Pick me! //
Ahmad Anderson, left, and his Carver Elementary School classmate Zay’Mya Harris wave their hands with the answer during an activity at the Children’s Book Festival last Friday at Abner Clay Park in Jackson Ward. The first-graders were among students from four area school systems to participate. Please see more photos, B2.
Only dirt remains where the former Armstrong High School once stood at 1611 N. 31st in the East End. Heavy equipment now is preparing the site for the construction of 175 mixed-income and senior apartments. Construction is to begin this summer. Another 81 single-family homes also are planned for the site. The public-private development is the first step in the grand plan to attack poverty by replacing the nearby 504-unit Creighton Court public housing community that fronts Nine Mile Road. Once the new units on the Armstrong site are completed in 2018, the units will be marketed, with some Creighton Court residents to move in. That will allow demolition to begin in Creighton Court, which is also is slated for redevelopment. Former Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones pushed the redevelopment plan, which is being spearheaded for the city by the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority. The city is funding infrastructure changes, while the private partner in the project is The Community Builders, a Boston-based nonprofit.
Mohawk for the sheriff
Richmond Sheriff C.T. Woody Jr. sports a mohawk, as the haircut that leaves a strip of hair in the center of a bald head is known. He got the new look from Emmanuel Gayot of Edify Barber Academy, who also teaches the barbering trade to jail inmates. Sheriff Woody and members of his staff and former inmates took part in the national 1 Million Mohawks for Mental Health Challenge. Conceived by the You Rock Foundation, the goal is to use the attention-getting haircut to talk about mental health. “I’m glad to do what I can to bring awareness and attention to this important issue,” the sheriff said in explaining his participation. Mental health is a big issue for the Richmond Justice Center he manages. His office reports that 22 percent of inmates have been diagnosed with a mental health issue and are on medication. Nearly nine of 10 of those mentally ill individuals are repeat offenders who are arrested and returned to the city jail soon after release, officials said.