TODAY'S NEWS

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

Apple Butter Celebration this weekend at Skyland

SKYLAND — There’s one thing on the menu during Shenandoah National Park’s annual September festival — apples. Creamy apple butter, apple crafts and a special apple menu help celebrate the the park’s history and the culture of the surrounding areas during the Apple Butter Festival at Skyland Resort. This year’s installment of the annual celebration, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature BBQ pork sandwiches with apple cider BBQ sauce; grilled chicken sandwiches with bacon apple BBQ sauce; granny apple cole slaw; scalloped apples; apple cobbler; apple strudel; gala apple wedges with caramel; and hot and cold spiced apple cider.

Region sees bump in 2016 tourism revenue

HARRISONBURG — New marketing initiatives and the opening of new businesses contributed to a nearly 5 percent rise in average tourism revenue in four Valley counties and Harrisonburg in 2016. Shenandoah County reaped $213 million in tourism dollars during the 2016 calendar year, according to a report released by the Virginia Tourism Corp. earlier this month. Rockingham County followed close behind with $210 million, the report said. Page County collected $67 million from tourism in 2016, a 5.4 percent bump from the $63 million it collected in 2014 and 2015. Before that, the county received $61 million in 2012 and 2013.

Governor to visit Fisher’s Hill Battlefield

STRASBURG — Gov. Terry McAuliffe is coming to the Valley on Sept. 19 to celebrate Civil War battlefield preservation. McAuliffe and Julie Langan, director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, will be at Fisher’s Hill Battlefield at 1:30 p.m. to announce the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation’s latest preservation efforts, including the complete preservation of the 70-acre Battle of Fisher’s Hill site at Gordon’s Hill. Gordon’s Hill was the site of a skirmish led by Confederate Gen. John B. Gordon. The event is free but registration is required on the SVBF’s website at www.shenandoahatwar.org.

Counties help with ‘Valley Venue’ drug bust

HARRISONBURG — Eight law enforcement agencies in Shenandoah and Page counties helped Virginia State Police round up drugs and drug dealers during the fifth Valley Venue bust on Aug. 24. The annual collaboration is an effort to crack down on drug manufacturers, traffickers and dealers. State troopers and investigators with the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force collaborated with federal officials and local law enforcement to arrest 50 to 60 people in five counties for drug-related offenses, according to Josiah Schiavone, coordinator of the task force. The arrests resulted in 78 felony charges and 25 misdemeanor charges, an Aug. 25 press release from the VSP said.

Planners recommend approval for tower

STRASBURG — A new company providing wireless fiber optic Internet service hopes to build a telecommunications tower in Strasburg. Virginia Air Networks, Inc. is asking the town for a special-use permit to build a 65-foot tower at 458 Radio Station Road near the Northern Shenandoah Business and Industrial Park. During its meeting on Aug. 22, the town’s Planning Commission recommended that council approve the request on the condition that the company agree to store equipment at the site for other telecommunications companies. The tower would provide Internet service throughout the Valley. Joe Jones, Virginia Air Networks’ co-owner and vice president, said the company hopes to provide “much-needed competition” to an area where Shentel provides many residents’ Internet, television and phone services.

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