Author: Randi B. Hagi
More elementary and middle school students will be back in city classrooms in a month, after the Harrisonburg School Board voted unanimously in a special meeting Tuesday to approve the next phase of the division’s reopening plan.
Charles Kelly was arrested for the last time in August 2001. He’d been incarcerated for a few different stints over the years because of his cocaine and heroin addictions. This time, he had a two-year sentence to serve – the final six months of which he spent at Gemeinschaft Home in Harrisonburg, a therapeutic residential program for those under court supervision or leaving incarceration.
When school bells ring Monday morning, they’ll signal the beginning of in-person classes for the most students inside Harrisonburg school buildings since the pandemic began.
Every morning, Jennie Amison gets buzzed through the gate at work and walks down the red-tiled staircase and past the payphone to get to her office. At 9 a.m., her group session begins, and she leads 11 men through cognitive behavioral therapy exercises to get at the root of their drug use.
The Harrisonburg City Council is updating its ordinance to direct businesses and residents to separate recyclable materials — such as cardboard, cans and certain plastics — from their trash. The city has left open the option of curbside recycling since discontinuing it in 2015 but has no plans to resume that service anytime soon.
The Harrisonburg City Public Schools district could hire additional teachers, elementary school counselors and a division-wide equity coordinator with an expected increase in state and federal funding for fiscal year 2022, according to Superintendent Michael Richards’ proposed budget he presented Tuesday.
The role of school resource officers in Harrisonburg City Public Schools will soon be up for debate in the public sphere, as a task force the district established to examine its contract with the Harrisonburg Police Department is planning a “listening tour” to gather community input. After providing opportunities for public input, the group will present a recommendation to the school board in May.
Amid discussions of Middle River Regional Jail’s $40 million expansion proposal, Criminal Justice Planner Frank Sottaceti outlined to the city council on Tuesday how Harrisonburg’s share of inmates at the facility is less than half of Rockingham County’s.