News in 5: A New Year Nearly Here

Good morning!

This week’s newsletter is abbreviated, in part because of the holiday week, and in part because The Triangle is in the process of transitioning to a new website and newsletter platform. (Don’t worry: you won’t need to do anything. All current subscribers will automatically continue to receive my emails. More information will be forthcoming within the next week or so.)

We can expect sunshine and a steady temperature pattern in the high 50s to low 60s for the next several days, according to Meteorologist Kristy Steward of WTKR News 3.

If you’re planning to head out on New Year’s Eve, you may want to grab a rain jacket or umbrella. A storm system is expected to bring rain Saturday afternoon, and it may last well into the night.

The first few days of 2023 should be very nice, with sunny skies and temperatures remaining in the 60s.

If you missed this week’s community calendar of events, you can find it here. It’s been updated to include a free New Year’s Eve celebration in Williamsburg planned by Culture Fix.

Happy New Year!

-Christin

1. A new park is being proposed for the Marquis Shopping Center in York County.

  • A new park could be coming to the Marquis Shopping Center property, The Virginia Gazette reports. The park was proposed during a presentation by County Administrator Neil A. Morgan at the York County Board of Supervisor’s meeting on Dec. 20. It would be part of the county’s six-year capital improvement plan.
    • Morgan suggested that the park could be modeled after one that was established in Kiln Creek. The Kiln Creek park was developed at a school site through a collaboration between the county and the school division. Morgan argued in his proposal that there has been an identified need for more “passive parks and recreational areas” in York County.
  • The Marquis property, located next to Water Country USA, has struggled in recent years after losing anchor stores, including JCPenney and Dick’s Sporting Goods. The Marquis park would provide a green space for outdoor recreation in an area where homes are currently being built.
  • Morgan also proposed several other projects as part of the county’s capital improvement program, including a kayak launch at New Quarter Park, renovations to the fire station, a tourism information center at Yorktown Beach, batting cages at the McReynolds Athletic Complex and renovations for some of the schools.

2. Old City Barbeque is set to expand.

  • Old City Barbeque, a popular restaurant based in Williamsburg, is planning to expand its operations, according to the Peninsula Chronicle. The restaurant’s owners have acquired two new properties in Newport News, located at11128 and 11134 Warwick Blvd.
  • Old City’s co-owner, Vernon Geddy, told the Chronicle the new restaurant won’t be ready to open for another two to three years. In the meantime, the owners plan to set up a food truck in the parking lot and will use the buildings for expanded kitchen space. The food truck is expected to open for takeout there on weekday evenings sometime in mid-2023.

3. Free Lyft rides will be available in Hampton Roads on New Year’s Eve.

  • Free and reduced-fare rides will be available on New Year’s Eve through the Drive Safe Hampton Roads 757 Sober Ride program, powered by Lyft. The program was designed to discourage people from driving under the influence on New Year’s Eve.
    • Last year on New Year’s Eve, there were 43 crashes in Hampton Roads, according to 13NewsNow.
  • The ride program, sponsored by Drive Safe Hampton Roads (DSHR), will be available from 4:00 pm on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, Dec. 21, until 4:00 am on New Year’s Day, Sunday, Jan. 1. The program covers the Peninsula and all cities in the Hampton Roads southside.
  • How it Works: Residents 21 and older celebrating with alcohol can take advantage of the program by downloading the Lyft app and entering a special promo code in the app’s “Payment” tab. They will then receive no-cost transportation home (up to $15). The promo code will be posted on New Year’s Eve at 3:00 pm on this website.
Hampton Roads residents celebrating with alcohol on New Year’s Eve can receive a free Lyft ride home, courtesy of the Drive Safe HR 757 Sober program. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

4. A minimum wage increase – and a grocery tax cut – will go into effect in Virginia on New Year’s Day.

  • Another wage increase is set to commence in Virginia with the new year. The minimum wage will tick up to $12 an hour – up from $11 – on Jan. 1.
    • In 2021, the minimum wage increased by $1.50. The increase is part of a phased plan to bring the minimum wage up to $15 by 2026. Virginia is one of 27 states hiking up the minimum wage this year.
  • While many workers are supportive of the increase, saying it provides a needed boost amid inflation, some small businesses say it will hurt their bottom line. “It is a good thing that people are getting more money, but it hurts stores like us,” Malik Charania, the owner of a local smoke shop in Richmond, told NBC 12. “They should have waited because of COVID and all of that.”
  • Meanwhile, a 1.5 percent grocery tax decrease is on the way for 2023. “If you spend $100, you’re going to save a dollar fifty at the grocery store,” Tim Anderson, State Delegate for Virginia Beach and Norfolk, told WTKR News 3. “It isn’t life-changing money, but it’s a step in the right direction where we need to get rid of all these little nickel and dime taxes that we put on Virginians, and the more we get rid of, the better.”

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Author

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