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News Archive

Hampton Roads achievers share their dreams for 2006

The Virginian-Pilot
It’s good to have a goal, great to have a dream.Plenty of locals already have plans to make the most of 2006. They’ve set goals and know how they’ll achieve them. And they’ve gone a step further, dreaming dreams that at once seem just out of reach yet still possible.From an immigrant cook to a high school athlete, we offer a variety of doers and dreamers who have resolved to make the most of the New Year. Nikki Reed 41, radio personality, FM99 Reed is the “voice of reason” on the “Tommy & Rumble . . .

Murder mystery haunts Warner farewell

The Virginian-Pilot
With less than three months to go before he leaves office, Gov. Mark Warner has at least one major piece of unattended business — the ghost of Roger Keith Coleman.For two years, Warner has been pondering whether to test genetic material remaining from the Grundy rape-murder that led to Coleman’s 1992 execution.Hamlet, judging from the time lapse, was never so conflicted. An earlier generation of testing narrowed the likely culprit to a tiny segment of the population, including Coleman. But a sizable . . .

Hispanic laborers driving unregistered vehicles have caused scores of Eastern Shore traffic deaths

The Ford Escort was racing north on rural Seaside Road, its occupants headed home from a wedding, when it ran a stop sign at 55 mph. The driver of a Ford F-150 traveling east through the intersection never saw the Escort, police said.

Our Housing Boom, Part 3: Hope for the future in Broad Creek?

By Harry MiniumThe Virginian-Pilot
NORFOLK - Donna Pledger's goal in life is to break the cycle of poverty. A state employee, she works with public housing residents all over Hampton Roads, counseling them to stay in school, find a job and be self-sufficient.Lear Mejri was born into the cycle of poverty. One of eight children raised by a single mother on welfare in Diggs Park, she lived in public housing as an adult for 21 years.Mejri didn’t meet her father until she was 15. She raised two children in Roberts Village, where drug . . .

Our Housing Boom personal stories: Unable to live where they work

The Virginian-Pilot
Photo by Chris Tyree / The Virginian-Pilot PortsmouthLisa Magnant, 42, Virginia Beach police officer After living in a mobile home for 10 years in Chesapeake, Magnant had hoped to purchase a house in Virginia Beach so she could be close to her job. But she was unable to find one for under $90,000. Two years ago, she bought a small three bedroom, one bath house in Portsmouth’s Cradock Gardens for $77,900. Since moving in, Magnant has spent $10,000 in renovations, mainly on the kitchen of the 1940-era . . .

One woman’s hunt for an affordable home

By susan e. whiteThe Virginian-Pilot
VIRGINIA BEACH — Sliding into the driver’s seat of her silver Plymouth Neon, Graciela Freeman breathed in the ocean air and bowed her head. “Lord Jesus, lead me,” she whispered. “Lead me.” Freeman had 23 days left to pack up two years’ worth of belongings and find a cheap efficiency hotel – if any existed. Many were $900 a month – more than the $625 she had paid for her Thalia town house.A divorced working mother with two high school age daughters, Freeman spent weeks scouring the classifieds . . .

Our Housing Boom, Part 2: When the workforce can't live here

By Kate Wiltrout and Susan E. WhiteThe Virginian-Pilot
Mercedes and Mike Koedinger have their routine down pat. Their alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m. and by the time the clock strikes 6, they’re in the car with 2-year-old Gavin in the back seat.Heading north from North Carolina, they drive along the Intracoastal Waterway and amid soybean fields, then cross into Virginia for their jobs: Mercedes at World Office Systems in Virginia Beach, Mike in Chesapeake at Bay Propeller . Gavin spends his time in a Greenbrier day care.“In the mornings it’s rough, . . .

Our Housing Boom - a multimedia project

The Virginian-Pilot
Hampton Roads residents are immersed in one of the hottest housing markets in America. As owners bask in rising equity, many first-time buyers are plagued by obstacles and setbacks. STORIESPart 1: For good and bad, prices soar For first-time buyers, rising home values have turned the quest for the American dream into a tears-inducing nightmare. For owners, recent years have created a wealth windfall. Read more.One solution: Md. county tries earmarking lower-priced homes Personal stories: The lucky . . .

Links: More resources on affordable housing

The Virginian-Pilot
Virginia Housing Development Authority - www.vhda.com The authority is the state's mortgage finance agency. Created in 1972 by the Virginia General Assembly, its mission is to help low- and moderate-income Virginians attain quality, affordable housing.National Low Income Housing Coalition - www.nlihc.org Established in 1974, the coalition is dedicated to ending America's affordable housing crisis. NLIHC educates, organizes and advocates to ensure decent, affordable housing within healthy neighborhoods.Tidewater . . .

Our Housing Boom, Part 1: For good and bad, local prices soar

By Susan E. White and Harry MiniumThe Virginian-Pilot
As the Winslow family pulled away from the worn, two-story Ocean View home, Tiffany Winslow buried her head in her hands and quietly sobbed. “It’ll be OK,” Realtor Vic Yurkovic whispered from behind the wheel of his Ford Bronco. Behind him, Roger, Tiffany’s husband, and Gage, their 6-year-old son, sat in silence.“Let’s go look at one more home,” Yurkovic suggested, softly patting Tiffany’s shoulder.Oh my God, Tiffany thought. How could they even think of seeing another house?The weary couple . . .

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