As 2010 comes to a close and we prepare to open the book on 2011, it’s time to take a look back at the news stories that shaped the Far West End throughout the past year with our second annual top 10 countdown (reminisce with 2009′s here). From the changing of the guard of Ukrop’s […]
As 2010 comes to a close and we prepare to open the book on 2011, it’s time to take a look back at the news stories that shaped the Far West End throughout the past year with our second annual top 10 countdown (reminisce with 2009’s here). From the changing of the guard of Ukrop’s and Martin’s and the construction of two major new roadways to severe storm damage and the opening of the nation’s largest community garden, it’s been quite an interesting year in Short Pump.
Below are links to the top 10 stories we’ve reported on this year, with editor’s commentary on each.
Henrico County Public Schools’ newest middle school opened to much fanfare at the start of the 2010-2011 school year.
The $23 million school is not only LEED certified, but implements green practices that go above and beyond the standards for that classification, including having a bioretention pond for recycling rainwater runoff, fixtures that use 40% less water and preferred parking and drop-off areas for hybrid, electric and other fuel efficient vehicles.
May brought a severe electrical storm to Short Pump, which sparked one of the largest fires of the last two years in the immediate area. Lightning started a fire on the second story of a home in the Park Forest subdivision of Wyndham off Nuckols Road.
Fortunately neither the occupants nor firefighters were injured in the blaze and the structure has already been rebuilt as of writing this article.
The photos of the fire in this article are some of the most dramatic and striking we’ve run to date.
The Children’s Museum of Richmond made a huge splash with the opening of a new Short Pump location at West Broad Village this year. The satellite branch, though significantly smaller than the original downtown location, provided not only a closer option for the large base of Far West End museum members, but also a much-needed foot traffic boost to West Broad Village, a mixed use shopping, dining, residential and office development that’s struggled to take root due to complications with both its developer and the unfortunate timing of the down economy.
The new location has pulled in a healthy number of visitors in its first months in Short Pump.
A Short Pump teenager committed a brutal and bizarre murder in January, fatally striking his father with a tenpin bowling pin. Alan Chang, age 19 at the time of murder, was later tried and found guilty of the crime.
The murder took place in the quiet Estates at Hampshire subdivision off Nuckols Road near Wyndham.
A jury recommended four year in jail and fines for Chang following the verdict.
A line of severe thunderstorms wreaked havoc over the Far West End towards the end of July. For several weeks following these powerful storms, some areas of Short Pump could be compared to the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel, with hundreds of downed trees, power lines, not to mention a major fire in the Reflections of West Creek apartments near Short Pump Town Center.
We received some great reader photos of damage around the area, which can be seen in a slideshow below the article upon clickthrough.
Whole Foods Market started what will soon be the largest community field-to-store garden in the nation in partnership with West Broad Village this past summer.
Markel-Eagle Partners, LLC, developers of the mixed-use community, donated six acres of land for the garden’s use, an acre of which is already in use and supplying a healthy amount of produce for purchase at Whole Foods.
This story received national media attention due to the size of the garden and circumstances of creation.
The quiet Twin Hickory community was shaken and on edge following a rare shooting in March. Resident Terrance Nero of Twin Hickory’s Park Meadows subdivision was shot in the face one evening in his own kitchen, through a rear window. The victim survived, but faced a long road of reconstructive surgery.
Though neighbors spotted the suspect fleeing the scene and police searched a pond behind the house for a weapon, neither a motive nor a suspect were ever revealed in this case.
The ever-growing problem of major traffic headaches in Short Pump was ever so slightly alleviated with the opening of a large new section of a roadway that’s been in the work for decades– John Rolfe Parkway. A stretch of the important roadway opened from West Broad Street to the intersection of Pump and Church Roads farther south.
It’ll still be some time before the road is completed, but this huge part of the road was a major step in improving traffic flow in the Far West End.
The decision by the County of Henrico to condemn properties in the right-of-way for the new North Gayton Road extension project was the subject of a passionate debate among longtime residents of rural Kain Road and Bacova Lane, through which the much-needed roadway will pass when completed.
The county attempted to give affected property owners fair market value for their land and/or homes that stood in the way of progress, but when those negotiations broke down for many landowners, the county, determined to stay on schedule, condemned the necessary parcels, sparking emotional outcries from several lifelong residents.
The county-funded project remains on schedule. Click through for a map of the completed project we put together last year, complete with new intersections and planned traffic signals.
What became known as the “Ukropalypse” Richmond-wide beginning in December 2009 came to a close in April of this year when the Short Pump Ukrop’s reopened (click for an article documenting the last night open as a Ukrop’s store) as a Martin’s Food Market after a week long closure for remodeling and re-merchandizing.
The Short Pump store was used as a focal point for Martin’s to showcase itself to the Richmond market (click through for photos from the grand opening media tour) and several television ads were filmed at the location as well.
Though Ukrop’s kitchen and bakery items remain a staple at the new stores, the loss of what a majority of locals considered a long-time Richmond icon shook up the city and ruffled more than a few feathers.
The multiple articles on the Ukrop’s/Martin’s transition and related coverage were our biggest traffic drawers of the entire year and some of the most commented as well, taking the spot of number one news story, by many measures, of 2010.