Warren County tourism spending increased in 2016

FRONT ROYAL — Visitors to Warren County spent nearly $140 million here in 2016, according to a report released last week by the Virginia Tourism Corp. That figure is up about 3 percent from 2015, when tourists spent about $135.9 million in Warren County. It includes revenue taken from hotel occupancy rates and receipts from restaurants and tourist attractions. That spending netted about $2.8 million in local taxes, $6.5 million in state taxes and supported 1,670 jobs, according to the report. Total payroll from those jobs was about $31.8 million.  
The Warren Sentinel /  09-25-2017  

Tourism groups get state grants

HARRISONBURG – Four Valley initiatives have received state funding to boost local and regional tourism. On Tuesday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that more than $967,000 in matching grants will be distributed to 50 tourism programs statewide as part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Leverage Program. A $50,000 grant will be split among Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, the city tourism office and the city Department of Economic Development. The Shenandoah Spirits Trail received a $36,000 grant to target millennials and baby boomers in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.The Passport to a Shenandoah BeerWerks Adventure, a 12-location beer trail featuring all four Harrisonburg craft breweries, received more than $22,000 for cross-promotion of each brewery and advertising outdoor activities. Today’s Shenandoah Valley Takes Flight, a collaboration led by the Shenandoah Valley Tourism Partnership and the Front Royal-based Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission, also received $25,000 for the promotion of the Valley as “an outstanding year-round destination to global visitors."

State OKs regional economic development plan

HARRISONBURG – A five-year plan for economic growth in the Valley focuses on raising and retaining employment in five growing industries. On Sept. 13, the 24-member GO Virginia State Board approved an Economic Growth and Diversification Plan prepared by the program’s Region 8 Council. The council consists of 28 business and industry leaders in the 8th Region, which covers the Valley from Lexington to Winchester. GO Virginia, also known as the Virginia Initiative for Growth and Opportunity in Each Region, was created in 2015 to encourage communities in nine regions of the state to work together to spur economic growth. It operates under the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The Region 8 plan calls for increased workforce recruitment and training in five industry sectors that are expected to grow in the Valley during the next five years.

Brews and Blues festival to feature dozens of breweries

FRONT ROYAL — Local and regional brewers and musicians will be featured Saturday at the Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce's eighth-annual Brew and Blues Festival. About 55 beers will be featured, including selections from Virginia breweries and more well-known national brands, according to Chamber of Commerce President Niki Foster. The beer samplings will be accompanied by performances from Hypnotic Willie and Bugsy Cline and the Blue Devils. Drinking is not necessary to enjoy the day, Foster said. There will also be yard games such as corn hole, myriad of food selections and 40 vendors. The festival is scheduled from noon to 7 p.m. in the Village Commons and on Chester Street. While a portion of Chester Street will be closed to traffic, Main Street will remain open.
The Warren Sentinel /  09-22-2017  
More News

Easter blaze destroys home; owner at church at time of fire; house, contents a total loss

RILEYVILLE ― The American Red Cross is assisting a Page County man after an Easter morning blaze destroyed his home. The Luray Volunteer Fire Department was called to 428 Steep Hollow Lane in Rileyville, about 11 miles north of Luray, at 9:04 a.m. Sunday, March 27, according to Luray Fire Chief Mark Lancaster. Firefighters arrived to find the house trailer, which included a side addition, as well as a two-story addition, fully involved. The home was owned by James Alger, who was at church at the time of the blaze. Many of the first responders were also at church, said Lancaster, but left to answer the call.
Page News and Courier /  03-30-2016

Grant galore - New grant writer Morris is working to secure funding for projects in town

ELKTON – The town’s new grant writer, Allison Morris, is trying to earn her keep. In addition to a $100,000 grant that may be in the works from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries that would go toward stopping the old town dump from leaching into the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, Morris – who began her new job with the town on Feb. 1 – has been working on obtaining other monetary awards.
The Valley Banner /  03-30-2016

Ward convicted of murder; sentencing in June

WOODSTOCK — A Strasburg man has pleaded guilty to shooting a Maryland man to death 16 months ago and will be sentenced this summer. During a hearing in Shenandoah County Circuit Court last week, Judge Dennis Hupp convicted Lucas Scott Ward, 35, of killing Corey Patrick O’Neil, 42, of Gaithersburg, Md., at the Ramada Inn in Strasburg on Oct. 26, 2014. Ward was also convicted of holding O’Neil’s sister, Sadie Melissa Beck, 27, of Knox, Pa., against her will at the motel until Strasburg police arrested him. Ward pleaded guilty to six felonies, including second-degree murder, malicious wounding, strangulation, abduction, use of a firearm in committing a felony and assault and battery on law enforcement. As part of a plea agreement, four additional charges of rape, abduction, resisting arrest and destruction of property were dropped. Ward pleaded not guilty to all 10 charges on July 1. He had been scheduled to stand trial on March 14 and March 15, but accepted the plea deal instead. Ward faces up to 83 years in prison, including a mandatory minimum three-year sentence for the firearm conviction.

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Local Sports

Luray Wranglers moving to Charles Town, W.Va.

Valley Baseball League presidents approve move by Berryville owner

IN COLLEGE: Tracking two Page County products on the gridiron

Quarterbacks Willie Logan (LHS alum) and Dakota Wolf (PCHS grad) are starting for Div. III Bridewater College and Division I Campbell (N.C.) - check out their stats last week

Recreation league football in Rockingham

Recreation football play continues this week all across the county.

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