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Richmond Flying Squirrels to become ‘Ardillas Voladoras’ for Friday home games

It’s all a part of the Flying Squirrels’ “Copa de la Diversión” initiative to build outreach into Richmond’s Hispanic & Latino communities.

RVAHub Staff

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The Richmond Flying Squirrels will become Las Ardillas Voladoras de Richmond for Friday home games during the 2019 season, part of a major initiative by the club to build outreach into the Latino and Hispanic communities of the Richmond region.  The details for the initiative, which is part of Minor League Baseball’s Copa de la Diversión, were announced during a program at Huguenot High School on Monday morning.

The fan-engagement initiative aims to educate, honor and celebrate the deeply-rooted and rich cultures of the Hispanic and Latino communities in and around Richmond.

“Through this initiative, we are aiming to make the Flying Squirrels more accessible to area’s Hispanic and Latino communities,” Flying Squirrels VP & COO Todd “Parney” Parnell said. “This announcement helps us join others in Minor League Baseball in the wonderful Copa de la Diversión endeavor, and we will take it full-speed. We look forward to making an impact through this initiative not only on Friday nights at the ballpark, but in and around the community seven days and nights a week.”

For each of the team’s 11 Friday home games in 2019, the Flying Squirrels will don the alternate identity of Ardillas Voladoras with an entirely new green and blue logo set and uniform set. The identity concept, which was designed by Flying Squirrels’ Creative Services & Production Manager Nick Elder, is built around a lucha libre wrestling and the masked luchador, tied in with the team’s original Flying Squirrels brand first introduced in 2009. The uniforms were modeled by members of the Huguenot High School baseball and softball teams during the unveiling on Monday.

During Monday morning’s unveiling presentation, the team also introduced Nutzy in his lucha libre uniform, which he will don for each Friday home game throughout the upcoming season.

The ballpark experience at The Diamond on the Copa de la Diversión nights will include Latin and Hispanic pregame entertainment, themed in-game contests, music, specialty food items and more.

The Flying Squirrels are partnering with the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for guidance in the initiative and to further build community outreach opportunities, and with the Virginia Hispanic Foundation to help develop educational programs for the Latino and Hispanic communities in the area.

Two teams from Lakeside Youth Baseball will be playing under the Ardillas Voladoras name this spring with caps and jerseys donated by the Flying Squirrels.

The Flying Squirrels also launched a full dual-language website – www.ArdillasVoladoras.com – where fans can buy tickets for the Copa de la Diversión games, view the associated promotions and more.

Adrillas Voladoras merchandise, including caps, hats, T-shirts and more, is now available at the Squirrels Nest Team Store presented by Retro Brand and online at squirrelsbaseball.com.

“This program will be a game-changer both at and away from The Diamond in many aspects,” Parney said. “It is congruent with the Squirrels’ philosophy of having FUNN, being DIFFERENT and being IMPACTFUL.”

The Ardillas Voladoras identity will debut on Friday, April 5 against the Hartford Yard Goats, who will be donning their Los Chivos de Hartford Copa de la Diversión identify for that game. The Flying Squirrels will also bring the Ardillas Voladoras identity to Hartford’s Dunkin Donuts Park on April 16 and July 15, and Hartford will return Los Chivos to The Diamond on June 28.

Each Friday home game this season will feature Copa de la Diversión and Ardillas Voladoras promotions, including:

Additionally, kids run the bases following every Friday home game presented by Richmond Family Magazine. Friday’s also feature the Friday Happy Hour with drink specials from 6-8 p.m., including $2 12-ounce domestic beers in all concession stands, Beer Express carts and The Thirsty Acorn as well as $2 fountain sodas at the Pepsi Fountain.

The identity is part of Minor League Baseball’s “Copa de la Diversión,” or “Fun Cup,” a season-long event specifically designed to embrace the culture and values that resonate most with participating teams’ local Hispanic and Latino communities. The initiative aims to increase awareness, authentic engagements and amplify MiLB’s continuous effort to diversify the game and business of baseball nationwide.

The Flying Squirrels begin the 2019 season on Thursday, April 4 at The Diamond against the Hartford Yard Goats with LIT! Dueling Fireworks and a special appearance by former MLB star Ryan Klesko. Tickets are on sale now at the Flying Squirrels ticket office, online at squirrelsbaseball.com or by phone at 804-359-FUNN (3866).

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Crime

Pedestrian struck in hit and run crash on Magnolia Street in Northside

The Richmond Police Department’s Special Operations Division-Traffic Crash Team is investigating a Hit & Run crash that occurred in the late evening yesterday in the City’s Northside.

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The Richmond Police Department’s Special Operations Division-Traffic Crash Team is investigating a Hit & Run crash that occurred in the late evening yesterday in the City’s Northside.

On Thursday evening, February 20, 2020, between 8:50 p.m. and 9:10 p.m., an unidentified vehicle traveling east in the 2200 block of Magnolia Street struck and seriously injured a male pedestrian wearing a yellow and white coat who was walking along Magnolia Street.

The driver of the striking vehicle fled the scene without stopping to render aid with the last known direction of travel as heading east on Magnolia Street towards Mechanicsville Turnpike.

The victim was transported to a local hospital where he is listed in life-threatening condition.

