Alexandria, VA

It was a cold and snowy week in Alexandria.

Our top story this week was on plans to redevelop the GenOn power plant in Old Town North. It looks like deconstruction of the plant will start in 2023 and developers are looking at converting it into an urban, mixed-use property with housing.

The short work week started with news that Alexandria reached 10,000 cases of COVID-19. The latest figures show that there are 10,113 cases and 104 total deaths in the city, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The city’s seven-day moving average is now 35.1 cases.

A 49-year-old homeless woman was found dead in Arlandria on Tuesday morning, and the mayor told us that homelessness is on the rise in the city. ALXnow is following up with the city on the issue.

Tuesday morning also brought news that Alexandria City Councilman Mo Seifeldein abandoned his run for mayor and will not seek reelection to council. Seifeldein was hired as a trial lawyer by the U.S. Department of Labor in Jan. 2020, and while he can finish out his term on council, he can not run unless he files as an independent candidate.

In other election news, the race for city council is starting to get crowded, as Bill Rossello, a co-founder of the Bring Integrity Back to Alexandria Facebook Group, just threw his hat into the ring.

On the vaccine front, the waiting list has surpassed 45,000 and it may be until late summer that the vaccine is widely available in the city. On Thursday, Mayor Justin Wilson also asked the governor to open vaccine eligibility for restaurant, personal care and retail workers.

More than 200 people responded to this week’s poll on power outages. There have been a number of outages over tha last year, and 73% of respondents reported experiencing an outage, while 26% report that their homes haven’t been impacted.

In case you missed them, here are some other important stories this week:

Here are our top stories of the week in Alexandria:

  1. Developers Lay Out Multi-Year Timeline for GenOn Plant Redevelopment
  2. BREAKING: Homeless Woman Found Dead on Mount Vernon Avenue
  3. Alexandria Boxer Troy Isley Goes Pro With Big Fight Next Week
  4. Seifeldein Not Running for Mayor, Leaving Alexandria City Council
  5. ALXnow’s Top Stories this Week in Alexandria
  6. Director of Finance: Alexandria’s Real Estate Assessments Are a ‘Tale of Two Markets’
  7. Local Business Owner Robbed of Car While Pumping Gas at Old Town Gas Station
  8. Torpedo Factory Overhaul Heads to City Council Next Month
  9. Snow: Up to 6 Inches of Snow and Ice Expected in Alexandria
  10. BREAKING: Alexandria Police Investigate Second Car Stolen While Owner Pumps Gas
  11. Local Facebook Watchdog Group Founder Bill Rossello Announces Run for City Council

Have a safe weekend!

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Alexandria boxer Troy Isley has just gone professional and is headed into a fight next Saturday with something to prove.

“I’m feeling good,” Isley said. “I’m ready. I’m eager and getting anxious.”

Isley recently signed a multi-year contract with Top Rank, a boxing promoter, and has his first fight on Saturday, Feb. 13. For Isley, it’s part of a hopeful comeback after narrowly missing a chance to compete at the Olympics.

“I didn’t get to go to the Olympics, don’t have quite the following I would, but I still have a good following with three years on the team,” Isley said. “I’m still well known. Right now, I’m using that chip on my shoulder. I’ve got to win… I’ve been going all out, working hard, and it’s giving me that extra push. It didn’t come through on the Olympic dream, I gotta make this.”

Isley started boxing as a child with the Alexandria Boxing Club but said it wasn’t until late in high school when he started seriously considering it at a career path.

“It’s not that I didn’t believe in myself, I was confident when I got in the ring — but when I got on the team senior year was when [it sunk in],” Isley said.

While coronavirus has shut down athletic activities, Isley got relatively lucky: he needed about a year to recover from shoulder surgeries near the start of the pandemic.

“It didn’t quite impact me as bad,” Isley said. “I had to get two shoulder surgeries, so I was rehabbing and recovering. It didn’t really do anything from me, I had to recover anyway. It really came right in time.”

Isley said boxing gave him an avenue he’d never expected to success, and said he hopes others in Alexandria can come out of the pandemic with similar passions they can believe in and stick to.

Photo via Top Rank Boxing/Facebook

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Dennis Porter, the longtime head coach of the Alexandria Boxing Club, passed away on Jan. 7, 2020.

The trainer of such Alexandria champions as 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist Shakur Stevenson and former IBF World Featherweight Champion Eric Aikens was 59 years old and died of a heart attack.

“He was a demanding guy. He had that force behind him, like a drill instructor. You listened to him, because you could hear him all over the building,” said Alexandria Boxing Coach Jeffrey “Steady” Johnson. “He was one heck of a guy, to give this much of his life to a program. It doesn’t happen often when a guy can do it for 30 years.”

Porter is survived by his wife, Crystel, children Dennis, Jr. and Timothy, and a number of grandchildren. He was memorialized by his fighters in the gym the day after his passing.

“There were guys I hadn’t seen since the ’80s,” Johnson said. “It made me tear up, because around here it’s all about family. It was a beautiful thing to see.”

Iesha Kenney became a national amateur champion under Porter.

“He always pushed me further than I thought possible,” Kenney said. “He was an all-around good guy and he was always here.”

Porter’s funeral will be held on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 11 a.m. at Antioch Church of Christ (1120 Queen Street).

Photos courtesy Alexandria Boxing Club

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