Author: Randi B. Hagi
A silent crowd marched through downtown Harrisonburg with a single voice on Monday. Hands pointed skyward in unison at a community prayer event earlier that evening. And hundreds more gathered Wednesday evening in an online town hall to hear calls to action. Racial justice advocates across Harrisonburg — all of different races, ethnicities and ages — have mobilized peacefully and en masse in the past week. They have employed a variety of tactics to protest systemic racism and police brutality, to pay respects to George Floyd and other black Americans killed by police and to call for change.
Superintendent Michael Richards told the School Board Tuesday that the city schools might rely on a hybrid system of remote and in-person learning in the fall, but school officials are waiting for the state to release guidelines for reopening schools.
Decriminalization of marijuana possession won’t necessarily affect those already caught up in the system
Simple possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is set to be decriminalized in Virginia on July 1. But that won’t prevent Harrisonburg resident Christopher Jones, a cook at O’Neill’s Grill, from being sent to jail later that month if it’s what the prosecutor seeks.
About 300 people, donning face masks and holding signs, gathered at Court Square in Harrisonburg on Friday evening to speak out against racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd, who died Monday after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.
Concern about the spread of COVID-19 in area poultry plants came to the forefront of Tuesday’s Harrisonburg City Council meeting, as 12 city residents representing a variety of grassroots organizations petitioned the council to ask Gov. Ralph Northam to dial back reopening of businesses in order to protect workers.
Harrisonburg City Public Schools is slowing the expansion of district-wide staff in response to expected revenue losses because of the pandemic. To this end, the Harrisonburg School Board, during its Tuesday work session, tentatively approved a first draft of budget revisions that takes out planned positions.
The Heritage Oaks Golf Course would take a 36.5% cut in city funding, following the Harrisonburg City Council’s latest version of the 2021 budget, which got its first reading at Tuesday’s meeting.
As federal funds arrive, some Harrisonburg residents, businesses and agencies are getting a little relief
Millions of dollars from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act, will trickle into Harrisonburg over the coming months in various forms — through money to the city government, as stimulus checks and unemployment payments to residents and as loans and grants to businesses and organizations.