Governor Youngkin announces a large unemployment drop

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced the number of employed Virginians expanded to more than 4.2 million workers in June.

More than 94,000 employed residents have been added to the work force since February.

Virginia’s unemployment rate fell to 2.8 percent in June.

That continues to be below the national rate which remained unchanged at 3.6 percent.

Governor Youngkin added that the June rate dropping to 2.8 percent is promising news for Virginia’s economic health.

Calling the rate a welcome return to pre-pandemic unemployment levels.

The Virginia Employment Commission estimates that establishments in Virginia saw a 3.1 percent increase in jobs in June.

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

News Maker Meghan Bowers on Waggin’ for Dragons

Several organizations will benefit from the August 6 Waggin for Dragons event.

Along with the Front Royal Warren County Chamber of Commerce, the United Way and the Humane Society of Warren County will all benefit.

We spoke with the Humane Society’s Executive Director Meghan Bowers about the event in our latest news maker.

News makers are brought to you by Warren County Together We are Community.

Meghan tells us how much fun the event is along with being a great team building experience for your group or organization.

She also tells us how the competition is heating up between the teams.

Meghan also tells us there is time to enter the competition or become a sponsor.

Click here for Meghan’s interview.

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

Winchester man charged with buying a homicide weapon

amanda behan

A Winchester man has been arrested for making a purchase of a firearm that was used in a homicide.

A press release from the Department of Justice Western District of Virginia shows the man is charged with buying what’s known as a straw weapon.

Winchester resident 25 year old Gerald Kendrick Oxner apparently lied when he purchased a handgun from a Front Royal gun store in January 2021.

Oxner did not disclose that he was buying the weapon for a close relative.

Oxner also provided false information when making the purchase which carries a five year prison sentence if convicted.

The weapon Oxner purchased was later recovered in Maryland with an obliterated serial number.

Forensics research confirmed the weapon was linked to a January 25, 2021 shooting in Southeast Washington D.C..

The action of Oxner providing the weapon that was used in the homicide is referred to as a straw purchase.

That weapon was connected to a murder and the wounding of three others in that incident.

A relative of Oxner’s was arrested and charged with murder in that shooting.

Oxner has also  been accused of making other straw purchases of a least one other firearm in Virginia.

At least one other straw purchased firearm was found in the possession of a felon in a separate shooting investigation.

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

FCSO report a man lived with a corpse for months

Frederick County Sheriff Lenny Millholland confirmed that a body was discovered in a home on Nightingale Avenue of Stepson City.

Deputies discovered the deceased male while serving an eviction notice to the living resident of the home on July 13.

The exact location of the home and identity of the resident are being withheld pending further investigation.

Verification of the deceased male’s identity and cause of death is being determined by the Medical Examiner.

No further information is likely to be released unless foul play is indicated.

The living resident of the home voluntarily checked himself into Winchester Medical Center for psychological evaluation.

It is speculated that the living resident had the deceased person in the home possibly since February.

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

News Maker Samantha Barber on Reaching Out Now

Reaching Out Now has a program to prepare students for the upcoming school year on August 1.

We spoke with Reaching Out Now President and Founder Samantha Barber in our latest news maker.

News makers are brought to you by Warren County Together We are Community.

Samantha tells us about what to expect at the program and who is invited to attend.

She also gives us incentives to be a part of this great opportunity to help prepare students for the upcoming school year.

Samantha also gives us great reasons to register for the event before July 25.

Click here to register for the event.

Click here for Samantha’s interview.

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

WPD responds to another suspicious package call

lorenzo wheeler homicide

The Winchester Police Department (WPD) reports receiving another call regarding another suspicious package.

This caller reported a suspicious package found in the area of Amherst Street and Merrimans Lane on Tues. July 19.

Out of an abundance of caution authorities shutdown both east and westbound traffic on Amherst Street during the investigation.

Operations at Winchester Medical Center were totally unaffected by the road closure.

After deploying a drone for a better view of the package it was deemed harmless.

Authorities moved in to find it to be a satchel of tools and a non threat.

All lanes of traffic were reopened in under an hour.

Winchester Police Lt. Frank Myrtle confirmed that this incident was isolated and has no connection to the three suspicious packages  that were found last week in Winchester.

That incident is still under investigation by Virginia State Police.

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

VDH offers heat health tips and VDSS offers cooling assistance

As the heat rises in Virginia the Department of Health (VDH) recommends two to four glasses of water an hour when working outdoors.

That amount of water helps to avoid heat cramps, stroke and dehydration.

Symptoms of heat related illness are heavy sweating, increase heart rate, nausea, dizziness or headache.

The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) reminds low income households or  homes with people 60 years of age or older are eligible for cooling assistance.

Even households with a disabled person or a person under six can still apply for cooling assistance until August 15.

You can apply for assistance through the Virginia Energy Assistance Program at your local department of social services.

This assistance can help with energy cost, repair of cooling equipment even the purchase of window air conditioners and fans or weatherizaton.

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

News Maker Todd Jones on Warren County events

As we do every Wed. we check in with the Director of Technology for Warren County Todd Jones.

Todd reports on activities occurring in Warren County in our latest news maker.

News makers are brought to you by Warren County Together We are Community.

Todd thanks and commends the actions of our first responders in response to Sun.’s storm.

He also tells us of future events for the Cardinals and the county.

Todd also tells us about a grant provided for the Warren County Sheriff’s Office for School Resource Officers and support.

Click here for Todd’s interview.

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

Winchester Frederick Co. receives a healing the planet grant

The Winchester Frederick County Convention and Visitors Bureau announced that they have received a $10,000 healing the planet grant.

The grant was awarded by the Giant Company and will be used to remove invasive plant species and landscaping work.

The work will include the hillside between the Visitor Center and Abram’s Pond.

The cleaning will improve watershed management for Rouss Spring which feeds Wilkins lake, Abrams Run and then to Opequaon Creek.

The project will also include the planting of native grasses, shrubs and trees to improve the biodiversity of the area.

A variety of native flowering perennials will be included in the planting to help create a healthy pollinator habitat as well.

All plants being used will require minimal maintenance.

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

VH is recognized by the House of Delegates

Valley Health (VH) announced that they have been recognized by the House of Delegates.

The recognition is for their service to the community through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virginia Delegate Wendy Gooditis was at Winchester Medical Center July 18 to present House Resolution 653 to VH personnel.

Gooditis told the officials that the resolution passed unanimously on bipartisan basis through the House of Delegates.

Gooditis added that she and her colleagues across the Commonwealth acknowledge and appreciated what VH does for the community often at great personal risk.

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