VDH issues an Algal Mat Alert in the Shenandoah River

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The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced an Algal Mat Alert for the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.

The alert extends for just over 11 and a half miles from Deer Rapids Bridge to Strasburg.

Where recreational users of the Shenandoah need to be alert, aware, and avoid the mats it does not pose a health threat currently.

Recreational users of the river will need to avoid the algae mats which are patchy and widespread throughout the area.

The current hot weather helps the blooms expand quickly so remaining vigilant is important.

Offices of drinking water in the region are monitoring and coordinating with waterworks for appropriate actions should they be necessary.

The algal mats have the potential to be toxic with results pending examination of the current water samples.

To remain safe swimmers and domestic animals should be kept away from the mats.

Should results from current samples prove to surpass safe swimming thresholds of toxins a warning will be issued to replace this alert.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here

VSP investigate a fatal ATV crash involving a Strasburg woman

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

Virginia State Police (VSP) report by email the investigation of a single vehicle fatal crash in the 600 block of Barbour Lane Clarke County.

On July 12 at approximately 7:15 p.m. a Kawasaki Side-by-side All-Terrain Vehicle attempted a sharp turn on private property and overturned.

Neither person riding was wearing their seatbelt.

The driver of the vehicle, Berryville resident Nicholas I. Ehrhardt, was left uninjured in the crash.

The passenger Madison S. Satterfield of Strasburg suffered life-threatening injuries.

The 22-year-old Satterfield was transported to Winchester Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries.

The 24-year-old Ehrhardt has be charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here

Sherando graduate receives Mike Rowe WORKS scholarship

Sherando High School graduate Jericho Turman was a recent recipient of the prestigious Mike Rowe WORKS scholarship.

The mikeroweWORKS Foundation awarded a total of $2.4 million to over 300 future tradespeople in this round of scholarships.

Since the establishment of the Foundation ten years ago, they have distributed nearly $12 million to over 2000 Americans to begin their careers as plumbers, electricians, welders, mechanics, pipefitters, HVAC specialists, cosmetologists and more.

Turman was selected based on a rubric including his approved school and program, a video submission, strength of references, and overall ability to demonstrate a solid work ethic among others.

The Middletown native will use his funds to work towards a career in welding.

The next round of scholarships will begin accepting applications in February of 2025.

To learn more about the 2024 mikeroweWORKS Foundation scholarships, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here

News Maker Robyn Miller of WATTS on the opening of the cooling center

It is hot and dry and cooling centers are available around the region including the War Memorial Building and Handley Library in Winchester.

In Warren County the Public Safety Building, Community Center, and Government Center are open for cooling.

Clarke County’s Library, and Recreation Center are also available for cooling off.

We spoke with the Director of the Winchester Area Temporary Transitional Shelter (WATTS) about the opening of their facility in our latest news maker.

News makers are sponsored by Warren County.

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

Robyn tells us that showers are available at the WATTS cooling center.

She also tells us that food and water are available to help cool off and hydrate.

Robyn also tells us how we can help in the effort to keep the shelter going.

Click here for Robyn’s latest news maker.

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

WCFR issues an open-air fire ban until further notice with fines

Warren County Fire and Rescue Logo. Used by permission by Warren County Deputy Director of Emergency Services Brian Foley

Warren County’s Department of Fire and Rescue (WCFR) announced an open-air burning ban for Front Royal Warren County.

The order is in accordance with the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code and Warren County’s Fire Marshal.

No person shall kindle or maintain or authorize to be kindled or maintained any open burning at this time.

This order includes a ban on burning of bonfires, ceremonial, camping, and barrel fires.

This currently does not include barbecue grills, smokers, or devices that emit smoke through a chimney or smokestack.

The ban is due to the extreme atmospheric and current drought conditions and will remain in effect until further notice.

Violators of the open-air burn order are subject to a class 1 misdemeanor charge that could result in a year in jail plus a possible $2,500 fine.

