News in 5: Colonial Williamsburg to unveil first-ever exhibition celebrating Black artists and artisans

Plus: Police are searching for a man and woman who stole jewelry in Williamsburg, two missing Hampton children were found safe and Virginia is lowering the barriers to teacher licensure.

Good morning!

We can expect chilly temperatures for the next few days, with morning lows dipping into the 30s and 40s, according to Meteorologist Myles Henderson of WTKR News 3.

Temperatures will start to warm back up into the 60s as we close out the workweek Friday and head into the weekend. A weather system may bring some more clouds and rain on Sunday.

This week’s community calendar of events has been updated to include a concert by the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra. Slated for tomorrow evening, the event will feature critically-acclaimed jazz artist Rex Richardson, who hails from Richmond.

Now to the news.

-Christin

1. Colonial Williamsburg is unveiling its first-ever exhibition celebrating Black artists and artisans.

  • For the first time, the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg will open a new exhibition to display a wide range of works from their renowned decorative art and folk art collections made exclusively by Black artists from the 18th to 20th centuries.
  • The exhibition will feature nearly 30 paintings, decorative sculptures, quilts, ceramics, pieces of furniture, tools, metals and more, including new acquisitions.
    • Among the objects to be included are works by noted Black artists and artisans, such as David Drake, Bill Traylor, Thornton Dial, Sr., Cesar Chelor, Clementine Hunter, William Edmondson, members of the Gee’s Bend, Alabama, quilting community, as well as those who are less known or anonymous.
  • “I made this…:” The Work of Black American Artists and Artisans will open this Saturday, Oct. 22 in the Miodrag and Elizabeth Ridgely Blagojevich Gallery of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. It will remain on view through Dec. 31, 2025.

“Colonial Williamsburg has long sought to acquire objects that illustrate the diverse nature of early American society,” said Ronald L. Hurst, the Foundation’s Senior Vice President, Education and Historic Resources and The Carlisle H. Humelsine Chief Curator. “The documented works of gifted Black artists and artisans have long been included in our exhibitions, but we have rarely had the opportunity to mount an exhibition that looks solely at this rich body of material. This is an important and timely undertaking.”

  • Colonial Williamsburg employees from across the Foundation’s various disciplines worked together to assist in the creation of the exhibition. The diverse advisory group – comprised of Black and white staff from the historic trades, museum theater, orientation, historic sites, curatorial services, archaeology and conservation departments – met over a span of several months to discuss the exhibition’s themes and help select the objects to be placed on view.
    • A primary goal of the exhibition is to highlight makers from a variety of circumstances and backgrounds in a way that celebrates their achievement, artistry and craftmanship over three centuries.
  • Among the highlights of “I made this…” are a five-gallon jug of ash-glazed stoneware made by Drake; a 1993 watercolor on paper by Thornton Dial, Sr. (1928-2016), simply titled Painting; and a textile sampler made in 1818 by Sarrah Ann Pollard, a student at the Salem African School in Massachusetts.
    • Additional information about the Art Museums, as well as tickets, are available online here.

Baptism by Clementine Hunter. Natchitoches, Louisiana, 1950-1956. Oil on laminated cardboard. Museum Purchase, 1992.101.2 (Photo courtesy of The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg)

2. Police are looking for a man and woman accused of stealing $171,000 worth of jewelry from a Williamsburg business.

  • Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man and woman accused of stealing about $171,000 worth of jewelry from a local business.
    • The theft took place at around 3:20 pm at a jewelry store in the 400 block of West Duke of Gloucester Street on Sept. 16, according to Williamsburg police. The suspects took off without paying for the jewelry, and they were gone from the area when officers arrived.
  • The two individuals were later identified as Andreia Anghel, 29 of Queens, New York, and Sandor Anghel, 33 of Hemet, California. They’ve been charged with grand larceny and conspiracy to commit a larceny. Their whereabouts are not currently known.

Andreia Anghel of Queens, NY, and Sandor Anghel of Hemet, CA, have been charged with grand larceny after stealing about $171,000 in jewelry from a small business in Williamsburg. (Photo provided by Williamsburg Police Department.)

3. A York County couple now faces murder charges in the death of their 2-year-old child.

  • The parents of a 2-year-old girl who was found dead in a Kiln Creek home in July are now facing murder charges, according to the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office. Jesse Gunn, 37, and Anna Raines, 29 – both of York County – have both been charged with one count of murder in the death of their child.
  • The charges were upgraded to homicide after the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that the cause of the child’s death was “Acute combined fentanyl and Xylazine overdose in addition to nicotine exposure; Laboratory evidence of SARS-COVID-19 Infection.” Gunn and Raines had previously been charged with child neglect.
    • Xylazine is a non-opioid sedative used in veterinary medicine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The drug can cause drowsiness, slow breathing and heart rate and dangerously low blood pressure. While Xylazine is not commonly used in Virginia, it has become increasingly popular in other states, particularly those in the Northeast. The percentage of overdose deaths involving the drug increased from 2% to 26% in Pennsylvania between 2015 to 2020.
  • As was previously reported by The Triangle, Gunn and Raines were arrested and charged with neglect over the summer after their toddler was found dead in their home amid concerning living conditions. Investigators noted the discovery of heroin and syringes that would have been accessible to the child. Additionally, investigators said the child appeared to have been dead for a prolonged period of time before Gunn and Raines contacted emergency services.
    • Gunn and Raines were served the warrants for homicide on Oct. 13. The homicide charges have been added in addition to the child neglect charges, WAVY News confirmed.
    • The child’s grandfather, 59-year-old Timothy Raines, was also arrested in July and charged with one count of felony neglect. Raines is a licensed family physician who practices in the Hampton area, according to state records.

