School fence spruced up with Choice Neigh­bor­hood ef­forts

Daily Press - - Obituaries & Local News - Josh Reyes, 757-247-4692, joreyes@dai­ly­, @jdauzreyes.

If you pass by Mar­shall Early Learn­ing Cen­ter in the South­east Com­mu­nity, you might no­tice some new art­work adorn­ing the fence.

Re­cently, kids and staff at the cen­ter part­nered with city staff, vol­un­teers and mem­bers of the City Coun­cil to dec­o­rate the fence. Rib­bons were wo­ven into it to add a pop of color and cre­ate de­signs that in­clude trees, moun­tains and geo­met­ric shapes.

Stu­dents at the school, 743 24th St., are in pre-K and kinder­garten, and the new dec­o­ra­tions are meant to re­flect a pos­i­tive, joy­ful at­mos­phere, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the city. Staff mem­bers from the city's po­lice and plan­ning de­part­ments par­tic­i­pated.

The project also con­trib­utes to the city's on­go­ing ef­forts in the Choice Neigh­bor­hoods Ini­tia­tive, a trans­for­ma­tion process for the Mar­shall-Ri­d­ley area of Newport News. The idea to spruce up the fence came from area res­i­dents, who also sub­mit­ted de­sign ideas.

Last month, the city sub­mit­ted its ap­pli­ca­tion for up to $30 mil­lion in grant fund­ing from the fed­eral De­part­ment of Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment. The city was a grant fi­nal­ist in the pre­vi­ous round of ap­pli­ca­tions, but it did not re­ceive the money to help im­ple­ment its plan.

To learn more about the Choice Neigh­bor­hoods Ini­tia­tive, visit


Si­monds gets shout out

Shelly Si­monds has be­come a com­mon fig­ure in ad­ver­tise­ments and pub­lic ser­vice an­nounce­ments that stress that ev­ery vote counts.

If you think back a few months, you'll prob­a­bly re­mem­ber that she was the un­lucky can­di­date in a ran­dom draw­ing with Del. David Yancey to de­ter­mine the win­ner of last Novem­ber's tied elec­tion for the House of Del­e­gates 94th District seat.

Ahead of Elec­tion Day Tues­day, Si­monds, a mem­ber of the Newport News School Board, popped up on so­cial me­dia as an ex­am­ple of the power of a sin­gle vote.

One of the videos caught the at­ten­tion of for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton.

In a Twit­ter video for Tech for Cam­paigns, which de­scribes it­self as “the dig­i­tal arm for pro­gres­sive and cen­trist cam­paigns,” Si­monds said, “There are good can­di­dates out there fight­ing for your com­mu­nity and your state. They need you to vote.”

She goes on to ex­plain that she needed one more vote to win her elec­tion and flip the Vir­ginia House of Del­e­gates.

Clin­ton posted the Tech for Cam­paign's video on her own ac­count and stated, “Share this with any friends or fam­ily mem­bers who think their vote doesn't mat­ter.”

The video was posted Oct. 31 and has gar­nered 322,000 views as of Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

Po­lice HQ hours re­duced

Walk-in hours at Newport News Po­lice De­part­ment Head­quar­ters have been scaled back.

On Mon­day, walk-in hours shifted to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on week­days and 8 a.m. to noon Satur­days.

The lobby will be closed Sun­days and city-rec­og­nized hol­i­days.

Be­fore, the main lobby of the build­ing, 9710 Jef­fer­son Ave., was open 24 hours a day.

Po­lice said the change was made fol­low­ing a uti­liza­tion study of the build­ing and for safety rea­sons.

Po­lice said this will have no ef­fect on emer­gency calls made to 911 or non­emer­gency calls to 757-2472500.


Stu­dents worked with city staff and vol­un­teers to dec­o­rate a fence at Mar­shall Early Learn­ing Cen­ter.

Josh Reyes Newport Newsnote­book

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