Gas prices rise as spring blossoms

Staff writer

After dipping to less than $2 a gallon during the final months of 2018, spring has brought average gas prices back up both nationally and locally, according to the latest AAA report.

The national average price was $2.61 per gallon on Friday, 22 cents more expensive than last month and a 2-cent increase from this time last year. Across the country, the yearly differences range from as much as 25 cents cheaper to 10 cents more expensive, the report states.

“Since early February, gasoline demand has been steadily increasing while stocks have been gradually decreasing, causing more expensive pump prices across the country,” AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said in the report.

In Virginia, prices have also risen.

Friday’s state average was at $2.41 per gallon, marking a 24-cent increase from Virginia’s average gas price in February. Friday’s state average was also 1 cent higher than averages from this time last year.

Locally, AAA reports Friday’s average price in James City County was slightly higher than the state average at $2.44, while York’s average was on par with the state average at $2.40 per gallon.

According to crowdsource gas pricing website GasBuddy, Williamsburg motorists can expect to pay as low as $2.35 per gallon at the Wawa on Merrimac Trail, or as high as $2.69 per gallon at the BP station on Richmond Road.

According to the AAA report, motorists across the country should expect gas prices to continue to rise this spring as the summer vacation and driving season gets underway, leading demand for gasoline to increase and supplies to tighten.

According to a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, drivers around the country bought an average of 9.4 million barrels of gasoline per day last week, which is 85,000 barrels per day more than this time last year and 200,000 barrels per day higher than in 2017.

For more information on national and state gas price averages, visit gasprices.aaa.com.

The Charlotte Russe store in the Williamsburg Premium Outlets will close this weekend, according to a running list of closings on the company’s website.

Charlotte Russe Holdings Corporation filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy last month, according to a company news release. The women’s fashion brand intends to use the bankruptcy proceedings to facilitate closing approximately 94 locations, according to the release.

Williamsburg Premium Outlets management referred all inquiries to Charlotte Russe representatives, as the decision to close was made by the retailer on a national level. Kiana Lyon, manager at the Williamsburg store, confirmed the store will close Sunday.

Most clothing items in the store are on sale at up to 60 percent off, she said, while some shoes are discounted at 70 percent off. Online sales have ceased, and as of Friday, gift cards and merchandise credits are now inactive and are no longer accepted as valid payment.

The Charlotte Russe store in Leesburg is also expected to close this weekend, according to the website. Stores in the state that have already closed include locations in Dulles, McLean and Richmond.

Earlier this month, C&F Financial Corporation announced plans to open three new C&F Bank financial centers in Williamsburg, Richmond and Charlottesville.

The Williamsburg C&F Bank branch will be at 5208 Monticello Avenue in New Town, and will join three other locations already open in Williamsburg. C&F Bank operates 26 retail bank branches and three commercial loan offices throughout the state.

Other new C&F Bank locations will include a Richmond branch at 1001 Byrd St. and another at 3920 Lenox Ave. in Charlottesville, according to a news release.

“These financial centers will provide customers with a convenient and innovative one-stop-shop experience driven by the collaboration of C&F teammates from our diversified lines of business,” Tom Cherry, president and CEO of C&F Financial Corporation, said in the release.

For more information, visit cffc.com.

Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.

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