Virginia Tourism reaches and exceeds pre-pandemic levels

In an email Shenandoah County Tourism announced that tourism has surpassed pre pandemic levels in their contributions to both the local and state economy.

Tourism expenditures reached over $130 million while local labor income reached $31 million supporting almost 1,150 jobs in Shenandoah County alone.

In addition, tourism supported over $5 million in local taxes at the county and town level.

In addition to that tourism in Shenandoah County added another $3.3 million in state taxes.

The Director of Tourism and Economic Development Jenna French explained in the email that it was exciting to see the industry bounce back above pre pandemic levels.

French noted that places like Shenandoah County were among the top destinations which helps fuel the local economy and small businesses as well.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation announced that travelers to Virginia spent $69 million a day in 2021 that is up from $48 million in 2020.

Virginia’s tourism revenues reached $25.2 billion in 2021making an 87 percent recovery from the 2019 pre pandemic spending.

Coastal Virginia, Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Highlands were some of the top destinations and revenue generators for the state.

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

“Tools for Teachers” Collects Thousands of Supplies for Educators

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The “Tools for Teachers” Donation Drive to support educators in Shenandoah County Public Schools proved to be an overwhelming success. The effort was a collaboration between United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley, Just Because,
George’s Inc., and the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce.

The groups delivered mounds of supplies to each of the schools and announced the results of the drive: In total, the community donated over 3,000 items, valued at more than $7,000! In addition, they received $1,300 in cash
On September 8th, the groups were recognized by the Shenandoah County School Board for hosting
the drive and presented $130 checks to each of the 10 school principals.

The funding will allow the schools to purchase specific supplies requested by teachers. The top items collected include: 772
packs of colored pencils, 431 packs of markers, 336 packs of glue sticks, 234 spiral notebooks and
193 packs of pens.
“It was truly inspiring to see the community give so generously, “said Jennifer Hall, Senior Director of
Community Investment at United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley.

“Our annual campaign themethis year is ‘Small Act Big Impact’ and this project is proof that it works! Every person who donated $1 or a pack of pens, collectively worked together to make a big impact and we are so grateful.”
According to a survey the national nonprofit, teachers spend an average of
$750 of their own money each year to help students be successful in the classroom.

With inflation costs, that number is expected to be even higher this year.
This was the first drive of its kind designed exclusively to aid teachers in Shenandoah County Public
Schools and was the idea of staff at George’s Inc. who wanted to work with community partners to
achieve a greater impact.
“We want our teachers to know they are valued and appreciated by our community,” said Billie Jo
Espino, Human Resources Supervisor at George’s Inc. “George’s is a family-owned business and we
are deeply committed to supporting families and education. This is one of the many ways we are
giving back to support our local community.”

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


Shenandoah County will see an influx of bicyclist

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Woodstock and Shenandoah County have been selected by Bike Virginia for a one day cycling event.

According to an email from the Executive Director of Bike Virginia Kimberly Perry reports that the one day event will be Sept. 17 largely between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m..

Residents need to be aware and on the watch for the influx of cyclist riding through Woodstock and Shenandoah County.

The cyclist are expected to have little impact on local roadways as guest will use several different routes in the region.

Cyclist will utilize anywhere from 11 mile treks to 75 mile treks at various times through the day.

Cyclist will take those routes at their leisure throughout the day and may be riding alone or in groups.

Several activities are planned for the bikers at various locations through the county as well.

Registration for the day ride remain open at this time and can be made here.

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

Strasburg Police ask for the public’s help in an investigation

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The Strasburg Police Department (SPD) is asking for the public’s help in an investigation of a Church burglary.

The office of the St. Paul Lutheran Church at Washington Street was broken into Sun. night Aug. 28 or early morning Aug. 29.

An undisclosed amount of cash was taken from the church office and the office was left  damaged.

Police Chief Sager states that this is likely an isolated incident however police will increase patrols around places of worship as a precautionary measure.

Anyone with security cameras facing the church is asked to review their footage from Sunday night Monday morning.

If you have any information on the incident or see anything suspicious in the security footage please report it to the SPD at 540-465-5230.

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

SCSO release information on Officer involved shooting

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At the request of the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) the Virginia State Police (VSP) have conducted an investigation into the Officer involved shooting that resulted in the death of 64 year old Sean McCormack.

As a result of the investigation the Officers were cleared of any wrong doing in the shooting on July 25 on Copp Road south of Strasburg.

The report from the VSP was reviewed by the Shenandoah County Commonwealth’s Attorney.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney determined the Officers are also clear of any criminal wrong doing.

