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2013 Year in Review

Jordan Crawford | 12/30/2013, 12:34 p.m.
One of the biggest events that occurred in Hampton Roads in 2013 was when Rev. Al Sharpton paid a visit to the Tidewater area.

A wise person once said that in order for one to progress they must first reflect on what they have done in the past. A lot has happened this year. Let’s look at the top four events that happened in Hampton Roads since June 2013.

June

1- The GEICO Skytypers dazzled hundreds of Hampton Roads residents at the Virginia Beach Patriotic Festival May 31- Jun. 1. The group of six North American SNJ-2 Airplanes performed low-altitude precision formation flying and captivating aeronautical demonstrations;

2- On Jun. 6, York County resident Helen Noel gave readers a glimpse into her life as a kidney donor. In view of the Annual Hampton Roads Kidney Walk, held Saturday, May 18 in Virginia Beach, Noel recounted her brother Algie Nelson’s struggle with kidney disease and other illnesses resulting from his three-year military assignment to Camp Lejeune in the early 80s;

3- During Men’s Health Week, the Carver Memorial Presbyterian Church in Newport News hosted the Prostate Cancer Health Forum on June 15. Charlie Hill, founder of the Hampton Roads Prostate Health Forum, seeks to educate Black men in the area because the disease kills about 56,000 of them each year according to government statistics; and

4- Hampton battled an outbreak of the Asian tiger mosquito. This species of mosquito is known to carry West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever virus, St. Louis encephalitis, dengue fever, and Chikungunya fever. The city of Hampton routinely sprayed ultra-low volume spray and larvicides to areas with stagnant water, common breeding ground for mosquitos, to prevent them from reaching adulthood. Residents were told to dump any standing water around their houses as part of Mosquito Control Awareness Week Jun. 24- 29.

July

1- Virginia sought to focus its driver’s eyes to the road ahead by imposing a stricter texting-while-driving law. The new law, set forth on July 1, bumped the act up to a primary offense able to cost violators up to $125. It only cost $20 before. A second offense previously cost $50 but has since accrued $200. Local residents, including law enforcement, believed the mandate was ill-planned;

2- On July 15, the Newport News Department of Human Services partnered with the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) to help usher non-custodial fathers back into their children’s lives with the 16-week long 24/7 Dad Program. Fatherlessness is a major problem in the Black community and NFI seeks to decrease the statistic;

3- In a meeting July 10, the Hampton City Council planned to allow more residents to have their own chickens. Residents asked the council to revisit the issue of urban chicken keeping after hearing of other Hampton Roads cities allowing their residents to keep chickens on their property. This was one of the many capital projects the council had $220 million to implement; and

4- The African Children’s Choir ministered through lively song and dance at Warwick Assembly of God in Hampton, July 14. The choir is the main fundraising branch for Music for Life (MFL), its parent organization. MFL raises money to fund schooling for the choir’s members. Many of the children, who come from poverty, have gone on to become doctors and lawyers, and advocates for their hometowns.