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Newport News conveys land in southeast as part of effort for residential development

Newport News is working on adding and improving housing in the Marshall-Ridley area, including the Ridley Circle complex. Nearby, the city has conveyed vacant land for Habitat for Humanity to build homes. (Joe Fudge / Daily Press file photo)

Newport News conveyed more property in the Southeast Community to be developed for residential use.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the members voted to give the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority a vacant lot at 711 21st St.

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The authority plans to transfer the property to the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. The organization will build a home on the site starting in the spring, and it has plans for several other home projects in the area, according to documents from the meeting.

The city conveying the land is part of the ongoing Choice Neighborhood Initiative efforts to transform the Marshall-Ridley area. One of the city’s goals is to encourage single-family residential development.

The city recently gave the housing authority land at Jefferson Avenue and 28th Street for a future mixed-use development that will include business space, apartments and other home types.

Newsome House presentation

The Newsome House Museum and Cultural Center is hosting an event Saturday in which speakers will discuss the local history of slavery, African culture and the first Africans in North America.

The event is titled “Honoring the Ancestors: Angola to Virginia, 1619-2019” and will feature the Weyanoke Association, a nonprofit dedicated to researching and sharing information about African, African-American and American Indian cultures.

The event takes place noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Newsome House, 2803 Oak Ave. in Newport News. Attendance is free, but donations are encouraged. People may also bring food, pot-luck style, and wear traditional clothing.

For more information, call 757-247-2360.

No mention of Huntington, but alums still present

The minutes of Tuesday’s City Council meeting will be the first in recent memory that have no mention of Huntington Middle School. But don’t take that as a sign the Huntington alumni who have advocated for a new school have backed off since the City Council said it would move forward with planning a school.

If you make a habit out of attending City Council meetings, you know to expect Huntington to be mentioned during during public comments. Since I started covering the city last spring, the most consistent speakers have been advocates for a new Huntington Middle School, advocates for opening up the former City Farm jail site as public waterfront access and Antonio Thompson, who speaks about Scripture, President Donald Trump, and the prison and criminal justice systems.

Best as I can recall, Tuesday’s meeting was the first in several months that no one spoke about Huntington Middle School during public comment, a work session, joint meeting or council comments.

Several graduates and advocates for the school were in the crowd, as usual, some wearing the gear of their alma mater.

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