News Maker Jeffery Alban on Blue Ridge Singers

The Blue Ridge Singers (BRS) annual Christmas Concert series has begun.

We spoke to the BRS’s director Jeffery Alban about the shows and some changes in our latest news maker.

News makers are sponsored by Warren County.

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

Jeffery tells us about this year’s shows and theme.

He also has important information about a time change for the start of the shows for the Sunday performances.

Jeffery also tells us that the BRS is celebrating 15 years and how this year has been one of the biggest for the number of singers.

Click here for Jeffery’s news maker.

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

Arlington County Police investigate a home explosion

Arlington County Police report responding to calls of shots fired in the 800 block of North Burlington Street at approximately 4:45 P.M. December 4.

Preliminary investigations indicated that a suspect discharged a flare gun 30 to possibly 40 times from inside the residence into the neighborhood.

Officers attempted to execute a search warrant and contact the suspect who did not respond and remained barricaded in the home.

The suspect eventually fired several rounds of a firearm not a flare gun from inside the home.

Shortly after the shots were fired at approximately 8:25 p.m. an explosion occurred from inside the residence.

The explosion ripped the roof off the home and totally demolished the structure throwing debris into the neighborhood.

The entire incident remains under investigation with the Arlington County Fire Department taking the fire under control by approximately 10:30 p.m.

Three police officers sustained minor injuries in the incident and did not require transportation to the hospital with no other injuries reported.

As of now no word on the apprehension of the suspect who was described by neighbors as a recluse largely staying to himself.

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

Virginia leaders request pause on FBI headquarters relocation

Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine along with nine bipartisan Representatives from Virginia sent a letter to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget requesting the FBI headquarters relocation process be paused.

This will allow the Office of the Inspector General time to properly investigate the site selection process after questions were raised following the recommendation of Greenbelt, Maryland by a panel last month.

In November, lawmakers sent a letter requesting an investigation into significant concerns about the site selection process being affected by political interference and alleged impropriety.

This concern was echoed by Christopher Wray, Director of the FBI.

Virginia politicians have been making a case for the Commonwealth over the last few months citing the diverse and developed workforce, proximity to critical national security facilities, and easy access to transit.

To read the full letter to Director Shalanda Young, click here.

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

WPD cracks down on improper driving and offers safety town hall

lorenzo wheeler homicide

In a concerted effort to crack down on improper driving, the Winchester Police Department (WPD) recently conducted several traffic enforcement operations.

One at Jubal Early and South Loudoun Street, and others at Jubal Early and Valley Avenue as well as at Berryville Avenue and North Pleasant Valley Roads.

An alarming amount of 68 citations were issued during these operations.

Driving while texting or talking on the phone was one of the major offenses.

Other incidents included driving and not using a signal, driving through a red light, driving with a suspended or no license at all.

Chief Behen confirms that the WPD will continue to conduct these types of operations to keep the streets of Winchester safe and reduce the number of crashes.

Thanks to the continued actions of the WPD traffic crashes have been reduced from almost 1,100 in 2022 to well under 1,000 in 2023 so far.

In fact, Chief Behan and the city’s public safety team will conduct a virtual street safety town hall December 5 at 6 p.m.

The virtual Town Hall meeting on traffic safety and how Winchester plans to combat improper driving can be joined here.

The WPD encourages citizens to report cases of unsafe driving habits to the department.

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

VSP investigate a fatal plane crash in Fauquier County

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

Virginia State Police (VSP) report by email the opening of an investigation after a small single engine 1975 Beechcraft C23 plane attempted a landing at the Warrenton Fauquier Airport.

As the plane was descending, it collided with several trees about 3 quarters of a mile southeast of the airport near Midland and Ebenezer Church Road.

The collision caused the plane to catch fire and crash into a field just before 4 p.m. Sunday, December 3.

The pilot was the sole occupant and casualty of the crash.

The pilot has been identified as 62-year-old Simmie A. Adams of Bealeton, Virginia.

First responders confirmed that no one on the ground was injured in the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sent investigators to the scene Monday December 4.

