The Winds Of Change

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Greetings From The Booth!

If you’re a Washington Commanders fan, don’t go ordering your tickets to The Big Game just yet. (We’ll leave that to the Dallas Cowboy faithful, who do that every September. If the NFL had it’s Super Bowl at the start of the season like NASCAR, the Cowboys would have more banners than their massive new stadium could hold.) But there is reason today to think things are moving in that direction. For the first time since 2011, the burgundy and gold have started a season 2-0, following their heart-pounding 35-33 win against Denver on Sunday.

As one player put it, “this feels different.” And it does. The Denver game could have ended like the countless games we’ve seen in the last 23 years: with a last second loss or a blown lead or a comeback that falls just short. We’ve seen that movie over and over, and the ending never changes.

Only, Sunday it did. Calls that would have gone against Washington in the Snyder era went in their favor. The football bounced their way , and the Commanders even got a fortuitous no-call on the 2-point conversion attempt by Denver that would have sent the game into overtime. That play followed a  50-yard “Hail-Mary” touchdown pass by Bronco quarterback Russell Wilson on the game’s final play. I’m sure a lot of you were grumbling something  like, “here we go again, same-ol same-ol” (I took out the expletives) as I did when that happened.

And, how many of you turned your TV to reruns of “Naked and Afraid” when the score was 21-3 Denver, and the Broncos threatening for more after a long punt return? Amazingly, the game turned on that drive with a Denver turnover, and the Commanders were able to weather the storm and get to within 7 at the half. A fired-up Washington defense shut down Wilson and the Broncos while Sam Howell and the Washington offense built a 35-24 lead late in the 4th quarter.

Old habits die hard, though. When Denver got to within 8 and the Commanders left Wilson with 56 seconds to work with, the familiar feelings of the Snyder era came flooding back. But, Washington found a way, and in the process scored it’s biggest road comeback since 1990. You remember that year, right? That season, the then-Redskins would make the playoffs at 10-6, laying the foundation for their Super Bowl year in 1991.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Two games does not a season make. But, the winds of change are blowing, and at 2-0, the Commanders are finding ways to win, as opposed to finding ways to lose. It, indeed, “feels different.”

Until the next visit from The Booth…HAIL!


Virginia State Police welcomes 31 troopers to the force

VSP official patch and logo used by permission by Information Officer Brent Coffey

The Commonwealth graduated the 139th generation of Virginia State Troopers on Friday.

The 31 new troopers received diplomas during the commencement ceremony at the State Police Training Academy in Chesterfield County.

Throughout the 28 weeks of training, graduates received more than 1,300 hours of classroom and field instruction in over 100 different subjects including ethics, leadership, constitutional law, assisting those in a mental health crisis, de-escalation techniques, and emergency medical trauma care, among others.

Troopers will arrive at their assignments this week and begin their final phase of training which includes six weeks with a Field Training Officer.

Graduates from the 139th session come from a variety of states as well as the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Saipan.

One local member of the class is James Lloyd Lakey II, who is from Strasburg and will be assigned to Frederick County.

The Virginia State Police is currently hiring for troopers in future Academy classes.

To learn more or apply, click here.

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

Middletown mourns passing of former Mayor and volunteer firefighter

Our thoughts are with the Middletown community as Former Mayor Neil Stallings passed away over the weekend.

He served as Mayor from 1972-1976 and was a member of the Middletown Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company for over 50 years.

He was an instrumental part of the current EMS system used by the Company and was an instructor for 12 years, imparting his wisdom and technical knowledge to the next generation of first responders.

Stallings was dedicated to educating and helping young people in the community and he was able to guide numerous students in his role as a counselor at Laurel Ridge.

The official town announcement is found here.

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

VDOT schedules lane closure for I-81 in Warren County

road improvements

The Virginia Department of Transportation is scheduled to pour concrete for the widening of Route 840 (Water Plant Road) over I-81 southbound in Warren County on Tuesday, September 19.

The work requires the overnight lane closure of the left lane from 8 pm to 7 am from mile marker 298 to 300, near the I-81 and I 66 junction.

This is a regularly congested area so motorists should use caution when traveling through the work zone.

Drivers using Route 840 should be alert for flagger controlled traffic at the overpass bridge during the time of the scheduled work.

The bridge widening is part of the larger project to extend the on-ramp from I-66 to ease congestion and enhance safety.

The contract was originally awarded to Triton Construction for $7.1 million in May of 2022 with completion scheduled for November of 2024.

For up to date travel information, head to

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

News Maker Diane Burnes on Fall Ramp Up fundraiser for AI, inc

Access Independence Inc. (AI, inc.) provides services for people with disabilities.

The services offered include widening doorways, adding ramps and making commodities easier to reach and so much more.

All of these services cost money which is why AI does the Fall Ramp Up fundraiser Saturday September 23.

We spoke with AI’s Executive Administrative Assistant Diane Burnes about the fundraiser in our latest news maker.

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

Diane tells us of the services offered by AI.

She also tells us what we can expect at the September 23 fundraiser.

Diane also tells us how committed to providing services for those with disabilities AI is and the mammoth commitment it is.

Click here for Diane’s news maker.

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