News in 5: Anheuser-Busch to invest $20M into Williamsburg brewery

Plus: A Newport News police officer died by suicide at Williamsburg Premium Outlets, a man and woman from Williamsburg were arrested for armed robbery and a mural design was selected for Midtown Row.

Good morning!

We can expect one more day of gloomy weather today, according to Meteorologist Myles Henderson of WTKR News 3. We’ll then be able to enjoy some much-needed sunshine as we close out the week. Temperatures will also start to tick back up, reaching the high 70s by Friday.

Cooler but comfortable weather in the 60s is on tap for the weekend, just in time for the upcoming fall festivals and other outdoor events.

Myles Henderson
Oct 05, 2022 ·

UP & DOWN
Warming to the 70s to end the work week
Back to the 60s this weekend

wtkr.com/weather
#FirstWarn3

If you missed this week’s community calendar of events, you can find it here. It’s been updated to include the NAMIWalks Williamsburg Walk on Saturday morning at Bicentennial Park. Those who have subscribed to The Triangle for a while may remember that I wrote a story about the walk last year.

Now to the news.

-Christin

1. Anheuser-Busch announced plans to invest $20M into its Williamsburg brewery.

  • Anheuser-Busch is investing $20 million into its Williamsburg brewery, the company announced last week. The news comes as the facility celebrates its 50th anniversary.
    • The investment is part of a broader initiative, announced at the beginning of 2021, to allocate over $1 billion to Anheuser-Busch facilities over two years. It’s part of the company’s overarching goal to help accelerate the nation’s recovery and drive economic prosperity.

“Our planned $1 billion investment is about supporting our local communities by creating and sustaining jobs as our nation continues to navigate the economic recovery,” said Brendan Whitworth, CEO of Anheuser-Busch. “We’re proud to be celebrating five decades of brewing history in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and our Williamsburg Brewery plays an important role in producing high-quality products for our consumers to enjoy for years to come.”

  • Anheuser-Busch has created more than 30 new jobs in James City County so far this year, bringing the total number of employees at the site to 600. Governor Glenn Youngkin said the investment in the Williamsburg facility and workforce will help “create opportunities and a better future for Virginians.”
    • The funds will focus on bringing innovations to market while enhancing the facility’s brewing capabilities to meet consumer demand. Plans are in the works to enhance the brewery’s process technologies and carry out some renovations at the facility.
  • On Saturday, the company held a 50th-anniversary celebration featuring Clydesdales, tours and samples of more than 40 types of beer brewed at the facility. More than 1,000 people – mostly employees of the brewery and their families – took part in the festivities, according to The Virginia Gazette.
  • Local officials, including Sen. Monty Mason, D-Williamsburg and Del. Mike Mullin, D-Newport News, presented a resolution adopted by the Virginia General Assembly this year to acknowledge Anheuser-Busch’s economic contribution to the area over the past 50 years.

“Anheuser-Busch in Williamsburg has provided gainful employment to thousands over the years while serving as a leading driver of the local economy, making an outsized impact on the prosperity of the region,” the resolution states.

Bottled Anheuser-Busch beers are seen on their way to the labeling machine. (Photo by STEFAN HEUNIS/AFP via Getty Images).

2. A police officer died by suicide at Williamsburg Premium Outlets.

  • A Newport News police officer died by suicide at the Williamsburg Premium Outlets, the department confirmed. The incident happened last Wednesday, September 28.
  • The name and identity of the officer has not been released, and few details have been made available to the public. Newport News Police Department spokesperson Kelly King declined to comment on the situation.

“We will not be speaking on the officer suicide that occurred last week,” King told The Triangle.

  • The suicide occurred just days after the city’s Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team hosted its first public event to draw attention to suicide awareness. CISM, first launched eight years ago, is an initiative that focuses on helping first responders handle stressful situations and maintain their mental health.
    • Several first responders who spoke at that event – held Wednesday, September 21 at the First Baptist Church in Newport News – shared that they had considered suicide because of the traumatic nature of their jobs, according to The Daily Press. Darius Davis, a Newport News police officer, mentioned that suicide “affects military, police and first responders 80% more than any other population.”
  • According to Blue H.E.L.P, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about first responder suicides, at least 228 police officers in the U.S committed suicide in 2019, surpassing the number killed in the line of duty that year. In Virginia specifically, at least 40 officers have committed suicide since 2017. The actual number is likely higher because officer suicides are usually underreported, according to the organization.

A Newport News police officer died by suicide at the Williamsburg Premium Outlets last week, a spokesperson for the police department confirmed. (Photo by Christin Nielsen/The Triangle).

