Author: Rachel Petterson

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A picture of a book and a picture of woman

Local author Sofia Samatar finds shiny objects in a historical journey — and within herself

Sofia Samatar wrote fantasy fiction. But in her newest book “The White Mosque,” she channels her “magpie” disposition to explore Mennonite culture, a historical journey and her own identity.

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Friendly City Food Co-op

Image of grassy land

Residents, council member call for more debate over Bluestone development; And proposed city park clears key hurdle

Following a contentious planning commission meeting last week, three residents brought concerns about the proposed Bluestone Town Center to Tuesday’s city council meeting — as council members brace for the debate to come before them next month.  

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Tiller Strings: sales, rentals, repair, sheet music, accessories.

How to handle organization’s addiction recovery homes stumps city council

An organization running group homes for recovering addicts has technically violated Harrisonburg’s zoning ordinances for the last several years, but the city council hasn’t figured out yet how to fix the issue. 

Deanna Reed remains mayor and Laura Dent becomes vice mayor — making more history for a historic council

With its two new members officially sworn in, the Harrisonburg City Council on Tuesday morning appointed Deanna Reed to stay as mayor and Laura Dent to become vice mayor, marking the first time women will hold the top two positions.

Vice Mayor Sal Romero ends term on city council and looks to the future

After four years on the city council, Vice Mayor Sal Romero stood up from behind the dais upon the adjournment of Tuesday’s meeting for the last time as a council member — at least for now.

Council approves spending remaining ARPA money on parks and rec-heavy spending plan

The Harrisonburg City Council ultimately decided Tuesday to allot the remaining $11 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds on a spending plan that prioritized parks and recreation. 

Harrisonburg’s Election 2022: Why turnout among certain voters might have lagged

Voter turnout in this month’s general election was lower than the last midterm in 2018, but to Mark Finks, Harrisonburg’s registrar, turnout matched expectations. Finks said there was an uptick in young voters locally, but their turnout rates still appear lower than what was seen nationally.

A photo of a family in the council chambers

Ande Banks becomes new city manager; Council expresses concerns over recent shootings

After spending five years as a deputy city manager and all of 2022 as an interim city manager, Ande Banks will shed the first word from those titles and become Harrisonburg’s new city manager.

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