Laura Ingles

Laura Ingles
Laura Ingles grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, but came to Virginia at age 18 and never left. After graduating from Virginia Tech she dedicated a year and most of her sanity to a private wilderness boarding school for at-risk teenage girls, and Charlottesville became home in January 2012. Laura spent two years reporting the news for C-VILLE Weekly before taking on the role of Living Section Editor.

Shoppers check out at Reid Super Save Market, a Charlottesville institution for decades. Photo: Ashley Twiggs

In a crowded field of grocery options, loyalty goes a long way

From Feast! to Food Lion, Charlottesville is home to dozens of grocery stores, and recent months have brought more to the already crowded field of options for shoppers. The city is packed with small urban markets, specialty shops, and big box stores. Trendy chain Trader Joe’s arrived with great fanfare last month, and two new […]

Last Saturday a group of friends, family, and strangers walked along the railroad tracks toward Preston Avenue searching for anything that could give them a clue about Dashad "Sage" Smith's whereabouts. Photo: Laura Ingles

Search continues for missing 19-year-old Dashad “Sage” Smith

Latasha Grooms was surprisingly calm and collected last Saturday when she and at least 80 other Charlottesville residents gathered to conduct a search for her 19-year-old son, Dashad “Sage” Smith. The transgender teenager went missing the day before Thanksgiving, and was last seen near the 500 Block of West Main Street, allegedly on his way […]

Notes from the news desk. File photo.

Silverchair Learning Systems to close Charlottesville office

Silverchair Learning Systems, a local designer of online training products for the senior care industry, announced this week that its Charlottesville branch is closing. According to Mike Mutka, the company will merge with Essential Learning, LLC, and consolidate in Cary, North Carolina. Vista Equity Partners acquired both Essential Learning, LLC, and Silverchair Learning Systems earlier […]

Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. File photo.

Green happenings: Charlottesville environmental news and events

Each week, C-VILLE’s Green Scene page takes a look at local environmental news. The section’s bulletin board has information on local green events and keeps you up to date on statewide happenings. Got an event or a tip you’d like to see here and in the paper? Write us at Solo safe: Whatever the season, safety […]

Members of Charlottesville’s Outdoor Adventure Social Club trek through the snowy Blue Ridge. The temperature has been dropping, but local outdoor lovers still have plenty of options to stay active. Photo courtesy OASC.

Outdoor Adventure Social Club stays busy, even when the mercury drops

Charlottesville is crawling with outdoor and nature enthusiasts, and who wouldn’t want to be outside when it’s 75 degrees and sunny? As the days get shorter and colder, though, it’s tempting to stay indoors and save the outdoor action for springtime. One group of local adventurers sees no reason to slow down. The Outdoor Adventure […]

Last week the City Planning Commission approved a special use permit allowing the developers of the Plaza on Main Street to increase the building’s size, but residents of nearby Fifeville are not pleased. Photo: Riverbend Management

Planning Commission approves permit for an even bigger Plaza on Main Street

The Plaza on Main Street, an eight-story, 595-bedroom apartment building proposed for the property between the Hampton Inn and Amtrak station, is seen as the final piece of the West Main development puzzle. But while developers, city officials, and the media have been discussing the project’s potential transformation of the stretch between Downtown and UVA, […]

Trader Joe's, the California-based grocery chain, is coming to Charlottesville November 14. Photo: Laura Ingles

The shopping mall battle: Stonefield vs. Barracks

After a decade of planning, the largest development project in Albemarle County’s history is finally almost open for business. Last Friday Pier One Imports made its debut as the first retailer to open at The Shops at Stonefield, the new upscale shopping center on the corner of Hydraulic Road and Route 29. I was one […]

Everybody wants quality care for their kids, but low-income families who don’t qualify for federal assistance are often stuck in the middle and forced to make sacrifices. File photo.

Childcare crunch: What happens if you’re not poor enough for federal aid?

This is the third installment of a four-part series on childcare in Charlottesville. The first story looked at choices parents make in regards to their careers, with input from working parents and stay-at-home moms. Part two focused on the most expensive options in the area and families’ financial sacrifices for quality.  Parents and providers agree that every […]

File photo.

Green happenings: Charlottesville environmental news and events

Each week, C-VILLE’s Green Scene page takes a look at local environmental news. The section’s bulletin board has information on local green events and keeps you up to date on statewide happenings. Got an event or a tip you’d like to see here and in the paper? Write us at Ag school: The Local Food Hub’s […]

Children at Our Neighborhood Child Development Center spend hours outdoors each day, which owner Jennifer McDonald said is essential to their growth. Photo: Elli Williams

Top quality childcare doesn’t come cheap

Charlottesville is home to a broad spectrum of childcare providers, from nanny-shares and under-the- table babysitters to corporate-owned centers that cost as much as college tuition. Parents are faced with tough decisions before even giving birth, and families everywhere have the same question: Why is childcare so expensive? Tuition for top-notch centers in Charlottesville can […]

Chris Dumler. Photo: John Robinson

Dumler plans to fight forcible sodomy charge

A week after his arrest hit local media, Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler said he intends to plead not guilty to the forcible sodomy charge against him and remain active on the Board of Supervisors. Dumler’s press statement, released Thursday morning by Payne, Ross and Associates, said he will “offer a vigorous defense, and will […]

Farms that qualify for the Farm Service Agency's emergency loans can apply for funds to rebuild after this summer's derecho.

