Community potluck seeks to build ‘Bridges’ with sweet desserts, friendly greetings and lots of dancing from across the globe

Even though many Harrisonburg residents come from across the globe, it’s not every day that people get to exchange elements of their cultures with each other — taste foods with new flavors, interact with different languages, hear stories and learn new habits from different corners of the globe.

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Peer-based substance abuse treatment program pitched to local criminal justice authorities gets a mixed reception

Depending who you ask, there’s different ways to read the silence that met a Richmond nonprofit leader’s pitch to the Community Criminal Justice Board (CCJB) early last month. Whatever the interpretation, no discussion followed an offer from John Shinholser, president of the McShin Foundation, of up to $200,000 in matching funds to implement a peer-based program to combat substance abuse and lower recidivism in the jail downtown.

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‘More accountability than I’ve ever seen in a court.’ How restorative justice is embedded in the Harrisonburg Police Department

On a bright fall afternoon, Officer Jason Hensley was on patrol, riding through Harrisonburg in an unmarked cruiser with a trainee officer at the wheel. Hensley had rolled down the passenger side window to take in the cool breeze and casually draped his arm against the outside of the door. The car had just passed a wooded area when Hensley heard a sharp crack.

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Guns and politics: Where does the debate in Virginia go next?

The special session the governor called to enact gun control measures in Virginia last week lasted just two hours — but its abrupt end hasn’t stopped the debate over gun violence policies. Instead, the venue has shifted from the state House and Senate floors to the Virginia State Crime Commission and to the campaign trail as legislators and their challengers differ over the potential path forward.