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Jail’s $1-a-day fee sparks debate over how costly incarceration is for everyone involved

As some in Harrisonburg call for criminal justice reforms, debate over a fee in local jails has opened up wider conversations about how best to help those caught up in the legal system.

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There’s broad agreement that I-81 is broke and needs fixin’ – but how to pay for it?

On Saturday afternoon, Senator Mark Warner-D swung by the Hotel Madison for an hour-long talk on everything from passing a federal budget to the “really dark underbelly” of the modern social media landscape. One of the more Harrisonburg-specific issues that got plenty of attention was fixing I-81.

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The Hub. Co-working in downtown Harrisonburg.

Eagles in the Valley: The mark of a successful comeback

At 600 yards it’s difficult, at first, to get a perspective of the size of the nest hid in the center of a tree on a farm field edge near Singers Glen. The realization that the sycamore is probably at least 50 feet tall means the nest must be more than four feet across. A passing flock of geese disturbs the occupant of the gigantic tangle of sticks and grass. The bird takes flight, its wings unfolding to reveal an unmistakable white head and tail. The bald eagle flaps lazily, gaining altitude as it glides in an arc that takes it towards Little North Mountain.   

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

Super Gr8, Harrisonburg’s film festival “unlike any other” wraps up its 2018 edition tonight

The 9th edition of Harrisonburg’s “film festival unlike any other” opened downtown. Beginning at 7pm tonight, 15 more three-minute films shot on classic Super 8 film will premiere at the 2019 festival’s second and final evening.

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Brent Finnegan campaign. Paid for by Friends of Brent Finnegan.

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.

Eat, play, live: City embraces mixed-use zoning

Two years’ work by four committees and many meetings later, Harrisonburg very nearly has a new comprehensive plan. It emphasizes mixed-use zoning––areas that combine residential and other uses, allowing people to live, work, shop and play in the same neighborhood––and was the subject of a public hearing before council on Tuesday night.

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.

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