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  • E-News U. Contributor 12:04 pm on September 11, 2013 Permalink |
    Tags: , dock dogs, Hampton   

    By Evan Winston

    The 31st annual Hampton Bay Days Festival was held in downtown Hampton, Va. the weekend of Sept. 7 and 8. While the crowds enjoyed the live bands and food vendors, an event the seemed to draw much attention was the “Tidewater Dock Dogs.”

    In this event, dogs and their owners stepped up on a platform that simulated a dock, and in front of the dock was a pool of water that stretched approximately 30 feet.

    The owners – with doggy toy/bone in hand – then kept his/her dog at bay, at the beginning of the runway, while walking toward the edge of it. Then the owners commanded their dogs to sprint towards the pool and fetch the object that they threw towards the pool.

    While seeing canines catch objects in mid-air may be an awesome sight, the object of the event is to see how far the dog can jump.

    According to Ashley Rogers, president of Tidewater Dock Dogs, over 220 dogs participated in the event, with 183 pre-registering. “This is an exciting event,” Rogers said. There’s nothing like good old-fashioned time with your dog.”

    Dock Dogs is an organization that has functioned on for 15 years. What once was just a leisure time hobby between man and man’s best friend has turned into a national and even world phenomenon.

    According to Tidewater Dock Dogs website, competitions such as the Hampton event are held in approximately 135 cities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

    The competition held at Bay Days was a three-year tradition, meaning the participants that compete have jumped last year, this year, and will do it next year for the ultimate prize of $1,000 and a silver championship cup.

    One of the participants vying for that prize is Megan Oberman and her dogs “Strappy” and “Dutchess.” “Strappy” did not compete this year but received honors last year as “most consistent dog.” Oberman said that the competition hasn’t just brought awards to her household. “My husband and I have friends that are doing it,” she said “and we’ve met many friends through the competition.”

    The event attracted a big crowd, with the majority of the spectators being young children such as sisters Kassidy, and Emilee. “We love it when the dogs jump in the water,” they said. “We ended up getting wet.”


    Video by Kathryn Kenny

  • E-News U. Contributor 5:54 pm on January 26, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: antebellum era, charles city county, grandchildren, Hampton, john tyler,   

    Antebellum-era president has 21st century grandkids 

    By Victoria Davis and Alexis Brown with Heather Robinson

    John Tyler, who was the 10th U.S. president in the 1840, has grandchildren alive today reported the Huffington Post Thursday. 

    A Tyler son, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, born in 1853, fathered two children of his own, reported online site Sherwood Forest .  In 1924, Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. was born; followed by Harrison Ruffin Tyler in 1928. Having fathered 15 children throughout the course of his life [1790-1862], Tyler has grandchildren living well into the 21st century.

    Put into perspective, Tyler was 63 years old when Lyon Gardiner Tyler was born in 1853. 

    The next oldest president with a living grandchild is James Garfield, and he was president 40 years after Tyler.

    Born and raised in Charles City County, Va,. Tyler graduated from the College of William and Mary, where he studied law.  After graduating, he worked for a law firm in Richmond.  

    As a 21 year-old-man, Tyler earned a seat on the Virginia House of Delegates, which led to his position in the U.S. House of Representatives. Tyler’s political platform was based on the ideals and principles of a Southern planter, and his fight for a more equal America led to his resignation when President Andrew Jackson came into office. 

    Tyler served as U.S. president from 1841 to 1845.

    He was the first chief executive to ever marry while in office.

    The writers are students at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications

  • E-News U. Contributor 7:12 am on January 24, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: ' Hampton Roads, 'Red Tails, George Lucas, Hampton, Tuskegee Airmen, World War II   

    Tuskegee Airmen heroism recognized in Hampton Roads 

    By Da’Reinn M. Stevens

    HAMPTON, Va. – More than 60 years after a group of courageous black men fought pivotal World War II battles, the story of the Tuskegee Airmen has hit the big screen, Hollywood style.

