Monthly Archives June 2019

Newport News conveys land to be developed in choice neighborhood process

The Apartments at Ridley Circle in Newport News are part of the transformation area in the city’s Choice Neighborhood Initiative process. (Joe Fudge / Daily Press file photo)

The Newport News City Council voted to convey a vacant lot on Jefferson Avenue and 28th Street to the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority as part of ongoing Choice Neighborhood Initiative efforts.

The two members of the council who represent the district containing the property expressed concerns about early plans for it.

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At a community meeting Jan. 16, an architect showed a concept for a four-story building that would have business space on the first floor and apartments on the upper levels...

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Newport News proposed budget comes with flat school funding, real estate tax rate

Newport News City Manager Cindy Rohlf speaks at a previous joint meeting with the School Board and City Council. Rohlf presented a proposed fiscal year 2020 budget that keeps funding for schools level, not meeting the School Board’s request. (Rob Ostermaier / Daily Press)

Newport News City Manager Cindy Rohlf presented a proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year that includes an average 2 percent raise for city employees, adds public safety jobs and keeps funding for the school division level to the current budget — not meeting the school division’s request.

Rohlf’s proposal also keeps the real estate tax rate the same. The general fund budget proposal, which would go into effect July 1, totals about $497.6 million, an increase of about $10.7 million or 2...

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Former Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport Executive Director pleads not guilty to federal charges

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Ken Spirito pleaded not guilty in court Monday to 18 federal charges, all related to financial transactions and the misuse of public money.

Spirito had no comment going in or out of court.

Michael Morisi, the founder of People Express Airlines, was also in court Monday. He also pleaded not guilty.

The judge said both trials will be complex, due to the number of documents and the amount of material associated with the case.

An indictment said Spirito, the former executive director of Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport, illegally loaned state and federal money to People Express Airlines to help the airline start operating in Newport News in 2014.

It’s illegal to use targeted public funds for private investment.

The airline stopped service in less than three m...

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Man to serve 76 years in 2014 Newport News homicide

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A man who pleaded guilty in a 2014 homicide in newport news will spend 76 years behind bars.

Court records show a judge sentenced Joe Thomas to 128 years in prison on May 31. Fifty-two years of that time was suspended, leaving 76 to serve.

Prosecutors say Thomas was one of three men involved in a home invasion on Jefferson Avenue at 22nd Street that left 32-year-old Katrice Major dead and another woman hurt.

The second suspect in the case, Jason Robles, was sentenced to 138 years in prison for his role in the crime in February 2018.

Police arrersted the third suspect, 34-year-old Calvon Whitehead, in Las Vegas in April last year.

Whitehead is scheduled to go on trial starting June 11.

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Department of Housing and Urban Development awards Newport News, Norfolk $60 million grant

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — It’s an announcement that’s expected to transform two areas in Hampton Roads.

On Monday, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson awarded Newport News and Norfolk $30 million each to redevelop severely distressed public or assisted housing and to revitalize surrounding neighborhoods.

The grants, provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is expected to transform the Marshall Ridley area in Newport News and the St. Paul’s area in Norfolk.

Secretary Carson made the announcement in Newport News. Mayor Price called it a turning point for Newport News and its citizens.

"It will bring the area back to what it was when I was a kid," Price said.

Secretary Carson spoke on how they chose Newport News and No...

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