Pres. Biden and Gov. Youngkin order flags at half staff

An email from Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin confirms an ordered that the flag of the Commonwealth be flown at half staff immediately.

The flag of the United States and Virginia will be lowered over the state Capitol all local, federal buildings and grounds.

Pursuant to President Biden’s Presidential Proclamation to lower the United States of America flag to half staff.

President Biden and Governor Youngkin have ordered all flags to fly at half staff through at least May 28 at sunset.

The flags will fly at half staff in respect, memory and honor of the 19 students and 2 adult victims of  the Robb Elementary School shooting in Texas May 24.

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

Closing The Deal II

Greetings from The Booth!

I’m writing this week’s VFB a day removed from yet another school shooting, this one in Uvalde, Texas. Our hearts break for everyone in that community, especially the parents of the children whose lives were senselessly and prematurely taken away yesterday, and for the surviving students whose innocence was stolen forever. In light of that unspeakable loss, sports doesn’t seem that important. But life goes on somehow, and we will try to put sports in it’s proper perspective as we write this week’s blog…

Putting a bow on the Shenandoah University baseball season, there is nothing like that empty feeling in the gut when a season ends before it should have. I’m sure the host Hornets had every expectation of winning the NCAA D-3 Winchester Region this past weekend and advancing to the Super Regional round. But after a tough Saturday afternoon loss to Catholic, SU was forced to play again Saturday evening just to get to the championship round on Sunday. Down 8-2, the Hornets found a way to beat St. Joseph in a gutsy comeback win. Speaking of gutsy, Jacob Bell gave the Hornets 7-plus innings in Sunday’s 6-3 win over the Cardinals that earned him a standing “O” from the sun baked crowd at Bridgeforth.  Then, in a winner-take-all second game, SU jumped out to a 6-0 lead, then simply ran out of gas in a 13-10 loss which ended their season. That final game wrapped up a stretch of 4 games in 24 hours for Shenandoah, and as Head Coach Kevin Anderson told me after the Sunday win, “we’re running on fumes.”

When the sting of defeat wears off, the Hornets will look back on a 37-win season, an ODAC Tournament championship, a national ranking, and a championship appearance in the NCAA Regionals. You would take that in a heartbeat every time and not even take the field. Congratulations to Kevin, his players and coaching staff for another great season! The dynasty continues…

This past weekend, golf’s second major, the PGA Championship was held at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Justin Thomas came from 7 shots down to win his second Wanamaker Trophy by beating Will Zalatoris in a 3-hole playoff.  That is a great accomplishment, but he needed help. Leading by 1 shot and needing a par on the 18th hole, tournament leader Mito Pereira took one of the worst swings you’ll ever see from a professional and put his drive into a creek. He eventually bogeyed the 18th and missed out not only on the championship, but the playoff.  Not quite Jean Van Develde material, but heartbreaking nonetheless.

SIDEBAR: Can we now put the Tiger Woods buzz to rest? What he did at the Masters was Alex Smith-like and no one can fault him for fading on the weekend. At the PGA, more of the same, as colder weather charged in Friday like a steer (one of 2 things that come from Oklahoma) and certainly affected Tiger’s injured leg. But until he’s actually in contention on a weekend, can we just back off on the almost excessive Tiger Woods coverage? Yes, he moves the needle and gets ratings, but I’m sure there are many talented players on Tour who must feel that they get no love whatsoever. OK, that’s my rant.

Players respond differently to pressure, and Pereira succumbed to it, while JT, who has “been there before,” thrived on it. Pereira hopefully will learn from the experience, and next time will be able to close the deal. Thomas is already a closer.

Until next visit from The Booth, God bless Uvalde, Texas…and GO HORNETS!



USGS records an earthquake in Virginia

The United States Geological Survey (USGS)  recorded a 2.3 magnitude earthquake Mon. May 23 at 8:15 a.m..

The quake struck in Fluvanna County with the nearest populated area of Columbia a little over a mile and a half away from the epicenter.

Columbia is approximately 25 miles from Charlottesville.

The depth of the quake was recorded at approximately 6 and a half miles.

Since at least 1774 people in central Virginia have felt small earthquakes and suffered damage from infrequent larger ones.

One of the largest most recent earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.8 occurred in 2011.

There was no damage reported in the quake Mon. May 23.

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

News Maker Ed Richards on Memorial Day concert

For the first time the American Legion Community Band will host a free Memorial Day concert.

The performance will be held Mon. May 30 at the Front Royal Gazebo on Main St. at 7 p.m..

