Lisa Provence



Councilor Kristin Szakos is out after her term ends at the end of this year, while Bob Fenwick isn’t ready to say whether he’ll seek re-election. Elli Williams/Rammelkamp Foto

Szakos won’t seek third term on City Council

If it seems like we just finished an election, well, we did, but in Virginia, it’s never not an election year. In Charlottesville, the two seats on City Council currently held by Kristin Szakos and Bob Fenwick are up for grabs, and Szakos says she won’t be seeking another term. “Eight years is a long […]

Sandy Seal with Robert Davis after his December 2015 release from prison. Photo Ryan Jones

Robert Davis’ mother killed in head-on collision

The mother of Robert Davis, who spent 13 years in prison for crimes he didn’t commit and who got an absolute pardon from the governor before Christmas, died in a collision with a tanker truck Thursday morning in Augusta County. Sandra M. Seal, 57, of Crimora, was traveling on U.S. 340 just before 11am when […]

Legal Aid Justice Center attorney Mario Salas says a busted taillight is a situation that can spiral out of control and result in a suspended license—and even jail time—for an indigent driver.
Staff photo

Governor joins call for driver’s license suspension reform

Charlottesville resident Damian Stinnie, 24, grew up in foster care, and in 2013 was diagnosed with lymphoma. That same year, he was convicted of three traffic citations in Henrico and Goochland counties. Unable to pay the resulting $1,002 in court costs and fines with his minimum wage paychecks, Stinnie’s driver’s license was suspended. Although he […]

Holly Edwards was known for bringing different voices in the community together.
Photo Kelly Kollar

Former vice mayor, activist Holly Edwards dies

Even before she received a Drewary Brown Memorial Community Bridge Builders award in October, Holly Edwards was known for her care and compassion, and for bringing people who normally didn’t have voices to the table. The former vice mayor and parish nurse for Jefferson Area Board for Aging died January 7 at age 56. Edwards […]

Joe Platania, left, gets Dave Chapman's endorsement for city commonwealth's attorney.
Staff photo

Chapman passes prosecutorial torch to Platania

Charlottesville’s legal community turned out today for Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania’s official announcement that he wants the job of his boss, Dave Chapman, who will not be seeking a seventh term. Chapman introduced and endorsed Platania, whom he hired in the city prosecutor’s office in 2003. “It’s important to me who’s the next commonwealth’s attorney,” […]

Jimmy Dettor stands beside police case files from his friend's unsolved 1963 death. Staff photo

UPDATED Akins revisited: New reward in county’s coldest case

  Nearly 54 years ago, Charlottesville was rocked with the bizarre death of high school football star Pat Akins, 19, whose body was found under a red Triumph TR3 after purportedly having been dragged 12 miles from Crozet. Today his Rock Hill Academy classmate Jimmy Dettor is offering $20,000 for information leading to resolution of […]

Eric Trump's Albemarle vineyard uses foreign workers to prune the vines. 
Photo Amanda Maglione

Foreign laborers: Trump not the only vineyard hiring

President-elect Donald Trump made stopping illegal immigration a cornerstone of his campaign. Legal immigration, however, is another matter, and son Eric Trump’s winery has filed a request with the U.S. Department of Labor to hire six foreign workers to prune grapevines. Trump Vineyard Estates isn’t the only local winery importing laborers on an H-2A visa. […]

Writer/musician Lynn Pribus says she’s annoyed by the county’s recent requirement that freelancers pay for a business license. Courtesy photo

Freelance tax: County expects to rake in $11 million

Since C-VILLE wrote about Albemarle County now retroactively demanding $50 business licenses—for the past five years—from freelancers who didn’t know they were businesses, surprised writers chief among them, we’ve learned that the county expects to bring in over $11.3 million in revenue, which will more than cover the $123,000 cost to hire two auditors. However, […]

Since the initial City Council meeting in which blogger Jason Kessler called for Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy’s resignation, he has spent time making YouTube videos explaining white identity politics and collecting signatures for his petition. Photo by Eze Amos

