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In the News

Friday, July 24
– JMU business students tke first in Marketing Challenge

Thursday, July 23
– Staunton City Council work session, meeting agendas

Wednesday, July 22
– Man arrested in La. on Staunton sodomy charges
– Waynesboro City Council work session agenda
– Augusta County Board of Supervisors meeting agenda

Tuesday, July 21
– Long-time EMU staffer passes away
– JMU program prepares teachers to show students math applications

Monday, July 20
– Work begins on new RMH Cancer Center
– Augusta County Recycling Committee meeting
– Police arrest suspect in Stop-In robbery
– Robbery at Waynesboro Stop-In

  

Friday, July 24
JMU business students tke first in Marketing Challenge

Three marketing students from James Madison University’s College of Business won first place in the Americas in the 2009 Google Online Marketing Challenge, an international search-engine marketing competition.

Seniors Rachel Bruton, Meredith Rauh and Brandon Sockwell were named winners of the Americas region, which includes North, Central and South America. The team placed second globally, beating some 2,100 teams from 57 countries.

Under the direction of CoB Professor Theresa B. Flaherty, Ph.D., the team designed and executed a Google AdWords campaign for the Washington, D.C. business MobileTours.org. With a $200 voucher and a three-week campaign window, the students successfully increased Mobile Tours’ sales by 20 percent.

The students’ strategy included two AdWords campaigns with 15 ad groups. They used other Google marketing and reporting tools- including Google Analytics, Keyword Generator and Dynamic Keyword Insertion, AdWords Editor, geo-targeting, and restricted scheduling of ads-to adjust the campaign each day. The better performing campaign resulted in 37,986 impressions, 306 clicks, an average Click Through Rate of .94 percent, and an average Cost Per Click of 43 cents.

All three students volunteered for the competition, receiving no class credit or internship credit. Their motivation was “a competitive edge” in the workforce, according to Burton, the team captain. “You become much more emotionally invested when you work with a real company,” Burton said. “You have the chance to see classroom theories put into action.” The tangible skills are already paying off. Since graduating in May, all three students have earned positions leveraging their online marketing savvy.

Flaherty calls this competition one of the best experiences of her career.” She congratulated the students for taking on an extra set of responsibilities and demonstrating a true love of learning.

In addition to the first place win, two other JMU teams were semi-finalists in the Americas region, ranking in the top 50. In 2008, JMU teams placed in the top 10 percent.

  

Thursday, July 23
Staunton City Council work session, meeting agendas

Staunton City Council will meet tonight at City Hall at 5:30 for a work session and at 7:30 p.m. for a business meeting.

The agenda for the work session:
– Discussion of an ordinance to amend Section 18.120.010 of Chapter 18.120 of the Staunton City Code regarding front yard and other restrictions as to fences, walls, hedges and yard ornaments
– Discussion of an Ordinance to amend the FY2010 Budget
– Discussion on proposed donation of bikes recovered by the Police Department to the SPOKES Program
– Discussion of proposed CIP projects
– Discussion of Virginia Department of Transportation Revenue Sharing Program participation
– Closed Session: Discussion or consideration of the acquisition of real property for a public purpose or of the disposition of publicly held real property related to the Western State Hospital project, where discussion in an open meeting would adversely affect the bargaining position or negotiating strategy of City Council, pursuant to Virginia Code Section 2.2-3711.A.3. Discussion of the award of a public contract involving the expenditure of public funds, including interviews of bidders or offerors, and discussion of the terms or scope of such contract, where discussion in an open session would adversely affect the bargaining position or negotiating strategy of the public body pursuant to Virginia Code Section 2.2- 3711A.29. Discussion or consideration of the acquisition of real property for a public purpose, or of the disposition of publicly held real property, where discussion in an open meeting would adversely affect the bargaining position or negotiating strategy of the public body, pursuant to Virginia Code Section 2.2-3711A.3 and A.29.

