In the News

Local News: Federal stimulus money to aid area gang prevention, posted Wednesday, 9:30 p.m.
State News: Kaine disputes Fusion Center report, posted Wednesday, 9:45 a.m.
Event: Derby Days in Lexington, posted Wednesday, 9:45 a.m.
Event: Farms and energy conference, posted Wednesday, 9:45 a.m.


Local News: Federal stimulus money to aid area gang prevention, posted Wednesday, 9:30 p.m.

The Staunton, Augusta, and Waynesboro area will receive over $170,000 in federal stimulus money to fund gang prevention efforts in the area. The Central Shenandoah Valley Office on Youth in partnership with the City of Staunton Police Department, City of Waynesboro Police Department and the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office are eligible for Justice Assistance Grant funding through the U.S. Department of Justice. These funds will be used to provide local police departments with technology upgrades that will assist in the investigation and tracking of gang activity in our area.

The funds will also be used to employ a gang prevention coordinator who directs the SAW2010 Gang Prevention Coalition. This Coalition is a regional prevention effort comprised of school personnel, law enforcement, mental-health professionals, human service workers, clergy, and interested citizens. The mission of the SAW Coalition is “to create and implement intentional strategies to prevent youth from involvement in criminal gang activity, drug use, violence, and other risky behaviors.”

Justice Assistance Grant funding allows local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime based on their own local needs and conditions. This funding has been available in the past, however, with the addition of federal stimulus funding the total allocations are much higher for 2009. Funds are expected to be received by June.

A formal grant proposal must be submitted to receive the funds. These grant proposals are available for public review through May 22. Copies are available at the Staunton City Building and Staunton Public Library, Augusta County Government Center and Fishersville Main Branch Library, Waynesboro Yancey City Building, Waynesboro Public Library, and the Central Shenandoah Valley Office on Youth. They may also be viewed on line on the City of Waynesboro’s website at:


State News: Kaine disputes Fusion Center report, posted Wednesday, 9:45 a.m.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine issued the following statement on Tueday on the Fusion Center’s recent Threat Assessment Report suggesting the heightened possibility of a connection between extremist groups and historically black or Christian universities:

“The Commonwealth is proud of its world-class institutions of higher learning. Virginia is especially proud to be home to a number of faith-based and historically black colleges and universities.

“The Virginia Fusion Center, which is responsible for integrating threat information from public and private sector agencies to prevent terrorists’ attacks, issued a report that could be read to suggest a connection between terror or extremist groups and these universities. This report is required by law and was illegally distributed to the public. However, I find the depictions in the report misleading and believe it improperly implicates these fine academic institutions.

“Based on our review of the facts thus far, we see no evidence to suggest that the universities referred to in the assessment pose any particular risk to public safety. Absent specific evidence suggesting such a risk, it is improper to single out these institutions for special mention even with the caveats contained in the report.

“I have initiated an investigation into the methodologies and process leading to the Fusion Center’s Threat Assessment Report—and I expect these concerns to be resolved in the near future.

“The quest to keep our families safe should and will remain a top priority for the Commonwealth. At the same time, Virginia must stay committed to the accurate assessment and application of real and perceived threats to public safety.”


Event: Derby Days in Lexington, posted Wednesday, 9:45 a.m.

The race is on for the upcoming Friday Night Lights, scheduled for Friday, May 1 from 5-7pm. The merchants of Downtown Lexington have a lot in store (pun intended) for this event. As always, the businesses are offering refreshments (served with a smile), demonstrations, exhibitions, receptions and much more. Mary Harvey and Marla Palma will provide the evening entertainment and big hats are in!

Also, there is a lot going on at Hopkins Green for you to visit as your shopping and dining. The Stick Horse Races begin at 5:15pm. Sign your child up to enter Stick Horse Races. Visit any of the “Off Track” areas (Friday Night Lights participates) for forms or just show up at Hopkins Green. The winner receives a prize and maybe a victory lap.

Everyone is encouraged to sport their best and most fancy Derby Hat. The winner receives a $50 Downtown Lexington Gift Certificate. To enter, visit any of the “Off Track” areas (Friday Night Lights participates) give them your name and contact information, they will judge your hat and at about 6:30pm the ballots will be collected and however has the most votes win. “Betting tips”…the more stores you visit, the more entries you’ll have!

Refreshments at the Green are compliments of the featured Friday Night Lights restaurant, the Red Hen. They will be providing Lexington Juleps (non-alcoholic) for race fans to enjoy.

So wear your best Derby-styled hat, bring the kids and join us downtown for a fun filled evening of shopping, dining, and art “At the Races”. For more information about the event please Lisa Markham at the Lexington/Rockbridge County Chamber of Commerce at 540.463.5375 or e-mail


Event: Farms and energy conference, posted Wednesday, 9:45 a.m.

Soaring energy costs affect every phase of dairy and poultry production. In order to progressively address these issues, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and James Madison University’s Center for Energy & Environmental Sustainability are sponsoring Managing Energy on Virginia Farms Conference on Friday, May 29, 2009. Funded by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and Virginia FAIRS, this one-day workshop focuses on practical advice for electricity and fuel cost savings for poultry and dairy operations as well as other agricultural entities.

National experts in on-farm energy savings from the Rural Electricity Resource Council and James Madison University will give producers up-to-date strategies for managing and reducing energy use on farms. All dairy, poultry, and other producers who are seeking answers to energy conservation issues will benefit from attending. The workshop will be held at the Cumberland County Community Center 1874 Anderson Highway in Cumberland, Virginia. Beginning at 8:45 a.m. and concluding at 5 p.m., participants will receive information that farm operators need now to save energy without spending a fortune. Also addressed will be substantial energy improvement options and financing upgrades and equipment change outs.

Your investment is your time and $25 which covers the cost of food and materials. You may register by sending your $25 check made payable to Virginia FAIRS to Mr. Chris Cook, Virginia FAIRS, P.O. Box 27552, Richmond VA 23261. To register and pay by credit card, you may call Brenda Fleming at (804) 290-1155. Your registration must be completed on or before Friday, May 22, 2009.

The workshop was organized by Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Center for Energy and Environmental Sustainability at James Madison University. It is supported with grants from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and Virginia FAIRS.

For more information, please contact Dr. Martha A. Walker at 434.766-.761 or by e-mail at

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