Tidbits – December 2022

Mariners’ Museum has scheduled its December programs with the disclaimer that events are subject to change. December 2, Beyond the Frame, a behind-the-scenes look of the Museum’s world-class art collection with Kyra Duffley, digital content specialist; December 2, Civil War Lecture, featuring Mutiny at Sea: Death and Destruction on USS Somers, with John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center (in-person and livestreamed); December 3, Wreathing of the Lions, presented by The Bronze Door Society (in-person); December 10, Storytime with Santa (in-person); December 11, Friendly Hours (in-person); December 19, Blood Drive, hosted by The Mariners’ Museum and Park, and in partnership with American Red Cross; and December 30, Civil War Lecture, featuring Sinking of USS Monitor, with John V. Quarstein. For information, visit www.MarinersMuseum.org or the Live Programming webpage.

Langley Federal Credit Union has been awarded the Excellence in Retail award in Services and Entertainment at the 2022 Retailer of the Year Awards (ROTY). The ROTY Awards recognize merchants in the Hampton Roads area who demonstrate the best in customer service and community involvement. Langley has also been awarded a Peer Choice Award in the financial services category. Deb Vollmer is Langley chief experience officer.

Dr. Kerry Ragno has joined Virginia Peninsula Community College as vice president of academic affairs and chief academic officer. Ragno’s 15 years of community college leadership experience includes service as a department chair and dean. Her areas of expertise include curriculum development, teaching and learning, and program administration. She has a proven track record of team building, executing efforts that yield greater student success, community partnerships and support for faculty growth and development. As an advocate for social justice, Ragno is committed to providing quality, accessible educational opportunities to a diverse population of adult learners.

The Salvation Army of the Virginia Peninsula held its 7th Annual Red Kettle Classic in October at the Kiln Creek Golf Club and Resort. This signature fundraising event raised more than $50,000 and included 108 golfers, a boxed lunch, putting competition, raffle prizes, a 50/50 drawing and an awards dinner. Proceeds from the event will help support programs such as Utility Assistance, Angel Tree, Back to School, Hunger Relief, Housing Homeless Families and Emergency Sheltering. Shown with the winning golfers  are Lt. Antiono Willis, commander of the Salvation Army Virginia Peninsula (second from the left), and Patrick Walsh, advisory board member (far right).

Virginia Living Museum (VLM) received a $25,000 grant from Sentara Healthcare to support STEM readiness in young students, teacher development and college/workforce-ready citizens. The Sentara Healthcare grant funds will support the VLM’s Living STEM program curriculum, building programs for K12 students, teacher professional development and opportunities for a diverse student volunteer program. VLM’s goals for this school year are to increase formal Museum science education program delivery, increase teacher proficiency in natural science and grow Museum youth volunteers. Rebecca Kleinhample is VLM’s executive director.

Top September selling and listing agent for Coldwell Banker Traditions was Lelani Clayton.

Avelo Airlines has begun serving Newport News-Williamsburg Airport (PHF) with exclusive nonstop service to Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Flights to and from MCO and FLL will be twice weekly on Thursdays and Sundays. In addition to offering low fares on every route, customers can change or cancel itineraries with no extra fees. Customers who value an advance seat assignment can choose from several modestly priced seating options, including seats with extra leg room and pre-reserved window and aisle seating. Every Avelo flight is nonstop. Specific dates and times can be found at AveloAir.com.

According to data prepared by Tourism Economics for the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Newport News Tourism revenue reached $302,249,243 in 2021, a 37.1 percent increase over 2020, a year in which the pandemic had a devastating impact on the travel industry. Tourism also supported 2,985 jobs in Newport News in 2021, a 5.5 percent increase from the prior year. As an economic engine, tourism in Newport News produced $17,846,583 in local taxes (a 21.5 percent increase) and $9,148,184 in state taxes (a 29.3 percent increase) over 2020 figures. The Virginia Tourism Corporation partnered with Tourism Economics for its 2021 Annual Economic Impact study. Figures are based on spending by travelers from within the United States on trips taken 50 miles or more away from home. Detailed economic impact data by locality is available by clicking on 2021 Direct Visitor Impact for Virginia Localities at www.vatc.org/research/economicimpact.

Dr. Vincent Joseph has been named Chiropractor of the Year by the Unified Virginia Chiropractic Association (UVCA). The award was presented at the UVCA 2022 Fall Convention in October and was selected by the preceding three recipients. A Northwestern College of Chiropractic graduate, Joseph owns Rebound Chiropractic, with two locations on Jefferson Avenue in Newport News. In addition, he is team chiropractor for campus sports at Christopher Newport University. He also serves as chairman of the board for Mercy Bon Secours Hampton Roads.

The City of Newport News, Peake Childhood Center (PCC) and Virginia Peninsula Community College (VPCC) have begun a new project to enhance early education outcomes and transform the lives of young people and their families in Newport News and beyond. The three organizations are partnering to create the Newport News Early Childhood Center to serve approximately 200 children ages six weeks to five years. The facility will be located in the southeast community of Newport News and will support children and families from throughout the region. PCC will be responsible for programming and daily operations. It currently operates a site in Hampton and plans to replicate many services, as well as its funding model, in Newport News. VPCC’s Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development will be based at the Newport News Early Childhood Center. Dr. Jennifer Parish is executive director of Peake Childhood Center. Dr. Towuanna Porter Brannon is president of Virginia Peninsula Community College. Anticipated opening of the Newport News Early Childhood Center is in the summer of 2024.

The city of Newport News is now a Bee City USA affiliate. The designation recognizes the importance of providing bees and other pollinators with a healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants and free of insecticides. The announcement event took place in October at the Newport News Green Foundation’s Chatham Trail property, where the city’s first Bee City USA sign was unveiled. Participating in the event were, left to right: Cindy Rohlf, Newport News city manager; Ruth Deibler, Newport News Green Foundation president; Saundra Cherry, Newport News vice mayor; McKinley Price, Newport News mayor; Rebecca Fass, Newport News Bee City committee co-chair; Dale Banning, Newport News Bee City committee co-chair; and Dave Jenkins, Newport News councilman.