Updated: 57 minutes ago
About a year ago, Ra Shawn Johnson and Dustin Cason volunteered to deliver for the nonprofit program, Meals on Wheels. They have yet to miss a Wednesday delivery. Cason, Johnson and Johnson’s daughter load up the car with more than 50 meals for community members in need. They then get started on delivering the meals door to door.“Just giving back to the people that came before us. Hopefully, when we get to that age someone will take care of us, look out for us and bring us some meals,” Johnson said. Johnson and Cason have been best friends since 2008. “We end up getting blessed more than they do. Really, you know, it helps, too, that they think we are the best good looking men out,” Cason said. “Yeah, I mean their faces light up when we go through the door. It’s always good to just see them. We know we are doing something good by delivering the meals,” Johnson explained. Johnson and Cason said they hope to inspire other young people their age to volunteer as well.
Updated: 2 hours ago
Following Tuesday night’s two-alarm fire at Staunton’s Habitat for Humanity ReStore, fire crews were back on scene Wednesday for another two-alarm fire. Staunton Fire Chief, Scott Garber said crews were on scene Wednesday morning investigating last night’s fire, when they saw more flames just before 9:15 a.m. Chief Garber said Wednesday’s fire is being investigated as suspicious and is unrelated to Tuesday’s fire. Angela Terry, Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Habitat for Humanity ReStore Director said she is disappointed this happened, but they plan to continue serving the community. “We’re going to be able to relocate to the Waynesboro store for now, and then once we assess the damage here we’ll figure out what needs to be done,” Terry said. Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Habitat for Humanity’s Executive Director, Lance Barton said it’s in their DNA to rebuild and that’s what they will do. “We’re very grateful no one was hurt, and we really appreciate the efforts of fire and rescue,” Barton said. Stay with us for updates as this story develops.Staunton Fire & Rescue is investigating a two-alarm fire that happened Tuesday night at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore along Richmond Road. Chief Scott Garber tells WHSV that the call came in around 11 p.m. and smoke was visible from outside the building when firefighters arrived on scene. Garber said crews had the fire out within five to 10 minutes and the rest of the time on scene was spent looking for hidden, small pockets of fire. “The interior of the building, the fire was pretty much contained to a storage room area, but there’s smoke and water damage throughout the building," said Garber. Garber confirms no one was in the building at the time of the blaze and that no firefighters were injured while responding. The cause remains under investigation at this time.
Updated: 2 hours ago
It’s Rail Road Safety week and a number of organizations are bringing awareness to the best ways to safe near the tracks. According to Operation Lifesaver Inc, there were 38 collisions between railroads and vehicles in the state of Virginia. These collisions resulted in four fatalities and seven injuries. There were also 20 trespass casualties, resulting in 15 deaths and five injuries. While the nonprofit is working to bring awareness to railroad safety, Buckingham Branch Railroad also gave advice for ways to stay safe. "The very first thing you need to do is get out the vehicle, and call the dispatcher before calling 911. Because 911 can’t notify the locomotive to stop the train. The railroad dispatcher controls the trains, "said Dave Dixon, supervisor of safety and compliance for Buckingham Branch Railroad. Dixon said the way to reach the dispatcher is to call the number on the blue ENS sign. One should be at every railroad crossing. Dixon also said to confirm with the dispatcher that there will be no trains coming before attempting to move a stopped vehicle. He also said not to underestimate how quiet a train can be. “Most people think they can hear a train when walking on the tracks, ‘Oh I’ll just get out of the way when I hear it.’ Depending on the wind and the direction of travel sometimes trains are just silent and people don’t hear them,” Dixon explained. Dixon said never try to beat the train, because the train will win.
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tuesday night, leaders of James Madison University gave an update to Harrisonburg City Council on their return plan for early October and students' behavior so far in the first part of the semester. Tim Miller, Vice President of Student Affairs, told the council he knows student behavior is a concern for many and said the Harrisonburg Police Department has reported fewer calls about off-campus gatherings this September than in previous years. “We do have strong expectations for our student’s behavior and as President Alger mentioned the vast majority of our students have listened,” Miller said. “But some have not and I think it’s an important part of this.” Miller said 290 students have been notified of violations this semester and 45 of those students have already been found responsible for minor infractions. These include not wearing a mask repeatedly or not practicing physical distancing. Miller said the outcome for these cases has been from a restorative justice process to probation. Five of those students are currently involved in an investigation for holding a large event with more than 10 people. 24 students have had their on-campus housing exemption revoked for hosting events. Earlier this month when JMU switched to virtual learning, students needed to file an exemption form in order to stay on campus. Reasons could include a student living out of state or having a susceptible family member at home. "24 of those students did the exact opposite of what we wanted them to do,″ Miller said. " So we’ve actually rescinded their exemption and they’ve had to go home." The students who have hosted large events could face suspension or expulsion for endangering the community with those large events. More information on those cases will be presented to the city council in the coming weeks.
Updated: 2 hours ago
One local pumpkin patch dodged a bullet this past weekend as our area saw its first frost. Myers Pumpkins usually does not have to worry about frost harming pumpkins, but the weather this past summer delayed their growth. Most of the pumpkins are not mature yet and can easily get harmed by frost. Normally, once a pumpkin matures and gets its orange color it can withstand cold temperatures. Mike Myers, the owner of the pumpkin patch said if it was a few degrees cooler on the frosty nights this weekend, it would have caused significant damage. “We went from a drought that created some issues to too much rain, which starts with your downy and powdery mildew and then you get on a spray regiment to try and defeat that, but it’s been a trying, difficult year. Yes it has,” said Myers. Excess rain in August certainly caused issues but the excess rain is now benefiting the pumpkin patch. “We have so much foliage in the field now and all that has water in it. The ground is shaded because of the foilage... and there’s enough moisture, the plants are tall enough and there’s enough moisture to go ahead and mature them out,” said Myers. Myers said that a day like Wednesday where conditions were warm with plenty of sunshine is ideal for the pumpkins to finish growing. By next weekend, he expects most of his pumpkins turning orange.