Changing approach to jails can save money and improve lives, residents and activists say

As a crowd gathered on the corner of High and Market Streets Monday evening, Jennifer Davis Sensenig, president of Faith in Action, urged the more than 80 people to march and make their case for local justice reform.

“We’re coming in force because we think the [CCJB] has the power to make local changes,” Sensenig said. The crowd responded with cheers.

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Harrisonburg sorts through tons of plastic, paper and pent-up demand for more recycling options

Since single-stream trash and recycling service abruptly stopped last spring, Harrisonburg officials have examined how to best spend taxpayer dollars for waste collection and recycling. For now, Patel said, an employee-managed recycling collection center is the best option, and there is no plan to bring curbside pick-up back to the city anytime soon.

Instead, the city is trying to figure out how to expand voluntary collection options.

Fresh and local and all grown-up: a look at a movement with staying power

You hear about the local food movement and buy fresh buy local, but can you put a figure on the local food economy in our area? Nearly all of the restaurants in downtown Harrisonburg source locally grown food for ingredients on their menus. Harrisonburg City Schools have a $100,000 budget for locally purchased foods for school meals that come from within 100 miles of the city. Andrea Early, executive director of school nutrition for Harrisonburg’s schools, says that serving local foods helps kids make that connection between the food and who grows it. She hopes that by educating kids about healthy eating they will make healthier choices as adults.