Jayson Whitehead



Two Exxons robbed with stun gun

Two Exxons robbed with stun gun

Late in the evening of October 11, 2007, 18-year-old Taquan Lovelle Anderson—police authorities allege—walked into the Exxon on Cherry Avenue where he encountered the store’s owner, Suresh Parekh. Demanding the night’s deposit (reportedly, around $1,900), Anderson then shot the owner with a stun gun, first in the front shoulder and then in his back. This […]

Terrace Theater: Losing a rathole

Terrace Theater: Losing a rathole

Recently, Whole Foods announced that they have ditched its option at the still-unbuilt Albemarle Place and will instead move into a new 50,000-square-foot store on the site of the old Terrace Theater. Dormant since the late ’90s, the theater and its brown façade had remained as it always had since it first opened. Unappealing and […]

House passes Hallowed Ground

On October 24, the House of Representatives passed the "Celebrating America’s Heritage Act," creating six new national heritage areas, one of which would be the Journey Through Hallowed Ground (JTHG), a 175-mile stretch that connects Monticello in Charlottesville to Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, and travels mostly along Route 15. Under the legislation, the JTHG partnership, a […]

Locust residents favor historic label

Locust residents favor historic label

As Ann Andrus of the Department of Historical Resources began a public information meeting on the Martha Jefferson neighborhood, a raucous yell came from a child in the back of the Burnley-Moran Elementary auditorium. Andrus didn’t flinch, but mothers—there were many there—turned to look and smile. It was all part of the informality of the […]

Freud, Hitler, Moses & America

Freud, Hitler, Moses & America

University of Virginia English professor Mark Edmundson was in his late teens when he stumbled across a copy of The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud while at a friend's house, and began to read an excerpt from The Interpretation of Dreams.

Who's to blame for Lake Hollymead?

Who's to blame for Lake Hollymead?

One morning almost three years ago, Forest Lakes resident Jim Grace woke up and walked out to look at his stunning view of Hollymead Lake. Stunned he was. "It was suddenly the view of a 20-acre mud puddle," he says. "It just kind of went from there." The "moonscape" land clearing at Hollymead Town Center […]

School, church partner on $200K award

School, church partner on $200K award

This summer, Rydell Payne—executive director of Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries—approached Johnson Elementary Principal Vernon Bock with a proposal. For almost three years, Abundant Life had been working out of their office on Grove Street and in the Blue Ridge Commons area with Johnson’s most needy students as part of an after school program. Twice a […]

Adding value to Crozet strip mall

Adding value to Crozet strip mall

Built in 1967, the Crozet Shopping Center is now the drab home of a less than pristine Great Valu grocery store. Located in the heart of downtown, it is also an ideal candidate for redevelopment. On October 16, architect Bill Atwood appeared before the Albemarle Planning Commission with just such a request, asking for a […]

County cops: 70 percent live outside county

County cops: 70 percent live outside county

Two weeks ago, I spent an hour riding around with Albemarle County Police Sergeant Jim Larkin and Denny King, a Scottsville candidate for the Board of Supervisors. As part of their discourse, King asked the sergeant about the housing issues his officers face. For the next few minutes, Larkin relayed the travails incoming police encounter […]

Ex-NGIC employee pleads guilty

Ex-NGIC employee pleads guilty

In February 2006, Mitchell J. Wade pleaded guilty to influencing congressmen—most famously Randy "Duke" Cunningham—in order to procure contracts for his defense contracting firm MZM, Inc. As part of the plea, Wade also admitted to bribing Department of Defense (DoD) officials, including an employee of the local National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC). On October 9 […]

Some charges against Strom dropped

Some charges against Strom dropped

Ever since Kevin Strom was arrested at the beginning of this year on charges of possessing child pornography on his computer, as well as for witness tampering, his troubles have only gotten worse. Not only was he imprisoned, but he was barred from contact with his own children. Four months later, he had more charges […]

90,000 kids uninsured in Virginia

90,000 kids uninsured in Virginia

In 1997, Congress passed the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to provide health insurance for children from families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but are still too poor to pay for private insurance. Ten years later, the bill covers more than 6 million children, with another 9 million still uninsured. To […]

Lessons on county housing policy

Lessons on county housing policy

In 2004, Albemarle County adopted an affordable housing policy requiring that any future development make 15 percent of its units available to those with household incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income. This year, that policy was finally put to the test with the completion of the Avon Park development. Located […]

Pantops landowners ask for move

Pantops landowners ask for move

When the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors took up Clara Belle Wheeler’s land a few weeks ago to consider moving it out of the development area, they also discussed another parcel in the Pantops area—one whose owner wants in to the development area. It was brought to their attention in late August when John C. […]

Neighbors look to protect hospital houses

Neighbors look to protect hospital houses

This August, the Martha Jefferson Neighborhood Association (MJNA) sent Martha Jefferson Hospital and the City Council a letter requesting that a series of houses the hospital has owned for decades and currently uses as office space be rezoned to residential from commercial.

Pen Park still possibility for new road

Pen Park still possibility for new road

Of the many developments resulting from the October 5 Steering Committee Meeting on the Eastern Connector (which would connect the Pantops area to 29N), the most surprising will surely be the decision to reconsider an option that would connect Route 20 to Rio Road, passing right through the heart of Pen Park.

County considers overruling landowner

County considers overruling landowner

Bordered by Route 20 to its east and Darden Towe Park to its south, a 77-acre parcel owned by Clara Belle Wheeler is largely wooded except for the grandiose 1862 house she lives in and a few adjoining buildings. Down a rise and located in a small cow pasture is a log house—the reconstructed site […]

Former teacher pleads guilty to sex offences

Former teacher pleads guilty to sex offences

A former social studies teacher at Western Albemarle High School has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of coercion and enticement of a minor. The teacher, Richard Neal Willetts, was arrested in March for charges stemming from a series of graphic sexual e-mails written to a male student who was only 15 at the time. […]

Without facility, local YMCA cramped

Without facility, local YMCA cramped

In recent months, the Charlottesville City Council has vigorously debated whether to spend the money it would take to renovate two area swimming pools, one of which the Piedmont Area YMCA uses, or contribute resources to build a new YMCA within the city. The Council eventually agreed to explore the latter course. With no existing […]

Anger management

Anger management

In the fall of 1980, Elvis Costello released a collection of 20 stellar songs called Get Happy!!, and although it was his fourth near-perfect record in as many years, the performer was anything but elated. In fact, he was secretly contemplating retirement. “I didn’t want to do it anymore,” Costello admitted to writer Greil Marcus […]