Author: Andrew Jenner
When I was reporting regularly for WMRA, where Martha worked for many years, she and I would occasionally meet for lunch and talk shop. During one of these times, I confessed to her that I was supposed to have filed a story that morning but still wasn’t quite done. I hadn’t thought it was a terribly big deal until she cut me down to size.
The city of Harrisonburg’s decades-long trend of rapid growth is no more. According to 2020 estimates published by the Weldon Cooper Center, the city had a population of 54,049 on July 1. While that’s up slightly from last year’s estimate, it’s lower than the 2016 estimate, capping a five-year period in which the city’s population essentially remained flat.
With all votes counted, local results confirm Election Night finishes — and an upward trend for Hburg Democrats
After the city’s last absentee ballots were counted by Saturday, there was no substantive change from the picture that had emerged late on Election Day — in either this year’s races or with longer-term trends.
Even before many of its students even reached campus, Eastern Mennonite University sought to quash an outbreak this week when four students tested positive, although without showing symptoms. But the students’ interactions with others, who also now must be quarantined, set into motion a ripple effect, prompting EMU to delay its move-in date from this weekend until Sept. 3-6 and forcing classes online to start the semester.
It was the kind of content made for a city spokesman’s Twitter account. Early in the city council’s pandemic-induced exile to virtual meetings, Councilman George Hirschmann’s cat jumped up onto his lap and, for all we know, into local history as the first cat to participate in Harrisonburg public policy-making.
As pandemic’s fiscal impact becomes painfully clear, city announces layoffs and other cost-saving measures
By March 13, when the health department announced Harrisonburg’s first positive test for COVID-19 and local schools were on a one-day closure that soon extended through the academic year, it was clear that the pandemic’s effects on public health and the economy would be dramatic. On Monday, city staff put some first numbers to that bleak picture in a late-afternoon press release: local tax revenue will fall an estimated $4 million short of projections for this fiscal year, which ends June 30.
After a sharp increase in local COVID-19 cases over the past week – including an outbreak at the long-term care facility Accordius Health that has infected 81 residents and left 10 dead – Harrisonburg has by far the highest per-capita rate of cases in the state.