News in 5: Airport forces out remaining residents of closing Newport News mobile home park

Plus: The results are in from Tuesday's local elections.

Good morning!

Local meteorologists are keeping an eye on Hurricane Nicole, which will move up the East Coast later this week.

We’ll have mostly nice weather today, with temperatures in the low 70s this afternoon. But the remnants of Nicole will impact our area on Friday, according to Meteorologist Myles Henderson of WTKR News 3. Veterans Day is expected to be quite soggy, with rain throughout the day. Strong to severe storms and even tornadoes are possible.

Saturday looks much nicer, but a cold front will move in later that night. Our highs for Sunday and Monday will only reach the low 50s.

Now to the news.

-Christin

1. The remaining residents of a mobile home park behind Newport News airport were forced to say goodbye to their homes last weekend.

  • Dozens of residents of the Patrick Henry Mobile Home Park, which is located behind the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, were forced to say goodbye to their homes Saturday night amid the park’s closure.
    • As was previously reported by The Triangle, the airport – which owns the land – sent out lease termination notices to residents back in April. Residents were told that they would need to move out quickly because of “declining infrastructure” at the park.
  • The airport allowed tenants to continue living there rent-free from May to November and offered incentives of a few thousand dollars to those who left early. Nonetheless, some residents were left in a dire situation as a result of the park’s closure.
    • Most found that their homes were too old to be accepted into other nearby parks, and many couldn’t afford to transport their homes elsewhere. The cost of moving a mobile home typically ranges between $5,000 – $10,000, according to The Virginia Mercury.
    • While a few of the homes were successfully relocated, many residents have been left scrambling to find new places to live amid worsening inflation and a shortage of affordable housing. Some moved in with family, but others are now homeless.
    • Only three residents were still living in the park as of Tuesday. Among them was a couple who planned to have their trailer moved but discovered last minute that it couldn’t be. Airport officials agreed to give the couple “a few more days” to find something else, according to the Daily Press.

A former resident waits for airport officials to let him back into the now-shuttered Patrick Henry mobile home park so he can access the remaining belongings in his home. (Photo by The Triangle).

  • One family told WTKR News 3 they were forced to leave but cannot afford to move anywhere else. They said they will be living in their van for the time being.

“I don’t know where we’re going to go yet,” the Synder family, who has lived in the park for over 22 years, told News 3. “My word for the airport is I hope they’re satisfied with what they’ve done to everybody.”

  • Mike Giardino, the airport’s executive director, is defending the airport’s actions. He says the property was neglected for decades and the airport cannot afford to invest the millions of dollars necessary to fix it up.
    • Last week, Giardino sent a letter to the remaining tenants at the park, warning them that the airport would “aggressively pursue its legal rights against holdover residents” who don’t move.
  • Most residents said they enjoyed living at the park, which harbored a safe, family-friendly atmosphere and a strong sense of community. Some said they had invested tens of thousands of dollars into upgrading their properties there.

“We’re more than a trailer park,” longtime resident Emmanuel Aguilar – who grew up in the park and then bought a home of his own there – told the Daily Press. “We’re a community… and it’s all going to be torn down to rubble.”

  • More than a dozen tenants pooled their money together to hire an attorney to fight against the eviction and push for a better deal. But several of those tenants say they didn’t end up fairing any better than the other residents. The attorney did not respond to The Triangle‘s request for comment on the situation.
  • There were 77 trailers on site in May after the airport announced its intention to close the park. Only about 15 were able to be moved out, according to airport officials. The remaining homes will be destroyed, according to the Daily Press.
  • The airport said it currently has no plans for the future of the property.

Dozens of homes remain at the park. Most will be demolished by the airport, officials say. (Photo by The Triangle).

2. A new deli has opened in Williamsburg Premium Outlets.

  • Just in time for the busy holiday shopping season, a new food option, Bazaaro’s Deli, has come to the Williamsburg Premium Outlets. It features various “gourmet deli” options, including subs and sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers and barbeque, soups and salads and more.
    • The deli is located in Suite D063A near Levi’s Outlet and The Cosmetic Company Store.
  • Bazaaro’s is owned by Danny and Janey Sawyer, who also own and operate the Norge Bazaar further down the street on Richmond Road, according to the Peninsula Chronicle.
  • It’s open daily from 11:00 am – 8:00 pm. The restaurant is also currently offering special promotions for those who work at the Williamsburg Premium Outlets. Mall employees receive 10% off orders, and the restaurant is also offering free delivery to all outlet stores.
    • For more information on Bazaaro’s or to view the restaurant’s menus, visit bazaarosdeli.com.

