Thursday, April 18, 2024

Funding for Financial Literacy Programs, WRL Wins Award and more: News Briefs for April 21

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

DEA National Drug Take Back Day, Shredding Event

Sheriff Ron Montgomery and the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office will hold a Drug Take Back event Saturday April 22. Pills, patches, vaping pens (without internal batteries), and liquid medications may be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the York County Public Works Complex, 105 Service Drive. The Drug Take Back cannot accept needles or other sharp items.  This service is provided at no cost and is anonymous, no questions asked. Information about the Drug Take Back event in York County is available by Call the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office at 757-890-3630 for more information.

The York County Beautification Committee will also provide the opportunity to shred up to five boxes of paperwork per person. Staples and/or paperclips do not need to be removed prior to shredding. The Beautification Committee will also be accepting plastic bags for recycling in the Trex Bench challenge, and this is a donation spot for a local food pantry accepting non-perishable canned/boxed food items. Details about the shredding event/plastic bag collection/food drive is available by calling the Waste Management Center at 757-890-3780.

Apply for a Free Native Redbud Tree for a School or Business 

The York County Beautification Committee is giving away a limited number of free native redbud trees.  Applications will be reviewed by the committee for approval. Limit one tree per application.


  • Trees must be planted within 30 days of distribution and must be watered regularly until planted
  • Trees should be returned if they cannot be planted
  • Trees must be planted on property that has appropriate conditions and adequate space to support the tree (redbud trees grow 20 – 30 feet, and spread 25 – 35 feet at maturity)
  • Tree area should be mulched to protect from lawn mowers and weed whips
  • Applicants must commit to care for the tree for at least the first year after planting
  • Applicants are encouraged to share photos of the trees as they grow, so we can track the progress

Apply here.

(Virginia Natural Gas)

The Virginia Natural Gas Foundation Commits $75,000 to Financial Literacy Programs

The Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) Foundation has committed $75,000 to
assist low-to-moderate income families in securing financial stability. The energy company’s nonprofit recently presented a grant to the Urban League of Hampton Roads Inc. in support of ongoing initiatives to help program participants with financial fitness workshops and coaching. The grant will help program participants build short- and long-term financial plans and achieve important outcomes such as developing a financial plan for the future, open and maintain bank accounts, improve credit scores and implement a budget plan to build monthly savings and investments. To learn more about Virginia Natural Gas’ commitment to our community, visit

Toastmasters Open House

Williamsburg’s local Toastmasters Club: the V.O.I.C.E.S. of Williamsburg, is inviting the public to attend its annual Open House on Monday, May 15, at the James City County Recreation Center from 7-8 a.m.  Attendees can experience what a weekly Toastmaster meeting entails in a pressure-free, supportive environment while gaining an understanding of what Toastmasters and V.O.I.C.E.S. of Williamsburg has to offer.

Stroll & Shop Through Merchants Square This Spring

Merchants Square’s Spring Sidewalk Sale will be in full swing April 21-23. Find unique gifts, accessories and fashion while strolling through the beautiful Spring weather. Located adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area, the 18th-century style retail village features over 40 shops and restaurants. For a full list of shops and restaurants at Merchants Square, see the link here.

Country Musician to Play at Ford’s Colony Country Club

Country musician Mark Taylor will present an outdoor concert open to the public at the Ford’s Colony Practice Range Sunday, May 21 from 4-6 p.m. Attendees should bring chairs and blankets. Tickets are $20 per adult and kids are free. A grill and bar will be available for purchases.

Visit Jefferson Lab on a Self-Guided Virtual Adventure

With an interactive map, viewers can now virtually visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. Using the interactive map tool, “visitors” can see the lab’s different research areas at their own pace. Each map location features an accompanying video. The map offers a custom-tailored tour through the world-class Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF), see Jefferson Lab’s internationally acclaimed superconducting radiofrequency (SRF) technology in the SRF Institute, tour the lab’s cryogenics department featuring two of the world’s largest superfluid helium refrigerators housed in the rarely accessible Central Helium Liquefier, and virtually visit the data center, the hub of the lab’s advanced computing programs. Explore the Interactive Map and take a self-guided tour of the lab’s facilities, or take a Family Field Trip with Jefferson Lab’s 2021 Virtual Tour Video.

Chesapeake Financial Shares Announces Promotion

Paula A. Milsted

Jeffrey M. Szyperski, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Chesapeake Financial Shares Inc., announced the recent promotion of Paula A. Milsted, Senior Vice President, to Chief Experience Officer. In this capacity, Milsted supervises the company’s Human Resources and Marketing departments and Product Experience Team. Milsted has been with Chesapeake for 21 years, and throughout most of her tenure, she served as director of marketing. A native of Pennsylvania, she holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Marketing Management from Grove City College.

Stem-related Grants Available for Educators and Nonprofits

Coastal VA STEM hub, a regional STEM learning ecosystem, is offering grant funding opportunities for educators and nonprofits in Coastal Virginia. Funds are available to develop new science, technology, engineering and math-focused initiatives, activities and programming. Projects proposed for grant funding should cultivate or enhance STEM awareness, literacy, and skill development. Funding will be allocated based on the evaluation of need and the scope of work for each applicant. The review committee will make awards based on resources available. Applications will be accepted until all funding has been awarded, and priority attention will be given to those submitted by May 12. Educators and nonprofits are encouraged to apply for these grants online at This grant funding is made possible by a partnership between Virginia Peninsula Community College and the city of Newport News through a grant from the Virginia General Assembly.

