2013 Year in Review

Jordan Crawford | 12/30/2013, 12:34 p.m.
Let's take a look back at top events that occurred throughout the Tidewater area since June.
One of the biggest events that occurred in Hampton Roads in 2013 was when Rev. Al Sharpton paid a visit to the Tidewater area.


1- Norfolk State University’s school of nursing ended its associate’s degree program for a year Aug. 3, due to low passing rates on the NCLEX, a national licensing exam. The school also came under fire for its low graduation rate which stems all the way back to its early years of business during the Great Depression;

2- The LGBT Pride Flag was raised at Town Point Park in Norfolk, Aug. 9, to begin Gay Pride Week. The ceremony commemorated the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision that the Federal Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, and that supporters of California’s Proposition 8 had no legal standing;

3- U.S. Congressman, Rep. Robert C “Bobby” Scott, held a town hall meeting, Aug. 19, about the Affordable Care Act at the Norfolk City Council Chambers. Scott explained that the marketplaces are for individuals who currently have no insurance. Those who received health insurance through their employers were given instructions on how to collect it; and

4- The University of Virginia and Virginia Tech celebrated the opening of their jointly operated Newport News Education Center with a reception at the Marriott at City Center, Aug. 12. The establishment functions as the relocation of the University of Virginia Eastern Regional Center and the new Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Center.


1- Downtown Newport News celebrated its 23rd Annual Southeast Community Day, Sept.7. Spectators watched as a parade tramped down Jefferson Ave., Dr. Benita King gave a rousing speech, and Dr. Bobby Jones hosted the Andrew Shannon Gospel Weekend Celebration;

2- One of only 13 remaining Boeing B-17 bomber jets touched down in Chesapeake to allow Hampton Roads residents to come examine and fly in the historic aircraft, Sept. 15. Boeing B-17’s were used in WWII, and during Vietnam, according to the Liberty Foundation. There were 12,732 B-17s produced between 1935 and 1945. 4,735 of these were lost in combat;

3- The City of Newport News was awarded an $870,316 federal grant for youth violence prevention by the Office of Justice Programs’ Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Sept. 24. The money was mainly given to the Targeted Outreach Program, an interest and needs-based program designed to connect youth with services and programs that will support positive behavior, increase self-esteem, and build upon positive developmental assets; and

4- Smithfield Foods, Inc. held a meeting to discuss merging with Shuanghui International Holdings, a Chinese meat processing company, Sept. 24. Smithfield’s board of directors recommended that shareholders vote in favor of the deal. The purchase of Smithfield Foods for $34 a share would make it the largest takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm.


1- Hampton Mayor Molly Ward accepted a position in President Barack Obama’s administration. She was supposed to begin a job as the Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the beginning of October, but the federal shutdown delayed that. She instead worked under Director of Intergovernmental Affairs David Agnew to engage mayors and municipal leaders across the country concerning issues facing localities;