Investigators are asking nearby residents to review any video footage or if you witnessed the incident to contact the NTSB.

Any pertinent information can be delivered to the NTSB at witness@ntsp.gov.

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

Laurel Ridge opens esports arena

Used by permission by Laurel Ridge Community College

Laurel Ridge Community College opened their new esports arena earlier this fall.

The arena is located in the Middletown Campus’s Student Union Building and contains 12 PCs, three Nintendo Switches, and a broadcasting/streaming station.

The new arena is also part of a partnership with Shenandoah University who helped Laurel Ridge purchase $50,000 in equipment using a grant SU received for its Hub for Innovation, Virtual Reality and Entrepreneurship, or HIVE.

Laurel Ridge business administration students can transfer to SU’s esports management degree program which offers certificates, bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Shenandoah also provided two interns to Laurel Ridge to help establish the esports program.

Roughly 50 students have signed up for the new Lions Esports Organization, or LEO, which is open to all students whether they are playing competitively or recreationally.

To learn more information about the esports program at Laurel Ridge, click here.

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

News Maker Meghan Bowers on a Resource Fair

Warren County has a number of services open and available for those in need.

All those organizations are going to be under one roof Wednesday December 6.

We talk to Meghan Bowers Job Developer for Warren County Department of Social Services about the Resource Fair in our latest news maker.

News makers are sponsored by Warren County.

Experience Warren County Where History, Nature, and Family come together.

Meghan tells us this is not just resources available but health screenings food and more.

She also tells us how you can get involved on many different levels including opportunities for nonprofits to join the gathering.

Meghan also tells us of incentives to join in on the event Wednesday December 6.

Click here for Meghan’s latest news maker.

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

Frederick Co. man arrested after acting erratically and threating

A 36-year-old Frederick County man who allegedly brandished a machete and made threats from the porch of his residence Thursday morning was arrested after a standoff.

The standoff drew a heavy police presence near the Dowell J. Howard Center.

Kenneth Frock, of the 100 block of Dairy Corner Place, was charged with a felony count of brandishing a machete within 1,000 feet of a school, according to Frederick County Sheriff Lenny Millholland by phone.

Frock’s residence, which is where the standoff occurred, is located about 630 feet from the Dowell J. Howard Center, a Frederick County Public Schools career and technical education facility.

The sheriff’s department and school officials worked together to maintain safety of the students. 

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

FCSO lead investigation into multijurisdictional gift card thieves

Fauquier Co. Sheriff's Logo used by permission by Fauquier County Deputy Jeffery Long

Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office issued a be on the lookout for suspects in numerous gift cards thefts.

A Fauquier Sheriff’s Deputy spotted the suspect’s vehicle on James Madison Highway Route 29 and took pursuit.

The vehicle did stop at one point but took off when the Officer approached.

The vehicle sped north on Route 29 reaching speeds of over 120 miles per hour and eventually lost control and crashed in the median.

A passenger was apprehended at the scene but the driver ran on foot into the nearby woods.

Canine and drone units were deployed and eventually located the suspect and he was taken into custody.

After a search of the vehicle numerous gift cards were discovered.

Khiry Tryon Williams and Ltepha Denis Lane both of Tampa Florida are being held in the Fauquier County Detention Center and being held without bond.

Further investigation revealed that the pair have been sought after in multiple jurisdictions on numerous charges.

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

Winchester City approves speed limit reductions

amanda behan

Winchester City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a series of speed limit reductions on sections of streets in northern and central Winchester and lowered the speed limit on a portion of Middle Road.

These changes come just three weeks after the council’s Finance Committee and Public Health and Safety Committee gave the green light to install 41 raised crosswalks throughout Winchester, especially near schools.

Those crosswalks will damage the underside of vehicles exceeding posted speed limits.

These will join four others that had previously been authorized, meaning Winchester is expected to have a total of 45 raised crosswalks by the time installation is completed in the next few months.

Speed limits were reduced on portions of  Middle Road from 45 mph to 35 mph and reduced to 15 mph on city streets.

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