By Jerome Foster and Chelse Greaux
RICHMOND, Va. — The smoking ban went into effect on December 1. The law prohibits smoking in bars and restaurants. Some people disagree with it, while others agree with the law.
Smoker Clyde Willis and Applebee’s server Tyneisha Wells are opposed to the law.
“Well, I really feel like it was something against people that smoke where it’s another right that you’re losing and that’s really not good,” Willis said.
By Eric Blackstock and Alonna Artis
RICHMOND, Va. — The annual Grand Illumination at Richmond’s James Center celebrated its 25th year on Dec. 4, when holiday lights at multiple downtown locations were lit at the same time.
Following a countdown, a 60-foot tree and 95 reindeer at the James Center, as well as more than 15 buildings in the area, were lit promptly at 6:00 p.m.
By Eric Blackstock
RICHMOND, Va. — Despite inclement weather, the 26th annual Ukrops-Supervalu Richmond Christmas Parade went ahead as scheduled Dec. 5.
95 separate units were scheduled to appear, including floats, balloons, bands, and an appearance by the Legendary Santa.
Broad St. was closed for the parade route between the Science Museum of Virginia and Richmond Colisseum as the parade marched through the city, past Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy’s Monroe Park campus.
2009 marked the 26th year of the parade. It is as of yet unknown if the sale of the Ukrops supermarket chain to Royal Ahold, announced on Dec. 17, will affect future Christmas parades.
By Chelse Greaux and Eric Blackstock
RICHMOND, Va. — Thrift stores in the Richmond area are seeing an increase in sales as Virginia Commonwealth University students continue to deal with economic issues in the United States.
Area stores, such as Fantastic Thrift and Diversity Thrift, see as many as 1,500 shoppers each day, with Diversity Thrift reporting sales of over $500,000 annually.
“I’ve noticed that we’re seeing more folks from VCU, the University of Richmond, Virginia Union, who are in here at all times during the year,” Diversity Thrift owner Jay Squires said.
By Amy Via and Taylor Hall
RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond and areas surrounding it are rich with history and diverse architecture. The city has numerous “Old and Historic” districts which have been preserved through historic preservation programs and initiatives.
Virginia Commonwealth University has a unique program within their Urban and Regional Studies department, in which students can earn a certificate in Historic Preservation Planning.
The certificate, which combines architectural history and urban planning, is unique to VCU.
“We’re the only ones who are doing historic preservation as a profession within the community development field,” said John Accordino, PhD, the certificate’s coordinator.
By Alonna Artis
The Historic Richmond Foundation is the oldest non-profit organization in Richmond. Founded in 1935, the Historic Richmond Foundation preserves the historic assets that define Richmond’s unique character.
Katie Kelley, the foundation’s marketing manager, says that preserving Richmond’s history has real results.
“Sixteen years ago we saved The National Theater on Broad St. from demolition and if we had never done that, it would never have opened as a wonderful performance venue today,” said Kelley.
By Matt Doyon and Alonna Artis
WASHINGTON, D.C. — At the Colonial Athletic Association’s recent Media Day in the nation’s capitol, the Virginia Commonwealth University men’s basketball team was projected to finish in third place.
Sports information directors and media professionals from around the CAA voted the Rams to finish behind Old Dominion and Northeastern in their annual gathering Oct. 20.
VCU won the conference regular-season crown the past three seasons, all under the former head coach Anthony Grant. Shaka Smart replaces the departed Grant. At 32 years old, Smart is the youngest coach in the CAA.
Filed under Richmond, Sports
By Eric Blackstock and Ben Schafer
RICHMOND, Va. — Former students from Virginia Commonwealth University began a new tour program in Richmond this year, which allows patrons to visit sites thought to be haunted.
The “Eerie Nights Ghost Tours” explore haunted areas around the Shockoe Bottom area of Richmond, including the Virginia Capitol building, governor’s mansion, canal walk, and the site of the Church Hill train tunnel collapse.
By Jerome Foster
RICHMOND, Va. – The basketball arena at the Siegel Center just north of the Virginia Commonwealth University campus in Richmond recently got a name change.
The arena was called the Alltel Pavilion at the Stuart C. Siegel Center since being built in 1999. Now it is called the Verizon Wireless Arena.
By Taylor Hall
RICHMOND, Va – Virginia Commonwealth University marketing officials are hoping to get more local stores to sell VCU paraphernalia by spreading the word through their “I Want My Gear” campaign.
According to VCU officials, the campaign launched after a heavy demand from students, alumni, and Richmond locals asking about where they could buy VCU gear and materials.