Author: Randi B. Hagi
This year’s Rockingham County Fair was pared down because of the pandemic but still highlighted the basics. Here are scenes from the fair, including who (and what) was there and what all was missing.
The Harrisonburg School Board has committed about $275,000 to help offset childcare costs this semester — a major concern for working parents since the division announced its decision to offer remote instruction for most students because of the pandemic.
The $4.6 million in federal CARES Act funding will go toward paying for school technology, personal protective equipment and facility cleaning, as well as providing assistance for businesses and the city’s housing insecure population. The Harrisonburg City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve that spending plan and then to implement a 60-day ban on many large gatherings in time for the return of college students to town.
The five police officers stationed in Harrisonburg City Public Schools will be charged with focusing only on protecting schools and the people in them as opposed to monitoring student culture or “morality” this academic year, as the division works to revise its memorandum of understanding with the Harrisonburg Police Department.
Many Harrisonburg families are trying to figure out where their children will spend their school days now that the district plans to start the fall with online learning for most students. This has set into motion a massive revamping of not only how teachers will deliver lessons but of the entire school-day scheduling process. District leaders, such as the superintendent, have been negotiating with child care providers and non-profit organizations to find places — and funding options — for children of working parents to go and learn during the day while staying safe. Meanwhile, parents and guardians are having to get creative to ensure their children have structure and supervision during the school days.
A recent lawsuit and public records through the state board that regulates veterinarians reveal how the Harrisonburg Emergency Veterinary Clinic and its owner have come under scrutiny.
When pressed earlier this summer to release data about how people of different races are prosecuted locally, Commonwealth’s Attorney Marsha Garst publicly committed to greater transparency on that issue. Her ability to provide that information hinged on a new case management system her office was supposed to get this summer, but, as it turned out, was scuttled soon thereafter by budget cuts.