    On Jan. 20, Cinebistro at the Peninsula Town Center along with the Tidewater chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen and NASA, all partnered for the premier of “Red Tails.” Many students, senior citizens, and military personal attended the event to support the members in attendance.

    The ceremony began with the singing of the National Anthem by Retired Master Sgt. Ezra Hill, followed by brief introductions.

    Hampton Roads is home to four of the original airmen – two, including Hill, were present.

    After the opening ceremony, people filed into the theater to view the film before its official release in the afternoon. Everyone was ready to experience what those very men went through based on “Star Wars” director George Lucas’ Hollywood treatment.

    The movie began with a 1925 U.S. Army War College study concluding blacks were “mentally inferior” to other American soldiers in wars. The quote took all viewers back to a time of segregation in the United States.

    The year was 1944, the place was Italy and the enemies were the Nazis.

    Throughout the film, you could hear the Tuskegee Airmen when Col. A.J. Bullard, played by actor Terrance Howard, would stand up to the brass in support of his men.

    “The film was amazing because it displayed how hard Negro airmen had to fight through countless adversities just to be treated equally” said Sean Moore, a Hampton University aviation student.

    Following the movie, Tidewater chapter President T.J. Spann hosted a question- and answer- session with Tuskegee Airmen Grant Williams and MSG Hill. Although neither man was a pilot – they served in support units – they still played important parts in the war.

    “It was very hard for Americans to accept black pilots,” said Williams, “and that didn’t change until the war was over.” Williams also said the movie did a good job of showing the friendship and partnership among the men.

    At the end of the session, the men let the audience know that there were 18 women who served as nurses during the war and are too part of the Tuskegee Airmen.

    While the women weren’t depicted in the film, they still held a special place in the airmen’s hearts.

    The writer is a student at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications

  • E-News U. Contributor 4:02 pm on September 20, 2011 Permalink |
    Tags: , Chesapeake Bay, Hampton,   

    Hampton’s bustle at the bay 

    By Kendall Alexander

    Masses of people came out over the Sept. 9-11 weekend to enjoy the 29th annual Bay Days festival in Hampton. Just over the bridge from Hampton University, the annual celebration was going on in full swing, attracting hordes of fun-loving festival goers.

    An estimated 200,000 people came out to celebrate the Chesapeake Bay, according to baydays.com. Bay Days is a three-day free event that occurred from Friday to Sunday. There was plenty of entertainment for everyone from the first-ever mouth-watering and finger-licking BBQ Challenge, a Teen Zone section and Bay Education and Children’s area.

    And for music lovers, national recording Marshall Tucker Band and the Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards performed on the City Hall stage.

    Don Butcher of the Bay Days Inc. Entertainment Department said, “We’re very excited for [Bay Days] this year. We’re always looking to improve our program, and there’s much more for everyone who participates. I’m looking forward to the crowds coming out to see what’s new.”

    Soulful sounds from the Temptations Review featuring Edwards were crowd pleasers. Their bright multicolored suits lit up the muggy Virginia night, accompanied by funky svelte voices of the group. There wasn’t a behind in a chair during the set because everyone stood up and was singing along with the classics.

    With mastered choreography and a live band, the Temptations Review was in every way reminiscent of the original group that stayed on record players all across the country.

    Baydays.com reported that with over 30 food and 75 merchandise and craft vendors, the festival brings in $5 million to the local economy with 60 percent of the take coming from outside the region over a three-day period.

    Sandwiched into the festival was the much anticipated pyrotechnics display taking place on Saturday night.

    Preshia Washington, a Hampton University sophomore psychology major from California said, “The fireworks are always the best part. It’s the longest fireworks show I’ve ever seen; there were big, loud and my view from the bridge was perfect. They really were the best ones I’ve seen in my whole life.”

    The writer is a sophomore at Hampton University.

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