Author: Ryan Alessi

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Ryan mostly focused on covering state politics and government in Virginia’s former county of Kentucky from 2003 – 2014. Before that, he was a reporter for the now-defunct Scripps Howard News Service in Washington, D.C. In 2016, he followed his wife to Harrisonburg, where he teaches journalism and media classes at James Madison University. You can reach Ryan at [email protected]

Electric commission draws a record crowd — and sighs of relief from solar advocates. Now the utility is working on its next steps toward renewable energy

It’s not often that the Harrisonburg Electric Commission’s monthly meeting attracts a standing-room-only crowd. Yet, Tuesday morning, more than 20 people crammed into the small conference room at the utility’s Operations Center on North Liberty Street. Some were solar installers, dressed in bright-colored t-shirts with their employers’ logo emblazoned on them. Others were solar advocates or homeowners with arrays on their houses.

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Familiar opponents Wilt and Finnegan gear up for the fall’s 26th District race in a different political environment

Republican Del. Tony Wilt and his Democratic challenger Brent Finnegan go way back — well beyond the last time they ran against each other in 2017.

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The Hub. Co-working in downtown Harrisonburg.

In the wake of Tuesday’s primary, Democrats’ first order of business is coming back together

Now that the primary vote totals are in, the healing can begin — at least if things turn out the way 26th House District Democratic nominee Brent Finnegan and other local Democratic activists hope.

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

Brent Finnegan wins the 26th District Democratic primary

One rematch has given way to another in the 26th House of Delegates District, as Brent Finnegan handily won Tuesday’s Democratic primary over Cathy Copeland for a second time and will challenge Republican Del. Tony Wilt in the Nov. 5 general election just as he did in 2017.

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Harrisonburg Democrats pick their 26th District nominee today

After today’s primary, it will be either Cathy Copeland or Brent Finnegan as the Democratic challenger to Republican Del. Tony Wilt in the 26th state House District.

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Democratic candidates ‘nerd out’ in final pitches to voters, as their supporters’ resolve hardens

With few major policy differences between them, Cathy Copeland and Brent Finnegan have settled on making their closing arguments in next week’s Democratic primary about who gives Democrats the best shot to defeat Republican Del. Tony Wilt of Broadway in November.

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City’s groundbreaking restorative justice program offers second chances and accountability as alternative to criminal charges

Pierre Mbala and two friends were headed to get pizza on an overcast, chilly Thursday in late March, 2018. On the way, they stopped at a convenience store for a soda or maybe some candy, and to taste the freedom that comes with being 17.

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Certain plastics are the latest casualty as Harrisonburg feels more effects of the shifting global recycling landscape

Once again, the global marketplace for recycled materials has caused a ripple effect in Harrisonburg — this time ending collection of No. 3 through No. 7 plastics like yogurt cups and certain microwave-safe containers. It’s also a change that will send tons more trash to the landfill.

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