Fire Departments throughout the region have already responded to several fires due to the dry conditions.

One of the biggest causes of these fires is the improper discarding of smoking materials.

Heat from the motors of both lawn mowers and vehicles on the dry grass can ignite a fire as well.

Caution is always advised with hot machinery of any kind around dry materials.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here

Front Royal issues mandatory water conservation order

The Town of Front Royal announced a mandatory water conservation order for municipal water system customers.

The South fork of the Shenandoah River has dropped below the permitted levels for withdrawal required by Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality.

This reduction of water flow requires mandatory water conservation efforts.

Watering of shrubs, trees, lawns, grass, or plants between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. is prohibited.

Washing of any mobile equipment including trailers and surfaces is also prohibited.

All ornamental fountains that do not use recycled water must be shut down and cleaned and closed within 2 days of the declaration which was ordered July 15.

Pools are permitted to be topped off to maintain appropriate levels but cannot be filled for the time being.

Municipal water users are urged to comply with these efforts until further notice.

Violators of the mandatory water conservation efforts are subject to a $1,000 fine per offense.

In addition, each day that a violation occurs can be considered a separate offense.

Additional conservation efforts will also save money for users of the municipal water supply.

Any questions about the conservation efforts can be directed to the town’s water treatment plant at 540-636-7474.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here

Governor Youngkin addresses the attempt on Donald Trump’s life

Governor Glenn Youngkin released a statement on the assassination attempt of former President Donald J. Trump.

Calling the July 13 attempt on Donald Trump’s life an act of pure evil and an act against the nation’s morality, and liberty.

The governor called the action an afront to the very foundations of our great nation.

Governor Youngkin went on to say that if we ever deem the action acceptable, we lose our republic.

We fix this by repairing our culture according to the governor.

We fix this through courage, faith, and yes, love according to the governor.

The governor went on to say we fix this by defending our beliefs with dignity and fortitude.

We fix this by defending America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

We fix this together by being Americans.

Governor Youngkin is asking all Virginians and Americans to pray for all those impacted by the incident and the nation.

With one voice we must condemn this evil violence and declare that America’s future will be forged by merit of our ideas according to the governor.

We must prove that we are worthy of the generations that fought, that died, that sacrificed so much to build this great country according to the governor.

In a follow up email the governor has ordered both Virginia and National flags to be flown at half staff through July 16.

The half staff order is in honor of and respect for Pennsylvania Volunteer Firefighter Chief Corey Comperatore.

Comperatore lost his life while shielding his family from the shots fired at the rally.

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

News Maker Tom Wopat on Cooter’s 25th anniversary celebration

Original cast members of the Dukes of Hazard are helping Cooter’s celebrate 25 years in Luray starting July 19.

We spoke to Luke Duke Tom Wopat about the three day celebration in our latest news makers.

News makers are sponsored by Warren County.

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

Tom gives a little history behind Cooter’s and the amount of people that come to celebrate the shop and museums.

He tells us that the amount of people is the reason that registration has to be involved with the event which can happen here.

Tom tells about the arrangement for the weekend long celebration with music and stars to appear.

Click here for Tom’s news maker.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here

VSP assisting the FBI in investigating the Trump assassination attempt

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

Virginia State Police (VSP) announced that they and all agencies across the country are assisting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the ongoing investigation of the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump.

Investigators have identified Thomas Matthew Crooks as the shooter.

The 20 year old Bethel Park Pennsylvania resident was shot and killed by security at the Butler Pennsylvania event.

According to the BBC the assailant was a register Republican who worked in a nursing home kitchen.

Although the shooter did contribute $15 to the liberal campaign group Act Blue in 2021 according to the BBC.

Additionally he contributed $15 to the liberal campaign group Act Blue back in 2021.

The FBI and VSP are asking anyone with any information on the incident or subject that may add insight to the ongoing investigation to contact any authorities.

Any photos or videos of the subject are encouraged.

Online contact information is FBI.gov/butler or call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here