We spoke to Co-Director of the band Ed Richards about the performance in our latest news maker.

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

Ed tells us about the decision to do a show for the first time.

He also tells us that it’s not just patriotic music that will be performed.

Ed also tells us about future shows that are schedule with the band.

Click here for Ed’s interview.

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

Front Royal pool will not open Memorial weekend

Warren County Government reports that due to insufficient staffing as it stands right now the Claude A. Stokes Jr. Community Pool in Front Royal will not be able to open on Memorial Day Weekend.

However the pool will open as scheduled on June 6 for the regular season.

The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department will update if any change occurs.

Pools in Frederick, Shenandoah and Warren Counties and towns in those counties are looking to shore up their staff with qualified employees.

Some communities like Mount Jackson are offering bonuses to sign on as a lifeguard.

If you are interested contact your towns parks and recreation departments.

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

Clarke County and one of Virginia’s oldest residents dies

campaign sign removal

Clarke County and Virginia lost one of its oldest citizens.

Berryville resident Mary Viola Brown died of natural causes on Sat. May 21.

Known as Viola she was born on October 4, 1911 in Hume Virginia with she and the family moving to Clarke County in 1918 where she lived out the rest of  her life.

Ms. Brown was extraordinarily healthy and only started to take medication at 101 years of age she was 102 before she started using a walker.

Berryville’s town council officially declared Oct. 4, 2011 as Viola Brown Centennial Celebration Day.

In 2021 then Virginia Governor Northam sent Ms. Brown a letter calling her a Supercentenarian.

Ms. Brown once received a signed letter from then President Barack Obama honoring her for contributions to the nation.

Enders and Shirley Funeral home printed her obituary and are handling the arrangements.

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

UWNSV invest in impact grants

online charity auction

The United Way of the Northern Shenandoah Valley (UWNSV) will invest $540,000 in impact grant funding for the Northern Shenandoah Valley.

Through the grant program the UWNSV is able to impact 36 educational, financial stability and health programs throughout their service area.

According to an email from the UWNSV this is $35,000 more than was distributed last year and $100,000 over 2020.

Twenty seven agencies based in Winchester, Frederick and Clarke Counties will receive over $379,000 in funding.

Nine agencies in Shenandoah and Page Counties will receive over $160,000 in funding.

In addition the United Way will distribute over $147,000 in donor designated funds to various agencies across the service area.

Donor designated funds are distributed separately from the impact grant program.

The review process involves 50 community volunteers who review funding applications and focus on priority human care needs.

A complete breakdown of Impact Grant recipients is found here.

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

Shenandoah 2045: A Conversation About Economic Development

shenandoah 2045 economic development

Today’s conversation on The Valley Today with host, Janet Michael featured Tyler Hinkle, Shenandoah County’s Planner. This conversation is part of an ongoing series following the work on Shenandoah 2045 – Shenandoah County’s comprehensive plan. The planning process will unfold over the next four years with the majority of the community collaboration occurring from 2020-2022, with input in 2023-2024. Click here to listen to the conversation.

Joining Janet & Tyler to talk about the economic development chapter was Jenna French, Shenandoah County’s Director of Economic Development/Tourism and Sarah Mauck from District Six (Strasburg) of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC.)

Jenna explained how economic development factors into the comprehensive plan and gave us some background on the economic development strategic plan which comes from information in the overall plan. She talked about how businesses choose localities to open/expand their footprint and talked about the importance of being specific when thinking about what residents might want/need for their communities. The group talked about how planning for schools, infrastructure, and “rooftops” impacts growth.

Tyler & Sarah shared their experience at MayFest and the great feedback they received from people who visited their booth during the event. Their setup included a “lego town” where adults and kids could place things like businesses, houses, schools and roads into the town where they felt they would be best suited. It was a big hit with visitors of all ages.

Each month, a topic of the conversation is the importance of feedback from residences throughout the county. Input is needed and wanted to make the comprehensive plan as comprehensive as possible. The team working on the plan wants to be sure that all generations are included and that every opinion is heard and discussed.

The CAC will be setting up at other events to promote Shenandoah 2045 throughout the summer in different localities across the county:

If you can’t make one of the events, you can take the community survey (open until Labor Day) by clicking here.

You can also access their “map feature” and tell everyone what your favorite place is in the county; where you have an idea for how things could be different; and where problems exist on the interactive map. Zoom in to your community and let everyone know where you want to see more detailed improvements such as sidewalks, new stores, or public river or stream access. Click here to map your future.

For more information about Shenandoah 2045’s comprehensive planning process, visit their website: and follow them on Facebook.