Lisa Provence



Martese Johnson (in red tie) and his attorney, Daniel Watkins (right) approach Charlottesville General District Court for Johnson's first appearance since his arrest by ABC agents that required 10 stitches. Staff photo

SRO at Martese Johnson’s first court date

A standing room only crowd of dozens of supporters packed Charlottesville General District Court Thursday morning for Martese Johnson, the 20-year-old UVA student bloodied by Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agents early March 18. Johnson, accompanied by his attorney, UVA Law School grad Daniel Watkins, stood before Judge Robert Downer for fewer than two […]

A law enforcement officer and his wife said the inclusion of current events in a Black History Month program at Orange County High was inappropriate and that students should stick to celebrating Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. 
wikipedia/aigrette

Outrage in Orange County: Black history program upsets cop

Orange is the new Black History Month flashpoint following a March 12 high school program titled “Black Lives Matter.” An anonymous deputy called the event “anti-police” and “political” in a Facebook message that went viral, and by Monday, March 16, parents were keeping their children home because of alleged threats of violence. Students at Orange […]

Waterhouse condos' commanding views command premium prices. Staff photo

Waterhouse condos go on the market

Nearly four years after architect Bill Atwood completed a mixed-use building on Water Street to house the educational travel agency WorldStrides, the 17 deluxe condos on the top floors have finally gone on the market as some of the most expensive real estate downtown. The problem, said Atwood, was trying to add a ninth floor […]

Images of human impact on the world pack this book recently distributed to local leaders by the group Advocates for Sustainable Albemarle Population. Staff photo.

Oversized book on overpopulation

A group concerned with local growth is distributing a seven-pound, 300-page coffee table book on overpopulation. Advocates for Sustainable Albemarle Population (ASAP) presented copies of Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot to the Board of Supervisors March 11, and made a similar back-breaking delivery to City Council. (C-VILLE received its own copy—one of the 70 ASAP gave out.) […]

The arrest of Martese Johnson. Photo: Bryan Beaubrun/Cavalier Daily

ABC, UVA in national spotlight again after Martese Johnson arrest

The image of bloodied third-year University of Virginia student Martese Johnson on the ground being arrested by a uniformed ABC agent has put UVA—and the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control—in the national spotlight again, with Governor Terry McAuliffe calling for an independent investigation on the arrest and the use of force. Reaction to the early March […]

Charlottesville’s use of hidden cameras to observe employees suspected of misconduct is rare, but controversial. File photo

City police: Spycams in the workplace ‘rare’

Who is the city spying on? Charlottesville’s use of hidden cameras to monitor city employees became news in the recent case of Charlottesville Fire Department mechanic J.R. Harris, who was fired after city police put a camera in his office to find the perp who hid a bottle alleged to be alcohol in his desk. […]

The city says it won't reimburse J.R. Harris the $16K it cost him to hire a lawyer to get his job back. Photo: 
Martyn Kyle

City refuses to pay attorney fees in spycam case

A personnel appeals board gave Charlottesville Fire Department mechanic J.R. Harris the job back from which he was fired last October, along with back pay and benefits. The city declined, however, to cover the $16,000 he spent on attorney fees to get reinstated. Human Resources Director Galloway Beck said that’s because there’s no legal authority […]

Laura Rydin at the Birdwood Road entrance to her neighborhood off of  the 250 Bypass.  She and her neighbors are fed up with only having one entrance to their neighborhood, and only one exit.  The four Do Not Enter signs seem excessive to Rydin and her neighbors.
Photo by: Amanda Maglione

Trapped: Birdwood threatens lawsuit over dangerous exit

The Birdwood neighborhood off the Route 250 Bypass bore the brunt of inconvenience during McIntire interchange construction, with backed-up traffic making it difficult to exit and no easy way to head west. Now the residents say traffic engineers’ refusal to reopen Birdwood Road has had them sliding down a steep and icy Hillcrest Road into […]

A lawsuit wants to halt the grade-separated interchange at Rio Road and Route 29. Image courtesy VDOT.

