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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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Spratley House, Ashe Manor earn high marks on federal housing inspection

Seen is the exterior of public housing complex Spratley House located in downtown Newport News on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. (Aileen Devlin/Daily Press)

Two public housing complexes designed for the elderly have again passed a federal inspection with mostly flying colors.

However, the latest scores for Spratley House, 651 25th St., and Wilbert & Effie Ashe Manor Apartments, 900 36th St., were lower than when both were last inspected in 2014.

No compatible source was found for this media.

Both Spratley House and Ashe Manor, inspected last month, have 50 one- and two-unit bed apartments for the elderly. Apartments are designed for people who need special accommodations and have special cords that can be used to call for emergency medical help.

Spratley House earned 94 points out of 100, and Ashe...

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Newport News to utilize ShotSpotter technology to detect gunshots

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — New technology is coming to the city of Newport News with the goal of helping police get to shooting scenes faster.

The technology is called ShotSpotter.

It’s a sensor system that detects the sound of gunfire and uses GPS technology to detect its exact location.

The technology then alerts police about the gunshots within 60 seconds.

Newport News city officials believe this will help officers respond faster and give them more accurate information in investigations.

"It’s just a matter of hearing those shots and then locating where those shots are coming from," said Mayor McKinley Price...

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Control of House may hinge on ‘Panera moms’ in the suburbs

Sally Mattson pulls out of a Starbucks at the Westchester Commons shopping complex in central Virginia, her trunk stocked with campaign literature. She’s about to go knock on doors for a Democrat who has a real chance of winning a House seat that’s been under Republican control for nearly five decades.

The last time voters here sent a Democrat to Congress, Richard Nixon was president, and the sprawling retail center that is disappearing in Ms. Mattson’s rear-view mirror didn’t even exist.

As the former nurse heads out on the highway that connects the suburb of Midlothian to downtown Richmond, green fields quickly give way to generously sized homes, and then smaller ones...

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Stratford University closing Virginia Beach, Newport News campuses

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Students at Stratford University got a shocking announcement on Wednesday.

The school sent out an email saying three campuses are shutting their doors — two of them are in Hampton Roads.

The campuses that are closing are in Virginia Beach, Newport News and Glen Allen, and over 500 students are affected.

The school said it’s working with students to help them through this transition, but some students said they were blindsided by the announcement.

“I was in shock like ‘what are you talking about?’ said Keith Reese.

Reese has been a culinary student at the Virginia Beach campus since 2015. Another student we spoke to off camera said some students were crying after the news spread.

10 On Your Side sat down with school administrators who said Stratford Uni...

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Stratford University closing Virginia Beach, Newport News campuses

Video

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Students at Stratford University got a shocking announcement on Wednesday.

The school sent out an email saying three campuses are shutting their doors — two of them are in Hampton Roads.

The campuses that are closing are in Virginia Beach, Newport News and Glen Allen, and over 500 students are affected.

The school said it’s working with students to help them through this transition, but some students said they were blindsided by the announcement.

“I was in shock like ‘what are you talking about?’ said Keith Reese.

Reese has been a culinary student at the Virginia Beach campus since 2015. Another student we spoke to off camera said some students were crying after the news spread.

10 On Your Side sat down with school administrators who said Stratford Uni...

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Work underway to replace bridge in Newport News, expected to take two years

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — VDOT is tearing down the Denbigh Boulevard bridge and building a new one in its place. The bridge sits over Interstate 64 between Warwick Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue.

VDOT said the bridge, built more than 50 years ago, is structurally deficient, and the project will upgrade the interstate overpass to meet current design standards.

The work will be done in two stages so that VDOT can keep one lane of traffic open in each direction.

Right now, Denbigh Boulevard at the bridge is two lanes for the time being as VDOT works to build the first side of the new bridge. Once that’s finished, next year VDOT will replace the other side of the bridge. When it’s all said and done, drivers are getting a new four-lane bridge, raised median and wider sidewalks.

Jenna Vandijk said she...

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