Winchester City Parks: A Conversation About Programs, Parks, and the Pool

Winchester city Parks

Today’s conversation for The Valley Today was recorded on location in the Active Living Center in the War Memorial Building at Jim Barnett Park. Host Janet Michael talked with Winchester City Parks Director, Chris Konyar and Maggie McCampell Lien their Public Information Officer. Click here to have a listen.

The pair explained their current undertaking: surveying city residents to get feedback about the parks in their neighborhoods. There are nearly 16 neighborhood parks scattered throughout the City of Winchester with the ultimate goal of having a park within 10 walking minutes of every neighborhood. Chris talked about the importance of these local parks and why getting feedback will be vital to maintain and grow them to fit the neighborhoods they serve.

You can visit their website to take the survey online: or attend one of the feedback sessions they’ll be hosting throughout the summer.

On May 23, 200 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm for Ward 3 at Jim Barnett Park, War Memorial Building, Social Hall

On July 25, 2022 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm for Ward 2 at Virginia Avenue Charlotte DeHart Elementary School

On September 26, 2022 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm for Ward 4 at Frederick Douglass Elementary School.

A session was already held on April 25, 2022 for Ward 1 at John Kerr Elementary School Library. Each meeting will focus on parks within the ward; however, residents are welcome to attend any meeting.

Maggie gave us details about the summer camps the parks department offers, talked about when the pool will open and gave some insight into the benefits the recent partnership with Shenandoah University provides through no-cost sports camps for children in the area.

Finally, Chris talked about the number of jobs Winchester City Parks currently have available from lifeguard positions to childcare and front desk/administrative. We talked about how great these positions are as a “first job” for many teens & young adults in our area. He also explained that if you’re interested in a lifeguard position, they will provide the necessary training and certifications needed. For a list of all the city’s job openings, visit the City of Winchester’s job portal by clicking here.

To learn about Winchester City Parks programs, purchase a family pool pass or get details about upcoming events, visit the park website: and follow them on Facebook.

News Maker Jody Krupa on LVFD golf tournament

The Linden Volunteer Fire Department (LVFD) has a golf tournament set for May 14.

We spoke with organizer and Linden Volunteer Fire Department Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Jody Krupa in our latest news maker.

The good news is brought to you by The Town of Front Royal.

Jody tells us about the tournament and the some of the games and prizes involved.

She also tells us registration is currently open along with sponsorship availability through May 11.

Jody also tells us about the amazing amount of materials a volunteer fire department has to purchase and take care of out of pocket.

The responsibilities of a volunteer fire department are tremendous which is why it is so important to support these fund drives.

Click here for Jody’s interview.

To register and find out more about the tournament click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

NWS confirms an EF-1 tornado in Augusta County

The National Weather Service (NWS) confirms that an EF-1 tornado struck Fishersville in Augusta County on April 26.

The storm produced 90 mile per hour winds cutting a path 6 miles long and 75 yards wide.

Trees were snapped and uprooted.

Significant damage was recorded at a barn with a farmhouse losing its metal roof.

Wood from the barn lofted and was carried approximately 125 yards to become embedded in the ground in several directions.

The storm traveled west to east and finally dissipated in Waynesboro but not before ripping a steeple off a church and dropping a large tree onto a home causing considerable damage.

The tornado touched down in Fishersville at 1:04 p.m. and dissipated in Waynesboro at 1:15 p.m..

The NWS reminds citizens to heed tornado warnings when they are issued.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Winchester releases their 2021 annual report

The City of Winchester released its 2021 annual report marking accomplishments over the year.

Some of the accomplishments included  replacing over 5,000 feet of sidewalks city wide.

The emergency center fielded over 20,000 calls in 2021.

Over 2,000 traffic tickets were issued with 111 Driving Under the Influence arrest being made.

In medical statistics over 47 percent resuscitation rate was achieved earning the American Heart Association’s Gold Plus Award for treatment of heart attack patients.

Winchester was able to establish a community wide paramedic program as well.

The city was able to increase both fire and rescue staffing and training.

Winchester was also able to offer millions of dollars in grants to help residents and small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Sports And The Bloom

Shenandoah Apple Blossom 2022

Greetings from The Booth!

The Booth this week is festooned in pink and green bunting as we celebrate the 95th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. The “Bloom” is one of my favorite times of year, as the Winchester area shuts down and goes into party mode with 40 events in 10 days, many of them sports-related. There are Apple Blossom Golf and Tennis Tournaments, an Apple Blossom 10k, a Kids Bloomin’ Mile, and this year, a new E-Sports Tournament.

But the centerpiece of the Festival as it pertains to sports is the Apple Blossom Sports Breakfast. This event is held on the last Saturday of the Bloom and features some top sports celebrities and also honors a “Sports Breakfast Hall Of Fame” class. This years HOF inductees include James R. Wilkins, a great local athlete back in the day, and an even greater philanthropist. The Wilkins Center at Shenandoah University is, of course, named after Mr. Wilkins. Through his generosity, that showplace now exists on the SU campus. That is just one example of how Mr. Wilkins has given back to his community.

The Sports Breakfast also honors some of our local athletes, and this year, that group includes the Hornets’ own Olivia Weinel, who is not only a stellar Basketball player, but excels in the classroom. In addition to Olivia, some athletes from our local high schools will be recognized, a huge moment that they will always remember.

And, in attendance every year are some really big names in sports, and 2022 is no exception. Terry Bradshaw is the overall Grand Marshal of the 95th Bloom, not to mention basketball’s “Dr. J,” Julius Erving. A few words about each…

Some of the younger sports fans out there may only know Bradshaw from the Sunday Fox NFL Pregame Show, as he banters back and forth with Howie and Jimmy and the rest of the crew. But it was Terry Bradshaw that quarterbacked the Pittsburgh Steelers to 4 Super Bowl titles in the decade of the 70s. The Pittsburgh “Steel Curtain” defense grabbed most of the headlines in that era, but Bradshaw saved his best for the big moments, namely the Super Bowl. With a flick of the wrist, Bradshaw launched bombs to the likes of Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, usually when the Big Game was on the line.

He was also involved in one of the biggest plays in NFL history, the “Immaculate Reception,” a play that’s been analyzed more than the Zapruder film. By now you know about this miracle play that happened in the 1972 playoffs. It can be argued that without the Immaculate Reception, there would have been no Steeler dynasty in the 1970s. Post-football, Bradshaw has parlayed his “yokum” persona into a very successful career, but don’t be fooled. You can’t succeed as a quarterback in the NFL without a high IQ. He is also a very good speaker, and is well worth seeing at the Sports Breakfast.

As for Dr. J, Julius Erving, he was the reason every kid in my neighborhood wanted one of those ABA red white and blue basketballs. Before his stint in the NBA, Erving was a member of the Virginia Squires and the New York Nets, and along with players like George “Iceman” Gervin, was part of a colorful group of ABA players. If the NBA was Classical, the ABA was Jazz, and Dr. J. was the Miles Davis of b-ball. He is probably the reason the NBA has a dunk contest. (remember his highlight dunk, sailing through the air from the foul line?) Erving is one of the great elder statesmen and ambassadors of the game of basketball and makes a house call this Saturday at The Bloom!

Have a great Apple Blossom and until the next visit from The Booth…GO HORNETS!