Kessler petitions to remove Bellamy from City Council

Jason Kessler, the previously unknown writer who last month exposed Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy’s racist and vulgar tweets from before he was elected, is now collecting signatures to remove him from office. He’s also made a video that elucidates some of his concerns about issues affecting white Americans. “I’m closing in on a hundred,” says Kessler […]

The idea of ACAC members carrying concealed firearms during vigorous exercise unnerved more than 300 people who signed a petition vowing to quit the club if packing heat persisted.  Staff photo

Change of heart: ACAC reverses concealed-carry policy

One day after C-VILLE Weekly’s December 14 story about ACAC’s quiet change in policy that allowed concealed-carry of guns—and social media blowing up with outraged members threatening to leave the club if guns were allowed on premises—the fitness center changed its policy again. “Our primary objective is to create a safe and welcoming environment in […]

Robert Davis is ready to "thrive and flourish" as a free man with his felony record expunged. Photo Ryan Jones

Innocent man: Governor grants full pardon for Robert Davis

  Robert Davis faced the camera on Facebook live at 7pm December 16. Two hours earlier, at 4:48pm, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an absolute pardon that proclaimed Davis’ innocence for the two murders that kept him in prison for 13 years. “I’m a free man,” said Davis on camera. “I’m trying not to cry, y’all […]

Concealed-carry of guns is now allowed at ACAC, but don’t go open-carrying there. Staff photo

Concealed-carry rattles some ACAC members

Paula Fallon was barefoot in a class at ACAC in November when she stepped on a small stone. She was taken aback when a classmate asked, “Not a bullet?” That’s how she learned that the downtown fitness facility had changed its policy from prohibiting firearms on premises to allowing concealed-carry. “It seems like a strange […]

Jim Duncan was involved in the sale of this house that made it onto the list of fake rentals on Craigslist.
Photo by Jim Duncan

Grinchy: Skimmers and scammers bilk locals

For local writer Coy Barefoot, it was having his debit card refused December 7 and going home to discover his BB&T account balance was zero. For Amy Paquette, it was a call from BB&T’s fraud department asking about an ATM withdrawal that she didn’t make while she was on a business trip in upstate New […]

The Downtown Mall will be Bank of America-less, but will have another steakhouse.  
Staff photo

Steak of America: Bank building has restaurant in its future

When Bank of America closes its branch doors downtown in February, it leaves a grand 1916 building in its wake that will house a steakhouse, according to building owner Hunter Craig. And while he declined to identify the grilled meat purveyor, he did say it would be locally owned, not a national chain. Also inhabiting […]

Richard Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute, evoked a little too much Nazi imagery  for some of his fellow Hoos at a November 19 conference.
Photo NPI website

UVA alums condemn classmate

These days, Richard Spencer, class of 2001, is being voted least popular by his former classmates at UVA and his Dallas prep school, St. Mark’s. Spencer, who says he coined the term “alt-right” and is president of the white nationalist National Policy Institute, has raised the ire of some UVA alums. A group called Hoos […]

Odds are pretty good that ice skating is not in the Main Street Arena’s future. Staff photo

Iced out

Even before Mark Brown listed the Main Street Arena for sale for $6.5 million in September, the rumor mill was working overtime about possible buyers for the prime Downtown Mall location, including speculation back in the spring that a Japanese developer wanted to turn it into a hotel. The current buzz? That Jaffray Woodriff, founder […]

Some bemoan the canyon effect The Standard will have opposite The Flats at West Main. Others believe an influx of students is just the thing to liven up the corridor.

Mitchell/Matthews

West Grounds: More student apartments in Midtown

Another unremarkably named structure will soon be joining The Flats and The Uncommon student housing on West Main: The Standard. Located across the street from The Flats on the site of the soon-to-be demolished Republic Plaza, the six-story, 70′ structure has already raised concerns about turning West Main into a canyon and about how the […]

Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy faces the public after the Thanksgiving tweetstorm caused by his offensive posts.
Photo Eze Amos

Who’s a racist? Wes Bellamy and Jason Kessler speak out at City Council

An overflow crowd packed City Council chambers December 5 for Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy’s first appearance since the racist, misogynist and homophobic tweets he made before taking office were released on Thanksgiving. And the man who created the firestorm, Jason Kessler, showed up with a petition calling for Bellamy’s ouster. The majority of attendees were Bellamy […]

Photo by Matteus Frankovich/Skyclad AP

Downtown Mall at 40: Is innovation still around?

