TODAY'S NEWS

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

Battle of New Market this weekend

NEW MARKET — Visitors to the 153rd Battle of New Market re-enactment will see more horses and a more complete version of the conflict this weekend. The event, to be held on Saturday and Sunday at the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park, recalls the May 15, 1864 Civil War battle during which 257 cadets from the Virginia Military Institute assisted Confederate troops in temporarily preventing Union forces from claiming the Shenandoah Valley. About 1,400 Union and Confederate soldiers were casualties of the battle, including 10 cadets. Demonstrations of home front life will be held at the Bushong Farm at 10 a.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday. An artillery demonstration on the park grounds and a lecture on the battle in the museum start at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Attorney challenges Dollar General vote

BASYE — A Woodstock attorney is challenging a decision by the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors to rezone a parcel of land in Basye for a Dollar General store. According to County Attorney Jason Ham, attorney Bradley Pollack claims that Tom Brice, who owns a condominium at 456 The Hill Road, was not made aware of a public hearing on the rezoning, which supervisors held before taking a vote during its April 25 regular meeting. The board voted, 4-2, to rezone the 1.6-acre parcel at 1460 Orkney Grade from high-density residential to general business.

Supervisors to form fire, EMS planning group

WOODSTOCK – The Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors is assembling a strategic planning group to create a long-term plan for fire and rescue needs in the county. The board discussed the group during its work session in Woodstock on May 4, but didn’t decide who would be on it or when it would meet. The planning process will involve meetings among supervisors, volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services personnel, paid fire and EMS staff and representatives from each of the county’s six voting districts which supervisors will choose, Assistant County Administrator Evan Vass said. Participants will discuss the annual volume of 911 calls for each of the county’s 11 volunteer fire and rescue stations, annual volunteer numbers and other issues affecting service, Vass said. The goal is to create a long-term plan for identifying and funding fire and rescue needs, he said.

Council OKs solar farm construction

MOUNT JACKSON – Last Tuesday, Town Council gave the final green light for preparations to begin for construction of a solar farm in town. Council voted 6-0 to grant a special-use permit to Virginia Solar to construct a 160-acre, 16.65-megawatt farm between Georgetown and Turkey Knob roads. The farm will be built on part of a 712-acre parcel that its owner, Planning Commissioner Robert Whitehurst, hopes to turn into an industrial site. The commission voted 3-0 to recommend that council approve the permit. The farm will generate electricity to be sold to Dominion Virginia Power, which has committed to adding 400 megawatts of solar energy to its grid by 2020. Dominion owns and operates three farms totaling 56 megawatts in Powhatan, Louisa and Isle of Wight counties.

Planners recommend solar farm permit

MOUNT JACKSON – The Planning Commission has recommended that Town Council approve a special use permit for Virginia Solar to build a 16.65-megawatt solar farm in town. Commissioners Ken Hackenbracht, Evelyn Burner and Anita Miller voted to approve the recommendation during their on Monday. Robert Whitehurst abstained from the vote because he owns the land along Turkey Knob and Georgetown roads that the farm would be built on. The land is part of a 712-acre parcel that Whitehurst hopes to turn into an industrial site. The advisory panel held a joint public hearing with council before voting on the recommendation. None of the 17 people in the audience spoke during the hearing. Council will vote on the recommendation during its next meeting on May 9.

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