The Triangle News in 5: Insomnia Cookies comes to Williamsburg

Plus: A World War II veteran in Hampton celebrated his 100th birthday, a Yorktown couple was arrested following the death of their toddler and a number of new laws are now in effect in Virginia.

Good morning!

The pleasant weather we experienced yesterday will feel long gone today as the summer heat and humidity come roaring back.

Our highs will be in the low 90s this afternoon, and the heat index is expected to reach near 100, according to WTKR News 3 meteorologist Maddie Kirker. Rain and thunderstorms with potentially damaging winds are expected on Wednesday evening, and the storm threat could linger into Thursday and Friday.

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Now to the news.

-Christin

1. Insomnia Cookies is opening today in Williamsburg.

  • Insomnia Cookies, which specializes in delivering warm cookies late into the night, is opening a new store in Midtown Row on Tuesday, July 12. The business was started in a dormitory in 2003 by Seth Berkowitz, who was a student at the University of Pennsylvania at the time.
  • Today, Insomnia Cookies has over 200 locations nationwide. The shop currently sells 19 different cookie flavors, from classics including chocolate chip, sugar and oatmeal raisin to “deluxe” varieties, like triple chocolate and chocolate peanut butter cup.
    • The store offers gluten-free and vegan options to cater to various dietary needs. Other treats, including premium ice cream, ice cream “cookie wiches,” brownies and cookie cakes, are also available. Customers can even order a glass of milk to go along with their goodies.
  • Want to check it out? Insomnia Cookies, located at 100 College Row, Suite 2107, will be open Monday through Wednesday, 11 am to 1 am; Thursday and Friday, 11 am to 3 am; Saturday, 12 pm to 3 am and Sunday, 12 pm to 1 am. The store is also offering customers a free cookie in-store and with delivery orders for its grand opening, July 12-17, according to its Facebook page.

Insomnia Cookies is opening in Midtown Row off Monticello Avenue on Tuesday, July 12. (Photo by Christin Nielsen/The Triangle).

2. A suspect is in custody following another shooting death at a 7-Eleven in Newport News.

  • A Newport News man has been arrested and charged with second-degree homicide after he shot and killed a man during an argument at a 7-Eleven in the 12400 block of Warwick Boulevard, near Christopher Newport University.
  • Officers arrived at the gas station shortly after 5:30 pm on Friday to find 24-year-old Michael Faison, Jr. suffering from life-threatening injuries, according to a news release from the police department. Faison was transported to a hospital, where he died of his injuries several hours later.
  • The suspect – who was caught by police within 24 hours of the crime – was identified as Divine Rahim Jackson, a 28-year-old Newport News man. Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said the city was able “to invest in technology” that helped expedite the arrest.
  • Faison lived near the 7-Eleven where the shooting occurred, according to WTKR News 3. Witnesses say the shots were fired by Jackson during an argument between the two men, which started after Faison told Jackson’s girlfriend she was pretty.
    • Court documents obtained by News 3 say Jackson approached Faison after he saw him talking to his girlfriend. Jackson then slapped Faison twice and pointed a gun at him in close range. Faison stepped back and lifted his hands in a “non-threatening manner,” but Jackson shot him anyway.
    • A GoFundMe has been set up to help raise money for Faison’s funeral costs and medical bills.

3. A World War II veteran in Hampton celebrated his 100th birthday last weekend and drew a crowd of well-wishers.

  • Phoebus VFW Post 3219 threw a party to celebrate the 100th birthday of Leonard Yarrington, a World War II veteran who helped liberate the Auschwitz concentration camp and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, WAVY News reports.
  • A parade took place on East Mellen Street as part of the festivities. Yarrington waved to a crowd of about 200 people who gathered to wish him well, give him cards and thank him for his service and heroism.
  • “I can’t believe my eyes and what I’ve seen – what they’ve done for me,” Yarrington told the Daily Press, in awe of the adoration from the crowd.

