Here are the week’s top stories.
1. Crumbl Cookies is set to open in Williamsburg this week.
- Dessert lovers rejoice: a new cookie shop is coming to Williamsburg.
- Crumbl Cookies, a Utah-based gourmet cookie chain with over 600 locations, will host its grand opening on Friday, May 5. The shop will be open that day from 8 a.m. until midnight.
- Crumbl offers a rotating menu featuring six specialty cookies every week, with popular flavors like Milk Chocolate Chip, Classic Pink Sugar, Iced Oatmeal and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. The Williamsburg store – located at 4680 Monticello Avenue, Unit 16B – is locally owned and operated by Chris and Heidi Cook, according to WYDaily.
- Customers will also be able to order the cookies for takeout, curbside and delivery starting on Wednesday, May 10 via the Crumbl website and app.
- Crumbl marks the third gourmet cookie shop to open in Williamsburg in recent months. Insomnia Cookies opened last July in Midtown Row, while CookieChris – founded by Warhill High School senior Chris Knight, Jr. – opened on Richmond Road last August.
- Crumbl is the fastest-growing chain of dessert shops in the U.S. and has locations throughout Virginia. The company opened a shop in Hampton in December 2021 and plans to open a location in Newport News, though a date has not yet been announced.
- The Monticello Marketplace location will be open from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. The shop will be closed on Sundays.
- To view the weekly menu or sign up for exclusive updates and offers, click here.
2. Virginia Beach sustained major tornado damage – but miraculously, no injuries were reported.
- Virginia Beach has sustained more than $15 million in property damage after an EF-3 tornado touched down there Sunday night, city officials say. But despite the severity of the storm, no one was injured.
- The tornado hit the Great Neck section of the city with winds reaching between 140 to 150 mph, the National Weather Service reported Monday morning. The path of the tornado was about 4.5 miles long officials said.
- The twister damaged at least 115 structures – mostly homes – prompting Virginia Beach City Manager Patrick Duhaney to declare a local state of emergency. Nine homes were completely destroyed, and another 36 are uninhabitable, according to the city. Many other homes are said to have incurred “significant damage.”
- “We automatically thought the worst… everything was flying, everything was airborne,” Virginia Beach resident George Pilkington told WAVY News after witnessing the tornado from his home. “This was a complete miracle that no one was injured.”
- A tornado warning was issued by the National Weather Service Sunday night. Downed trees were reported throughout the region, and in one instance, a tree fell onto a house and a car.
- The severe weather caused the Something in the Water festival in Virginia Beach to be canceled Sunday. An estimated 50,000 people had descended upon the city for the event, which was condensed from 3 to 1.5 days due to rain and storms in the area throughout the weekend. Several of the city’s public schools also closed Monday as a result of tornado damage and related road closures.
- This is the first EF-3 tornado ever recorded in Virginia Beach, according to the Virginian-Pilot. The last tornado of that strength to touch down in Hampton Roads occurred in James City County and Gloucester in 2011.
3. Newport News received funding for a community forest designed to address food insecurity.
- The City of Newport News and the Newport News Green Foundation were awarded a $125,000 grant from the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America (ABFHA) and the African American Mayors Association (AAMA).
- The funds will be used to support the development of the Sarfan Food Forest in the city’s Southeast community. The 5-acre forest will feature more than 75 species of fruit-bearing trees, along with a community farm stand, an indigenous garden and pollinator meadow, an outdoor classroom, recreational areas and more.
- The idea is for local residents to be able to regularly collect fresh fruits and vegetables from the land at no cost. The space is also expected to become a popular destination for school field trips and community gatherings, according to WTVR News 6.
- The site is anticipated to become thethird-largest food forest in the United States. The land was donated by the Sarfan Family, and 40 trees have already been planted there.
- “Thank you to the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America and the African American Mayors Association for investing in Newport News and helping bring the Sarfan Food Forest to life,” said Mayor Phillip D. Jones. “The poverty rate in the Southeast Community is 54%, a staggering statistic we are striving to address through initiatives like the Sarfan Food Forest.”
4. A dog that went missing after a fatal hit-and-run in James City County has been found.
- A dog who went missing after a deadly hit-and-run in James City County was found safe Thursday night.
- The 6-month-old puppy, Max, ran off into the woods on April 15 after Andrew Davis, 64, was hit from behind and killed around 11:45 p.m. He was walking the dog at the time.
- The vehicle that struck Davis continued eastbound without stopping, and police are still investigating the incident. Friends and family of Davis posted “lost dog” signs throughout the community and took to social media to ask for the public’s help in finding Max.
