Lisa Provence

Neighbors aren't too thrilled that William Taylor Plaza will be home of a Fairfield Inn on the corner of Ridge and Cherry,
BCA Architects and Engineers

City Council approves William Taylor Plaza

The controversial development that puts a Fairfield Inn on the corner of Ridge Street and Cherry Avenue, nixed by the Planning Commission 5-0 and rejected by more than 500 petition-signing residents, got a 3-2 go-ahead from City Council July 21. The Southern Development project was in front of council a few weeks ago, and a  […]

Mugshot Albemarle Police

Middleditch charged with involuntary DUI manslaughter

Local realtor and Ivy resident Andrew Middleditch, 55, was charged with felony involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence July 13, a charge stemming from a May 25 crash in which Lonnie Wycliffe Branham, 78, was killed on Barracks Road. Middleditch previously had been charged with a DUI, his second. He was released from Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional […]

Neighbors aren't too thrilled that William Taylor Plaza will be home of a Fairfield Inn on the corner of Ridge and Cherry,
BCA Architects and Engineers

‘Switcheroo’? William Taylor Plaza developer stuns City Council

The darling of 21st-century community design is the “planned unit development,” which typically combines commercial and residential for high-density, pedestrian friendly living. So when the developer of the already controversial William Taylor Plaza PUD told City Council July 6 there was no requirement for a residential component, councilors put the brakes on a rezoning amendment […]

Native son Earl Smith is running for the Scottsville seat on the Board of Supervisors.
Staff photo

‘Squeaky wheel’: Earl Smith joins Scottsville supes’ race

Earl Smith’s best-known foray into civic engagement came in 2013 when former Scottsville supervisor Chris Dumler was convicted of misdemeanor sexual battery—and refused to resign from the Board of Supervisors while spending weekends in jail. Smith decided to do something about it. “We have so many Facebook warriors who yell and scream about it,” says […]

Gregory Briehl, 61, and Stephen Hales, 60, are charged with voter fraud by making a false statement, an unusual charge in Albemarle County.
Photos: Albemarle County Police

Voter fraud? Briehl one of two arrests made in Albemarle

For as much legislation passed that demands identification to vote, voter fraud is still a pretty rare crime. That’s why it was eyebrow-raising last month that not one, but two people were arrested in Albemarle County for election fraud for allegedly making false statements, and one of them is a former minister who made news […]

This moving van won't be moving today.
Staff photo

14th Street bridge eats another truck

A Student Services Moving and Storage truck became the latest victim of the 14th Street bridge and its unyielding 10-foot clearance. The truck heading westbound on University Avenue was jammed under the bridge around 8:45am Thursday. A woman who answered the phone at Student Services says no one was injured and it’s not the first […]

Debra Weiss rents a guest house made of refurbished materials called the Recycled House. She doesn’t buy the “bugaboo” that out-of-state moguls will buy up houses to turn them into short-term rentals and ruin neighborhoods.

Slow rules: City still trying to come up with Airbnb regs

The day before this story went to press, 444 local properties were listed on popular short-term rental site Airbnb. The amount of lodging tax collected by Charlottesville? Very little. To be fair, some of those listings are in Albemarle County, and the numbers available on the website vary from day to day. City officials estimate […]

Police say they're not targeting tubers with coolers unless they're doing something dangerous and/or disorderly. Photo: Tom Daly

Operation James River RATT: You can still have a beer while tubing

Albemarle County Police announced increased enforcement on the James River this summer, including cops in kayaks, and C-VILLE immediately asked the question on the minds of potential tubers: If I have a beer while floating down the James, am I going to be busted? “My police officers aren’t going down there to arrest you for having […]

Jesse Matthew was in Albemarle Circuit Court June 25, where he'll stand trial for capital murder next year. Staff photo/mugshot Charlottesville Police

Higgins refuses to recuse in Jesse Matthew trial

Albemarle Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Higgins rebuffed the arguments of Jesse Matthew’s attorney that she recuse herself from Matthew’s capital murder trial for the slaying of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham because she has a daughter who was a second-year student at UVA like Graham. Defense attorney Doug Ramseur also said because Higgins signed 25 out of approximately […]

Dave Chapman explains why he didn't proceed with charges against Martese Johnson or the ABC officers who arrested him. Staff photo

Prosecutorial discretion: Martese Johnson did nothing wrong—nor did ABC agents, says Chapman

Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman spent nearly three hours June 17 presenting almost every scrap of information about Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agents’ March 18 takedown of UVA student Martese Johnson that left him with 10 stitches on his forehead. The prosecutor, who dropped charges against Johnson June 12, was sympathetic toward both the student […]

