northern Virginia area are wrapping up their collegiate careers this week. Former Warren County pitching star Nicole King, and former Skyline sluggers Sabrie Neeb and Taylor Henry excelled at their former high schools, each earning collegiate scholarships in the process four years ago. King (New Haven College D-2) and Taylor (Georgetown D-1) concluded their excellent collegiate careers last week and Neeb (Tennessee Tech D-1) is still playing in her conference tournament - trying to win it for the second consecutive year. The trio not only dominated at the high school level, but excelled at the collegiate level as well.

BASEBALL: VBL to establish Hall of Fame

HARRISONBURG — The Valley Baseball League, one of the oldest NCAA sanctioned wooden bat summer leagues, has announced its plan to establish a long overdue Hall of Fame. Established in 1897 with charter members Winchester, Woodstock, Front Royal and Edinburg, the league evolved from a Class D minor league to an NCAA-sanctioned league in 1961. The VBL has produced over 1,100 professional baseball players in their history, including a record 79 former players drafted in the 2008 Major League Baseball first-year player draft. In 2015, 30 VBL alumni were playing in the majors and 46 current players or alumni were drafted last season. League President Donald Lemish stated in an email that the league has 66 nominations for the selection committee to consider for the inaugural class. Lemish says the goal is to induct at least 10 this summer.

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