There are 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, and 525,600 minutes in a year. But there was a lot more to 2013 than just the sands in the hourglass, so we’ve compiled what we think are the most noteworthy stories of the last 31,536,000 seconds. Here’s the year by the numbers—from hawks spotted to books in the new Crozet Library to the number of backstage meals demanded by fun. at the Pavilion. What will 2014 bring? Start the clock and we’ll see you there.
By Graelyn Brashear, Elizabeth Derby, James Ford, Laura Ingles, Tami Keaveny, Courteney Stuart, and Caite White
The year in news…
Dollars spent by Democrats in city and county races in 2013
Election Day in 2013 led to a blue sweep in both Albemarle and Charlottesville. Democratic candidates ousted incumbents and won a special election in the county and held on to their city seats (a left-leaning Independent candidate also won in a fourth Albemarle race). Alternatively, Republicans spent $81,092 in the same races—a number that just didn’t, ahem, pay off.
New members on UVA’s Board of Visitors
Just over a year after the board attempted to oust University President Teresa Sullivan, John A. Griffin, Frank Genovese, and Kevin J. Fay replaced Alan A. Diamonstein, Vincent J. Mastracco Jr., and A. Macdonald Caputo, who had each served his maximum term. Those looking for institutional change starting with greater diversity in the backgrounds of board members didn’t find it in the new appointments—two investment firm presidents and a head of a public affairs firm, respectively—and the Faculty Senate’s vote of no confidence in the University’s governing body still stands.
Apartments newly built, under construction, or being planned in 2013
The high-density building boom was set in motion by changes to city zoning regulations a decade ago, but the recession led developers who had long eyed residential projects in the city to put plans on hold. As the economy thaws, the proposals have come thick and fast, especially from those looking to build student housing along West Main Street near UVA.
Hawks, eagles, osprey, and other raptors spotted
The volunteers at the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch keep eyes on the skies on the top of Afton Mountain from August through November, totalling up the numbers of migrating birds as they pass through the Blue Ridge. The data helps biologists keep tabs on global populations.
Dollars seized from a Rugby Road bust
Police raided the tony headquarters of Alan Jones, Mark Bernardo, and Kelly McPhee in May, upon discovering the trio had manufactured thousands of fake IDs, which they mailed to underage customers at colleges around the country in a lucrative illegal business. The gang pled guilty and was sentenced Monday, December 16: Jones will serve five years, Bernardo will serve 40 months, and McPhee will serve 25 months. All will receive credit for the time they’ve already spent behind bars.
Civilian gun-related deaths in Charlottesville and Albemarle
The October 17 shooting murder of 22-year-old Jarvis Brown is the city’s only gun-related homicide in 2013. Twenty-one-year-old Tsaye Simpson is charged with first-degree murder in his death. On May 21, 10-year-old Crozet resident Maggie Hollifield died after the gun her 13-year-old brother was cleaning fired. No charges were filed, and county Commonwealth’s Attorney Denise Lunsford described it as a “tragic accident.
Police-involved shootings in city and county
On March 15, Charlottesville police officer Alex Bruner shot a man outside the Elks Lodge on First Street NW, just off the Downtown Mall, after an altercation involving a gun between two men. On May 26, two Albemarle County police officers went to Birdwood Court in the city to investigate a hit-and-run. Following a struggle with resident Josue Salinas Valdez, Officer William Underwood fired his weapon, injuring Valdez.
Two weeks later, on June 8, an Albemarle County police officer responded to a call in Afton, where he encountered Gregory Allen Rosson allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. Officer James Larkin shot him after, he claimed, Rosson charged him. Rosson died at the scene.
Prosecutors ruled all three shootings were justified.
Accidents on Route 29 between Route 250 Bypass and Rio Road
Proponents of the controversial Western Bypass, plans for which are awaiting approval from the Federal Highway Administration, point to the accident rate along the congested stretch of Route 29 as a reason to build the new road.
Books in the new Crozet Library
According to JMRL Collections and Technology Manager David Plunkett, November circulation at the new library, opened September 3, was up by 86 percent over November 2012.
Sexual assaults reported to UVA police through December 2
Five of the reports meet the definition of rape under the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting System.
Patents issued to UVA researchers
UVA has devoted new energy to encouraging University researchers to patent their findings—from new compounds to medical devices—since it restructured its Patent Foundation into a new department, UVA Innovation, in 2012 to steer more patent revenue toward individual inventors.
Students who dropped out of the class of 2013 in the city
The retention rate in Charlottesville city schools drew scrutiny this year, as reports showed graduation numbers in the city slid by 6.7 percent, bucking a statewide upward trend.
Median price of houses sold in the area at the end of the most recent quarter
According to the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors, that’s a 22 percent increase since January 2013 (though it’s actually a slight decrease over November 2012). Other numbers to warm the hearts of those watching the housing market: New pending sales are up 10 percent over last year, and closed sales are up 12 percent.