Author: Randi B. Hagi
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.
A valley between them: While one group has brought signs to local racial justice rallies, another carried guns
A few hundred people knelt in silence in Heritage Park in Broadway earlier this month. Drops of sweat beaded on their brows amid the muggy early evening air as eight minutes and 46 seconds passed quietly. The silence was meant to honor George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis and whose death has sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the globe. It was interrupted by a counter-protester on the ridge overlooking the park.
Instead of requiring students to attend school a couple days a week this fall, the latest plan for the Harrisonburg City Public Schools will be to require most students to learn from home virtually five days a week, as a result of the discussion during Tuesday’s school board work session.
Purchasing school technology for online learning, providing relief for local businesses and residents and covering some costs of delaying construction on the second high school are at the forefront of the draft for how the city could spend $4.6 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds.
A pandemic and protests have ramped up interest in city budgeting. Here’s The Citizen’s guide to Hburg’s spending
Continue with the plan for building a second high school? Reduce funding for the police department? The combination of the pandemic’s economic ripple effects and calls for social change out of this summer’s protests have sparked questions and deep-seated opinions about how the city of Harrisonburg spends its money. Residents have been bringing up budget issues in city council meetings, at rallies for racial justice and on social media.
The plan for reopening Harrisonburg city schools in the fall by having students alternate days in the buildings won the school board’s unanimous approval Tuesday. But school officials are bracing for it to change right up until schools start Aug. 31.