Updated: 2 hours ago
Updated: 2 hours ago
Harrisonburg reopened more city facilities Monday, including City Hall, Department of Public Works and Harrisonburg Department of Public Transportation. Other openings include the Hardesty-Higgins House, Westover Skate Park, extended hours for lap lane reservations at Westover Pool and expanded operations at Heritage Oaks Golf Course. All visitors entering a municipal building will be required to wear a face mask and social distancing will be mandatory. Only a limited number of residents will be allowed in the buildings at a given time. Safeguards and signs were put up to remind visitors of social distancing. “We wanted to make sure we had enough PPE in the building, so we have handwashing stations, we have masks that people can pick up when they come into the building if they need, Michael Parks, the city’s director of communications, said. “We have erected plexiglass barriers in certain places between staff and customers to make sure that we keep our staff and people who are visiting our building safe.” While some municipal buildings are now open the public, Parks still suggested people consider using the city’s online services or calling before coming into the facilities in-person.
Updated: 2 hours ago|
By Randy Harris
Following a racially-insensitive Facebook post allegedly written by the mayor of Luray, the town issued a statement saying Luray rejects racism and is committed to working together with the community through understanding, compassion, and opportunity. Over the weekend, a social media post appeared online by Mayor Barry Presgraves who allegedly wrote: “Joe Biden has just announced Aunt Jemima as his VP pick.” The post appears to have since been deleted, but not before a screenshot was captured and widely shared by users online. Former vice president Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and has suggested he would be choosing a woman for his vice-presidential running mate. Presgraves could not be reached for comment on Monday. Councilwoman Leah Pence called for Presgraves to resign. "The comment you posted has a type of humor that not been appropriate or funny in my lifetime or yours," said Pence, who shared her letter to Presgraves on Facebook. "While a resignation alone will not resolve the systemic subliminal racism that plagues our community, your resignation is imperative as we work towards ending racism in our community. You are accountable for your words and decisions as the leader of The Town of Luray and your recent actions have caused me and many citizens to lose faith and confidence in your capacity to effectively and justly serve as Mayor of The Town of Luray."
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tropical storm Isaias is on track to hit landfall early Tuesday morning and the Virginia Department of Transportation is preparing to respond to damage. VDOT staff and crews have already gotten trucks and equipment ready to go to keep local roads safe. They plan on lifting lane closures wherever they can and having debris and tree removal crews ready to go once the storm hits. Ken Slack of VDOT says their crews will be out in full force to keep roadways clear and drivers safe. He suggests people stay as alert as ever when traveling. “Make sure you’re keeping a close eye on not just the light in front of you, but a little ways ahead,” Slack said. “Sometimes you come around a bend and there’s a tree branch that’s fallen, a power line that’s come down. Be alert for any potential hazards in the roadway, in addition to the high water.” Slack also said if you do have to travel, keep your speed down and avoid crossing any water on the roadway.
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rockingham County Public School leaders met again on Monday night to discuss back to school plans, making several changes to the calendar year and school instruction. School board members approved moving the start date back even further from Aug. 31 to Sept. 10. Superintendent Dr. Oskar Scheikl said this extra time allows teachers more time to prepare and collaborate, as well as time to evaluate local COVID-19 trends after students from three local colleges and universities return to the area. School board members also approved removing several teacher workdays during the first semester. The second approval from the school board included switching gears for most students from their previously approved school plan. Now, students in grades 2 through 12 will work remotely and Pre-K through grade 1 will attend in-person four days a week. Some special education, English-Language Learner, those without reliable access to internet, and students working significantly below grade level in reading or math may be permitted to attend in-person with Pre-K through grade 1. Health data could bring back additional grades in a blended A/B model, like previously approved for some students, or full time at the elementary level. “We would see what the community spread looked like, we’ll also see what testing is again, a couple of weeks later,” Dr. Scheikl said. “Based on that, we would look at, again, beginning with elementary students, now increasing the in-person options.” In the presentation, Dr. Scheikl said middle school students could potentially return during the first semester as a second phase, but high school students would return no sooner than the second semester unless trends change dramatically. The school day for all students working remotely would include synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Lessons would be recorded for those students who could not attend.
Updated: 6 hours ago
Following a racially-insensitive Facebook post allegedly written by the mayor of Luray, the town issued a statement saying Luray rejects racism and is committed to working together with the community through understanding, compassion, and opportunity. Over the weekend, a social media post by Mayor Barry Presgraves who allegedly wrote: "Joe Biden has just announced Aunt Jemima as his VP pick." The post appears to have been deleted, but not before a screenshot was captured and widely shared by users online. Former vice president Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and has suggested he would be choosing a woman for his vice-presidential running mate. Presgraves could not be reached for comment on Monday. Councilwoman Leah Pence called for Presgraves to resign.