VA News Reader

January 27, 2023

Photo by Jay Paul for Richmond magazine

Man in Motion: Lucas Fritz of Broadberry Entertainment Group and his music machine

By Harry Kollatz Jr. for Richmond magazine

On this bright Friday morning in October, a sheen of frost covers the grass of Brown’s Island. The Federal Reserve tower shines like a new silver dollar against the brilliant blue sky. Desultory joggers puff around the pebbled oval, while birds call merrily from waterside trees. At the island’s eastern end, workers wearing black hoodies are rigging the stage for the evening’s music bill: The Brook & The Bluff will open for the headliner, Mt. Joy, in a concert presented by the Broadberry Entertainment Group.

A young-looking man in a stocking cap directs the team. He is Lucas Fritz, the owner of Broadberry Entertainment Group and producer of a summer concert series on the island. A jazz trumpeter and punk rock guitarist, Fritz also leads one of the region’s newest and most versatile booking agencies. He is a few days away from his 34th birthday.

Read the full article at Richmond magazine.

Save Northern Neck Ginger Ale movement gains more local government support

By Michelle Smith for News on the Neck

Northern Neck Foundation (NNF), a new nonprofit organization that’s on a mission to save Northern Neck Ginger Ale, picked up formal support from three local governments last Thursday, including Northumberland County, Richmond County, and Warsaw.

Read the full article at News on the Neck.

Courtesy of Martha Barnes

As she turns 103, ‘nothing tastes better at a party than crab cakes and beer’

By Cathy Free for The Washington Post

On Mary Barnes’s 103rd birthday, she had only one request. Actually, two. She told her family and friends that she wanted to celebrate her big day with crab cakes and beer.

“That’s always been my favorite,” said Barnes, a World War II Navy veteran who hit her century-plus-three milestone on Sunday. “Nothing tastes better at a party than crab cakes and beer.”

Read the full article at The Washington Post.


This Story Has Legs: Exploring a Local Connection to a World Story

There are seasonal rhythms to newspaper work. Amid the breaking news, the year is punctuated by familiar touchstones, with reporters and readers alike sharing expectations of what’s to come. Memories of Martin Luther King, Jr. fill January’s pages, followed by coverage of Black History Month, St. Patrick’s Day parades, Fourth of July celebrations and back-to-school features in the months beyond. There is comfort perhaps in the cadence of the calendar.  

Read more on Virginia News Reader.

Courtesy photo.

West Virginia lures remote workers with fresh air, lower costs — and an incentive program. Could this be a model for rural Virginia?

By Randy Walker for Cardinal News

It’s the latest trend in economic development. Pay work-from-home workers to move to your county. Since they work remotely, they aren’t competing for jobs. And with incomes typically of $100,000 or more, they are not competing for affordable housing.

Remote worker incentive programs are being tried all over the country — just not in Virginia. Supporters tout them as a way to boost tax revenues and bring young, educated people into counties and towns that are aging and/or losing population.

Read the full article at Cardinal News.

Photo by Allison Brophy Champion for Culpeper Star-Exponent

Female boatswain’s mate from Culpeper loves Navy life

By Allison Brophy Champion for Culpeper Star-Exponent

U.S. Navy Boatswain’s Mate Sierra Rodriquez dreamed of being in the military since the age of 9 and now she’s breaking boundaries aboard the USS Harry S. Truman, a Nimitz class aircraft carrier currently at dock in Portsmouth.

In December, the 2018 graduate of Culpeper County High School reflected on the physical work maintaining the nearly 1,100-feet-long ship, her first deployment at sea to Europe on a key mission, the life voyage that brought her to the navy and why she plans to make it her career.

“A dream come true,” said the 22-year-old of being out on the open ocean, on Dec. 20 at Raven’s Nest Coffee House on East Davis Street.

Read the full article at Culpeper Star-Exponent.

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