TODAY'S NEWS

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

Bailey, Shruntz out; Kline in on Election Day

WOODSTOCK — Shenandoah County voters ousted two supervisors and replaced two School Board members in a wave of change during Election Day on Tuesday. Cindy Bailey and Marsha Shruntz, who represent the 4th and 5th districts on the Board of Supervisors, were denied second terms by challengers Karl Roulston and Dennis Morris, respectively. Shelby Kline, a retired teacher and school principal, beat two fellow opponents to claim the District 5 School Board seat being vacated by two-term incumbent Irving “Skeeter” Getz. The other two seats up for grabs were won by candidates who ran unopposed. While challengers and political novices reigned over most of the ballot, incumbent District 1 Supervisor Dick Neese snuck past his opponent, Karen Kwiatkowski, by 73 votes to earn a fifth term in office.

Shenandoah County judge to retire after 26 years

WOODSTOCK — A Shenandoah County judge has announced that he is retiring in 2018 after 26 years on the bench in Virginia’s 26th Judicial Circuit. In an Oct. 19 memorandum to the Shenandoah County Bar, Judge Dennis Lee Hupp, 66, said he will retire on Aug. 1. He announced it more than nine months in advance to give the General Assembly time to choose his replacement during its 2018 session, he said during a phone interview on Oct. 26.

Ex-Christiansburg employee tapped for New Market job

NEW MARKET — A longtime employee of the town of Christiansburg has been tapped to be New Market’s town manager. Town Council unanimously named Todd Walters, 52, to the position, effective Nov. 6, during its Monday meeting. He has worked for the Town of Christiansburg for almost 30 years, and has been its assistant director of engineering since 2010. Walters’ salary will be $75,000 per year, Councilwoman Peggy Harkness said. Former Town Manager Mike Ritchie retired on Sept. 15 after 28 years of employment with New Market and four years in the town’s highest staff position.

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.

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