Walter Ashby Plecker, the first registrar of Virginia’s Bureau of Vital Statistics, starting in 1912, forced Indians to classify themselves as black. The tribes, he said, had become a “mongrel” mixture. (Courtesy Richmond Times-Dispatch)
By bill burke The Virginian-Pilot
Brenda Bowman strides up to the front door of the big hangar-like building in Chesapeake that once housed a roller rink. She’s here on business and in uniform: dark slacks and a beige shirt with blue piping and a logo that features the initials “DCG” hovering over a bingo card. Bowman steps inside and flashes her “badge” – an ID card for the state Department of Charitable Gaming. It’s 6 o’clock on a Wednesday evening, and Brenda the bingo cop is in the house. The start of the games at the South . . .
By bill burkeThe Virginian-Pilot
For scores of Hampton Roads organizations, bingo is the engine that drives charitable fund raising, generating just over $100 million annually – a sum that could run the Suffolk school system for almost a year or finance a Hollywood summer blockbuster. But the cash-or-check-only transactions in big, smoke-filled halls often prove tempting to those who host the games and those who play them. Abuses and corruption in the bingo industry are rampant. The president of a Virginia Beach youth gymnastics . . .
A typical large bingo game in Hampton Roads is played in a rental hall and attracts about 250 to 300 players. A session lasts between three and four hours and can generate between $30,000 and $40,000 in gross receipts. A $40,000 game, played once a week, produces about $2 million in annual receipts. Statewide, bingo generates about $350 million a year, compared with about $1.2 billion for the state lottery. Traditional bingo games are played on paper cards costing $1 for a single card to about . . .
Eleven of Virginia's 15 biggest bingo operations - bringing in gross revenues of more than $25 million in 2003 - were in Hampton Roads: Corruption? Abuse? Bingo!A SPECIAL REPORTOther stories: - State regulators cracking down on multimillion-dollar bingo industry - Violation-prone halls in region force ''bingo cop'' to run tight ship - Bingo game pays big dividends for pets and those who love them - Explainer: How bingo is played - Graphic: Receipts, expenses of a legal bingo game
By Bill Burke The Virginian-Pilot
CHESAPEAKE — “Wipe your paws,” commands the welcome mat at Janis Dryer’s hotel. Decorative fans whir and wicker furniture awaits visitors in the atrium of the Las Gaviotas Pet Hotel, where canine guests stay in “suites,” romp on a playground and are towel-dried by staff members after a dip in a wading pool. The building also houses the Animal Assistance League of Virginia Inc., a shelter for abandoned animals. All creatures, from stray tabbies to pampered suburban Shar-Peis, are welcome at the . . .
HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE Where the money comes from and where it goes in a typical bingo operation that meets state guidelines: Corruption? Abuse? Bingo!A SPECIAL REPORTOther stories: - State regulators cracking down on multimillion-dollar bingo industry - Violation-prone halls in region force ''bingo cop'' to run tight ship - Bingo game pays big dividends for pets and those who love them - Explainer: How bingo is played - Chart: Hampton Roads, Virginia's bingo mecca
By darren freemanThe Virginian-Pilot
When Elizabeth City native Jennifer Berry paraded across the green carpet at the Feb. 9 Westminster Kennel Club competition in New York, it was like walking down the wedding aisle or crossing the stage to grab a diploma. She thought: Walk straight and confident, and don’t trip. The same went for the dog. Berry’s 160-pound Saint Bernard behemoth had two minutes to win over a judge, and part of the show was a leashed strut. “I’m thinking to myself, 'Do everything in slow motion and breathe,’” recalled . . .
Gov. Mark Warner
"From now until the end of the decade, shortfalls as far as the eye can see." -- Gov. Mark Warner
VictimDean Harold Meyers -- A 53-year-old civil engineer from Montgomery County, Md., who designed storm drainage systems for residential developments. He was a veteran of the War in Vietnam, where he was wounded in combat. He was unmarried, owned five acres near the Rappahannock River, a vintage Corvette and a motorcycle. On the night of Oct. 9, 2002, he stopped for gas at the Battlefield Sunoco station on Sudley Road in Manassas after working late at his office in Manassas. While he was pumping . . .
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