Axios Richmond

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Welcome to Thursday, the almost weekend.

๐ŸŒ… Today's weather: Sunny, with a high near 57.

๐ŸŽง Sounds like: "Running Up That Hill" by Kate Bush.

Today's newsletter is 899 words โ€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: ๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ City Council races take shape

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Every City Council seat is up for grabs in Richmond this year.

Why it matters: The people who fill them will help decide where your taxpayer dollars go these next four years.

The candidates for the 2nd, 5th, 8th and 9th council seats are all incumbents running unopposed as of Wednesday.

  • Here are the rest who have filed or announced a run.

1st District

Zac Walker, a VCU graduate and account manager at Dominion Energy, is going for the seat held by Andreas Addison, who is running for mayor instead of re-election.

3rd District

Council Vice President Ann-Frances Lambert grew up in Ginter Park and ran for the House of Delegates last year. She hasn't filed for candidacy yet.

Kenya Gibson, a six-year school board member, announced her candidacy in January.

Maria Carra Rose is a 20-year district resident, VCU graduate, RPS parent and owner of Augmenti Consulting.

4th District

Sarah Abubaker, a 13-year district resident and president of the Westover Hills Neighborhood Association, is the sole candidate.

6th District

Ellen Roberston has held the seat for 21 years โ€”ย the longest consecutive council run in modern Richmond history.

Willie Hilliard came in second when he ran for the 3rd District seat in 2020, and is the longtime president of the Brookland Park Area Association.

7th District

Cynthia Newbille grew up in the East End and hasn't been unseated since 2009.

Eric Sundberg is a graphic designer who was the chief of staff for Del. Joshua Cole from 2019 to 2021.

Keep reading for more on the unopposed incumbents

2. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ We're getting scammed

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Virginians lost more than $200 million to fraud in 2023, according to a new Federal Trade Commission report.

Why it matters: Americans lost a record $10 billion to fraudsters last year. No group โ€” young, old or even the computer-savvy โ€” shows immunity to increasingly sophisticated scams, the FTC and other consumer protection groups say.

Zoom in: Virginia residents filed more than 54,000 fraud reports in 2023. The median loss per victim was about $500, per the FTC.

  • 20,782 of those reports came from folks in metro Richmond.
  • Virginia ranked at No. 9 for the most fraud complaints in the nation per capita.

By the numbers: Last year, Virginians' top five categories for fraud reports were:

  • 19,211 cases of identity theft.
  • 18,613 imposter scams, like romance-related ones, per the FTC).
  • 16,015 instances of credit bureau or reporting fraud (false info on one's report).
  • 8,160 cases related to online shopping and negative review (includes costs that aren't disclosed or the inability to leave a negative review).
  • 6,294 reports for banks and lenders, which includes predatory lending and payday loans.

Worthy of your time: What the FTC says to do if you were scammed.

Tell a friend

3. ๐ŸŒŠ The Current: New VCU dorms incoming

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

๐Ÿ—๏ธ VCU is planning to build a 1,000-bed dorm at 700 W. Grace St. (BizSense)

๐Ÿ˜ฎ Low liquor sales, combined with people drinking less, are contributing to the state potentially being short of $110 million in expected revenue from the Virginia ABC in the next two years. (Times-Dispatch)

๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ Rep. Jennifer McClellan announced she's running for re-election for the 4th Congressional District, which covers Richmond and parts of Chesterfield and Henrico. (Progress-Index)

RPS is changing its process for certifying students for graduation and the eligibility for homebound services in response to the Monroe Park shooting last year. (WTVR)

4. ๐Ÿบ 1 weekend pick: Richmond's big pottery weekend

Some wares from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference in Houston in 2013. Photo: Mayra Beltran/Houston Chronicle/Getty Images

A big-deal ceramics conference is having its annual event in Richmond this year, running now through Saturday.

Why it matters: The whole town will be alight with pottery-themed events connected to the event.

Zoom in: The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference brings ceramics artists from across the globe for seminars, demonstrations and exhibitions.

The conference primarily takes place at the Richmond Convention Center, but affiliated events will be popping up all over town, including:

If you go: Times and prices vary for each event; some are free; tickets to the events in the convention center start at $55.

And don't miss Clay Windows of Richmond โ€” the most Richmond way to celebrate this pottery-themed weekend.

  • More than 35 local businesses all over town will showcase the work of more than 50 RVA ceramics artists in their store windows.
  • So wander by any of them and take a peek โ€” or, better yet, pop in and support a local business while you're there.

Share with a pottery lover

Sponsored job listings

Fresh job openings around town

๐Ÿ’ผ Take your career to the next level and see who's hiring.

  1. Senior Delivery Manager, Database Services at Solvaria.
  2. Director, Business Development at Model N.
  3. VP of Operations at Empower Brands.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Use code FIRST50 for $50 off your first job post.

5. ๐Ÿš— Road trip for family-friendly fun

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Looking for a family-friendly escape? Yelp named three destinations within an easy drive from Richmond as some of the best in the U.S. this week.

The winners: Charlottesville, Virginia Beach and OBX's Kill Devil Hills.

  • Apple picking and hiking trips to nearby Shenandoah National Park make C-ville great for families.
  • And, you guessed it, ocean play and watersports โ€” plus nearby attractions like the Virginia Aquarium and Wright Brothers Memorial โ€” landed KDH and VB on the list.

Zoom out: Other spots on the list include Fredericksburg, Texas (we know! We didn't know it existed either), Napa, Ithaca and Burlington, Vermont.

๐Ÿฆœ Karri is reading about a pay phone in Maryland that only plays birdsongs. And is furious Virginia doesn't have one yet.

๐Ÿ‘€ Sabrina wants to know what questions you would ask your City Council, school board or mayoral candidates if you could.

Thanks to Fadel Allassan for editing and Carlin Becker for copy editing today's edition.