Thursday, February 22, 2024

News Briefs for Jan. 13

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

Grant leads to refrigerated truck for Williamsburg House of Mercy

(The Williamsburg House of Mercy)

The Williamsburg House of Mercy (WHOM) thanked the Virginia Peninsula Food Bank for coordinating a grant through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development for a 14-foot refrigerated truck

On average, WHOM said its food pantry supports an average of 250 families each week and the truck is instrumental in receiving food donations and providing food transport.

WHOM added it has been planning an expansion west to aid in the food insecurities for clients living in areas such as Charles City and New Kent. The logistics of food transport have now been solved with the truck WHOM said, and it looks forward to addressing the growing needs of clients in the communities between Williamsburg and Richmond.

Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg

Left to right, Tucker Edmund, Dane Fischer and Vice President Deborah Giese. (Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg)

The Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg recently had Dane Fischer, the basketball coach at William and Mary as its regular lunch meeting speaker. He spoke about his team, the players and how the NCAA manages all the new policies for players. The Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg meets every Wednesday at noon at the Williamsburg Lodge.

DAV, RecruitMilitary host Hampton Veterans Job Fair

DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and RecruitMilitary will co-host the Hampton Veterans Job Fair on Jan. 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hampton Roads Convention Center. The event is free to veterans, their spouses, active-duty military personnel and members of the National Guard and Reserve.

More than 30 employers will be on-site representing a range of industries, from construction to medical to administrative and logistics, with career opportunities from entry-level to senior management, according to DAV. In addition to employment assistance, veterans can utilize career counseling and resume assistance, network with fellow veterans and military personnel, and get support with their Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and claims assistance — all at no cost.

To register and access additional no-cost resources for veterans and their families, go to

VNG completes first renewable natural gas transaction for customers

Virginia Natural Gas has entered into renewable natural gas agreements that will increase access to clean, safe, reliable and affordable fuel, it said. The emissions reductions from the transaction, the first of its kind for VNG, are estimated to be equivalent to the carbon sequestered by more than 10,000 acres of U.S. forests.

The deal involves acquiring environmental attributes — credit for the environmental benefits of a project — from a wastewater facility in Nebraska and an agricultural co-digestion facility in Indiana, according to VNG. The estimated cost impact to customers is only about $0.37/month, or less than $5.00 for the year.

RNG is a sustainable and alternative fuel produced from naturally occurring methane emitted primarily from landfill, agricultural, wastewater and food waste sites. Capturing this biogas at the source before it is emitted into the atmosphere reduces the amount of GHG emissions contributing to the warming of the planet. It is a sustainable and reliable energy source that is compatible with existing infrastructure and appliances. Depending on the source, it can be carbon neutral or even carbon negative.

The transaction is made possible by the passage of the Energy Innovation Act and the Sustainable Gas Program which was approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission that allows and encourages the production and delivery of RNG. This transaction supports VNG’s economy-wide decarbonization efforts across the natural gas value chain. In addition, VNG has a goal to achieve net-zero GHG emissions from its operations by 2050.

REIN MLS Announces 2024 Board of Directors 

The Real Estate Information Network, Inc. (REIN) has appointed its Board of Directors for 2024. REIN is the multiple listing service (MLS) for the Hampton Roads region and partners with its members to ensure consumers have access to a platform that delivers open and equal access to listings for all potential home buyers and home sellers. 

REIN’s Board President for 2024 is Gary Lundholm, Principal Broker with The Real Estate Group, who last year served as Vice President of the Board. 

Joining Lundholm on the Executive Committee are Barbara Wolcott, Principal Broker with BHHS RW Towne Realty as Vice President; Barry Nachman, Managing Broker with Century 21 Nachman Realty as Treasurer; and Kimberly Plourde, Principal Broker with EXIT Realty Central as Secretary. 

Directors include Lee Cross, Managing Broker with Cross Realty; Amy Doll, Managing Broker with RE/MAX Alliance; Dorcas Helfant-Browning, Principal Broker with Coldwell Banker Now/Helfant Realty; Cavelle Mollineaux, Principal Broker with ONYX Realty Professionals; and Past President, Jon McAchran, Principal Broker with AtCoastal Realty. 

Embrace winter with an adventure at Virginia State Parks

Winter at First Landing State Park.(Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation)

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation invites visitors to “discover the magic of the winter season amidst the natural beauty” of one of Virginia’s 42 state parks.

