12 The Hampton Roads Messenger

Volume 14 Number 4 Around Hampton Roads

Sonny Merryman Awarded Dominion Energy Electric

Feel free to contact the Capital Access

School Bus Contract Dominion Energy has awarded Sonny Merryman the contract for phase one of their electric school bus program. “As Virginia’s exclusive Thomas Built Buses dealer, Sonny Merryman is thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Dominion Energy,” said Floyd Merryman, president and CEO of Sonny Merryman.

Dominion Energy announced the transformational project in August and set a goal of delivering 50 electric school buses across its Virginia service area by the end of 2020. Shortly after the program’s announcement, school divisions from across the Commonwealth were invited to participate in the application process to be selected as recipients of the program’s first phase of buses.

These 50 buses to be delivered in 2020 are just the first phase of the Dominion Energy electric bus program. Phase two of the project, with state approval, would expand the program to bring 1,000 additional electric school buses online by 2025. Phase three would set the goal to have 50 percent of all diesel bus replacements be electric by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030.

Hampton Is Updating the Parks Administrative team at if you have any questions.

The City of Norfolk has launched the Capital Access Program (CAP) with the goal of filling a financing gap in the market place for entrepreneurs to either start or expand their business.

CAP provides alternative and affordable financing made available through the City of Norfolk for new, existing, and expanding businesses. These funds are reserved for businesses that lack access to traditional financing sources and/or require “gap financing.”

Portsmouth Launches a

Historical Documentary Series Portsmouth’s marketing and communications department has begun production of a series of short historical documentaries for PCTV Channel 48 titled Remarkable Portsmouth. Remarkable Portsmouth will showcase historic buildings, places and people that have played a significant role in the development of the port city. The show’s debut features a segment on Bertha Winborne Edwards, historian and first librarian of the Portsmouth Colored Community Library, a library for Portsmouth’s black citizens established in 1940. Edwards was educated in Portsmouth public schools and continued her education at Hampton Institute where she had a double major in social studies and library science. Edwards’ documentary will air on PCTV Monday, Jan. 6, at 8 a.m. and again at 8 p.m.

Master Plan and Wants Hampton's Parks, Recreation & Leisures Services Department is updating the Parks Master Plan and would like to know what you think about the future of city parks and services. Please take a few minutes to complete the online survey at You can also share this link with your friends and family. The next public meeting on updating the master plan will be held on Jan. 28, 2020, at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. More details will be available in January.

Join Mayor Donnie Tuck on Thursday, Jan. 30, from 6-8 p.m. at Jones Magnet Middle School, 1819 Nickerson Blvd., for the next Mayor's Town Hall. Always open to the public, the town hall meetings are a chance for residents to share their concerns and help build the community. Join the discussion or just listen to what the mayor and others have to say.

Library Seeks Input for

Whittaker Memorial Hospital Documentary

Newport News Public Library (NNPL) is looking for people willing to be interviewed for a documentary in development about Whittaker Memorial Hospital, which was the first and only African-American hospital in Newport News. NNPL has hired Departure Point Films, a local production company with experience in telling creative, impactful, important and interesting stories, to help create this library documentary.

This project is part of the library’s larger, comprehensive initiative, Say It Loud: A History of the Southeast Community, which will document the socio-political history of the Southeast Community in Newport News. The documentary will be the first of five short films about the history of the Southeast Community. The film is set to discuss the historical reasons for building Whittaker Memorial Hospital to include its founders, its significance, its closing and its legacy within the community.

Community members are invited to share their memories about Whittaker Hospital at a forum on January 11 at Pearl Bailey Library from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. NNPL is looking for people who had a connection with Whittaker Hospital including patients, nurses, doctors, administrators, custodial workers or anyone with a relevant story to tell. Those selected will tell their stories in the documentary to help the library preserve local history. Learn more by visiting the library’s website.

Applications for 4th Round of Norfolk’s Capital Access

People of The 757 region and the state of Virginia are familiar with the city’s historical significance in the building of the country, but “Remarkable Portsmouth will drill down to focus on specific people, places and things that have defined Portsmouth’s character and essence,” said LaVoris A. Pace, deputy city manager and director for marketing and communications. Remarkable Portsmouth will examine the city’s history through interviews with long-time residents, local historians and researchers. The documentary production team will also revisit registered historical sites, and through the help of archival photographs and video, connect these stories to the city’s progress and place in history. Episodes under production include snapshots of the history of the Seaboard Coastline Building, Willett Hall, the Truxtun Historic District, Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, the 1846 Courthouse, and the famed Underground Railroad connections. Got an idea about a historically important person, place or location in Portsmouth? Call the Office of Marketing and Communications with the tip at 757-393-5143. Or you may leave tips and ideas by posting them on the city’s Facebook page @portsmouth.virginia. Additional air times for Remarkable Portsmouth’s Bertha Winborne Edwards episode are: Thursday, Jan. 9 – 8 a.m. & 8 p.m.; Friday, Jan. 10 – 10 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 11 – 4 p.m. & 9 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 12 – 4 p.m. Check the PCTV Channel 48 schedule at www.portsmouthva. gov for air times of your favorite local government programming.

Suffolk's 2019 Progress Report To the Citizens of Suffolk: As 2019 comes to a close and we share the excitement of entering a new decade, the members of the Suffolk City Council would like to provide our thanks for allowing us to continue to serve you and hope you and your family has had a Joyous Holiday Season.

It is also customary that we present our annual Progress Report, and as you’ll see, it has been another remarkable year for Suffolk as the City continues to strive towards excellence.

If there’s one thing I’ve come to challenge,

from appreciate stepping away from over the what’s years, it’s the

knowledge that inspiration and growth only come from adversity and from

comfortable and

familiar, and stepping out into the unknown. As a City, we’ve also done just that, and we have a remarkable success story to share as people and businesses alike continue to make the decision to come grow with us!

Our population numbers are growing according to the U.S. Census Bureau. We’ve recorded a steady population increase every year since 2012, and we’re the only

or more in each decade between 2000 and 2040, according to the University

continue to be one of Virginia’s faster-growing localities.

When it comes to our financial success, we can proudly report that the City received it third AAA rating from Moody’s Investors Service late this fall, now joining Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s Rating Service in bestowing this coveted designation upon the City.

As a result, our sound

Program Due January 1-31 The City of Norfolk has opened Round 4 of the Capital Access Program(CAP) which runs January 1, 2020 9:00 AM - January 31, 2020 11:59 PM. Applications can be made at If you are reapplying or updating a previous application please contact the CAP admin team at

Businesses are only able to apply for one(1) application per round. Duplicate applications will be removed from the system.

and fiscally-responsible financial policies will certainly continue to benefit our citizens and allow us to maintain the high level of services you deserve and expect of your government. Suffolk now joins Virginia Beach as being the only Hampton Roads cities to have achieved AAA status from all three rating agencies, a designation shared by only a handful of other Virginia cities.

We’ve taken advantage of our improved credit standing and historic low interest rates by refunding outstanding debt resulting in cost savings of close to $240 million dollars. Further, staff has aggressively pursued non-capital project grants and secured more than $2.78 million dollars in grants in fiscal year 2018 alone, thus alleviating some of the tax

locality in Hampton Roads projected to grow ten percent of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. We

January 2020

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