WPD accepting applications for its Citizens Academy

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The Winchester Police Department (WPD) announced that they are accepting applications for its 24 annual Citizen Police Academy for the spring of 2023.

This year’s academy begins March the 21 at 6 p.m. at the Timbrook Public Safety Center and meets every Tuesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

The academy gives citizens an inside look at police operations.

Participants will be able to see how Criminal Investigations are conducted also given an inside look at the  Patrol Division and Emergency Communications Center.

There is a list of other academy activities and additional information available here.

The Academy will conclude with a graduation dinner on May 16.

Applications are available for download here.

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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.

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.

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Update: One fatality in Winchester plane crash in Rockingham

Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson confirmed that a missing plane from Winchester has been located in the Union Springs area of the Shenandoah Valley.

Federal and State Authorities are investigating what caused the plane to crash Wed. Jan. 11.

According to Hutcheson the plane left Winchester shortly before 6:30 heading for Alabama when contact was lost near the Clover Hill area of Rockingham County.

Rockingham County Authorities began the search Jan. 11 but as Hutcheson explained by phone the terrain was rough coupled with the dark they called off the search just past midnight Jan. 12.

Resuming the search at daylight Jan. 12 the wreckage of the craft was found just outside the National Forest.

Hutcheson added that the sole occupant of the plane was the pilot who died at the scene. 

Hutcheson declined identifying the pilot pending notification of the family but he did say he was from Alabama. 

Authorities speculate that weather may have played a factor in the crash as the plane was found laying in snow.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Virginia State Police continue the investigation.

Mario Restrosi of Harrisonburg Radio contributed to this article.

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

WPD report the first traffic fatality since 2018

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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.

News Maker Con Burch on Windsong Community Chorus

The Windsong Community Chorus will host 2 open houses and recruitments for additional singers Jan. 9 and 16.

We spoke with Windsong Artistic Director Con Burch about the opportunity in our latest news maker.

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

Con tells us about the open houses to be held at the Opequon Presbyterian Church at 217 Opequon Church Lane.

She also tells us a potential singer will need to bring their COVID-19 Vaccination Card.

Con also gives us a little history behind the singers and organizations that benefit from their performances.

Click here for Con’s news maker.

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

WPD Seeks Assistance with Hit and Run

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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

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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.