Get moving!

June 15th, 2011 at 6:29 pm by under Personalities, Uncategorized

First Lady Michelle Obama encouraged us all to get moving and take on a healthier lifestyle- and some Peninsula kids are doing just that.

Students from Cary Elementary School in Hampton joined staff and students from ECPI University and Medical Careers Institute, and the Culinary Institute of Virginia for a group dance to  Beyoncé’s  “Move Your Body”.

Last summer, Michelle Obama welcomed chefs to the White House to kick off the “Let’s Move” initiative.

Chef Jonathan Highfield and eight of his students from the Culinary Institute of Virginia were there and partnered with the school when they got back,  to teach them about healthy food choices.

According to Jennifer O’Neal, Community Development Manager at ECPI:

  • Chef Highfield went to the school and visited with the cafeteria staff about what they were doing. He helps provide insight to the cafeteria staff on creative ways to prepare the food.
  • The school has a three-year partnership with Dixon Consolidated Service where the company provides either a fruit or vegetable for all children as a free snack each day. Chef Highfield occasionally goes into the classrooms to deliver the snacks and in many instances uses the opportunity to teach the children about the food, its origins or other uses.
  • Chef Highfield has established health and family nights and teacher programs to teach parents, students and teachers new, creative and easy ways to prepare healthy ingredients.
  • He helped the first and third graders plant a winter and spring garden.
  • The fifth graders took a field trip to the Culinary Institute of Virginia in Norfolk.

With so much talk about childhood obesity and the growing problem amongst adults, it’s great to see people taking the initiative to help keep us all healthy!

**Photos by Josh Evans**


You Can’t Throw a Curve Ball on the Moon

February 8th, 2011 at 6:43 am by under 10 On Your Side, News, Personalities, Sports

As a local news reporter, I always hear people ask, “Can I get some good news for once? Why does everything have to be death and destruction?”

Well, on our morning show (WAVY News Sunrise and WAVY News Today), we’ve answered your call in a segment called Hometown Hot Spots.  The stories air every day in our 6:00 A.M. hour.

Today, my story is on an event being held at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton called Space, Sports, and Sprockit.  It’s a special day for everyone and it honors Black History Month.

Take your kids! While they’re there, they’ll learn about why you can’t throw a curve ball on the moon and participate in helium balloon races.  At the same time, they’ll get to meet the following people (and robot):

Pictured above are:
  • Leyland Melvin – NASA Astronaut, former football player & Associate Administrator for Education NASA Headquarters
  • Bryan Randall – Former Virginia Tech football player who is currently with the Richmond Raiders
  • Wayne Gomes – Baseball legend (Phillies) and Hampton Roads native
  • Sprockit the Robot

Plus, the Hampton Roads chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen will be on hand to talk to you and your kids as well!  The event is Saturday, February 12 and it starts at 10:00 A.M. and ends at 3:00 P.M.

It’s a great way for both you and your kids to learn about amazing and influential African Americans from Hampton Roads while taking in important (and fun!) lessons about space and life.

Home, sweet home for the Brooks Family!

July 29th, 2010 at 4:57 pm by under Personalities, Uncategorized

The Brooks family has now spent just over a week in their new home on Teach Street in Hampton. Pearlene lives there with her daughter Mariah and grandson Armond.  They were so grateful to the volunteers, sponsors and staff at Habitat for Humanity on the Peninsula.  Pearlene works in dining services at the College of William and Mary.  She had to put in sweat equity hours and establish good credit to be considered for a home. Habitat doesn’t give away homes- Pearlene will pay back a loan with no interest. That money goes towards building other Habitat homes.

Home, sweet home for the Brooks Family in Hampton

Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity helped make this dream of home ownership come true for the Brooks  family. They put in hours working on the foundation, siding, painting and more.  Pearlene also put in a lot of hours of sweat equity.  She says she’s looking forward to planting flowers and entertaining family in her new home. Remember, if you want to help the organization financially or with building- they’re always looking for volunteers and always looking for donations of land and money.

See the groundbreaking and construction process here.

Join us for the Habitat House dedication!

July 20th, 2010 at 6:35 pm by under Personalities, Uncategorized

Wednesday, July 21, will be a day one Peninsula family will always remember.  At 10:30 am, Pearlene Brooks will get the keys to a new home on Teach Street in Hampton.  She will live there with her daughter Mariah and baby grandson Armond.   This house was built during several days of extreme weather- including snow, rain and severe heat.

Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity helped make this dream of home ownership come true for the Brooks family. They put in hours working on the foundation, siding, painting and more.  Pearlene also put in a lot of hours of sweat equity.  She says she’s looking forward to planting flowers and entertaining family in her new home.  Check back here for pictures of the dedication and watch Fox 43 News at 10.  We’ll be there! And if you want to help the organization financially or with building- they’re always looking for volunteers.

Almost time for Habitat to strike again!

