Today was supposed to be the start of the pandemic-delayed graduation ceremony for JMU’s class of 2020. But after months of anxiously and eagerly waiting, JMU 2020 seniors learned through a July 6 email that the rescheduled Aug.7-8 ceremony would be delayed. Again.
According to the United Way’s just-released 2020 ALICE Report, 61% of households in Harrisonburg struggle to make ends meet. While that represents a 4% drop from the first ALICE report, published in 2017, it does not factor in the pandemic’s effects. In any case, Harrisonburg still has one of the highest rates of ALICE households in Virginia.
The five police officers stationed in Harrisonburg City Public Schools will be charged with focusing only on protecting schools and the people in them as opposed to monitoring student culture or “morality” this academic year, as the division works to revise its memorandum of understanding with the Harrisonburg Police Department.
Many Harrisonburg families are trying to figure out where their children will spend their school days now that the district plans to start the fall with online learning for most students. This has set into motion a massive revamping of not only how teachers will deliver lessons but of the entire school-day scheduling process. District leaders, such as the superintendent, have been negotiating with child care providers and non-profit organizations to find places — and funding options — for children of working parents to go and learn during the day while staying safe. Meanwhile, parents and guardians are having to get creative to ensure their children have structure and supervision during the school days.
A recent lawsuit and public records through the state board that regulates veterinarians reveal how the Harrisonburg Emergency Veterinary Clinic and its owner have come under scrutiny.
When pressed earlier this summer to release data about how people of different races are prosecuted locally, Commonwealth’s Attorney Marsha Garst publicly committed to greater transparency on that issue. Her ability to provide that information hinged on a new case management system her office was supposed to get this summer, but, as it turned out, was scuttled soon thereafter by budget cuts.
What began as a plan to distribute 100 “Black Lives Matter” signs has increased to more than six-fold since June, as demand for signs across the city continues to rise.