3. Local election results are (mostly) in. Here’s what to know.

U.S House of Representative Races

Kiggans, Wittman and Scott came out on top in the U.S House races in Hampton Roads.

  • District 2: In a high-profile, nationally-watched race, Jen Kiggans (R-VA Beach) defeated incumbent Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D). As of early Thursday morning, Kiggans won 52% of the vote (151,591 votes total), while Luria received 48% of the vote (139,675 votes total), according to the Virginia Department of Elections.
    • The race between Luria and Kiggans was widely considered to be a tossup. A Wason Center Poll conducted two weeks before Election Day showed both candidates tied evenly at 45%.
    • In her victory speech Tuesday night, Kiggans, a Nurse Practitioner, state senator and Navy veteran, vowed to “work every day to restore American strength in our economy, at our borders, in our community and on the world stage.”
  • Districts 1 and 3: Incumbents Rob Wittman (R) of District 1 and Bobby Scott (D) of District 3 comfortably held onto their seats. Both were widely expected to win.

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – NOVEMBER 08: Republican Congressional nominee, state Sen. Jen Kiggans celebrates her win during an election night event on November 8, 2022, in Virginia Beach. Kiggans defeated incumbent Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Local Races

Local races were held in Williamsburg, Newport News and Hampton. An uncontested race for Commonwealth’s Attorney was also held in York County and Poquoson.

Williamsburg City Council

  • Mayor Doug Pons and Stacy Kern-Scheerer came in the lead for two open seats in the Williamsburg City Council races.
  • The results: Kern-Scheerer took the most votes – a total of 2,548 (or 34%) as of the latest tally reported Wednesday night. Kern-Scheerer is an attorney and associate professor at William & Mary Law School. Pons received the second-highest number of votes, a total of 2,036 (or 27%). Pons will now go on to serve a fourth term, while Kern-Scheerer will replace Ted Maslin.

Newport News Mayor

  • Newport News elected Phillip Jones to serve as its new mayor.
  • Who is he? Jones, a 33-year-old Marine Corps veteran and businessman, is the youngest African American to be elected to serve as mayor of Newport News. While running for office, Jones said he would approach the job with a pro-business mentality. He also said he would prioritize schools, public safety and the economy. Jones won the race handily, taking in more than 40% of the vote. No other candidate received more than 25% of the vote.

“In local elections, I think it’s about who can bring the city together and who can make it more appealing for businesses,” Jones told 13NewsNow in an interview Wednesday. “I was glad to get support from both the left and right. I think having 40% total of the vote implies we have different support from different types of people.”

Newport News City Council

  • No incumbents ran for Newport News City Council this year. Curtis Bethany III (North District), Cleon Long (Central District) and John Eley III (South District) came out on top as of Wednesday morning, with all but one precinct reporting.

Newport News School Board

  • In the Newport News School Board races, all three incumbents – Douglas Brown (North District), Lisa Surles-Law (Central District) and Terri Best (South District) – held onto the lead in their races, according to preliminary vote totals.

Hampton City Council

  • In Hampton, seven candidates competed for spots on Hampton City Council. Four seats were up for grabs, including one special election.
    • As of Wednesday morning, with most votes counted, former state delegate and City School Board member Martha Mugler came out on top with more than 30% of the vote. Two incumbents – Councilman Steve Brown and Vice Mayor Jimmy Gray – are also poised to keep their seats.
    • Hope Harper, an active member of numerous civic and community groups, won the most votes in the special election to defeat Randy Bowman Sr.

York/Poquoson Commonwealth’s Attorney

  • In York County and Poquoson, Krystyn L. Reid also ran uncontested for York/Poquoson Commonwealth’s Attorney. She received 97% of the vote, while 3% of voters wrote in a candidate.

Lowest Gas Prices Today

All prices listed are per GasBuddy. To check the latest prices based on zip code, click here.

Local Covid-19 Update

VDH reports that an additional 7,324 people in Virginia tested positive for Covid-19 last week (down from 7,537 cases reported during the previous week). All counties on the Peninsula are currently ranked as having “low” community transmission, according to the CDC’s updated map released on Nov. 3. An additional 146 people were hospitalized with Covid-19 in Virginia last week (up from 143 the week before), according to VDH data. 33 Covid-19-related deaths also occurred in the state last week (down from 81 reported in the week before).

Events This Week

Missed this week’s community calendar of upcoming events? You can find it here.

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