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Virginia Senator’s Mark Warner and Tim Kaine wrote to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to urge the Department to take steps to combat antisemitism and islamophobia on college campuses.
Since the start of the Israel-Hamas crisis, institutions of higher education have seen a rise in antisemitism and islamophobia including hate speech, harassment, and violence which has created an environment of fear and vulnerability for students.
The letter brings attention to a few recent incidents including the hit and run attack on an Arab Muslim student at Stanford University and violent threats posted online against the Jewish community at Cornell University.
The senators call for:
- expansion of the Antisemitism Awareness Campaign
- creation of an Islamophobia Awareness Campaign
- additional outreach efforts to the affected communities
- providing resources to colleges and universities from the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights
To view the senator’s full release, click here.
The Virginia Department of Transportation began the Interstate 81 Auxiliary Lane Project November 20th near Staunton.
Northbound and southbound traffic on I-81 will be lowered to 60 miles per hour between mile marker 220 and 221.5.
The work-zone speed limit will remain in place for the duration of the 18 month auxiliary lane project.
Route 635 (Barterbrook Road) south of exit 221, will close next week and remain closed until completion of construction.
During bridge construction, motorists will need to follow a 13-mile detour.
The full detour route follows:
- West of the bridge (Staunton side), drivers will go west on Route 635, south on Route 11 (Greenville Avenue/Lee-Jackson Highway), south on Route 262 (Woodrow Wilson Parkway), north on I-81, east on I-64 to exit 91 (Fishersville), south on Route 285/608, and then west on Route 635 to the end of the detour.
- East of the bridge (Fishersville side), drivers will go east on Route 635, north on Route 608/285, west on I-64, south on I-81 to exit 220 (Staunton), north on Route 262 (Woodrow Wilson Parkway), north on Route 11 (Lee-Jackson Highway/Greenville Avenue), and then east on Route 635 to the end of the detour.
Once completed, an auxiliary lane on 81 will help connect the I-64 junction with exit 220.
The bridge replacement provides additional space for merging and exiting traffic.
Building a new bridge also allows for future widening of I-81 and will reduce the cost and duration of the entire full project.
The contract was originally awarded to Fairfield-Echolls of Fishersville for $7.7 million in October, earlier this year and is scheduled for completion by October of 2025.
Scott Bradley speaks with News Maker and Frederick County Sheriff Lenny Millholland for their monthly chat.
They discuss the noteworthy contributions of the Animal Control Unit recently.
They also talk about the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office’s upcoming free youth camp.
For Lenny’s News Maker, click here.
For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.
For the sixth time in the last three years, Central (11-0) and Strasburg (8-2) meet on the gridiron; this time in the second round of the VHSL playoffs.
In their first meeting this year, Central emerged victorious and claimed the Bull Run District Championship with a 28-7 win.
That game was closer than the final score implies as Central added a few late scores.
Strasburg had numerous opportunities in that game to put points on the board where they came up short and a few defensive plays that allowed 4th down conversions.
If Strasburg can correct those mistakes, they will be able to go toe-to-toe with one of the most dominant teams in Virginia over the last two years in Class 2 football, the Central Falcons.
Central has not lost since last year’s State Championship against Graham and has looked to be on a mission to get back to Salem.
The Falcon’s dynamic running game was too much for the Rams in the last matchup which allowed star running back Tyler Forbes to reach 164 yards and Jacob Williams-Warner to reach 140 yards on two carries.
Forbes recently claimed the Central High School career rushing record in the first round matchup against Stuarts Draft when he passed Johnnie Williams with 3,308 yards.
Central’s gameplan will once again revolve around Forbes and his bruising style, but they have shown some big play capability through the air as the season has progressed.
Both team’s have been dominant in the trenches and it will basically be a Bull Run All District All Star game between both team’s lines.
The more physical team who can limit mistakes will win the game.
Strasburg has a nasty taste in their mouth after losing to Central in last year’s playoffs and in the regular season finale, but the Falcons playoff experience and home field advantage should give them the boost they need to get past the Rams in a tight one, 22-14.
Press play below for my interview with Strasburg Head Coach Mark Roller.
Warren County and Frederick County’s Departments of Fire and Rescue issued an open air burning ban.
The decision was in accordance with the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code due to the extreme atmospheric and drought conditions impacting Front Royal, Winchester, Frederick and Warren County.
No one within the county or town limits shall kindle or maintain any open burning during this time.