The SCSO also conducted an internal investigation of the incident and found the Deputy involved followed SCSO standard operating procedure.

The complete press release from Shenandoah County Sheriff Tim Carter as well as body camera footage is available here.

Be aware some of the footage may be consider graphic and contains some language.

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

VSP investigate a fatal accident in Shenandoah County

Virginia State Police (VSP) are investigating a fatal single vehicle accident in Shenandoah County from Sun. afternoon.

According to an email from VSP Public information Officer Brent Coffey the accident occurred shortly before 4 p.m. on Aug. 21.

A Ford F-150 traveling South on Interstate 81 attempted to exit the highway at the mile marker 291 exit ramp abruptly.

The truck ran off the right side of the road colliding with the embankment near Toms Brook.

The truck was hauling a small utility trailer that overturned.

The 65 year old driver of the truck Louin S. Coates of Woodbridge died at the scene as a result of injuries sustained from the impact.

Coates was not wearing his seatbelt.

A 13 year old male passenger of the truck sustained minor injuries and was transported to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The teen passenger was wearing his seatbelt.

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

SCSO makes arrest in a shots fired situation

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The Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) reports making an arrest in the Sat. Aug. 13 shots fired situation.

Shots were reported fired in the 500 block of Hamburg Road in Edinburg.

The unidentified victim reported that Edgar Uriel Padron-Rodriguez came to his residence to pick up someone.

The victim told Padron-Rodriguez to leave his property.

Padron-Rodriguez produced a gun and fired one shot toward the victim.

Padron-Rodriguez then fled the property with the victim left uninjured.

Assistance from agents of the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force with Sheriff’s Deputies were able to locate Pardron-Rodriguez and take him into custody.

Pardon-Rodriguez has been charged with attempted malicious wounding, shooting from a vehicle, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, reckless handling of and brandishing a firearm and driving without a license.

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

Woodstock Authorities make an arrest in a structure fire

Woodstock Authorities report an arrest in a structure fire over the weekend.

The Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue reported to a structure fire around 10 p.m.  Fri. Aug. 12 on West Locust Street in Woodstock.

The structure was fully involved when firefighters from several regional companies arrived.

By 2:10 Saturday morning the fire was under control.

During the investigation authorities reviewed security footage that revealed a person in distinctive clothing in front of the structure before the fire was reported.

The footage led to the arrest of Ray Boyd Kerns of Toms Brook.

Kerns has been charged with one felony count of burning or destroying a building or structure.

Kerns has also been charged with a count of intentionally destroying, defacing or damaging a building.

Kerns was a member of the Woodstock Fire Department and is currently suspended.

The Woodstock Fire Department report that they are cooperating fully with investigators.

The structure was a 1902 wood frame multi story abandon building owned by Lena Frances Keegan.

No other buildings were damaged and no injuries were reported in the incident.

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

SCSO reports a Deputy involved shooting

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Shenandoah County Sheriff (SCSO) Tim Carter reports on a Deputy involved shooting.

Shenandoah County Sheriff Deputies responded to reports of a man causing a disturbance outside a home on Copp Road south of Strasburg.

The man was shining light into to the home and banging on the door around 10 p.m..

The caller also reported several gunshots being fired Mon. night July 25.

When officers arrived additional gunshots were heard from inside 1115 Copp Road.

Authorities repeatedly asked the man to surrender peacefully.

The man did exit the home with a weapon in hand.

A Shenandoah County Deputy discharged his service revolver striking the man.

Sean Christopher McCormack was transported to Winchester Medical Center for life saving treatment but succumbed to his injuries.

As is standard procedure the Deputy has been placed on administrative leave with Virginia State Police investigating the incident.

Copp Road and Route 757 were completely shutdown from approximately 10:30 Mon. night until well into Tuesday morning while the investigation was being conducted.

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

VDOT reschedules sinkhole repair in Shenandoah County

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The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has rescheduled the repairs of the sink hole in Shenandoah County.

A news release from VDOT confirms repairs should begin Tue. July 12 at 7 p.m. and may extend into Wed. July 13.

The length of time hinges on the scope of work that needs to be done.

The length of time cannot be determined until excavation begins.

The lane closures will begin at mile marker 265 northward to mile marker 269 on Interstate 81.

The work will cause single lane travel between those mile markers and could cause a total shutdown of Interstate 81 northward in Shenandoah County.

Again the closures depend on the amount of work that needs to be done once repairs begin.

Motorist should pay close attention to digital roadside signs for the latest information.

Travel information is also always available here.

Should inclement weather delay the start of work it will begin on July 13.

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