As solar panels keep popping up, “affordable” and “renewable” emerge as potentially conflicting priorities for electric grid

For the moment, HEC’s guiding mission is to provide “affordable and reliable” electricity to the citizens of Harrisonburg – and using price as a metric, it has been wildly successful. “Right now, for last year and this current year, we have the lowest residential rate in the state of Virginia, and have always been in the top two or three for as long as I can remember,” said Brian O’Dell, HEC’s General Manager. Right now, one kilowatt-hour of electricity costs about 10.5 cents in Harrisonburg.

But as behind-the-meter solar generation in Harrisonburg continues to rise, “affordable” and “renewable” may become conflicting priorities because of how HEC – and most other utilities – structure their rates.

Despite Harrisonburg’s status as a ‘childcare desert,’ day care providers’ expansion plans keep getting sent to time-outs

While two day care operators cleared a key hurdle in their effort to expand the number of spots for children of working families, their win was short-lived. And their saga has underscored the complex process day care providers must navigate to create more spots to for children, even as working families across Harrisonburg and beyond scramble to get on waiting lists for safe places to send their children during workdays. 

Emotions and experiences of war remain fresh for Tom Showalter, one of the U.S. Army’s remaining survivors of WWII

Farm life prepared Rockingham County native Tom Showalter for the strength required for enduring World War II, but not for the terror he would face — when landing on Utah Beach in one of the subsequent waves after D-Day, then facing German soldiers or when a shell exploded near him while on guard duty sending shrapnel through his leg.