Stories on the national radar

Stories on the national radar

Harrington disappearance remains a mystery

Morgan Harrington has been missing since October 17 when she left the Metallica concert at John Paul Jones Arena. Virginia State Police say the 20-year-old Roanoke native found herself outside the arena, and, due to its no re-entry policy, was denied admission. Though Harrington’s purse and cell phone were recovered by a passerby in Lannigan Field, a small parking lot close to JPJ, her whereabouts for that night place her, or somebody matching her appearance, at the intersection of Ivy and Copeley roads. State police also say Harrington was last seen hitchhiking—something her mother said she would never do—on Copeley Bridge. In the three ensuing months, a civilian search turned up no meaningful clues and despite a reward totaling $150,000 and coverage in national media from People magazine to “Nancy Grace,” few substantive leads have surfaced in the case. Leaving aside another newspaper’s recent injudicious reference to a “killer in our midst,” it remains simply unknown what happened to Morgan Harrington.

H1N1 flu scares the wits out of everyone

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 14 to 34 million cases of H1N1 hit the U.S. between April and October 17 of this year. Deaths, during the same period, are estimated from 2,500 to 6,000. The first death in Thomas Jefferson Health District related to the H1N1 virus was reported at the end of September. Meanwhile, some of the slow-to-arrive doses of the H1N1 vaccine have had to be recalled.

Patricia Kluge tries to cash out

The Wall Street Journal was first to report that the eponymous head of Kluge Estate Winery wants to unload her 23,538-square foot house for a cool hundred mil. Winery not included. Patricia Kluge’s Albemarle property includes 300 acres, a 45-room neo-Georgian main house with eight bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, a pool, a pool house, log cabin, a greenhouse, staff cottages, a theater, a library, and yes, croquet lawn. She says she’s downsizing and plans to build elsewhere on her property.

Creigh Deeds no match for Bob McDonnell

With only two gubernatorial races in 2009, all eyes were on New Jersey and Virginia, where, let’s be honest, the race was over before it even started. Republican candidate Bob McDonnell had a double-digit lead over Democratic counterpart Creigh Deeds going into Election Day and won with a shattering 59 percent of the vote, despite Deeds’ capturing 74 percent of the vote in Charlottesville. The Washington Post did all it could to help the Democratic campaign, first endorsing Deeds in the three-way primary and later uncovering McDonnell’s working-woman-bashing Christian college thesis. But Deeds wavering message did him in, despite these gifts.

Whitehead gets a major diss from Olbermann

A December 10 letter John Whitehead sent to Congressman Tom Perriello asking him to relocate his Charlottesville office for the sake of protesting constituents who were left to parade on the sidewalk instead of on private property landed Whitehead the coveted title of “worst person in the world” by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. For Whitehead, 60 steps, the distance between Perriello’s office to the sidewalk, hinder on the fundamental principle of the First Amendment right of protesting the federal government. Whitehead accepted Olbermann’s epithet graciously and, we imagine, with pride.

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