2013 in review: July, August, September

New laws, Project Runway, the Redskins effect…and more! The third quarter of 2013 had a bit of everything.

July began with the addition of new state laws, including a texting-while-driving ban and increased restrictions for moped operators.

Richmond was represented in not one but two fashion events, with a local designer appearing on Project Runway and a Carytown boutique supplying gold-medal gymnast Gabby Douglas with a dress to wear at the BET Awards.

We profiled Sugar Shack Donuts to learn why people love their doughnuts so much. And speaking of love, we got to the bottom of those cool LOVE signs we’re seeing across the state.

Governor Bob McDonnell became embroiled in a scandal involving Star Scientific, a complex story that we helped explain. The Republic, which has had its own complex history, closed its doors for good. But four restaurants either opened or relaunched by mid-month.

Our summer intern wrote a cool story about the re-emergence of drive-ins across the state, we chatted with local silk-scarf maker Emerald Grippa, and spoke about comics and “cheesecake” with local Atomic Robo creator Brian Clevinger.

Dan Snyder and RGIII visited Tobacco Company on the eve of the Redskins training camp at the new training facility. Weeks later, after training camp ended, we examined the Redskins effect on local businesses.

In other sports news, people really liked the Flying Squirrels’ Salute to Scandal Night, which offered fans $1 hotdogs in honor of (former) New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner. We also profiled Electric Football ahead of a neat art show at ADA Gallery.

August began with RVA Family looking at favorite boy names and why adults need friends too.

Soon after, longtime leader of the VCU Peppas, Ryan Kopacsi, announced he was retiring before announcing a week later (and after some negotiations with VCU Athletics) that he’d return for his 16th season.

We took a step back from Richmond and looked at an amazing map based on 2010 census data. Then we focused on Carytown businesses to see how the Watermelon Festival affected their bottom line before looking at one woman’s (awesome) initiative to let RVA have its cake and eat it too.

What happens when you give a 5-year-old a camera? Turns out it’s this (and it’s adorbz). Speaking of kids, we profiled one of the most kid-friendly (and oldest) local restaurants, The Dairy Bar. Staying with the kids, we compiled a list of local private schools.

Remember the bottle that struck Toots during Riverrock? In August, Toots filed a $20 million lawsuit against the concert series organizers (earlier in June, he filed a $21 lawsuit against the 19-year-old who threw the bottle).

With so much going on in August, we decided to clean and organize our rooms with a profile on Minima.

September began with 10 bold suggestions for VCU basketball. Our attention then turned to the inaugural FALL LINE FEST and what it takes to create a first-time music, food, and arts festival.

We stopped by The Black Sheep to learn what makes the restaurant stand out (in a good way). One of our most popular stories in September was about a new business that will order, pick up, deliver, and even assemble IKEA items for you.

We learned about plans to create a natural amphitheater downtown, one that just might seal the fate of the Richmond Folk Festival. We later found out about a bizarre way the City determines how many doughnuts you have to order before you’re not charged the meal tax.

Virginia made national headlines after the Virginia Flaggers raised a 15’ x 15’ Confederate battle flag off I-95 in Chesterfield. We got a lot of comments about a new restaurant, En Su Boca, built inside a former adult store. Speaking of comments, we learned about three real-life interactions one mother and child have had with other people. A couple were kinda nutty.

Finally, we ended September by looking to the future as VCU announced plans for its $50 million overhaul of the James Branch Cabell Library.

We’re almost at the end, people! Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the final quarter of 2013.

photo by Julie Bayer-Vile

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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