4. Two missing children from Hampton were found safe after an Amber Alert was issued.

  • Two children from Hampton were found safe in North Dakota Monday night after they were allegedly abducted from a local Walmart by their father, Timothy Truitt, 36. An Amber Alert was issued by state police Monday afternoon after the two children were confirmed missing.
  • Truitt was found and taken into custody during a traffic stop around 10:00 pm Monday, police say. He is currently being held in Bismarck, North Dakota at the Burleigh-Morton Detention Center. Truitt is a registered sex offender in both Virginia and North Carolina.
    • The children, 1-year-old Adriana Truitt and 2-year-old Jaxon Truitt, were taken to the hospital and evaluated before they were released to Child Protective Services.
  • The mother of the children, Amelia Hamilton, was also arrested. She was charged with child neglect, possession of methamphetamine (second offense) and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • The situation surrounding the issuance of the Amber Alert has ignited frustrations within the community because more than 24 hours passed before the alert was finally issued. Police said that’s because there are specific criteria that must be met first.

“It’s time for a review,” Derrica Wilson, co-founder of the Black & Missing Foundation, told WTKR News 3. “Why is there such a hesitation to mobilize this tool that alerts the media and alerts the general public, that someone is missing and we need that call to action, for everyone out there to be vigilant?”

5. Virginia is lowering the barriers to teacher licensure – and ramping up recruitment efforts – amid the state’s ongoing school staffing crisis.

  • Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration has launched a new advertising and social media campaign geared toward encouraging more Virginians to enter the teaching profession. The initiative was announced by State Superintendant Jillian Barlow, just weeks after the governor signed an executive order lowering the barriers to teacher licensure.
    • The “Become A Teacher” campaign focuses on issuing targeted advertisements on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to highlight the importance of teaching and the difference teachers make in the lives of students. The ads direct social media users to the Become A Teacher website, which connects potential teachers with information about the pathways to licensure.

“Our goal is to ensure that every child in the commonwealth is taught by a qualified teacher,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said in a statement.

  • The campaign is supported by $1 million in unused federal pandemic relief funding designed to address teacher recruitment and retention. The initiative is aligned with the goals outlined in Youngkin’s recent executive order, according to the Virginia Department of Education.
  • The executive order aims to make it easier for retired teachers, as well as those licensed in other states, to become educators again in Virginia.
  • It also calls for the development of “additional legislative proposals to reduce red tape associated with teacher licensure, while ensuring high standards” in order to recruit more “career switchers, military veterans and other professionals with much to offer students.”

Lowest Gas Prices Today

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

Local Covid-19 Update

New cases:VDH reports that an additional 7,047 people in Virginia tested positive for Covid-19 last week (down from 7,174 cases reported during the previous week). The biggest increases in new cases on the Peninsula were reported in Newport News (114) and Hampton (106), according to WTVR News 6.

Hospitalizations and deaths: An additional 173 people were hospitalized with Covid-19 in Virginia last week (down from 202 the week before), according to VDH data. 75 Covid-19-related deaths also occurred in the state last week (down from 97 reported in the week before).

Vaccination rate: 72.8% of Virginians are fully vaccinated (no change from last week).

In the National News

  • U.S Fighter Jets Intercept Russian Bombers: U.S F-16 warplanes intercepted two Russian bombers near Alaska on Tuesday, CBS News reports. According to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the Tu-95 bombers were intercepted upon “entering and operating within the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone.” Russia often holds nuclear exercises around this time each year, but it wasn’t clear if the bombers were related to those drills.
  • Krispy Kreme + McDonald’s? Customers will be able to order a Krispy Kreme with their burger at select McDonald’s locations next week, according to Business Insider. In a joint news release, the two companies announced collaborative plans to bring three varieties of Krispy Kreme donuts to McDonald’s locations in the Louisville, KY, area. The small-scale test will launch on Oct. 26. Available donuts will include the original glazed, chocolate iced with sprinkles and raspberry-filled varieties, all of which will be sold individually and in packs of six. “This small-scale test will help us understand how offering new bakery items like Krispy Kreme could impact operations in our restaurants,” the news release said.
  • Black Friday Arrives Early: Holiday sales have started earlier than ever this year as retailers attempt to entice customers feeling the strain of inflation, CNBC reports. Discounts are anticipated to reach record-high levels for items like electronics, toys and computers, according to an online shopping forecast by Adobe. Sales at big-name retailers like Walmart, Target and Best Buy have already begun and are expected to continue ramping up. “Expect to see 50% to 60% off, and that may jump to 70% off on Black Friday,” said Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst at DealNews.com.

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