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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.

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

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.

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Local choir brings love and harmony to the final farewell

Music fills the Strite Auditorium at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community (VMRC) as 19 women lift their voices in song, practicing to be at their best when called for a private performance. Often, it’s for an audience of one person, facing the end of life.

Going star gazing? Here are eight players to watch in Sunday’s Valley League All-Star Game

Last Saturday afternoon, officials from 10 of the 11 Valley League teams huddled in a dark banquet hall at the Southern Kitchen in New Market to hash out decisions that could potentially change a college player’s life: who would appear in Sunday’s Valley League All-Star Game. 

Nationally recognized principal to take over Harrisonburg High School, two assistant principals promoted at Keister and Spotswood elementary schools

By Randi B. Hagi, senior contributor A trio of new principals — two who are being promoted and one who’s returning to her native county — will take over at three Harrisonburg City Public schools after the school board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve their hirings.  The three new principals are:  Melissa Hensley, who grew up …

Former Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling steps down from JMU position as Sen. Obenshain’s ethics bill takes effect

In response to legislation passed by the General Assembly this spring and took effect on Monday, former Lt. Governor Bill Bolling has stepped away from his job as Senior Fellow at James Madison University.

City leaders pulling together ideas to address ‘nightmare’ for those experiencing homelessness

On warm spring and summer nights, the outlines of several people bedded down for the night are plainly visible outside Our Community Place. Many of those experiencing homelessness in Harrisonburg don’t have a lot of options for places to sleep, so they tuck themselves into quiet corners and shadows.

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