Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Recent Local Headlines

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The Memorial Holiday weekend began with two Richmond shootings on Friday. The first was at 4:30pm near Battery Park where two people were injured but expected to recover, according to NBC 12 News . Next, shots rang out near the 14th Street Bridge just after 6pm which is near a homeless encampment. Reports say the victim was shot in the leg.

On Saturday, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported nearby island dweller Joseph “J.D.” Osborne had been picked up from his camp at 8am as a suspect in the shooting. He was acquaintances with the victim and police say Osborne accosted the man after they squabbled. The Times-Dispatch spoke with Rob Sabatini, a local who often takes photos in the area near the shooting and saw the injured victim after he was attacked. He said he was familiar with Osborne who he described as a “pretty nice guy.” Sabatini said the victim, who he identified as William Smith, said he argued with the suspect over aluminum cans and Smith told him there was trouble brewing among the two men.

Violence continued on Memorial Day with a shooting overnight on Chamberlayne Avenue. Two men were shot by men in a SUV but were expected to survive.

A photo show of inner city Richmond kids’ work will open next Thursday at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 1719 North 22nd Street. Lloyd Young of the Peter Paul Development Center, a non-profit community outreach program, is the curator of the glimpse into youth lives in the projects. The photo show is the product of the Literacy Through Photography project Young started. RVA Magazine spoke with Young who said the goal is to provide students with the “necessary tools to photograph their environments” and to “capture how their communities are.” More information is available at

Richmond leaders hope a new loan program will make it easier for entrepreneurs to get up and running in the city. Starting in July, the “revolving loan program” will allow the city to lend small business owners seed money to open their doors. As the businesses pay the loans back, funds will be funneled back into the system for others to apply for. According to the Times Dispatch, the city has set aside one million dollars to be loaned out with interest rates of 2 to 9 percent, for the first leg of the program. These initial loans are for women and minorities but the program will expand to 2 million dollars in it’s second phase and will be open to any entrepreneur.

Richmond will play host to two popular local festivals thia weekend. The 34th Annual Greek Festival begins tomorrow at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church just past Carytown on Malvern St. The event ,that often pulls 25 to 35 thousand patrons, will continue until Sunday with Greek food, dancing, music and vendors.

The newer Broad Appetit food festival will also try to entice Richmond crowds this Sunday. 58 local restaurants have signed up to sell their samples for three dollars a pop and the money you spend goes to Meals on Wheels and The Central Virginia Foodbank . The festival will also feature local music and demos from local chefs.

The new owner of the infamous Club Velvet in Shockoe Bottom has applied for a liquor license. William A. Pyliaris who also owns adult entertainment venue Pure Pleasure applied for the license only two weeks after it had been revoked from the previous owner Samuel J.T. Moore III. An ABC Department spokesperson told the Times Dispatch last week that the application is under review but state law says requests can be denied if a location has had its license revoked in the last year. The new owner may also run into problems after recent late night shootings in the Bottom have made residents and the area Neighborhood Association eager to impose restrictions on nightclubs.

-Caroline Jackson

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