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.
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House fire results in fatality

BASYE — The Shenandoah County Fire Marshal said a cigarette caused a house fire that killed a man on Feb. 4. David Ferguson said county fire and rescue personnel received word of the fire at 490 Holly Ridge Road, about three miles south of Basye, at about 1:30 p.m. Ferguson said first responders found William Wright, 56, dead in the house when they arrived.

Warren County officials seek solutions to trains blocking crossings for extended time

FRONT ROYAL — Trains passing through town at Rockland Road, Ashley Station Road and Fairground Road have recently blocked traffic for more than 30 minutes on several occasions. Sheriff Daniel McEathron said track crossings being closed causes a potential issue for fire trucks and rescue vehicles that may need to cross. He added there has not yet been an instance where a train passing through town has delayed emergency vehicles. School Board member Doug Rosen brought the issue up at a recent board meeting and said that school buses have been stopped for about 40 minutes several times recently at train crossings.
The Warren Sentinel /  02-11-2016

Father, son sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Joy Schultz

LURAY ― The father and son found guilty in October of the brutal slaying of a Shenandoah woman will spend the rest of their lives in prison. George Schultz, 55, and his son, George Schuppan, 25, were sentenced on Monday in Page County Circuit Court for the murder of 51-year-old Joy Schultz ― Schultz's wife and Schuppan's stepmother. Donning bulletproof vests, the pair appeared solemn before Judge Clark Ritchie, who said that he would uphold the jury's sentencing recommendations for each of the convictions.
Page News and Courier /  02-11-2016

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Local Sports

Monteleone picks up three state medals for Page

Luray's Molidor All-State in high jump

Skyline’s Madden runs to state title

Warren's O'Reilly finishes second

Stonewall Jackson wins state track title

Generals outdistance second-place Altavista

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