WPD report the first traffic fatality since 2018

lorenzo wheeler homicide

The Winchester Police Department (WPD) report the first traffic fatality in the City of Winchester since November 2018.

The incident was reported Jan. 8 at approximately 6:35 when authorities responded to a report of a traffic crash involving a motorcycle.

On arrival Winchester fire and rescue personnel began treatment and then transportation of the victim to Winchester Medical Center.

It was at the Medical Center where 25 year old Austin D. Ponsart of Warrenton succumbed to his injuries and died.

Witnesses report that Ponsart was traveling on his 2022 Harley Davidson motorcycle at a high rate of speed eastbound on Woodstock Lane.

Ponsart lost control of the vehicle and struck a telephone pole.

The Virginia State Police continue to assist the Winchester Police Department in the investigation.

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

FCSO seek information on individuals in vehicle break ins

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) announced that they are seeking information from the public in identifying individuals.

The subjects are believed to be involved with a recent rash of vehicle break ins and thefts.

The pair may have been involved with the recent break ins of vehicles at the Sports Plex at Commonwealth Court.

They may have also been involved with recent vehicle break ins and thefts of belongings at Jim Barnett Park, Winchester Country Club and Sherando Park.

Pictures of the suspects with additional information is found here.

Anyone with any information on the subjects is asked to contact the FCSO at 540-662-6162, Winchester Frederick County Crime Solvers at 540-665-TIPS or use the P3 app.

The recent rash of thefts have led the Sheriff’s Office to implement a reminder for citizens to follow the 9 p.m. Routine.

This 9 p.m. Routine suggest that citizens hide valuables, lock doors on cars and buildings and make sure you know where your keys are by 9 p.m. each night.

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

WPD Seeks Assistance with Hit and Run

lorenzo wheeler homicide

The Winchester Police Department (WPD) is seeking information involving a Hit and Run crash, which occurred on

January 3, 2023 at approximately 9:45 am.  Officers responded to the intersection of Jubal Early Drive and South

Loudoun Street and located an 83-year-old male, from Winchester, who had been struck by a vehicle.  According to

witnesses, a light-colored truck, described as a Super Duty, was traveling north on Loudoun Street when the vehicle

struck the male. The vehicle was last seen turning east on Jubal Early Drive heading towards S. Pleasant Valley Road.

The victim was transported to Winchester Medical Center with life threatening injuries. The WPD has been working

diligently reviewing camera footage and speaking with witnesses, but we need the public’s assistance. If you have

information in reference to this incident, please contact Winchester Police Department at 540-662-4131 or Crime

Solvers by using the P3 Tips.

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

Windsong Community Chorus Open House

Windsong Community Chorus an all-female a cappella chorus is hosting their open house for new members

on Monday Jan 9th and 16th at 6:30pm at Opequon Presbyterian Church in Winchester at 217 Opequon Church Lane.

There is no audition and no experience necessary, but you must love to sing! Covid vaccination card is required.

Check them out on Facebook: Windsong Community Chorus or their website Windsongcommunitychorus.com

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

Two-Vehicle Crash Leads to DUI, Drug Arrest/ Seizure

phone scam warning

At approximately 8:10 am yesterday morning, Frederick County EOC receive reports of a 2-vehicle crash on

Bloomery Pike in the northern part of the county.

Callers indicated that one vehicle was on its side with the driver unable to get out. Units from FCSO’s Traffic Division

arrived as members of Frederick County Fire & Rescue stabilized the passenger vehicle and extricated the driver.

Upon interviewing the parties involved and examining the crash scene, Deputy A. Stump determined that a 2013

Chevy Sonic had crossed the double yellow line and struck a 2015 Dodge RAM occupied by a couple from West

Virginia. The male driver of the chevy was incoherent and unable to answer questions or identify himself with nothing

but a large sum of cash on his person. Deputy T. Cram conducted a search of the vehicle, attempting to identify the

male, where a large amount of suspected illegal drugs was subsequently found to include cocaine, crack

cocaine and an, as of yet, unidentified substance with a combined weight of 13 0z. and a street value of $26,000.00.

In addition to seizing the illegal narcotics, a total of $790.00 in U.S. currency was recovered from the driver

later identified as Shaquille O’Mar Webb of Cumberland, Va. Webb was believed to possibly be

impaired by the recent use of marijuana and a search warrant was obtained and executed for a blood

draw. As a result of the crash and evidence obtained, Webb has been charged with two counts of felony possession of

controlled substances with the intent to distribute, DUID, driving on a suspended license, reckless

driving, no insurance and two traffic infractions. He is currently under medical observation and remains in custody

awaiting his medical release and transfer to the adult detention center.

Sheriff Lenny Millholland stated that he is glad to know these drugs have been taken off the streets stating
“This individual was traveling through our area, apparently under the influence, while also transporting a significant amount of drugs. I think we are lucky he didn’t hurt or kill anyone in Frederick County with either of
these activities”.