Even in November, balmy weather and the Virginia Film Festival had throngs out on the Downtown Mall. But it wasn’t always that way. For years after Charlottesville bricked its main street in 1976, the place was a ghost town after 5pm. Landscape architect Lawrence Halprin’s early 1970s vision of a bustling public space took 15 […]

Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy says he’s being targeted because he’s causing too much trouble by trying to remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee.
Photo Ézé Amos

UPDATE: Bellamy takes leave from teaching position

Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy, a teacher at Albemarle High School, has agreed to take an administrative leave of absence while the school division investigates “vulgar” tweets he made before being elected to Charlottesville City Council, according to a statement today from the Albemarle School Board. “Many of these postings contain extremely vulgar and offensive language that […]

Master Charles Cannon, leader of Synchronicity Foundation in Nelson County, says his followers’ devotion to meditation equipped them to handle the deaths of two of its members in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. Photo courtesy of Synchronicity Foundation

Synchronicity Foundation recalls compassionate response to terrorism

A journey to India for meditation and enlightenment in late November 2008 turned into a terrorist bloodbath that left 164 people dead throughout multiple locations in Mumbai. Among them were a father and daughter from Synchronicity Foundation in Nelson County. Days later, the modern spirituality community made international news again when the mother’s response was […]

Attorney Bill Dinkin says his client, Sandra Marks, is "extemely remorseful" for bilking vulnerable victims of millions.
Staff photo

Psychic sentenced to 30 months, blames Synchronicity

Sandra Marks, aka Psychic Catherine, was sentenced to 30 months in jail November 18 in federal court for bilking victims in search of spiritual solace, and she was ordered to pay more than $5.4 million in restitution. In court and in a sentencing memo, Marks’ attorney, Bill Dinkin, said that she didn’t start bilking clients big time […]

Zenith Quest has reduced the wattage at its ammunition warehouse after residents complained it was too bright a spot in the Rockfish Valley at night. Photo by Anna Kariel/SkycladAP

Lights dimmed at Rockfish Valley ammo warehouse

When the nearly complete Zenith Quest plant in Nelson County turned on the lights in September, Afton resident Dave Connolly said it looked like a “landing strip” from his home 800′ above. He attended a Nelson supervisors meeting October 11 and says within 24 hours, the lights had been turned down. “It’s like night and […]

Albemarle County officials seek an adviser to help them move county courts out of the city. Staff photo

Legal question: Can supes order Albemarle court move?

When the Albemarle Board of Supervisors passed a 4-2 resolution on November 2 directing county staff to explore options to relocate one or both of its houses of justice from downtown’s Court Square, Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci fired back with a letter questioning whether the supes even have the authority to make such a move. […]

Nicole Eramo faces the media scrum for the last time in her 17-day trial, and attorney Libby Locke says shame on Rolling Stone.
Staff photo

Day 17: Jury awards $3 million in Rolling Stone defamation trial

As former UVA dean Nicole Eramo’s marathon $7.5 million defamation suit against Rolling Stone rolled into its fourth week, a jury awarded her $3 million in damages Monday for the magazine’s November 2014 story, “A Rape on Campus.” “This was nothing short of a complete repudiation of Rolling Stone and Sabrina Erdely’s malicious journalism,” said […]

Nicole Eramo, left, leaves the courthouse after a jury found in her favor, with her attorneys Tom Clare, Andy Phillips and LIbby Locke. Photo Eze Amos

Judgment day: Jury rules in Eramo’s favor

As soon as the clerk in federal court read the first verdict finding actual malice in Nicole Eramo’s defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone reporter Sabrina Erdely, the UVA administrator crumpled against her attorney. And as the clerk went on to read more than two dozen statements upon which the jury had to decide in the […]