News in 5: Colonial Williamsburg unveils landmark 18th-century music exhibit

Plus: The WJCC School Board voted to increase the price of school lunches, questions remain surrounding the recent death of a 12-year-old Yorktown boy and a new outlet store is coming to Newport News.

Good morning!

The warm, muggy weather we’ve been experiencing for the last few days will continue for the rest of the week, according to Meteorologist Myles Henderson of WTKR News 3. Highs will remain in the 80s but feel more like the 90s.

There’s also a chance for isolated storms today, tomorrow and during the weekend.

Myles Henderson
Aug 23, 2022 ·

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Now to the news.

-Christin

1. A landmark 18th-century music exhibition, Making Music in Early America, has launched at Colonial Williamsburg.

  • A new exhibition exploring the history and culture of early American music opened in the Mark M. and Rosemary W. Leckie Gallery at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum at Colonial Williamsburg on August 20. It aims to allow visitors to become immersed in the musical world of the 18th and 19th centuries.
    • The exhibition features more than 60 different instruments and their accessories. It is the first of its kind to show the full scope of Colonial Williamsburg’s musical instruments collection, including some pieces that were just recently obtained by the museum.
    • Making Music in Early America is organized into five sections: music in the home, in religion, in education, in public performance and in the military. Among the instruments on view are harps, organs, fifes, flutes, a bassoon, a grand harmonicon, drums, horns, violins and much more.

“Colonial Williamsburg has been collecting early musical instruments for more than 90 years, but we have never before had the opportunity to show the full range of the collection,” said Ronald L. Hurst, the Foundation’s Carlisle H. Humelsine chief curator and vice president for museums, preservation and historic resources. “Supported by examples of original sheet music and paintings of early Americans playing their instruments, this exhibition will place these remarkable objects in their rich, historic context.”

  • Revolutionary War military instruments are especially rare to find. Among the exhibition’s most intriguing featured instruments is a brass “Hessian” drum, brought over from Germany by one of the many so-called Hessian units hired by the British to fight in the American Revolution. It was likely captured by American forces, according to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
  • Visitors will be able to hear the sounds of four instruments – a banjo, harpsichord, organized piano and musical glasses – and have an opportunity to see a musician play an organized piano. Guests can also use an interactive touch screen to view an extraordinary music book in the Colonial Williamsburg collection owned by Peter Pelham (1721-1805), an English-born American organist, harpsichordist, teacher and composer.
  • The exhibition focuses not only on the fascinating early instruments themselves but also on the musicians who played them and their roles in society. Making Music in Early America will remain on view through December 2025. Additional information and tickets are available online at colonialwilliamsburg.org.

Making Music in Early America, a landmark 18th-century music exhibition, has opened in the Mark M. and Rosemary W. Leckie Gallery at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum at Colonial Williamsburg. A wide variety of early American instruments are on view, including harps, organs, fifes, flutes, a bassoon, a grand harmonicon, drums, horns, violins and much more. (Photograph by Eric Vega).

2. The Williamsburg-James City County School Board has voted to increase the price of school lunches.

  • After ongoing debate, the Williamsburg-James City County School Board voted Tuesday to increase the price of student meals for the 2022-2023 school year. Lunch prices will cost 35 cents more in elementary and middle schools and will increase by 40 cents for high school students. Breakfast prices will also go up by 25 cents for all levels, The Virginia Gazette reports.
  • According to WJCC Senior Director for Operations Marcellus Snipes, the School Board is required to increase the prices of the meals in order to qualify for federal reimbursement for kids who receive free and reduced-price meals.
    • The school system is part of the National School Lunch Program, and the division charged less than the targeted average lunch price of $3.09 per paid lunch in 2019 and 2020. As a result, the division must now increase its average weighted lunch price, Snipes explained. “Because we are on the National School Lunch Program, we have to abide by a tool they provide us, which is called the PLE tool,” he said.
  • Five of the division’s 16 schools are not impacted by the change, including James River Elementary, Norge Elementary, Matthew Whaley Elementary, Laura Lane Elementary and James Blair Middle School. Those schools have a Community Eligibility Provision which allows all students to eat for free.
  • Board members Kyra Cook and Sandra S. Young both agreed that the schools should keep track of the impact of the price increase. That data will help the board determine whether or not lunches may need to be subsidized on a local level.
    • When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the USDA provided waivers to allow kids to have breakfasts and lunches at school for free, but that funding expired over the summer and will not be available for the upcoming school year.
    • Data shows that school meal uptake among WJCC students was significantly higher last year – when meals were free – compared to 2019, according to Snipes. The most notable increase was seen in high schools, where 37% of students ate school lunch last year compared to just 15% in 2019. In the elementary schools, 61% ate school lunches last year compared to 45% in 2019, and in the middle schools, 53% of students ate school lunches compared to 39% in 2019.
  • Families struggling to keep up with the cost of full-price lunches are encouraged to submit an application for free or reduced-price meals. There is no deadline for the program, and anyone can apply any time. More information is available on the USDA’s website.