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

The Pets for Life Program from the WASPCA

It’s that time of year again to show our beloved pets how much they mean to us and reflect on the memory of pets no

longer with us. The Pets for Life program at the Winchester Area SPCA invites you to purchase a light on behalf of

your pet and help us Light a Path to end pet homelessness. 100% of the proceeds benefit the WASPCA Pets for Life

Program to help us keep loved pets with their families and out of the overcrowded shelter systemLights will be

illuminated throughout the month of February on the WASPCA campus located off Featherbed Lane in Winchester,

VA. All lights are lit at once and remain on throughout the duration of the campaign. $10 donation for one light

$50 donation for 10 lights $100 donation for 20 lights Donations can be made in person at 111 Featherbed Lane or at

this link winchesterspca.org/light-a-path-donation/

It is important to know that when you donate to the Winchester Area SPCA’s Light a Path campaign,

you are doing so in name only. There is not a pet’s name listed on each light. However,

your pet’s name will be honored on the Winchester Area SPCA Facebook page as each light is sold.

Please submit your order by January 31st of each year for your pet to be included in the annual Light a Path campaign.

The lights will be illuminated Monday, February 6th in a Lighting Ceremony held at the WASPCA Adoption Center

from 6-8pm that will include a wine pull, a fun silent auction, and hot cocoa bar.

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



News Maker Julie Armel from Museum of the Shenandoah Valley

Listen as Scott Bradley speaks with Julie Armel Deputy Director of Marketing and Communications from

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley about their New Year’s Eve Day Celebration!

News Makers are brought to you by Warren County, together WE are community.


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

News Maker Kevin Owens on First Night Middletown

Scott Bradley is speaking with Kevin Owens on the first ever, First Night Middletown.

New Year’s Eve from 6-9 at the Town Hall, there will be live performances and family fun.

News Makers are brought to you by Warren County, together WE are community.



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

VDOT to Hold Public Meeting

Traffic Update

The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing concerning improvements to Millwood Avenue
(Route 17/50/522) in the City of Winchester.
The meeting will take place from 4 to 6 pm, Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at Rouss City Hall, 15 North Cameron Street,
Winchester, VA 22601

Citizens can come in during the meeting hours and discuss the project on a one-on-one basis with VDOT
officials and designers. Written comments can be submitted at the meeting or within 10 days after
the meeting date to Mr. David Robinson, P.E., Project Manager, Virginia Department of Transportation,
811 Commerce Road, Staunton, VA 24401-9029. Oral comments can be recorded at the meeting with the assistance
of a court reporter.

VDOT and the City of Winchester are proposing improvements along Millwood Avenue in Winchester.
The proposed improvements include two left-turn lanes for westbound Millwood drivers turning onto
Apple Blossom Drive. Also starting at this intersection, eastbound drivers will have a third lane
extending all the way to the I-81 southbound ramp.

The nearby intersection of Millwood and Mall Boulevard will be reconstructed to eliminate the crossover,
including removing the traffic signal and installing a full grass median. This intersection will allow
right turns only, which will improve traffic flow for through traffic on Millwood.

To improve pedestrian access and safety, a new signalized pedestrian crossing next to Abrams
Creek will connect the main campus of Shenandoah University with the South Campus Commons.

This project is adjacent to the VDOT I-81 bridge project at the intersection of Millwood Avenue
and Mall Boulevard. In fact, VDOT is expanding its Millwood Pike bridge project in Frederick County
to tie-in and incorporate these improvements located west of the bridge in the City.
This work will proceed forward as one project, which will enhance safety and traffic flow through this busy corridor.

Pedestrian traffic will be prohibited in the work zone during construction, which is scheduled
to begin in spring 2025 and take about two-and-a-half years to complete. VDOT plans to minimize the
impact on vehicle traffic by constructing the new bridge and its roadway approaches to the north of the
existing ones. Occasional single-lane closures may be needed for the movement of materials and equipment
and during final transition to the new bridge.

The total cost of this project is estimated at 45 million dollars. This includes preliminary engineering,
right-of-way acquisition and construction. The Millwood Pike – Millwood Avenue projects are designed to
accommodate the planned widening of Interstate 81 through the Winchester area, and future improvements
along the Millwood corridor.

The total estimated cost for this project is $6,498,892, including $749,684 for preliminary engineering,
$1,598,511 for right of way and $4,150,697 for construction.

In 2019 Millwood Avenue had an average daily traffic count of 32,000 vehicles per day.
By the design year of 2045 the estimated average daily traffic volume is 61,200 vehicles per day.

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


Windsong Holiday Concert

A new female a cappella chorus in Winchester presents “Songs of the Season” a free concert this Saturday the 17th

at 11am at Handley Regional Library in Winchester and again at 7pm at Opequon Presbyterian Church which will

benefit Bright Futures of Winchester.  Come hear some lovely three and four part harmonies and come rehearse with

them any Monday night at 6:30 at Opequon Presbyterian Church in Winchester.

windsongcommunitychorus.com or on Facebook:  Windsong Community Chorus

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here