TODAY'S NEWS

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

Woodstock makes room for brewery

WOODSTOCK — His first batch of beer in college may have been a bit of a disaster, but Karl Roulston promises he’s become much more refined at the craft in the years since then. Now, he and a group of friends are planning to open Woodstock’s first brewery in just a few short months.

Woodstock accepts bid on park project

WOODSTOCK — Construction should begin soon on the second phase of the W.O. Riley Park revitalization project in Woodstock, and town officials hope it will be finished by late spring. The Town Council accepted a bid from Woodstock-based FD Neal Construction last month.

Finish in sight for regional jail

FRONT ROYAL — Construction of the Rappahannock Shenandoah Warren Regional Jail is nearing completion and administrators at the new facility are working on evenings and weekends to fill job openings and initiate contracts before the scheduled July opening.

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.

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