3. Questions remain surrounding the recent death of a 12-year-old Yorktown boy.

  • The death of Sean Daughtery, a 12-year-old boy from Yorktown, is raising questions in the community – and causing a stir on social media.
    • Daughtery was found hanging from a swing set in the backyard of his Yorktown home on April 14, 2022, according to WTKR News 3. The autopsy report from the Office of Chief Medical Examiner said the boy was suspended from a string that resembled a shoelace, with a bag over his head and his arms secured by his sides with a belt. Daughtery was found wearing his stepfather’s clothes, and he didn’t have his shoes or glasses on.
    • Daughtery’s mother and stepfather, Jared and Ramona Rivas, insist their son would not have taken his own life. They say Daughtery had been watching over his two-year-old brother at the time and would never have left the toddler alone. A sixth-grade student, Daughtery had just completed his homework that was due the next day, according to his parents. He also took out a snack he never ate and began to take out the garbage but never finished, they say.

“We lost our son and we have these hundreds and hundreds of unanswered questions that should have been answered by now,” Jared Rivas, Daughtery’s stepfather, told News 3. “We want to make sure that whoever did this to Sean is not going to do this to someone else.”

  • In spite of the fact that the autopsy report noted “no known history of depression or suicidality” and no suicide note was found, the report concluded that the cause and manner of the boy’s death was hanging by suicide. Officers have been investigating the possibility of bullying at school.
  • The Rivas family says their son was bullied at one point in December 2021 but was not struggling mentally. The family created a social media page that has rapidly drawn thousands of followers, and residents throughout the Peninsula are displaying yard signs reading, “What Happened to Sean?”
  • The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office responded to the growing concerns in a video posted to their Facebook page Monday.

“Recent statements have caused concern in the community that the death of a 12-year-old, who died on April 14, 2022, has not been investigated by the Sheriff’s Office and that there may be a killer in our area that poses a threat. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Major Ron Montgomery said in the video statement. “It has been the longstanding policy of the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office to not release information relating to cases of suicide, particularly those cases that involve children… We take these matters very seriously, evaluate all evidence and consider all possibilities. The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office is aware of a recent social media site created to provide the public with theories surrounding the death of this 12-year-old. Much of the information being posted to this social media site is opinion, innuendo and fabrication which is not consistent with the evidence that was collected by Sheriff’s Office investigators during their investigation. Once that evidence was collected, it was submitted to the Department of Forensic Science for investigation and later to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. By law in Virginia, it is the Chief Medical Examiner’s responsibility to determine the manner and cause of death, which they – the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office – determined to be a suicide.”

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4. A unique new outlet store, DaaBIN, is coming to Newport News.

  • DaaBIN, a liquidation outlet store, will soon be opening in the Turnberry Crossing Shopping Center in Newport News, according to The Peninsula Chronicle. The company announced that it has leased a 7,200-foot retail space located at 12638 Jefferson Ave. It will be the store’s first location in Virginia.
  • What is it? DaaBIN is a family-owned retail franchise that started in Iowa. The owners describe the store as “fun” and “family-friendly.” DaaBIN operates differently than most other liquidation stores. Inventory at the business is different every week, and items available for purchase are placed in large bins that customers can search through.
  • How it works: New items arrive every Saturday, and sales end on Wednesday. As the week progresses, prices on the items become less expensive every day in an effort to clear out all of the available merchandise before the next week’s inventory comes in. The store closes on Thursday and Friday in preparation for the next delivery.
  • The best inventory is usually available on Saturdays, when the store runs a “flash day” deal. Product offerings vary every week and can include electronics, household items, toys, clothing and more. Some products are said to retail for $500 or more and can be purchased for $7 or less. Customers are instructed to be respectful of one another when digging for deals.
    • An exact opening date for the new DaaBIN store has not yet been released. For additional information, visit the store’s website.

