East Rock, Spotswood named among state’s top schools

HARRISONBURG — Three Valley schools have been named among the state’s best alongside almost 390 of their peers. East Rockingham, Spotswood and Central high schools received the 2017 Virginia Board of Education Distinguished Achievement Award. Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the award’s 246 winning schools and school divisions on Aug. 8. The distinction is one of three honors that are part of the Virginia Index of Performance program. The Virginia Department of Education chose the winners according to their Standards of Learning exam pass rates during the 201516 school year. The VDOE also considered graduation rates for that year.  
The Valley Banner /  08-16-2017  

Pig Scramble under spotlight

WOODSTOCK — A long-standing tradition of the Shenandoah County Fair is the subject of two separate petitions two weeks ahead of the fair’s opening. Strasburg resident Lee Snarr launched a petition on the website Care2 on July 26 calling for the elimination of the Virginia’s Largest Greased Pig Contest. The event, a scramble held at the fair for more than 30 years, involves 300 to 400 children chasing and catching 100 pigs around the fair’s grandstand, according to Tom Eshelman, the fair’s general manager. The petition had received 48,625 signatures worldwide as of Wednesday afternoon, with 916 of them from supporters in Virginia. The petition has a goal of 50,000 signatures. The fair runs from Aug. 25 to Sept. 2 at the county fairgrounds in Woodstock. The Greased Pig Contest is scheduled for opening night at 7 p.m. with free admission.

New Market manager to retire Sept. 15

NEW MARKET — New Market’s town manager is retiring after 28 years of service – but he doesn’t plan on spending his golden years being idle. On Aug. 1, Mike Ritchie announced his resignation to Mayor Doug Bradley and Town Council. The announcement is effective Sept. 30, but he plans to use vacation time before he leaves, making his last day Sept. 15, he said. Ritchie, 55, grew up in Rockingham County and attended Broadway High School. He started working for New Market as an equipment operator at the old wastewater treatment plant in 1989. He was promoted to wastewater superintendent, then became the town’s public works director in 2007. He was named town manager in July 2014.

Council approves Triplett rezoning

MOUNT JACKSON – Town Council voted to clear the first hurdle in turning part of the old Triplett School property into a duplex neighborhood during its regular meeting on Tuesday. Council granted a request from Todd Holtzman and Dexter Mumaw to rezone 4.2 acres at 6044 S. Main St. from central business to medium-density residential. The pair agreed to purchase the school and 5 acres of surrounding property for $250,000 in August 2016 to build homes and turn the school into commercial space. The town still owns the property and will transfer ownership once all of the required permits and paperwork are approved, according to former Town Manager Charles Moore, who facilitated the sale.
More News

Singer Lauren Alaina performs Friday night

FRONT ROYAL — Rising country music star Lauren Alaina is set to take the stage at the Warren County Fair tonight. Front Royal native Ryan Jewel will warm up the stage at 7:30 p.m. for the award-winning Alaina. A Rossville, Ga., native, Alaina ascended to fame in 2011 during American Idol's 10th season. She was the runner-up to winner Scotty McCreery.
The Warren Sentinel /  08-11-2017

Dragon-boaters get ready to row - Humane Society fundraiser takes to river Saturday

FRONT ROYAL — Boats will glide across the Shenandoah River this weekend in an effort to raise money for the homeless animals of Warren County during the 4th Annual Waggin for Dragon races. The event is the Humane Society of Warren Countyís largest fundraiser. Last year, the record for money raised was set at about $42,000. Fourteen teams are signed up to participate in this yearís races, which will kick off Saturday shortly after a 9:15 a.m. opening ceremony at the Front Royal Golf Club boat landing.
The Warren Sentinel /  08-11-2017

Temporary campground approved at Lake Arrowhead

LURAY ― The town is proceeding with plans for a temporary campground at Lake Arrowhead after the Page County Planning Commission unanimously recommended that a special use permit for the project be approved. The Page County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the request last Tuesday during a joint public hearing that drew one speaker. The temporary event campground will include 35 sites within 1.75 acres of the 134-acre park, according to the county's acting zoning administrator Tracy Clatterback. The campground will be utilized during four annual events ― Swim Fest Luray, the Luray international and sprint triathlons and the Shenandoah Half Marathon ― over a collective period of no more than seven days each year, to help accommodate athletes in town for the events.
Page News and Courier /  08-10-2017

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Local Sports

‘Special Forces’ cheer program focuses on military sacrifice, special needs children

Front Royal's All-Star cheer school is making noise with a new program.

Shenandoah Babe Ruth Softball teams earn high finishes in World Series

A pair of Shenandoah softball teams made deep runs into the Babe Ruth League World Series

Ikenberry capitalizing on Valley’s baseball talent

JMU baseball coach Marlin Ikenberry is keeping the Valley's baseball talent close to home.

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