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.

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

Gov. Yougkin releases funds for learning recovery grants

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that soon $30 million will be released for learning recovery grants for parents and students.

The governor noted the COVID-19 pandemic caused the loss of in-person instruction and in-school support services.

The funds will be used for qualifying education services to address the impact of the pandemic.

The resources for parents will ensure that many children in Virginia have access to tutoring, summer enrichment programs and other specialized services.

Those services will help students reach their full potential and combat the severe learning losses.

Some students could receive up to $3,000 while other students will receive $1,500 K-12 learning recovery grant funds if they and their families meet certain qualifications.

A new platform is available here to give parents and teachers additional information that sheds greater light on individual student learning loss and growth.

Additional information is found at the Virginia Department of Education.

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.

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

VH eliminates some administrative and leadership positions

Valley Health (VH) Public Relations Manager Carol Weare reports by email that some administrative positions have been eliminated at VH.

The changes are to help VH streamline its leadership and support positions.

Last week 31 administrative individuals were notified that their positions have been eliminated.

Since Jan. VH has  eliminated nearly 100 positions through consolidation and attrition.

VH’s President and CEO Mark Nantz sighted the shrinking of the health care workforce combined with the rapidly rising clinician pay, declining demand and insurance reimbursements as the reasons for consolidation of the leadership and administrative roles.

Nantz went on to note that VH has incurred nearly $100 million in losses since the beginning of the pandemic.

Much of the loss was offset by federal assistance which will not continue.

Nantz added that it was time to face the reality that expenses cannot exceed revenue and by addressing the changing environment now helps avoid more drastic cuts later.

Nantz added that VH currently remains a financially strong and stable health system.

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

Governor Fellow’s Program now accepting applications

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that applications for the Governor’s Fellows Program are now being accepted through March 5th.

The Governor’s Fellows Program is a prestigious opportunity for rising college seniors, graduating seniors or grad students to get a first hand look at the Executive Branch in action.

Fellows have been accepted since 1982 and work closely with the Governor’s cabinet not only to learn but also to assist in essential work for the state.

Fellows also enjoy learning from special guest speakers and experiencing state government on the road by visiting historical sites and other state government agencies.

The program is open to applicable students at all Virginia colleges and universities as well as for Virginia residents who attend out of state schools.

Interviews will begin on March 13, 2023 with applicants advised on decisions beginning on April 14, 2023.

The program runs from June 1, 2023 through July 28, 2023.

To apply, visit the Governor’s Fellows Program website here.

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

VSP arrest a Winchester man after a high speed chase

Used by permission Frederick County Virginia Government

Virginia State Police (VSP) Public Information Officer Sergeant Brent Coffey reports by email the arrest of a Winchester man after a high speed chase.

John P. Scaperotto of Winchester is facing several charges after the chase through Frederick County just past 8 a.m. Jan. 19.

VSP initiated a traffic stop of Scaperotto’s Chevrolet pick up while traveling down Route 37 clocked at 80 in a 65 mile per hour zone.

Scaperotto refused to stop sped up and led the pursuit to Route 50 and 522 before returning to Route 37 often traveling in the wrong lanes.

A trooper attempted to stop Scaperotto by ramming his truck with his cruiser.

The Trooper suffered minor injuries in the collision.

The chase ran well over 100 miles per hour at times with Scaperotto eventually running off the road and striking a guardrail and then taken into custody.

The 44 year old Scaperotto was found to be in possession of a schedule 1 2 drug and was wanted in Frederick County for failure to appear in court.

Along with the earlier charges Scaperotto now faces eluding, assault on a law officer, several traffic infractions charges including littering and is held without bond.

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

WPD Officer recognized by Gov. Youngkin in his address

Governor Glenn Youngkin delivered his State of the Commonwealth Address Jan. 11.

The Governor shared his vision for a Virginia where the next generation can live out their dreams and live up to the spirit of Virginia.

Youngkin outlined what he called his Day Two Agenda.

The Governor spoke of his want to lower the cost of living with tax relief for small local businesses and families.

His want to empower parents and build on last session’s record education investment the Governor hopes to accelerate the economy further as well.

The Governor pledged to make communities safer during which he recognized new Winchester Police Officer Juan Hernandez who was in attendance at the speech.

Hernandez was recognized for taking advantage of the state’s Lateral Program for Officers in Operation Bold Blue Line.

The program expedites the hiring process for trained officers and retired military personnel who live outside of Virginia to move to the state to help protect the Commonwealth.

Hernandez a retired Marine and his family have moved from California to join the Winchester Police Department.

The Bold Blue Line program looks to help fill the 20 percent vacancy rate that plagues Virginia Law Enforcement.

Governor Youngkin addresses a number of subjects with his enter speech found here.

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

VSP investigate an accident involving a school bus

International Automotive Components Group

Virginia State Police (VSP) report by email the investigation of a two-vehicle accident that involved a Shenandoah County School Bus.

Jan. 9 at approximately 3:45 p.m. a 1995 Ford F-150 pickup reportedly rear ended a stopped bus on Route 11 South near Locust Grove.

Four children on the bus suffered minor injuries as a result of the accident and were transported to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital treated and released.

The driver of the pickup, 60-year-old Gregory A. Yew suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

The 54-year-old unidentified female driver of the bus from Strasburg was left uninjured in the accident.

There were 51 children on the bus at the time of the accident including  the 4 that were injured.

The investigation continues with Yew currently facing reckless driving charges.

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

Jan. 11 Update on JMU graduate teacher shot by a 6 year old

Richneck Elementary School in Newport News Virginia remains closed through Fri. Jan. 13 following the shooting of a teacher by a 6 year old on Jan. 6.

Authorities confirm that there are certified crisis personnel in place to provide support to students, parents and staff in need of emotional support after the shooting.

James Madison University (JMU) announced they too would offer support to anyone who needs it in the days and weeks ahead.

The 2019 JMU graduate, Abigale  Zwerner suffered life threatening wounds to the chest in the incident.

Despite her wounds Zwerner was the last person to leave her classroom after her students exited to safety according to Police Chief Steve Drew.

According to Drew, Zwerner is talking and currently in stable condition with her first question being about the safety of her students.

In a Jan. 6 briefing by Drew he confirmed that the shooting was an isolated incident.

The Jan. 9 briefing from Drew, School Superintendent George Parker and Mayor Philip  Jones is available here approximately 6 minutes into the video.

Drew confirms that the gun was acquired legally by the child’s parents and came from their home.

In the latest press briefing Drew added that the 6 year old shooter is currently in a medical facility for evaluation.

Drew, Parker and Jones all praised the actions of all involved in the response to the incident in their briefing.

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

Attorney General Miyares Launches Civil Rights Investigation

Attorney General Jason Miyares today announced that his Office of Civil Rights will be investigating Fairfax County

Public Schools and the administration of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (“TJHSST”) for

unlawful discrimination in violation of the Virginia Human Rights Act (“VHRA”).

The investigation will examine if the administration’s decision to withhold National Merit Scholarship honors from

students and the school’s new admissions policies violate the VHRA.

“No student should be treated differently because of their race. Students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science

and Technology are amongst the brightest in the nation, yet some have been punished in the name of ‘equity.’ Racism

and race-based government decision making in any form is wrong and unlawful under Virginia’s Human Rights Act,”

said Attorney General Miyares. “The controversial admissions policies at TJHSST, which have significantly decreased

the amount of Asian American students enrolled in recent years, is another example of students being treated

differently because of their ethnicity. My Office of Civil Rights will investigate any potential violations of the law and

vindicate the civil rights of these students and their families.”

Read the letter here.



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