Strasburg Police and VSP exonerate officer involved in shooting

Strasburg Police Department logo

The Strasburg Police Department and Virginia State Police (VSP)  have exonerated an officer involved in a fatal shooting.

In a video briefing Strasburg Police Chief Wayne Sager made the announcement.

Chief Sager reported that both the VSP as well as the Strasburg Police Department’s internal review have been completed.

In the video Sager confirmed that Virginia’s Commonwealth’s Attorney Elizabeth Cooper appointed Special Prosecutor Brian Porter to review all the facts in the case.

The Prosecutor reviewed evidence presented by VSP as well as video footage of the incident.

Special Prosecutor Porter’s review concluded that Officer George Rathore acted with justifiable self-defense under applicable Virginia law.

Porter declined to bring any charges against Rathore who has returned to full duty with the Strasburg Police Department.

The incident involved Melissa Renee Thompkins who was reported to be causing a disturbance at the Ramada Inn on Signal Knob Drive December 17.

On arrival Officer Rathore  made contact with Thompkins who began to run.

Rathore chased Thompkins who eventually became combative and began to attack the officer.

The Officer attempted several times to control the situation including trying to talk Thompkins out of running.

Attempts to tase Thompkins twice were ineffective.

After several warnings Rathore resorted to shooting Thompkins to end the confrontation.

The complete briefing including both Ramada and officer body camera footage is found here with caution advised as it is graphic.

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

Warren County opens cooling stations as heat reaches dangerous levels

Warren County Assistant Fire Chief Gerry Maiatico announced by email the opening of cooling stations in Warren County.

Heat is going to be a real concern this week with temperatures in the 90’s and near 100 by June 22.

Heat index is expected to be above triple digits with high humidity creating a dangerous combination.

Emergency personnel are recommending caution and preparedness for the heat especially when working outside.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends a cup of cold water every 20 minutes even if you aren’t thirsty.

If you are expected to be in the heat for long strenuous jobs it is advisable to drink a beverage with electrolytes.

Take regular breaks to rest and try to break in a shaded area or cool location.

Muscle spasms, nausea, dizziness and fainting are all signs of heat illness.

Check in on elderly people in hot conditions to ensure that they are safe and hydrated.

Outdoor animals need shade and fresh water and brought in during the hottest parts of the day if possible.

Walking an animal on hot pavement can produce irreparable damage to an animal’s paws.

This heat is likely to last through the week with summer arriving June 20 at 4:50 p.m.

Warren County has announced cooling stations according to Maiatico these stations are strictly for cooling purposes and not permanent shelters.

Locations to cool off include Samuels Public Library, Warren County Community Center, and the Public Safety Building.

For those over 60 the Senior Center is available.

The Warren County Splash Pad is another area to cool off.

Extreme heat safety tips from the American Red Cross are found here.

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

FCSO make arrest in grand larceny shoplifting case in Stephens City

Frederick County Sheriff Lenny Millholland confirmed by phone that an arrest has been made in a series of shoplifting attempts at Miller’s Ace Hardware in Stephens City.

Ellis Osbourne Tevalt of Front Royal Pike and a female accomplish Kayla Shoemaker were caught on video surveillance stealing merchandise from the store several times.

The pair were first caught on video that was reviewed on April 18 by Frederick County Sheriff investigators.

The first known incident occurred March 30 with another attempt and video footage again on April 7.

The pair appeared to shop with Tevalt hiding merchandise in his jacket pockets and Shoemaker distracting employees.

Tevalt was identified by investigators through previous complaints and Division of Motor Vehicles confirmation.

Tevalt and Shoemaker who was not with him on all shoplifting attempts stole nearly $3,000 worth of merchandise collectively.

Several hand tool batteries would be placed in Tevalt’s jacket pockets, and he would go to check out a smaller item.

Shoemaker attempted to buy some items with a credit card that was declined, and the pair left the store.

The 34-year-old Tevalt was arrested June 12 and is charged with grand larceny and faces additional charges.

According to Sheriff Millholland Tevalt could see 20 years in prison.

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

News Maker Casey Hollins of REC on staying informed with or without power

We are in Hurricane season and severe storms can occur at any time during the summer months.

We spoke with Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) Managing Director of Communications and Public Relations Casey Hollins about staying informed should power go out in our latest news maker.

News makers are sponsored by Warren County.

Experience Warren County Where, History, Nature, and Family Come Together.

Casey tells us it is important to update your contact information with REC so they can contact you during planned power outages for needed repairs or upgrades.

She also tells us that the Smart Hub can keep you updated should the power go out unexpectedly.

Casey also tells us that REC is able to contact you to keep you informed on the restoration of power with the Smart Hub.

Click here for Casey’s latest news maker.

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