Over the next two months, visitors can take advantage of nearly 200 nature and history programs across the state, including Archery 101 at OcconeecheeSnakes Alive at WidewaterSappy Saturday at Claytor LakeREI Appalachian Trail Overnight Backpacking at Sky Meadows and a Children’s Discovery Hike at Leesylvania.

For visitors who prefer to explore on their own, parks offer self-guided activities, such as GPS scavenger hunts, interpretive trails and geocaching.

After a day of exploration, visitors can unwind in the comfort of one of Virginia State Parks’ 300 climate-controlled cabins. Reservations can be made online at or by calling 800-933-PARK.

To learn more about winter activities and to view the calendar of nature and history programs, please go to

AARP Virginia Now Accepting 2024 Community Challenge Grant Applications

AARP Virginia is inviting local eligible nonprofit organizations and governments across the country to apply for the 2024 AARP Community Challenge grant program, now through March 6 at 5 p.m.

AARP Community Challenge grants fund quick-action projects that help communities become more livable by improving public places, transportation, housing, digital connections, and more. Now in its eighth year, AARP said the program is part of its nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for all residents, especially those age 50 and older.

The Community Challenge is open to eligible nonprofit organizations and government entities. Other types of organizations are considered on a case-by-case basis. Grants can range from several hundred dollars for small, short-term activities to tens of thousands for larger projects. All projects must be completed by Dec. 15. For more information, submit an application and view past grantees, visit

VCIC Announces Recipients of its 56th Annual Humanitarian Awards

The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) announced the recipients of its 56th annual Peninsula Humanitarian Awards honoring individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the promotion of respect and understanding among people of diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds in the Peninsula community.

The 2024 awards will be presented by the Peninsula Chapter of VCIC at their annual dinner on Thursday, Feb. 22, at the Newport News Marriott at City Center.

The 2024 Peninsula Humanitarian Award Recipients:

  • Xavier L. Beale
  • Syed Ismail
  • Eugene M. Jordan II
  • Nick G. Vlahakis
  • Gwendolyn R. Williams

The 2024 Peninsula Distinguished Merit Recipient

  • Peninsula Pastoral Counseling Center

For more information about the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, the awards recipients, or about reservations for the Awards Dinner on Feb. 22, go to

Gloucester Daffodil Festival art submissions to be received Jan. 13

Artwork for this year’s Gloucester Daffodil Festival, “Everything’s Coming Up Daffodils” will be received on Saturday, Jan. 13 from 1-5 p.m. at the Gloucester Main Library. This year’s festival is scheduled for April 6-7.

The 2024 Daffodil Festival Queen, Little Miss, and Scholarship applications are currently live on the Festival’s website, The deadline for those applications to be submitted is Feb. 10. Parade and vendor applications can be submitted now on the website.

For more information, visit the festival’s website or call Gloucester Parks, Recreation & Tourism at 804-693-2355.

Poquoson Farm Fresh Closing Its Doors

The Farm Fresh grocery store in Poquoson said it is offering significant deals on products across the store before closing its doors this winter.
Farm Fresh Poquoson thanked the community and its customers for choosing to support local over the past couple of years, but said the store never reached the volume needed to sustain a location.
It added the management team “is proud of the unending efforts that employees put into running a beautiful location, providing superior customer service, and giving back to the community through partnerships with schools and civic organizations” and is working with employees on new job placement opportunities.

DMV Announces 2024 Customer Service Center Holiday Closures

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced offices will be closed on the following days for state holidays and observances this year:

  • Jan. 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Feb. 19: George Washington Day
  • May 27: Memorial Day
  • June 19: Juneteenth
  • July 4: Independence Day 
  • Sept. 2: Labor Day
  • Oct. 14: Columbus Day and Yorktown Victory Day
  • Nov. 5: Election Day
  • Nov. 11: Veterans Day (observed)
  • The Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday schedule T.B.A.


The DMV reminds residents can renew tags, update addresses, renew or replace driver’s licenses or ID cards, in addition to many other services at dmv.virginia.govIt also, reminds customers to check the hours of their local DMV Select location as they may operate outside of the state holiday closing schedule. For more information on DMV Select and to find a select location near you, visit the DMV website.

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