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It’s $3 day at DaaBin!! Still some great stuff in Daa bin. Just a little peak at what’s on top. I didn’t even dig…

5. Patients at Riverside Doctors’ Hospital Williamsburg can now order food through a new app.

  • Riverside Doctors’ Hospital Williamsburg has announced the launch of a new self-service meal ordering app for patients. The app, called CBORD Patient, allows patients to easily and conveniently order food while staying at the hospital. It also offers interactive nutrition information – such as carbohydrate, sodium and protein data – for the hospital’s menu offerings.

“The introduction of the CBORD Patient app continues our goal of providing comfort, care and convenience to our patients and their loved ones,” said Adria Vanhoozier, president of Riverside Doctors’ Hospital Williamsburg, in a news release. “We are always thinking of ways to extend care to fit the unique needs of Williamsburg. As a strong retiree community, we recognize that loved ones may not always live nearby. Through the CBORD app, we provide another, simple way to show support and deepen the connection between care and community.”

  • The CBORD Patient app is free and can be accessed by those who are admitted to Riverside Doctors’ Hospital Williamsburg, according to WYDaily. It is available on both iPhone (iOS) and Android devices and can be downloaded directly from both app stores.
    • The new meal ordering service is designed to make it easier for patients and their loved ones to take a more proactive role in their hospital stay experience. It connects to Riverside’s nutrition system and only displays food options that are appropriate for the patient based on their dietary needs.

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Riverside Doctors’ Hospital Williamsburg is pleased to announce the launch of self-service meal ordering for patients u…

6. A wild fox bit five people and two animals in Williamsburg.

  • A wild gray fox bit five people, one dog and one cat in Williamsburg during the overnight hours of Monday, August 22 into Tuesday, August 23.
    • The fox was spotted in multiple areas, including Mimosa Drive, Boundary Street, Griffin Avenue and Counselor’s Way, according to authorities.
  • The fox is now deceased, and lab tests are currently pending to determine whether or not it was rabid. The city asks anyone who has had contact with any fox – or believes their pets may have had contact with any fox – to call the Virginia Department of Health at 757-603-4277 at [email protected]

Lowest Gas Prices Today

All prices shown 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 17,183 people in Virginia tested positive for Covid-19 last week (down from the 18,867 cases reported during the previous week). Localities on the Peninsula with the biggest increases in new cases (over 100) last week include Newport News (+269), Hampton (+219) and James City County (+155), according to WTVR News 6.

Hospitalizations and deaths: An additional 284 people were hospitalized with Covid-19 in Virginia last week (down from 310 the week before), according to VDH data. 104 Covid-19-related deaths also occurred in the state last week (up from 91 the week before).

Vaccination rate: 72.1% of Virginians are fully vaccinated (up from 72% last week).

In the National News

  • U.S Citizens Warned to Leave Ukraine: The U.S State Department is urging American citizens to leave Ukraine immediately, citing fears that Russia is “stepping up efforts” to strike civilian infrastructure in the coming days. The alert, issued Monday, marked the first time the U.S has directly warned that civilian and government buildings could be attacked, Politico reports. Six months into Russia’s unprovoked invasion, 9,000 Ukrainian troops and an estimated 5,587 civilians have been killed in the fighting. The violence is once again sparking nuclear worries as Russian attacks ramp up near nuclear power plants in Nikopol and Zaporizhzhia. The world faces a “maximum moment of danger” regarding nuclear risk, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Monday.
  • Student Loan Decision Expected Soon: President Biden is expected to soon decide whether he will resume monthly student loan debt payments or cancel any debt altogether. The announcement from the administration may come as soon as Wednesday. Some analysts believe Biden may be leaning toward providing $10,000 of debt relief per borrower, with a potential cap for individuals making under $125,000 per year, according to Axios.
  • Monkeypox in All 50 States: Monkeypox has been detected in all 50 states after Wyoming became the final state in the country to report a case of the disease Monday, ABC News reports. More than 14,100 total cases of the virus have been reported in the U.S. The daily number of new cases has increased dramatically, from 97 per day a month ago to more than 1,300 per day as of August 10.

Events This Week

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

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