July 9th, 2010 at 8:09 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Personalities, Uncategorized

An empty lot behind them.

#1 — Agh … the signs of progress. Remember the snowstorm a few months back? It might seem hard to remember what that felt like given the heat outside right now. It’s 7:30pm on Friday night as I write this and still 85 degrees out there. Yikes! Anyway, these pictures were taken at at groundbreaking ceremony for Fox 43 ‘s newest  Habitat For Humanity house in Hampton. I had the honor of helping out with the ceremony, but THAT was only the beginning.

The work continues.

From an empty lot to this!

#2 — This is what that empty lot has become in the last few months. Pretty impressive huh? Mind you, this didn’t come easy. The new owners have put in hundreds of hours of their own sweat equity to make this happen.

#3 — On July 21st Nicole Livas and I get to do the honors; hand over the keys. This house will become home for Perlean Brooks, her daughter and her grandson. (see pic above)

I wanted to write this blog so the people can see and understand the ‘process’. This house isn’t ‘given’ to anyone. The Brooks family will pay a mortgage and have all the other responsibilities of any homeowner. This is their dream. Fox 43 is incredibly proud to be a sponsor of these homes and please look for another blog post from me after our July 21st dedication. That is the marquee event.

This is a picture of the last Habitat House that Wavy/Fox 43 dedicated in Toano last year.

The last Habitat House dedicated.

Habitat For Humanity

Follow the link above if you can donate anything for our next build project. Land, time, materials … anything.

Have a great weekend everyone. Be safe.


Hampton Habitat House is almost done!

June 29th, 2010 at 11:02 pm by under Personalities, Uncategorized, Weather

Phew! One word to describe the weather and the hard work that’s going into a Habitat For Humanity house under construction in Hampton.  I stopped by the site on Teach Street this morning.  What a big difference in a matter of months! We had a snowy groundbreaking in February.  Hot or cold, sunny or rainy, the volunteers always have a big smile.  Helping out gives many of them a chance to get out of the office, learn some new skills and help families realize the dream of home ownership.

This house will become home for Perlean Brooks, her daughter and grandson.  She says she’s been working hard all of her life, but was never able to own a home.  She  will put in 400 hours of  ’sweat equity’  by the time it’s built. That means she’s helping with the foundation, painting, framing and more.  Her dream will come true in a few weeks when she gets the keys.  Fox 43 is a proud sponsor of this house – along with Langley Federal Credit Union, Harrison’s Moving and Storage and Home Paramount Pest Control.

Habitat is always looking for donations of money and land – and volunteers! Maybe you can also open your heart?

Big Win For HU over Mason

November 21st, 2008 at 12:18 am by under Sports

Gotta admit.  Hampton University basketball surprised me a bit on Thursday.  The Pirates hosted and beat George Mason.  Now, the Patriots have lost a few people from last year’s team that won the CAA title.  But, still.  HU was a disappointment last year.  They were expected to be world-beaters, and then didn’t even win the MEAC.  So, this year, I didn’t know what to expect.  And, really, we still don’t know what to expect, but this was a good step for them.

Hampton controlled the whole game.  Just like the time last year when they beat VCU, the Pirates almost never trailed.  If they played Mason 10 times, I think Hampton would win 7.  They just looked like the better team.  Great game for HU.

But, here’s the rub.  Can they keep it going?  I like coach Kevin Nickelberry.  He’s a motivator and a great speaker.  But, last year, his team did not respond as the season went on.  For them to do well down the stretch, he’s going to need to push the right buttons this year.

Good start, though.


November 7th, 2008 at 6:53 pm by under Personalities

Here’s some information a dear family friend sent me about a group she thinks everyone in Hampton Roads should know about- just in time for Veterans Day.

The 369th Veterans Association (South East District) is comprised of men and women who have served honorably in all branches of the military- including Merchant Marines- since World War II.  This includes the Korean, Vietnam, Desert Shield and Desert Storm wars.  The requirement for joining the organization:  you must have been honorably separated and discharged from an enlistment in the U.S. Armed Forces- having served not less than 180 days.  This also applies to active duty personnel.

The group was founded  in 199 to develop and preserve the spirit of fellowship among its memebers and memorialize the patriotic service of those memebers.   They support the ACTSO (Afro Academic Cultural-Technological and Scientific Olympics), the Tom Joyner scholarship fund, collection of clothing and sundries for members of the Armed Forces and an annual picnic for disabled and hospitalized patients at the Hampton Veterans Administration Hospital.  These are pictures from one of their picnics.

The man on the gurney, next to organizer Randy Laurel, must remain in that position- ALWAYS.  He is wheeled to the picnic every year.

They invite the community to participate in their quest to enhance the lives of those who have given so much to our country.   Contact Randy Laurel at (757) 482-9233 or by mail:

369th Veterans Association, Inc., Southeastern District

P.O. Box 15391

Chesapeake, VA 23328-5391

email:  369th-Veterans-SE@cox.net