5 Virginians Making News Today
By Keya Vakil
March 19, 2019

  1. If you love ice cream (you better) and live in Virginia Beach (lucky!), then you should familiarize yourself with the story of Joey Launi, whose ice cream parlor Lolly’s Creamery, will open the first weekend of May at 414 17th St. Launi plans to offer over a dozen flavors, including bourbon pecan eggnog and salted caramel fudge (yum!), so if you’re looking for an excuse to cheat on your diet or want to treat yourself after Lent, I think you know where to go.
  2. If you’re like me and find yourself googling “things to do this weekend” or “cool art virginia,” then our next Virginian will be someone you want to learn more about. Emily Williams is an artist whose work is being featured in the new exhibit “Horizons: As Above, So Below” at the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center. A native Virginian, Williams was inspired by the nature she encountered during childhood travels with her family and developed a love for nature, science, and art. In her glass work, she found an art form that combines all three elements. The “Horizons” exhibition runs until June 23rd. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children, military, and seniors, so you’ve really got no excuse not to go.
  3. No one likes the word budget. No one. Unless of course, it’s preceded by the words “unlimited” and “travel,” “make-up,” and/or “pizza.” This story isn’t about any of those things unfortunately, but it is important, because it could indirectly impact your personal budgets and the quantity of pizza you can afford. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney will hold a series of town hall meetings to discuss his proposed budget for the city for 2020. The budget includes $18.5 million for public schools, $16.2 million for roads and sidewalks and $2.9 million for affordable housing. The first meeting will take place Tuesday at Woodville Elementary School, with three more coming between now and April 2nd. We encourage readers to attend the meetings and make their voices heard. And then get pizza.
  4. Speaking of pizza, you could go to the newest pizza joint in Richmond’s Museum District, Fire & Hops Pizza. Owned and operated by Joe Congiliaro, a thirty-year pizza-making veteran, the restaurant also offers sliders and tacos, but come on, if you’re going there, you’ve gotta’ get the pizza. Check out Fire & Hops at 1 N. Belmont Avenue and let us know what you think!
  5. Not all news is good news, especially if you’re former state Delegate Ron Villanueva. Villanueva, a Republican who who was voted out of office in 2017, pled guilty on Tuesday to illegally helping two Virginia Beach companies secure special government contracts that had been reserved for female and minority-owned small businesses. Villanueva made more than $1 million thanks to his law-breaking ways, but now faces up to five years in prison. Look, no one should steal, ever. But if you’re gonna’ steal, ya’ gotta be better at it than Ron here.

  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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