Anyone with information about this crash is asked to call RPD Crash Team Investigator Jarron Peterson at 804-646-1511 or contact Crime Stoppers at 780-1000 or at www.7801000.com. You may use the P3 smartphone app. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

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Community

Photos: Tire Recycling Plant Fire

The two-alarm fire started around 5:45 PM, Tuesday and was under control by around 9 PM. No injuries or fatalities were reported.

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Image Credit: Carrie Rose Pace

Richmond Fire Department responded Tuesday around 5:45 to a two-alarm fire with heavy flames and smoke coming from the rear of a a tire recycling facility located on the 1200 block of School Street.

By 9 PM the fire was under control with the assistance of 13 fire companies from Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield.  No injuries or fatalities have been reported at this time/

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PHOTOS: Bloomberg finds support, opposition at campaign stop in Richmond

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg stumped in Virginia over the weekend, which he calls a key part of his presidential election bid. Virginia’s top leadership welcomed the candidate, whose visit also brought out gun rights advocates and anti-Bloomberg protesters, including one who taped a message to the podium during his speech. 

Capital News Service

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By Conor Lobb

Roughly two weeks before Super Tuesday, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg was in Richmond looking for support from voters and from many of the lawmakers whose campaigns he helped fund.

The day after Valentine’s Day, the Democratic presidential candidate campaigned around the city, stopping first for an afternoon speech at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. The event attracted about 900 people, according to his campaign staff. In the evening, Bloomberg attended the Blue Commonwealth Gala at Main Street Station in downtown Richmond. The gala is an annual fundraiser hosted by the Democratic Party of Virginia.

“This is the event that keeps the lights on,” said Andrew Whitley, executive director of the Democratic Party of Virginia.

During the Hardywood and Blue Commonwealth Gala events, Bloomberg apologized for the controversial stop-and-frisk policy in place when he was New York’s mayor. He said the policy disproportionately affected young men of color. Stop and frisk is a procedure where a police officer stops a person on the street if they believe they’re armed and pats them down to search for weapons. In 2011, during Bloomberg’s ninth year as mayor, the New York City Police Department stopped over 685,000 people under the stop-and-frisk policy, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union. A majority of those searches were performed on Black or Latinx people (87%). The NYCLU said that 88% of people stopped were innocent.

“I defended it for too long, I think, because I didn’t understand the unintended pain it caused to young black and brown kids and to their families,” Bloomberg said. “And for that, I have apologized.”

Bloomberg pledged that if elected, he’d prioritize dismantling systems of bias and oppression. He did not elaborate on what those systems were or how he would change them.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun-rights advocacy group, protested at both of Bloomberg’s Richmond events. VCDL protesters, who are opposed to Bloomberg’s gun control policy, entered Hardywood brewery and called Bloomberg a fascist while he was speaking. They were removed from the brewery by Bloomberg supporters and staff and resumed their post outside. They did not enter Main Street Station but lined the street outside, where other anti-Bloomberg protesters were gathered.

The anti-Bloomberg sentiment was also visible inside the gala. Jasmine Leeward, a board member of Richmond For All, approached the podium while Bloomberg was speaking and attached a sign that read: “He protects racist systems, will you?” It was quickly taken down and Leeward was escorted away from the stage. Richmond For All is a coalition that fights for housing, education, environmental rights and racial justice.

Leeward explained the sign, saying that Bloomberg protects racist systems by only offering an apology and “not actually repaying for the harms that were caused by his stop-and-frisk policies.”

“I saw a lot of politicians, both at the city and state level, kind of forgiving or not being truthful and honest about how dangerous he would be as a president,” Leeward said. “And so I did what I felt like I needed to do, which was to talk to the people who have the power to get him elected and ask them if they support racist systems and protect them, as I feel Mike Bloomberg does.”

After the sign was removed, Bloomberg said, “It’s always nice to be welcomed.”

At the gala, six Democratic candidates for president were represented by surrogates, influential people who campaign for candidates at events, but Bloomberg was the only candidate who appeared. Virginia’s key leaders were in attendance, including Gov. Ralph Northam, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, Attorney General Mark Herring, and Virginia Congresswomen Elaine Luria, Abigail Spanberger and Jennifer Wexton.

Bloomberg received support from Filler-Corn during her speech at the gala.

“I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for helping to turn Virginia blue,” Filler-Corn said.

Bloomberg said winning in Virginia is a key part of his electoral strategy.

Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun-control advocacy group largely funded by Bloomberg, has spent $3.8 million since 2017 to help usher in Democratic legislators. After the 2019 elections, the Democrats gained a majority in Virginia’s executive and legislative branches for the first time since the early ’90s.

Bloomberg said that defeating President Donald Trump is one of the main reasons he entered the race.

Charles Bissett, an Army veteran who is leaning toward voting for Bloomberg, said that he thinks that Bloomberg will have the best chance of implementing Democratic policy. In particular, Bissett supports how Bloomberg handled education reform as mayor of New York.

Under Bloomberg’s administration, the graduation rate for high school students went from less than half to nearly two-thirds, according to a 2013 article by The Atlantic. Bloomberg also said he raised teacher salaries in New York by 43%.

Bloomberg ranks third in an average of national polls for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to polling data from RealClearPolitics that also has Sen. Elizabeth Warren closely trailing him.

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