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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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After Southview fire, calls for changes to building code – and lingering resentment over a previous fire safety ordinance

The aftermath of the fire has triggered anew a disagreement between the City of Harrisonburg, state legislators and lobbyists for the apartment management industry over a city ordinance that was enacted in 2015 and, prompted several bills in the General Assembly and became the subject of a legal battle that lasted more than a year.

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