School fence spruced up with Choice Neighborhood efforts
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