Page News and Courier
Shenandoah National Park visitors spend $76 million in 2012
LURAY — Visitors to the nation's parks in 2012 spent more than $14 billion in surrounding communities, according to a new National Park Service report. Communities surrounding Shenandoah National Park saw an economic spillover of $76 million — up from 73.9 million (or about 3 percent) from the previous year.
Ag Census: Va. Farms Getting Bigger
HARRISONBURG — Jeff Slaven’s farm has been continuously growing in size since he started operating it in 1980. At that time, it was 250 acres; today, it’s more than 1,700. A large percentage of the growth has been from rented land. “It’s been a constant increase, even in the past few years,” he said. The farm is located near Burketown in northern Augusta County but a portion of one of its fields crosses into Rockingham County. The preliminary results of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2012 Census of Agriculture released last week show that farms in Virginia are actually getting larger. The survey, conducted every five years, shows that from 2007 to 2012, the amount of farmland in Virginia increased by 3 percent, rising to 8.3 million acres. The number of farms in the state, however, decreased by 3 percent during that time to 46,036.
The Dakota Project — Local cattle headed west
LURAY — On a warm February day, the remnants of a snowstorm earlier in the month are finally melting on Luray's Redman Store Road, leaving muddy puddles and pools in its descent. Lifelong farmer Jim Gochenour maneuvers through the mud, his blue coveralls unzipped and haphazardly tucked in a pair of old boots. He wears them with a worn baseball cap and a smile. The easy-going grain and beef cattle farmer seems to almost always wear a smile, despite the growing challenges facing U.S. farmers. In agriculture-driven communities, says Gochenour, being a farmer means being a family; being a family means lending a helping hand.
Page News and Courier / 02-26-2014
Firing range approved for law enforcement
LURAY — The Page County Board of Supervisors have approved a firing range to be used by law enforcement for training and certification purposes on a county-owned parcel near the old Stanley Landfill. Page County Sheriff John Thomas said the site could be expanded in the future to include tactical training and other weapons/situation instruction.
Page News and Courier / 02-21-2014
Luray, LDI settle issues over Festival of Spring
LURAY — The Luray Downtown Initiative Board met last Thursday to discuss their options after town council agreed to manage the May Festival of Spring. The board meeting generated many ideas but few revenue producing solutions to bridge the divide since council’s rejection of the $10,000 additional funding request for LDI to host the event.
Page News and Courier / 02-17-2014