- A member of a Facebook group for lost pets in Williamsburg/James City County shared a recently taken photo of the pup and confirmed that he was successfully trapped. Max was reportedly afraid and injured but was taken to an emergency vet for treatment, according to The Virginia Gazette. He was then transported to Heritage Humane Society, where he will stay until ownership is determined.
- Police are still looking for the driver who struck and killed Davis. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact state police.
5. Hello, EVgo: A new car charging station is now open in Williamsburg.
- A new electric vehicle charging station has opened in the Monticello Marketplace parking lot near Target and Chick-fil-A.
- The EVgo fast charging station features four spaces for drivers of electric vehicles to recharge their batteries. The project was approved in November 2022, according to Peninsula Chronicle.
- The cost to use the station ranges from 22 to 30 cents per minute depending on the charging plan chosen, according to the EVgo website.
- EVgo maintains more than 850 charging stations nationwide, according to the company. Drivers can pay using the EVgo app, RFID or credit card.
- In addition to the Williamsburg location, other stations on the Peninsula include two in Newport News and one in Hampton. To download the EVgo app or find a charging station, click here.
A roundup of this week’s top crime stories.
- James City County father and son charged following shootout: A father and son from James City County are behind bars after engaging in a shootout on Howard Drive that caused multiple vehicles and dwellings to be struck by gunfire. The incident happened at approximately 8:35 a.m. on April 27. While no injuries were reported, a nearby school and daycare were forced to be placed on lockdown for about an hour as a safety measure. Police determined that the shooting ensued after a domestic dispute between Orlando McCoin Sr., 49, and Orlando McCoin Jr., 27. The father was arrested and charged with attempted murder, reckless handling of a firearm and firing at an unoccupied dwelling. The son fled the scene but turned himself in later that afternoon. He was also charged with attempted murder, reckless firearm handling and firing at an occupied dwelling.
- Vandalism Suspect Sought: James City County police are searching for a man who allegedly vandalized a car wash while it was closed overnight. Buckets Car Wash reported the incident to police on March 7, 2023. Video surveillance shows a suspect, described as a black male, approximately 6 feet tall, damaging equipment on the property. The man was wearing a gray hoodie, jeans, a green undershirt and Nike shoes. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police or submit an anonymous tip online at p3tips.com. See a photo of the suspect here.
- Larceny suspect sought by YPSO: The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office is asking for help in identifying several suspects who committed larceny from the Virginia ABC store at 801 Merrimac Trail during the week of April 23. The first larceny occurred on April 25, 2023. A photo of the suspect can be found on YPSO’s Facebook page here. The second theft took place on April 27, 2023. A photo of that suspect is posted here.
- Woman found dead in Newport News: A woman was found dead in the water in the water near Peterson Yacht Basin in Newport News. Police responded to the scene on April 30 around 11:39 a.m. after receiving a report of a body in the water, according to WAVY News. The woman’s body was recovered, but the cause of death has not yet been determined. There is no additional information at this time.
In the National News
- Hunt for Texas gunman ends: A four-day manhunt for a gunman who allegedly killed five neighbors came to an end Tuesday when authorities discovered the suspect hiding under a pile of laundry in a Texas house. Francisco Oropeza, 38, was taken into custody near the community of Conroe, which is north of Houston and about twenty miles from the man’s home in the rural town of Cleveland, the AP reports. Oropeza was shooting rounds on his property on the night of the attacks. Police say he killed his neighbors after they asked him to quiet down because he was keeping a baby awake. Oropeza will be charged with five counts of murder – including the murder of an 8-year-old boy, San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said.
- Fed likely to raise rates, again – The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates by a quarter-percentage-point Wednesday, Reuters reports. The news comes as policymakers struggle to strike a balance between a multitude of economic concerns, including rising inflation, recent bank failures and the possibility of a U.S. debt default in the coming weeks. A statement is expected to be released by the U.S central bank by 2:00 p.m. EDT, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak to reporters at 2:30 p.m.
- Wendy’s to bring back the Strawberry Frosty: Fast-food giant Wendy’s is set to bring back the fan-favorite Strawberry Frosty for the summer, according to Today. The frozen treat will take the place of the Vanilla frosty for the season, and the Chocolate Frosty will remain on the menu. “Wendy’s Frosty treats are one of the most iconic desserts in fast-food and the Strawberry Frosty was a welcome surprise for consumers’ palates last summer,” said John Li, Wendy’s vice president of culinary innovation, in a statement. The treat hit Wendy’s locations throughout the nation on May 2 and is available both in-store and via order on the app.
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