Free 757 Sober LYFT Rides for Cinco de Mayo 

Free or reduced-fare rides are being offered to drivers in Hampton Roads who are using alcohol on Cinco de Mayo 2023.  Drive Safe Hampton Roads (DSHR) is sponsoring 757 Sober Ride for Cinco de Mayo from 4 p.m. on Friday, May 5 until 4 a.m. on Saturday, May 6. During the twelve-hour period, area residents age 21 and older celebrating with alcohol may download the Lyft app to their phones, then enter the 757 Sober Ride code in the app’s “Payment” tab (under the “Add Lyft Pass” option) to receive their no-cost (up to $15) safe transportation home.  DSHR’s 2023 Cinco de Mayo 757 Sober Ride promo code will be posted at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 5, at
VSCC AmeriCorps member (Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation)

Virginia Service and Conservation Corps Applications now Being Accepted

Applications are open now for adults to join the Virginia Service and Conservation Corps (VSCC) for service beginning on May 17. The VSCC is an AmeriCorps program that operates in Virginia State Parks and participants serve in park locations throughout the commonwealth developing and leading interpretive programs and maintaining and enhancing trail systems. Applications for the 450- and 675-hour programs close on April 30. More information is found on the Virginia State Parks website.

Guests learn how to make slime at a Saturdays @ Frink program. (WRL)

Saturdays @ Frink Wins Innovative Outreach Program Award

Williamsburg Regional Library’s (WRL) recently expanded outreach program, Saturdays @ Frink, received the Innovative Outreach Program award from the Virginia Public Library Directors Association (VPLDA). In 2022, the program evolved from a once-monthly, family-focused STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) event into four weekly events centered on arts activities, hands-on fun with technology, digital navigation, and continued STEAM events. Over the past two years, over 2,600 people have participated in WRL programs at the Abram Frink Jr. Community Center in the Grove area. For more information about Saturdays @ Frink, click here.

(City of Williamsburg)

City of Williamsburg Wins Gold Award for Water Treatment

The City of Williamsburg’s Water Treatment Plant was awarded the 2022 Excellence in Waterworks Operations/Performance Gold Award from the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Drinking Water. The Gold Award is given to localities that meet the excellence goals in three categories: filtration, clarification, and backwash. This is the seventh time the city’s treatment facility has received the top award. The city releases an annual Water Quality Report each spring. Read the 2022 report on the city’s website.

Gloucester County Unveils New Logo

Gloucester County presented its new logo, which represents “the green of our beautiful
parks and the importance of Gloucester’s pristine waterways,” at a Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday night, April 4. Designed by Tourism Coordinator Susan Ammons, it is part of a wider branding initiative for the county. Gloucester anticipates the cost to be minimal for the logo implementation. For more information, contact Gloucester’s Community Engagement & Public Information Department at or 804-693-5730. View the presentation here. The presentation begins around the 11:30 timestamp.

Liz Moore & Associates Ranked Among Nation’s Best Brokerages

Liz Moore & Associates announced it was included in the Real Trends 500, a ranking of power brokers in the United States, ranking no. 111 among private independent brokerages in the country, and no. 4 in Virginia, based on 2022 transaction sides.
RealTrends, a source of analysis and information on the residential real estate industry,
has been ranking the nation’s best brokerages for 34 years. Companies are ranked based on sales volume and transaction sides. The RealTrends 500 represents the top half of one
percent of all brokerages in the United States.

York County Commissioner of the Revenue Retires, Deputy Announces Candidacy

Chief Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue Brandy N. Palazzone announced her candidacy for York County Commissioner of the Revenue in the November 2023 general
election following the retirement of the current Commissioner of the Revenue, Ann H. Thomas. Palazzone will be appointed interim Commissioner on September 1 to complete the remainder of Thomas’ term, which ends on December 31. Palazzone has been employed with the York County Commissioner of the Revenue’s office for more than
25 years. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from Christopher Newport University and is a certified Master Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue through the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

JCCPD is Hiring

James City County Police Department is seeking applicants interested in a career in law enforcement to apply for a Police Officer position. The department is currently accepting applications for already-certified officers, as well as those with no experience who would attend the police academy class that begins in July 2023.

JCCPD is looking for candidates who are at least 21 years old by completion of field training, possess a high school education or GED (some college preferred), and have a valid Virginia driver’s license and an acceptable driving record based on James City County’s criteria. Click here for additional requirements, disqualifiers, and other information.

Benefits include:

  • A new starting salary of $52,200 or higher depending on qualifications
  • A $5,000 signing bonus (half paid upon hire, half paid after field training)
  • An Education Incentive added to your salary ($3,000 for bachelors or $1,500 for associates or 60+ earned credit hours from an accredited college or university)
  • A take-home car program (if living within 25-mile driving distance*)
  • Health, dental, and vision insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Life insurance
  • Tuition assistance

Those with questions about the Department and the recruitment process should contact Lt. Jeff Hicklin by email or by calling 757-259-5169. Questions about filling out an application may be directed to HR by email or by calling 757-253-6680 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to apply, and click here to go to the JCC Career Center to complete your application.

National Amusement Park Historical Association Recognizes BGW

The National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA) released the results of its 37th annual NAPHA Amusement Park and Attractions Survey and Busch Gardens Williamsburg has been named most beautiful park for the 33rd consecutive year.

Some of the attractions seizing the top ratings in the survey include:

  • Favorite Traditional Amusement Park: Knoebels Amusement Resort (Elysburg, Pennsylvania).
  • Favorite Theme Park: Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee).
  • Most Beautiful Park: Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Williamsburg) for the 33rd consecutive year.
  • Favorite Wood Coaster:  Phoenix, Knoebels Amusement Resort (Elysburg, Pennsylvania), for the eleventh year in a row.
  • Favorite Steel Coaster: Fury 325, Carowinds (Charlotte, North Carolina)
  • Favorite New Attraction: Iron Gwazi, Busch Gardens Tampa (Tampa, Florida).

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