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The VFW Post 3219 in Phoebus had a birthday party today for a local hero as he turns 100 years old. Leonard Yarrington,…

4. A Gloucester County man is in custody after admitting to killing his wife.

  • A 63-year-old man in Gloucester County was arrested and charged with second-degree homicide in the shooting death of his wife, 69-year-old Marsha June Norton, the Gazette-Journal reports.
    • Officers responded to a home in the 9300 block of Burke View Drive on Wednesday evening for a reported murder, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. A third-party caller alerted the police about the shooting after Norton contacted him and confessed to the crime.
  • Court documents obtained by 13NewsNow show that Norton admitted to shooting his wife during a phone call with his stepson after the incident. He also said he wanted to kill himself. Once in custody, Norton claimed he killed his wife because she suffered from painful medical conditions. He said his wife asked him to kill her, so he shot her with his pistol.
  • A firearm was obtained at the scene, and Norton is being held without bond at Northern Neck Regional Jail. Additional charges may be forthcoming, and Norton is scheduled to appear in court on September 20. Police say the incident was isolated and there is no danger to the public.

5. A Yorktown couple was arrested after their toddler died Thursday.

  • Two Yorktown parents were charged with felony abuse or neglect after their 2-year-old daughter was pronounced dead at their home on Thursday, The Virginia Gazette reports. The cause of the child’s death is still being determined by the York County Coroner’s Office.
  • The parents, identified as Jesse Gunn, 37, and Anna Raines, 29, told officers they had been using opiates and other illicit drugs. Police discovered narcotics throughout the home, including heroin-packed syringes in the child’s diaper bag. The diaper bag, as well as a bin filled with additional syringes, would have been accessible to the child, according to a criminal complaint filed in the case.
    • Raines and Gunn were both charged with one felony count of abusing or neglecting a child with “reckless disregard for life,” according to court records. Gunn was also charged with possession of schedule I or II narcotics.
  • Raines told police she last saw her daughter alive in her crib around 3:00 am and then found her lying on the floor, face-down, around 9:00 am. However, a firefighter at the scene stated that one of the child’s arms was particularly cold and the child had “crease lines” on her face. Raines and Gunn are currently being held without bail while the investigation continues.

6. New laws are now in effect in Virginia.

A spate of new laws – passed during the recent legislative session – went into effect in Virginia on July 1. Here’s a rundown of the most notable ones:

  • Facial Recognition Technology: Police departments are now allowed to use facial recognition technology for “certain authorized uses,” including to help identify a person who is reasonably suspected of having committed a crime. According to the newly adopted Senate Bill 741, the technology can also be used to help ID victims of crime, witnesses or unidentified bodies in morgues. The bill overturns a ban enacted a year ago, which prevented most agencies from using any type of facial recognition technology. The text of the bill allows departments to create their own policies, but they must publish annual reports regarding their usage of the technology, and they cannot use the images as probable cause for arrests or search warrants.
  • Animal Testing: Dogs and cats can no longer be sold for testing purposes in the Commonwealth, thanks to the passage of Senate Bill 87 and Senate Bill 90. The legislation comes on the heels of the closure of Envigo, a beagle-breeding lab in Cumberland, Virginia. The facility was raided by federal agents after accumulating more than 60 counts of violations of the Animal Welfare Act in less than a year. In addition to banning the sale of cats and dogs for testing, SB 90 also mandates that all animals that were previously used for testing must be placed up for adoption rather than euthanized.
  • New Marijuana Penalty: It is now a criminal misdemeanor to possess more than 4 ounces of marijuana in public, per a new regulation passed as part of the state’s budget. Those who violate the law could face a fine of up to $500, plus a criminal record. A second offense would be punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, according to the AP.
  • Alcohol Delivery: Per House Bill 426, Virginia residents are permitted to order alcohol to be delivered by a retailer, restaurant or third-party business, like DoorDash or GrubHub. However, delivery drivers will need to take a class and receive a license in order to transport the alcohol.
  • Explicit Classroom Materials: Virginia schools will be required to alert parents if students are assigned books or other materials containing sexually explicit content, per SB 656. Schools will also need to provide an alternative option to students if their parent requests one. Sens. Lynwood Lewis (D-Accomack) and Monty Mason (D-Williamsburg) joined Republicans in supporting the legislation, which passed with a 20-18 vote in February, according to the Virginia Mercury. The bill requires each local school board to put these new policies into effect by no later than January 1, 2023.
  • Human Trafficking: A new law seeks to fight human trafficking by creating a free online course to help hotel workers recognize potential signs of trafficking. The legislation, HB 258, will also help educate hotel workers about how to report suspected trafficking situations to the appropriate authorities.
  • Vehicle Parts Thefts: House Bill 740 created a new law to address increasing thefts related to automobiles, particularly catalytic converters. It is now a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, to break, tamper with or remove any parts of a vehicle “for the purpose of injuring, defacing, or destroying said vehicle.” The bill also applies to aircraft, boats and other vessels.