The agenda for the business meeting:
– Mayor’s Report
– Resolution – Dr. James Perkins
– Additional Items by Members of Council
– Approval of Minutes
– PUBLIC HEARING and consideration of adoption of an ordinance change regarding the stormwater utility fees.
– PUBLIC HEARING and consideration of adoption of an ordinance authorizing the issuance of $15 million General Obligation Bonds
– PUBLIC HEARING and consideration of an ordinance to establish an Arts and Cultural District in Staunton
– PUBLIC HEARING of an ordinance to amend Section 18.120.010 of Chapter 18.120 of the Staunton City Code regarding front yard and other restrictions as to fences, walls, hedges and yard ornaments
– Introduction of an ordinance to amend the FY2010 Budget by adding Budget Amendment No. 1
– Consideration of donation of bikes to the SAW Office on Youth SPOKES Program
– Consideration of the approval of a VDOT Revenue Sharing application

 

Wednesday, July 22
Man arrested in La. on Staunton sodomy charges

Jose Orlando Romero-Feliciano, 31 was arrested in West Monroe, La., on Tuesday by the Fugitive Apprehension Strike Force led by the U.S. Marshals Service of Western Louisiana on charges in Staunton of forcible sodomy of a minor and violation of probation.

The arrest was a culmination of an extensive search for Romero-Feliciano, in which he was tracked across the country. The police department was assisted by numerous agencies during the search, including the United States Marshals in Harrisonburg and Charlottesville.

Romero-Feliciano is in custody in West Monroe, Louisiana pending extradition back to Virginia.

  

Waynesboro City Council work session agenda

Waynesboro City Council will meet for a work session today at 6 p.m. in the council chambers in the Charles T. Yancey Municipal Building at 503 W. Main St.

The agenda for the meeting:
– Open Council Discussion.
– Discuss Library Capital Improvement Project.
– Consider holding a Closed Meeting under Section 2.2-3711(A)(1) of the Freedom of Information Act, Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, (a) (1) regarding the assignment, appointment, promotion, performance, demotion, salaries, disciplining, or resignation of specific public officers, appointees, or employees of any public body; more specifically to discuss the employee evaluation for a Charter Employee, and under Section 2.2-3711(A)(7) for consultation with legal counsel employed or retained by the City regarding specific legal matters requiring the provision of legal advice by such counsel.

 

Augusta County Board of Supervisors meeting agenda

The Augusta County Board of Supervisors will hold a regular business meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at the Augusta County Government Center in Verona.

The agenda for the meeting:
– 7-01 Public hearing to consider an Ordinance Amending the Zoning Ordinance of Augusta County Relating to “Projections into Required Yards”, (i.e., rail sidings).
– 7-02 Public hearing to consider abandonment of unimproved 30’ right-of-way R.H. Palmer Addition in Greenville, Virginia (Riverheads District).
– 7-03 Matters to be presented by the public
– 7-04 Consent Agenda to approve minutes from several recent board meetings
– 7-05 Matters to be presented by the board
– 7-06 Matters to be presented by the staff
– 7-07 Closed session

  

Tuesday, July 21
Long-time EMU staffer passes away

Mary Florence Shenk, 92, who served as administrative assistant to five deans of the college and seminary at Eastern Mennonite University over a 40-year period, died Friday, July 17 at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community.

Ms. Shenk was assistant to academic deans Chester K. Lehman and Ira E. Miller and seminary deans George R. Brunk II, Richard C. Detweiler (interim seminary dean, 1976-77) and George R. Brunk III, 1943-1983. In addition, she was associate international student adviser for much of this time.

“Mary Florence Shenk was a dean without the title,” said Myron S. Augsburger, EMU president emeritus. “She did the work in a diligent, efficient fashion, adding much character to the academic program in the process,” he added.

A native of Elida, Ohio, Shenk grew up in Newport News, Va., and moved to Harrisonburg in 1941. She earned a BS degree from EMU in 1959.