Green happenings: Charlottesville environmental news and events

Each week, C-VILLE’s Green Scene page takes a look at local environmental news. The section’s bulletin board has information on local green events and keeps you up to date on statewide happenings. Got an event or a tip you’d like to see here and in the paper? Write us at Funds for farms: In the wake […]

The radiating branches of a white pine in the Ivy Creek natural area offer clues to the tree’s age. Photo: Laura Ingles

Ivy Creek Foundation hosts last plant walk of the year

“Plants are a lot like people—they have their redeeming qualities even when they’re hard to tolerate,” Tony Russell said as he gestured at an invasive vine winding its way up a willow oak tree. Russell is a member of the Virginia Master Naturalists, and has been an active volunteer with the Ivy Creek Foundation and […]

A team of archaeologists spent three years digging up the mysteries of James Madison and his slaves at Montpelier. Photo: Montpelier

Archaeologists dig up James Madison’s threshing machine, find human story

Archaeologists at James Madison’s Montpelier have spent the last three years excavating bits and pieces of the president’s world, searching for clues about his life on the plantation. A team led by archaeologist Dr. Matt Reeves—working with a grant from the National Endowment for Humanities for a study of slave communities—spent years digging up layers […]

The property at the corner of West Main Street and McIntire Road has been on the market for years, and owner Bob Mooney said the current development plans are still up in the air. Photo: Eric Kelley

Marriott project delayed, Random Row tenants breathe sigh of relief

In May, business owners at the corner of McIntire Road and West Main Street thought they would have to vacate their buildings this fall to make way for a seven-story, 133-room Marriott hotel with an interior courtyard, indoor swimming pool, and underground parking garage. Five months later, owners and employees of the businesses that remain […]

Camping equipment business owner Gen Shimizu spent 88 days this summer riding his mountain unicycle—which he learned to ride in Japan at age 10—through the Rocky Mountains to raise money for charity. Photo: Elli Williams

Local outdoor enthusiast rides unicycle 2,000 miles for charity

Charlottesville resident Gen Shimizu spent three months of his life braving the elements and wildlife of the Rocky Mountains—on a unicycle. After hiking the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail on his own, he decided to tackle more than 2,000 miles this summer on one wheel. In the name of doing something unheard of for […]

Christina Feggans has two kids and two part-time jobs, and, like many other Char-
lottesville area residents, couldn’t afford quality childcare without a scholarship from United Way. Her oldest son is special needs, and she has struggled to find an affordable center qualified to work with him. “With childcare, you get what you pay for,” she said. Photo: Elli Williams

Childcare crunch: Finding the balance between kids and careers

Laketa Kelley couldn’t afford to send her daughter to the daycare center where she worked as a teacher for six years. Kelley loved her teaching job at Westminster Child Care Center, but when she found out she was pregnant in 2010, she knew her salary wouldn’t cover the center’s $800 per month infant care. She […]

File photo.

Is another fight over agricultural land use brewing in Keswick?

The Albemarle County Planning Commission voted 5-1 last night to approve an annual cider festival and new regulations at Castle Hill Cider, a 600-acre property in Keswick—a place where businesses and residents have clashed over agricultural land use in the past. Like other “farm wineries,” Castle Hill can host an unlimited number of events throughout the […]

Local middle school teacher Brandon Lee attended last week’s career conference at the John Paul Jones Arena. Photo: Elli Williams

At local career conference, job struggle still evident

“I’ve never had a hard time looking for a job,” Susan Anthony said. “At first I think I didn’t realize what was hitting me, but it’s frightening.” Anthony, who attended a recruiting event at the John Paul Jones Arena last Wednesday, lost her job more than a year ago. She worked as an administrative assistant […]

Andy Jones-Wilkins runs for hours every day to push himself physically, quiet his racing mind, and enjoy the outdoors. Photo by Ron Dressel

Break on through: Ultra runners push the limits of human endurance

“Runners to the starting line!” Excitement ripples through the Wintergreen parking lot as dozens of Spandex-clad men and women, all of them solid muscle, take final swigs of Gatorade, kiss loved ones, and make their way toward a giant inflatable archway. “On your mark; get set—” A few runners stoop as if about to sprint, […]