Lowest Gas Prices Today

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

Local Covid-19 Update

New cases:VDH reports that an additional 18,349 people in Virginia tested positive for Covid-19 last week. That’s down from the 19,654 cases reported during the previous week. The highest numbers of new cases on the Peninsula last week were reported in Newport News (+408), Hampton (+344) and James City County (+206), according to WTVR News 6.

Hospitalizations and deaths: An additional 237 people were hospitalized with Covid-19 in Virginia last week (down from 273 the week before), according to VDH data. 110 Covid-19-related deaths also occurred in the state last week (down from 111 the week before).

Vaccination rate: 74% of Virginians are fully vaccinated.

In the National News

  • No Bond for Suspects in Richmond Mass Shooting Plot: Two men charged in connection with an attempted Fourth of July mass shooting in Richmond were ordered to be held without bond Monday during a brief court hearing, the AP reports. The hearing produced no new details about the alleged plot, but Richmond police say Rolman Balcarcel Ac, 38, and Julio Alvarado-Dubon, 52, were planning to attack the Dogwood Dell Amphitheater, where the city’s annual fireworks display is held. Both men are from Guatemala, and authorities say Balcarel – who was previously deported twice – may have connections to the Los Zetas drug cartel, which operates in Mexico and the U.S. Richmond police Chief Gerald Smith said the attack was foiled after a tipster alerted authorities about the alleged plot. Local police then coordinated with Homeland Security and seized two assault rifles, a handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from the Richmond home where the two men lived.
  • Youngkin Planning a White House Bid? Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is stirring up rumors of a potential presidential run in 2024 after he made a major political speech at the Nebraska GOP Convention last week. The deep-red state of Nebraska borders Iowa, which holds the nation’s first presidential caucuses each election cycle. Appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on July 10, Youngkin declined to confirm or deny if he’s considering a White House bid. “That’s not a decision that we have even begun to undertake,” he said during the interview.
  • U.S Orders Millions of Doses of New Covid Vaccine: The Biden administration has ordered 3.2 million doses of the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine, according to Reuters. Novavax is a more traditional type of vaccine. It employs a protein-based technology that’s been used for decades to combat other diseases, including influenza. The two-dose shot, which is already available in more than 40 other countries, has not yet been authorized for emergency use in the U.S. It is expected to be released within the next few weeks after Novavax completes all necessary quality testing, according to an HHS statement sent out Tuesday.
  • Musk Faces Pushback from Twitter: Elon Musk filed to pull out of a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter on Friday, but Twitter is responding by threatening legal action. The social media company called Musk’s effort to abandon the takeover “invalid and wrongful,” according to a letter filed with the U.S Securities & Exchange Commission Monday. The move likely means Musk and Twitter are about to end up in a full-fledged legal battle, Axios reports. Twitter’s board claims it hasn’t breached any of its legal obligations, and analysts expect the company to file a formal complaint against Musk for breach of contract later this week.

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Events This Week

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