3. A man and woman from Williamsburg have been arrested for armed robbery.

  • A man and woman accused of committing an armed robbery at a local business in Williamsburg were arrested Saturday.
    • Williamsburg police say 32-year-old Preston Teague Fox and 33-year-old England Marie Holley, both of Williamsburg, allegedly committed the robbery at a local business in the 3000 block of Richmond Road. The incident occurred on the evening of September 23.
  • Authorities were able to arrest Fox and Holley after obtaining surveillance footage and anonymous tips about the crime. The two suspects were charged with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of tools with the intent to commit robbery.
    • Fox was arrested in Norfolk. Holley was already in custody at the Norfolk City Jail when the warrants were obtained. Anyone with additional information on this incident is asked to call the Williamsburg Police Department.

4. A mural design was selected to be featured in Williamsburg’s Midtown Row.

  • A new mural will soon be coming to Midtown Row in Williamsburg. The Williamsburg Public Art Council (WPAC) voted to choose a mural design by artist Silas Baker after a bid process that began earlier this year.
  • Baker has been contracted by the city in partnership with Midtown Row. The mural will appear on the outside of the Food Lion building located at 1242 Richmond Road.
  • Previously a tattoo artist, Baker has worked full-time in the fine arts and mural profession since 2020. His artwork can be seen throughout Hampton Roads, including the interior of Precarious Beer Hall.
  • The selected design, “Papilio Glaucus,” showcases the state insect, which is the eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly.

“We are thrilled to partner with Midtown Row on this next phase of the Williamsburg mural project,” said Robert Currie, chair of the Williamsburg Public Art Council. “Artist Silas Baker’s design celebrates our natural surroundings with brightness and color. This is an exciting step for advancing public art initiatives in the City of Williamsburg that inspire exploration and community engagement.”

  • A second mural is expected to be painted on a larger wall on the Food Lion, but the WPAC has not yet reached a decision on a design. A Request For Quotes (RFQ) has been reissued with additional guidelines. The deadline to apply is the end of the business day on November 2, 2022. Additional information about the application process is available on the City of Williamsburg’s website.

A mural design has been selected to be featured on the outside of the Food Lion building located in Midtown Row in Williamsburg. (Photo provided courtesy of the City of Williamsburg).

5. A father from Newport News has been charged after his son died in a York County crash.

  • A Newport News man was charged with driving under the influence after a single-vehicle crash in York County left his son dead.
  • First responders were dispatched shortly after 6:30 pm Wednesday to the crash on Oriana Boulevard, according to Virginia State Police. Investigators found that the father, Kyong Sik Kim, lost control of his 2018 Chevrolet pickup truck, ran off a roadway and hit a utility pole.
  • The driver’s son, Isaiah Michael Kim, 26, was a front-seat passenger during the crash. He was immediately transported to Riverside Regional Hospital, where he died. Isaiah was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, police confirmed.
  • Kyong Sik Kim was transferred to VCU Medical Center in Richmond for treatment of his injuries. Police have not released any information regarding the status of his injuries. In addition to the DUI charge, he faces a reckless driving charge.

A Newport News man was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after his son was killed in a single-vehicle accident in York County. (Photo provided courtesy of the Virginia State Police.)

Lowest Gas Prices Today

Local Covid-19 Update

New cases:VDH reports that an additional 8,446 people in Virginia tested positive for Covid-19 last week (down from 10,080 cases reported during the previous week). Localities on the Peninsula with the biggest increases in new cases (over 100) last week include Newport News (+201), Hampton (+142) and James City County (+105).

Hospitalizations and deaths: An additional 150 people were hospitalized with Covid-19 in Virginia last week (down from 228 the week before), according to VDH data. 97 Covid-19-related deaths also occurred in the state last week (up from 90 reported in the week before).

Vaccination rate: 72.7% of Virginians are fully vaccinated (up from 72.6% last week).

In the National News

  • Hurricane Ian Death Toll Rises: Local officials now say at least 103 people have died from Hurricane Ian, ABC News reports. Thousands of people have been rescued in Florida, and hundreds of thousands remain without power. The Category 4 hurricane caused catastrophic damage to Florida’s southwest coast Wednesday afternoon, and large-scale search efforts are still underway. Most of the deaths were caused by drownings, although two people died from motor vehicle accidents, according to officials. “I’m afraid we’re going to be dealing with a larger loss of life than we anticipated,” Rep. Kathy Castor from the Tampa Bay area told ABC News Live on Thursday.
  • Putin Signs Laws Annexing Ukraine: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed laws to formally incorporate four regions of Ukraine into Russia, the AP reports. Those regions comprise about 18% of Ukraine’s total territory. Putin made the move even though Russia’s military has struggled to maintain control of the areas, which were annexed in violation of international law. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded by announcing that he submitted an application to immediately join NATO. Zelensky also said that negotiations with Russia are no longer possible given Putin’s forced takeover of the territories.
  • Musk Purchasing Twitter Afterall? Elon Musk announced that he’s planning to move forward with his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, according to CBS News. In a letter sent to Twitter Monday, Musk notified the company he intends to proceed with the deal according to the original purchase terms. Musk had been trying to back out of the deal since July, but experts say he probably reversed course to avoid significant legal ramifications.

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