Dede Smith will not be getting a second term on City Council. File photo

Big money: Dede Smith voted out in high-dollars primary

In Charlottesville, incumbency is no guarantee of retaining a seat on City Council, even if you’re vice mayor. Just ask Meredith Richards, ousted by her own party in 2004, or Julian Taliaferro, who didn’t get the Dems’ nod in 2009. It happened again June 9, when Vice Mayor Dede Smith was edged out by Wes […]

Robert Tracci is a first-generation American whose parents emigrated from Spain and Brazil.
Photo by Jen Fariello

Robert Tracci launches Albemarle prosecutor campaign

Albemarle Republicans are giddy to have a candidate for commonwealth’s attorney, and several dozen of them, including Supervisor Ken Boyd and former supe Rodney Thomas, gathered in front of the Albemarle Circuit Court June 10 for Robert Tracci’s campaign kickoff. “Have you seen his resume?” asked Clara Belle Wheeler, State Board of Elections member. The former federal prosecutor […]

An "ecstatic" Martese Johnson, with his attorney, Daniel Watkins, right, faces reporters after his three-month ordeal of looming criminal charges is over. Photo: Lisa Provence

UVA students 2, ABC agents 0 in high-profile arrests

Within two minutes, charges for public drunkenness and obstruction of justice against UVA student Martese Johnson were dropped Friday morning, and supporters in the courtroom burst into applause—followed by an order from the judge for quiet in the courtroom. Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman told Judge Robert Downer that following the Virginia State Police criminal […]

Louis Schultz says city ineptitude caused the four-foot sinkhole on property he owns.
Photo: Martyn Kyle

Charlottesville v. Schultz: City sues in latest Steephill skirmish

While Dominion is suing landowners in its pursuit of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, closer to home, Charlottesville is flexing its own eminent domain muscle and has filed a survey-seeking petition against a landowner who for years has accused the city of illegally taking his property. That would be Woolen Mills resident Louis Schultz, who’s been arrested […]

Republican Richard Lloyd is the third candidate to seek the Rivanna seat on the Albemarle Board of Supervisors. Photo courtesy Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd enters supes’ race and first controversy

Greenwood-born engineer Richard Lloyd announced his bid as the Republican candidate for the Rivanna District seat soon to be vacated by Ken Boyd on the Albemarle Board of Supervisors last week, and almost was immediately taken to task on Facebook for a statement that there are as many administrators as teachers in county schools. At […]

Anson Parker's latest adventure: running for City Council. Photo courtesy Anson Parker

Anson Parker’s Republican fun run for City Council

The announcement that Anson Parker is running as a Republican candidate for City Council is only the latest making of news for the 37-year-old programmer, who’s resided in Charlottesville the past 19 years. Back in 2004, he started Treebay to sell used items on eBay and funnel the proceeds toward alternative energy. At that time he was […]

Larry Sabato’s online course gets an Emmy nod.

Sabato, Center for Politics nominated for Emmys

UVA’s pundit emeritus and head of the Center for Politics, Larry Sabato, has been nominated for an Emmy for his massive open online course The Kennedy Half Century. And the center snagged a nomination for best historical documentary for its Bombs Away: LBJ, Goldwater and the 1964 Campaign that Changed it All, directed by Paul […]

Incumbents Kathy Galvin and Dede Smith, and challengers Wes Bellamy, Lena Seville and Mike Signer want one of three City Council seats up for grabs.

Dem primary buzz: Five candidates vie for three City Council seats

With the Democratic primary looming June 9, several former councilors offered their prognostications on who will get the nomination for three open City Council seats. And historically a primary win means the election is a done deal in November in this majority Dem town—although Republicans are offering wild-card candidate Anson Parker in hopes of changing […]

Mugshot Albemarle Police

Middleditch released on bond

Prominent local realtor Andrew Middleditch, who was charged with driving under the influence following a May 25 fatal crash on Barracks Road, was released from jail Thursday on a $15,000 bond, according to the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail. Ivy resident Middleditch, 55, was traveling east in the 2900 block of Barracks Road between Old Garth Road and […]

Martese Johnson and his attorney, Daniel Watkins, are optimistic that charges against Johnson will be dropped, even if it means another court date in June. 
Staff photo

Commonwealth needs more time in Martese Johnson case

At a scheduled May 28 court hearing, the prosecution asked for more time to review the Virginia State Police investigation into the bloody March 18 arrest by Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agents of 20-year-old UVA student Martese Johnson. Prosecutors said in a motion that a final meeting with state police is set for the first week […]