This includes all bonfires, ceremonial fires, camp fires and barrel fires.
The regulation does not include barbecues, grills, smokers, or any device that emits smoke through a chimney or stack.
Some safety tips mentioned to reduce the chances of fire include the proper discarding of cigarettes, avoiding grass with your vehicle so that the exhaust does not contact dry grass or leaves, and trailers using safety chains should check that they are not dragging on the ground which can create a spark.
The releases also recommend moving anything that will burn away from structures, cutting back or removing dry and dead plants around the home, and notifying the electric company if dead trees or limbs endanger electric wires.
The Winchester Medical Center attained its fourth Magnet recognition for its commitment to nursing excellence.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program awards healthcare organizations that meet rigorous standards to determine high-quality nursing.
Only 10% of hospitals throughout the country, including 27 in Virginia, have earned the Magnet designation.
Some of the components used to gauge an organization include the quality of nursing leadership, coordination and collaboration across specialties, as well as processes for measuring and improving the quality and delivery of care.
To achieve initial recognition, healthcare organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy electronic application, written patient care documentation, an on-site visit, and a review by the Commission on Magnet Recognition.
Organizations must reapply every 4 years.
Winchester Medical Center was first designated in 2008 and redesignated in 2013 and 2018.
Organizations with the recognition have shown to have higher patient satisfaction with nurse communication, lower risk of 30-day mortality and lower failure rescue rates, higher job satisfaction among nurses, and lower nurse reports of intentions to leave.
The Salvation Army Front Royal Corps’ annual Red Kettle Campaign will kick off Saturday, November 18th at 12:30 at the Wal-Mart off Route 522.
The Kettle Kick Off was originally scheduled for Thursday, November 16th at Rural King but was moved.
Funds raised through the Kettle Campaign go directly back to the local community to support those in need.
Each year, the Front Royal Corps assists over a thousand families with rent, mortgage, or utility payments, hygiene items, food, and clothing.
To make this event a success, the Salvation Army relies on organizations to “adopt” days at the kettle and engage in a friendly competition with other groups for bragging rights.
Individuals are also crucial to the success of the campaign as they fill critical scheduling gaps.
The Salvation Army Front Royal Corps supports Warren, Page, and Rappahannock Counties as well as Strasburg.
Kettles will be outside numerous area stores and businesses Monday through Saturday beginning on November 18th through Christmas Eve.
A link to register to ring the bell is available here.
Virginia Senator Mark Warner and Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan introduced bipartisan legislation to support spaceports across the nation.
The legislation will increase investment in space and address the spaceport bottleneck.
The Alleviate Spaceport Traffic by Rewarding Operators Act, or ASTRO, would award funding to spaceports with a track record of launches, protecting and promoting America’s strategic, military, and commercial interests in space exploration while supporting their local economies.
The ASTRO Act would help private spaceports get the resources they need to improve the infrastructure and increase launch capacity and cadence.
Through the Act, spaceports would receive $250,000 for each licensed launch and $100,000 for each permitted launch up to $2.5 million to promote investment in spaceports that have a record of successful launches.
One of the spaceports eligible for those funds includes Wallops Island in Virginia.
To view the Senator’s full release, click here.
Scott Bradley speaks with Todd Jones and Gerry Maiatico about their friend competition between Warren County Government and Warren County Fire and Rescue for Camping for Hunger.
There is still time to make a donation for Camping for Hunger by going to one of the many drop off locations throughout town, including at the Warren County Government Offices and the fire station, as well as our main location at the Royal Plaza.
For Todd and Gerry’s News Maker, click here.
The Town of Front Royal provided an update regarding the ongoing litigation with the Front Royal- Warren County Economic Development Authority.
Earlier this year, the Town intensified its efforts to settle the litigation between the parties.
The Mayor, EDA Chair and financial teams established a timeline to address and resolve all outstanding claims.
The process was intricate due to missing documents attributed to the misconduct of former EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald and the lack of required EDA audits.
Legal proceedings flowing from the situation have been ongoing for years and led to substantial costs shouldered by town and county residents.
In an effort to prevent further financial strain, the town has decided to nonsuit the lawsuit against the EDA.
The Town remains hopeful that this decision will lead to a constructive response from the EDA and acknowledges the various challenges remaining including unresolved Town of Front Royal interests in public trust properties, currently for sale, or under contract, and other projects.
To view the full press release from the Town of Front Royal, click here.