Saturday, April 20, 2024

News Briefs for Dec. 30

HISTORIC TRIANGLE — Catch up on news and notes in brief from in and around the Historic Triangle.

Greater Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce Launches National Civics Bee

(The Greater Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce)

The Greater Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce announced the launch of its 2024 National Civics Bee, an initiative aimed at encouraging more young Americans to engage in civics and contribute to their communities.

Organized in partnership with The Civic Trust of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the competition in Virginia aims to inspire 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to become better informed about American democracy, to engage respectfully and constructively in the community, and to build greater trust in others and institutions.
Middle school students from public, private, charter, and home schools are invited to take part in the first-round civics essay competition. After a panel reviews the 500-word essays, the top 20 students will be selected to move on to the next round of competition: a live quiz event to test their civics knowledge. The date and location for the competition will be announced soon.
The finalists of the local competition and top winners will receive various prizes, including a $500 cash prize for first place, a $250 cash prize for second place, and a $125 cash prize for third place. The deadline for student essay submissions is Jan. 22. For more information on the essay topic, competition rules and prizes, and to submit an essay, visit:

VDEM Opens Application Period for FY23 Emergency Shelter Upgrade Assistance Grant Fund

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) announced that it is opening the application period for the FY23 Emergency Shelter Upgrade Assistance Grant Fund (Shelter Upgrade Fund).

The General Assembly approved $2,500,000 for this grant fund in state FY23. The Shelter Upgrade Fund shall be used solely to provide matching funds to localities to install, maintain, or repair infrastructure related to backup energy generation for emergency shelters, including solar energy generators, and to improve the hazard-specific structural integrity (wind retrofit) of shelter facilities owned by the locality. Local governments, as defined as political subdivisions in the Emergency Services and Disaster Laws may apply.

Funding Priorities

  • Project supports/protects vulnerable and marginalized populations.
  • Project is a long-term risk-based solution.
  • Localities that submit applications for their primary shelter solutions will have priority.
  • Project identifies alternative solutions.

All project applications, and supporting documentation, must be submitted through the application portal by Feb. 1. For more information on the application process and eligibility criteria, visit or contact Naashia Naufal, hazard mitigation grant administrator, at

JYF to Host Community Blood Drive Jan. 16 at Jamestown Settlement

The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation (JYF) will host a community blood drive with the American Red Cross at Jamestown Settlement on Tuesday, Jan. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The blood drive will be held in its education wing classrooms, located at 2110 Jamestown Road in Williamsburg near the Colonial Parkway. In 2023, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation generated 78 units of blood during American Red Cross community blood drives.

According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds, and volunteer blood donors are needed to replenish the supply. Donors with all blood types are needed, especially those with types O negative, A negative and B negative.

To make an appointment to donate or for additional information, call (757) 253-5549 or sign up online at with sponsor code “JAMESTOWN.”

For more information about the museum, call 757-253-4838 or visit

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