In retirement, Shenk was involved in many volunteer assignments, including working in Mennonite Central Committee’s Ten Thousand Villages ministry in Akron, Pa., and at Harrisonburg; and at Harrisonburg Gift and Thrift Shop, where she served on the board of directors for many years. She also was a reviewer for the Choice Books program.

Shenk is survived by three sisters, one brother and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 25, 2009 at Park View Mennonite Church, where she was a member.

Memorial contributions may be made to Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Compassion Fund, 1501 Virginia Ave., Harrisonburg VA 22802.

 

JMU program prepares teachers to show students math applications

A lot of people can remember sitting in their high-school math class and thinking, “What would I ever use this stuff for?”

Now, a James Madison University program is preparing area teachers to be able to show those restless students some fascinating ways they can apply their math skills – including robotics.

About 10 teachers and content experts from Page County, Augusta County, Waynesboro, Staunton, Martinsville, Richmond and Harrisonburg school divisions will be on JMU’s campus July 20-24 to learn new skills in applying math to practical and exciting technologies, including LEGO robots and global positioning systems.

The workshop is funded by a $200,000 grant from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, part of the commonwealth’s No Child Left Behind efforts. This is the third consecutive year JMU has received funding for training. Previous years have focused primarily on teachers from upper elementary-school grades. This year’s program has expanded to include high-school teachers.

“Each year, we’ve seen the math skills of the students whose teachers participate go up,” said Nick Swayne, external relations director for the JMU College of Education. “When you’re able to show the students exactly how the math they’re learning applies to things like robotics, they get that ‘a-ha’ moment. They really get into it.”

The examples can be extended into critical thinking and applied math problems that are integral to meeting state standards of learning, Swayne said. The hope is that the participants are able to take the training they receive and pass it on to others in their schools through internal workshops.

 

Monday, July 20
Work begins on new RMH Cancer Center

Work began in mid-June on the three-story building on the new RMH health campus that will house the RMH Hahn Cancer Center and RMH physician offices.

Harman Construction Inc. of Harrisonburg has been selected to construct the 83,000-square-foot building, according to Scott Campbell, senior project manager, Facilities Planning and Development.

The Hahn Cancer Center, which occupies the first floor and is connected to the new hospital by an enclosed corridor, is scheduled to open with the hospital in June 2010, Campbell said. The upper two levels, which will house RMH physician offices, should open later in 2010.

“The building will be an extension of the new hospital in character, architecture and materials,” he said.

Campbell said that all the contractors for the building are local. In addition to Harman, the contractors include Blauch Brothers, Inc., for mechanical work and Trumbo Electric, Inc., for electrical work.

“We wanted to ensure this work stayed within the community,” Campbell said, adding that all partners were selected through a competitive bid process.

Previous RMH projects completed by Harman Construction include the East Rockingham Health Center and renovations to RMH Corporate Health and the 1931 Medical Avenue medical offices.

“Harman Construction has always appreciated projects we’ve done with RMH,” said Wayne Witmer, president of Harman Construction. “RMH has always treated its partners with respect. They are committed to being team members you can trust.”

Structural steel is expected to be in place by September, with masonry work wrapping up in October, Campbell said. Interior finishes will get underway in January 2010 to ready the building for June 2010 occupancy.

 

Augusta County Recycling Committee meeting

The Augusta County Recycling Committee will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Augusta County Government Center, 18 Government Center Lane, Verona.

  

Police arrest suspect in Stop-In robbery

Waynesboro police have arrested Kenneth Marsella Reynolds, 42, of Waynesboro, in connection with the Stop-In robbery reported today.

  

Robbery at Waynesboro Stop-In

Waynesboro Police were called to the scene of a reported robbery at the Stop-In gas station at 301 E. Broad St. at 3:30 a.m. Monday.

The suspect is a black male, 35-40 years old, 5-8 to 5-10, approximately 140 pounds. The suspect was reportedly wearing a navy blue shirt and a dark stocking cap over his face.

No firearm was displayed in the course of the robbery, police said, but the suspect did threaten the use of a gun.

The suspect left the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Central Shenandoah Crime Stoppers at 800.322.2017.


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