Author: Randi B. Hagi

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School resource officers are under scrutiny. Here’s how Harrisonburg’s program works.

As communities across the nation began more closely scrutinizing their police departments last year, so too is the city school district reevaluating Harrisonburg’s SROs – whether they should stay in the schools and, if so, what their roles and responsibilities should be. The officers — and data regarding incidents at schools — offer a glimpse into how Harrisonburg’s program operates.

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

Council moves to add funding for local organizations, leaves open debate over taxes

The Harrisonburg City Council on Tuesday approved adding $100,000 more than originally proposed to local organizations as part of the first reading of the city budget for Fiscal Year 2022. Meanwhile, the council will pick up a debate at its next meeting about potentially increasing the real estate tax in order to help cover bond payments on the new high school. And the mayor made an announcement about potential next steps with construction at Middle River Regional Jail.

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A long climb toward creating a national scenic area could reach new heights

As she drives along a dirt-and-gravel road between Reddish Knob and Flagpole Knob, Lynn Cameron points out particular stands of trees and pockets of brush like a city dweller might point out their favorite coffee shop or a friend’s house they used to visit.

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City prepares to shift to more short-term and permit parking downtown

Those who work and live in downtown Harrisonburg may soon need to find creative places to park or might need to buy a permit because most of the city’s 10-hour parking spots are slated to disappear by mid-August.

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Transferring prisoners from MRRJ ‘alleviates pressure’ — for the moment

With an abrupt transfer of 180 inmates to Virginia Department of Corrections facilities last week, the Middle River Regional Jail reached its lowest population in seven years.

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How the pandemic has affected the area’s criminal justice system

People reported fewer crimes overall in Harrisonburg over the last year. And fewer defendants stayed in jail as they awaited trial. At the same time, though, many of those trials have been delayed, forcing the courts to put in overtime in order to catch up on the backlog of cases. Harrisonburg and Rockingham County’s criminal justice system — like many facets of life — has operated a little differently since the pandemic began, in some cases prompting prosecutors and judges to adapt and make exceptions they wouldn’t normally do.

Middle River Regional Jail board delays action on expansion as officials ‘need to verify’ figures

Plans to expand the Middle River Regional Jail have stalled – for now. Rockingham County Administrator Stephen King, who serves as chairman of the jail’s authority board, announced at the board’s meeting Tuesday that the board would not take any action on an expansion proposal that day.

Current and former MRRJ inmates raise complaints about conditions

As Middle River Regional Jail and its inmates continue navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, some inmates and people formerly incarcerated in the jail are speaking out about what they call unsanitary conditions and inadequate health care.

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