Author: Katelyn Waltemyer
This year, several contributors to The Citizen have been upper-level JMU students, who will graduate Friday as part of the class of 2021. They have weathered more than a year of social distancing, online classes and the constant threat of getting sick. So, we asked them to reflect on what it was like to finish college under the pandemic’s cloud, how they’ve been challenged, in what ways this has changed them and what they’re thinking about as they prepare to walk across the stage.
After discussing the addition of more mobile units in Harrisonburg High School’s parking lot to ease overcrowding, several school board members on Tuesday called on the city council to more fully commit to re-starting the new high school’s construction.
What started as a two-aisle “little natural food store” has grown into the now decade-old Friendly City Food Co-op — which just keeps growing. The store spent much of the last year gradually phasing in its 2,000 square foot expansion. And as the store celebrated its 10-year anniversary last week with a series of in-person and online activities, store leaders are dreaming of opening a second location over the next decade.
Hours after a jury in Minnesota found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on three charges in the killing of George Floyd, the Harrisonburg City School Board acknowledged the verdict at its meeting.
Now that this part of the Valley has officially shifted to vaccinating people in Phase 2, area adults — including college students — are lining up to get their shots. The Central Shenandoah Health District spent three months working to vaccinate those in Phase 1b, which included first responders, grocery store workers, food processing and agriculture workers — including those who work in area poultry plants — and adults with underlying health issues and all those over 65. It only took 10 days to get through those in Phase 1c, which includes other essential workers, in the area because it was a smaller group and vaccine doses were more available.
City and school division bank on federal funds to restart high school project, make up for revenue decline
Money that Congress approved last month to help local communities in the wake of the pandemic could help restart construction on the new Harrisonburg high school soon and is expected to fill revenue holes in the city’s budget. Money from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law in March, could reach Harrisonburg in the coming weeks in time to resume building the high school even before the city approves its budget for the coming year, said Harrisonburg City Public Schools Superintendent Michael Richards.
All JMU employees — including faculty, staff, graduate assistants and student employees — and other local higher education staff members that fall under Virginia’s 1c category are eligible to receive a first round of the COVID-19 vaccine at the JMU Convocation Center on Friday morning.
With policing being a crucial topic and the election only weeks away, The Citizen is co-sponsoring a deliberative forum about policing because many citizens have engaged from different sides of the issue and with different perspectives. Here’s a timeline of some key events and developments regarding police in Harrisonburg over the last few months.