Middletown Honors Former Mayor Neil Stallings

The Town of Middletown will honor former Mayor Neil Stallings on Saturday for their Arbor Day celebration. The town is planting a tree near the Post Office on Main Street at 3 pm in tribute to Stalling’s remarkable contributions to the community and dedication to public service. Stallings served as Mayor from 1972-1976 and left his mark on the town through his leadership, vision, and commitment to the town and fire department. He was also an integral member of the Laurel Ridge community, a lifetime member with 50 years of tenure for the Middletown Volunteer Fire and Rescue, and a Program Director for the Virginia Board of Health’s EMS Division. The tree planting symbolizes growth, renewal, and the enduring spirit of the community that Stallings embodied throughout his life.


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Christendom College Students Headed for a National Championship

Christendom College’s Rugby 7s team is competing for a National Championship this weekend. The team is ranked as the #1 seed in their bracket and will travel to Gaithersburg, Maryland for the Collegiate Rugby Championship. Christendom already possesses one rugby 7s National Championship and another full squad title. In 2022, they claimed runner-up after falling in the National Championship game and last season they finished in 9th place. Today’s game against Western Oregon is set to wrap up shortly. If Christendom wins, they will move on to face the winner of Duke vs Howard with the goal of advancing to Saturday’s semifinal and championship rounds. The team is still seeking funding to support the trip and you can help support them with a link available here.  https://www.christendom.edu/gift/crusader-rugby/


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Star Party Saturday

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historic Park are hosting a Star Party on Saturday, April 27th beginning at 7:30 pm. Guests are invited to enjoy an evening gazing at the stars with the National Park Service and Shenandoah Astronomical Society. Telescopes will be available for use, or you are welcome to bring your own. Astronomical Society members on hand will assist with using their telescopes. To begin the viewing session, a park ranger will present a short interpretive talk about the significance of preserving the night sky. To join the star party, attendees will meet at Thoburn’s Redoubt on Bowman’s Mill Road. The location is in a remote area and there are no bathroom facilities on site. The property does not have a street address. To access the location from Route 11, turn onto Water Plant Road, then right onto Long Meadow Road and another right onto Bowman’s Mill Road before making the final right turn on to the property. The event is weather permitting so it is advised to confirm the program’s start time with the visitor’s center before arrival at 540-869-3051.

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Missing Woman Located

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

First responders in Fauquier County located a missing woman who wandered from her home into a nearby forest off Twin Oak Road in Midland, Virginia. On April 24th at approximately 2:45 pm, the Fauquier County Communication Center received a 911 call from a caregiver at the home of Deborah Sayler’s stating that the woman was missing, and the front door was left open. Sayler’s age and cognitive impairment added urgency to the situation. Upon arriving at the home, deputies and several search and rescue teams from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and Emergency Operations Center began to canvas the area. Missing person descriptions were sent to residents around area along with the dispatch of K9 teams. By 6 pm, the search party grew to six teams, a helicopter from Customs and Border Protection, and several drones. At 8:04 pm, Sayler was located deep in a wooded area within walking distance from her home. Medics on site evaluated her and reported that she was in “good” condition” but was brought to a hospital in Warrenton out of precaution. The Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office thanked all the local citizens, agencies, and churches in the region that helped coordinate the response.


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News Maker Tony Carter on Warren Heritage Activities

The Warren Heritage Society has a number of activities planned for spring and Summer.

They also have one last winter event on Mar. 15 with a celebration for their volunteers.

We spoke to archivist Tony Carter about it in our latest news maker.

News makers are sponsored by Warren County Together We are Community.

Tony tells us about the Mar. 15 event and that you can get in on it if you volunteer by Mon. Mar. 13.

He also tells us that you can do several different things as a volunteer.

Tony also tells us of the upcoming summer History Camp that you should start thinking about now as it fills up fast.

Click here for Tony’s news maker.

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

Luray Police arrest a Missouri man who avoided arrest for 15 years

Luray Police

On March 1 Luray Police Chief C.S. Cook arrested yearlong Page County resident Charlie Benfield for crimes in Missouri.

Chief Cook was made aware of Benfield after a local businessman reported a suspicious transaction according to the Page Valley News report.

Chief Cook ran the perpetrators name and found he was wanted for misconduct with a 4-year-old child in Missouri.

The child’s mother did not want her then 5-year-old daughter to relive the incident in court so Benfield entered a plea agreement that included a plea of guilty to felonious restraint or simply holding someone against their will.

The agreement gave Benfield 5 years’ probation and an ankle bracelet.

Benfield cut the bracelet off and has been avoiding the law since 2008 until his arrest in Page County.

Chief Cook found Benfield outside a business in Luray.

Benfield attempted to flee and pulled a garage door down and Cook pulled the door back up and arrested Benfield without incident.

Benefield is scheduled to appear in Page County General District Court March 9 to review extradition restrictions to Missouri.

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Fire Departments remind you to set your clocks and check your alarms

frederick county fire marshal's office

Fire Departments across the region are reminding citizens that we set our clocks ahead an hour this Sat. Mar. 11 Sun. morning Mar. 12.

As they so often do Fire Departments are also reminding us it is a good time to check your smoke alarms as well.

Winchester Fire and Rescue announced for instance that It is also a good idea to not just replace batteries but check the age on your smoke alarm as well.

If the alarm is over 10 years old it is a good and safer idea to upgrade to a new model.

Call your local Fire Department to find out the latest information on smoke alarms and in some cases get a free smoke alarm.

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

BRWC reminds citizens that some wildlife is illegal to keep

giving tuesday

The Blue Ridge Wildlife Center reminds citizens that it is illegal to keep a wild bird in captivity in the United States.

The issue arose when a well-intentioned individual couldn’t renest a nestling blue jay and tried to care for it.

Once the individual found out it was illegal, they took it to an authorized care facility.

The bird was found to be overweight with poor plumage and completely incapable of flight.

The facility is hoping to correct the situation with proper diet and rehabilitation.

Even with that the changes of the bird returning to the wild are poor.

Where it is illegal to keep wild birds in your care throughout all the United States and has been since 1918.

The regulations regarding amphibians, reptiles and mammals very state to state.

Even wildlife centers must have prior authorization from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to care for wild birds.

In all cases it is never a good idea to try to keep and care for any wild animal it is always best to contact animal control to ensure proper care.

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News Maker Todd Jones on the upcoming SRT meeting

A public meeting for input and information on the proposed Shenandoah Rail Trail (SRT) is scheduled March 23 at 7 p.m. at Samuel’s Public Library.

We spoke to Warren County’s Director of Technology Todd Jones about the meeting in our latest news maker.

News makers are sponsored by Warren County Together We are Community.

Todd tells us the scope of the proposed project and money allocated to accomplish it.

He also tells us how important it is to attend the meeting and let our thoughts on the project be known.

Todd also has some information on projects at the county pool.

Click here for Todd’s news maker.

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

Connecticut homicide suspect is chased into Rockingham Co.

Virginia Authorities were made aware of a homicide suspect out of Connecticut possibly making his way to South Carolina.

The Daily News Record reports that a Rockingham County Sheriff’s Deputy spotted the vehicle near Broadway the morning of Mar. 7.

Rockingham County Deputies and Virginia State Police began a pursuit which ended near the 254-mile maker on Interstate 81 South.

After securing the scene the suspect never exited his vehicle.

When authorities approached the vehicle, they found the suspect deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Authorities have not released additional information currently as the investigation continues.

The Virginia Department of Transportation reported that the Interstate was shutdown at around 11:20 a.m. with one lane reopened about an hour later and all traffic cleared with both lanes back open shortly after 4 p.m.

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