Virginia receives $80 million settlement for environmental contamination

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares reached a settlement agreement of $80 million with the Monsanto Company for environmental contamination caused by polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

The carcinogenic chemical compound was used in industrial and consumer products until they were federally banned in 1979.

Monsanto produced 99% of PCBs in America from the 1930s to 1977.

Over 1,300 river miles, 75,000 lake acres, and over 2,000 square miles of bays and estuaries were impaired by PCBs.

AG Miyares said “PCBs have negatively impacted nearly every living thing in Virginia. They have harmed public health, our land, wildlife, fish and our beloved waterways like the Chesapeake Bay.”

The settlement funds will be used for environmental studies, stream restoration, drinking water improvements, and other environmental causes.

To view the AG’s statement and a video of his remarks, click here.

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

Laurel Ridge hosts visitors from NASA next week

Used by permission by Laurel Ridge Community College

Laurel Ridge Community College will welcome visitors from NASA on Wednesday, September 20th.

NASA human resource specialist Karen Miller is the apprentice program manager and pathways internship program coordinator and she will be joining the group in Middletown next week.

She wants participants to know about the variety of options to start a career at NASA, regardless of their field of study.

She also mentioned that among 11 apprentices at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, 10 of them graduated from a Virginia community college as well as 3 of 4 interns.

Separate presentations with a Q & A will be held for Mountain Vista Governor’s School students, high school students, then for Laurel Ridge and the greater community.

Attendees will learn about opportunities available for current students, alumni, and those with 4 year or postgraduate education.

A link for more information and to RSVP is available here.

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

Fire is currently contained to 2 and a half acres in SNP

photo credit Scott Bradley Hesson with permission

A fire in the central section of the Shenandoah National Park (SNP) that was first reported on September 8 continues to keep firefighters busy September 13.

Currently 18 firefighters from the National Park Service, Virginia Department of Forestry and U.S. Forest Service Idaho City Hotshots have approximately 50 percent of the fire contained.

The firefighters have now dug fire lines all the way around the fire containing it to approximately 2 and half acres of park property.

The terrain in what’s known as the Millers Head area is extremely steep and rocky with fire crews hiking into the area.

The fire is believed to have been caused by lightening setting leaf litter ablaze.

Some rain has fallen which is helping to dampen the fire, but it is not out as of September 13.

Caution is always advised while using fire in the Shenandoah National Park.

Cooking should only be done in park-built fire grates at picnic and campgrounds.

Make sure the fire is completely out, stirred and watered down before leaving.

Another concern is heat from cars in grassy areas causing a fire.

As of the last report the park is still fully opened but smoke may be visible in various locations.

No park facilities or trails are in harm’s way currently.

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

News Makers Jean and Kathy on Boots and Bourbon

The Rotary Club of Warren County is hosting their second annual Boots and Bourbon celebration September 30.

We spoke with Rotary Club of Warren County representatives Jean Plauger and Kathy Napier about it in our latest news maker.

News makers are sponsored by Warren County Together We are Community.

The ladies tell us that the event is even bigger than last year in a new larger location as well.

The event will have a lot more activity this year as well.

The ladies tell us that this year’s event will help support some rather impressive scholarships from the Rotary Club of Warren County.

Click here for Jean and Kathy’s news maker.

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