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This is only a drill – though an invaluable one for local first responders

“This is an exercise,” Stephanie Harris told the crowd about to take part in a Monday morning training exercise with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. Around her were about 160 volunteer “victims” of a simulated gas explosion at JMU’s Bridgeforth Stadium, along with dozens of rescue and security personnel that would be responding to the disaster.

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Council navigates through next wave of Airbnb requests and hears more concerns about downtown

The group of city-approved short-term rentals continues to grow in Harrisonburg, as the city council approved eight of nine such special use permits in a meeting on Tuesday evening. This was the second city council meeting during which these permit applications were reviewed since the council established the permitting process in March. The council approved the first three applications last month.

School board and Secure Futures fail to reach deal on building the largest solar array for a Virginia public school district

The deal is off between the Harrisonburg City Public Schools and solar company Secure Futures, LLC, to build the largest solar array for a Virginia public school system. The school system’s leaders and the solar company couldn’t agree on the terms and ultimately broke off negotiations last month, according to documents The Citizen received through a request under the Virginia Public Records Act.