Business entities sue VDOT over Rio interchange

The owners of Albemarle Square and a local Wendy’s have hired state Senator and former attorney general candidate Mark Obenshain to file a federal lawsuit against VDOT and Federal Highway Administration officials over the planned grade-separated interchange at Rio Road and Route 29. The suit, filed March 6, alleges that VDOT failed to get a […]

J.R. Harris got his job back at the Charlottesville Fire Department, but still unresolved is the matter of the big bucks he paid to attorney Janice Redinger to help him get reinstated.
Photo: Martyn Kyle

Spycam case: Fired fire department mechanic reinstated

A three-person city panel ruled that J.R. Harris, the Charlottesville Fire Department mechanic who was fired in October because his bosses said his work was a safety hazard and because a liquid alleged to be alcohol was found in his desk, should be reinstated. The one-sentence February 26 letter to Harris said, “After considering oral testimony […]

The city says it won't reimburse J.R. Harris the $16K it cost him to hire a lawyer to get his job back. Photo: 
Martyn Kyle

Fire department firing: Spycam used to justify termination

Longtime Charlottesville Fire Department mechanic J.R. Harris was well known to be a teetotaler, and even his bosses said they didn’t think the alleged bottle of booze one of them found in his desk was his. Nonetheless, when Harris got an October 7, 2014, termination letter, one of the reasons cited for his dismissal was […]

Republican Delegate Rob Bell. Photo: Ash Daniel.

Richmond rundown: Taking a tally of the legislative session that was

How did our elected officials fare in the General Assembly session that ended February 27? Here’s a snapshot of some of what local legislators got passed that’s awaiting the governor’s signature. Delegate Rob Bell (R-58th) Tebow bill: Maybe the sixth time is the charm, because Bell’s bill that allows home-schooled kids to play in public […]

Seven Oaks sans oaks has   a new owner. File photo

Seven Oaks sells—finally

After nearly seven years on the market, Seven Oaks, the Greenwood estate owned by Dave Matthews Band manager, MusicToday founder and real estate tycoon Coran Capshaw sold October 31 for $5.5 million. The 100-acre historic estate was listed for $12.5 million when it went on the market in 2008. The new owner is an entity […]

Photo: Amanda Maglione

The ruins of Afton Mountain: Eyesores along a scenic byway

Thousands of visitors come to Virginia every year to tour the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive. As they soak in the natural beauty where the two meet off Interstate 64 at Rockfish Gap, with views stretching out across the Shenandoah Valley, they soak in something else less appealing, although breathtaking in its own way: […]

File photo.

Richmond rundown Legislators find common ground as session winds down

The 2015 General Assembly session is in its final sprint, with talk of both houses agreeing to a budget and voting on it one day before the session ends February 27—a nearly unprecedented rapprochement. Contributing to the speedy resolution was taking Medicaid expansion off the table, despite Governor Terry McAuliffe setting that as a priority […]

Virginia's House districts. Image via Virginia Division of Legislative Services

Redistricting reform bills die in House subcommittee

A handful of bills to reform gerrymandering died February 12 in a seven-person House of Delegates subcommittee by voice vote. Delegate Steve Landes (R-25th) was one of those voting to kill the bills. “Our districts are not gerrymandered,” he said. “They’re approved by the Department of Justice.” The state constitution makes legislators responsible for drawing […]

The view from Devils Knob at Wintergreen. File photo

Midwestern investment firm buys Wintergreen

A Missouri real estate investment trust, EPR Properties, has picked up Wintergreen Resort for an undisclosed price, it announced last week. Coal and resort baron Jim Justice, who bought Wintergreen for $16.5 million in June 2012, poured millions into infrastructure before putting the Nelson ski resort on the market a year ago. “Wintergreen is an […]

Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding. Photo: Sarah Jane Winter

Watered-down DNA bills pass in VA House and Senate

Accused Hannah Graham-murderer Jesse Matthew, who was convicted of trespassing in 2010, inspired three bills in the General Assembly to add misdemeanors to the crimes for which DNA samples are collected. However, the versions that passed would not have prevented Matthew from crossing paths with Graham last September. Had Matthew been buccal swabbed for DNA […]

The U.S. Attorney's Office offers no predictions on whether charges will be filed. Staff photo

Dark cloud: No charges filed in Psychic Catherine raid

Last summer a phalanx of cop cars lined up at Psychic Readings by Catherine on U.S. 29 and closed one lane of traffic. The Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement led the June 14 search warrant execution, removed four cars, and left a lot of locals wondering what was up. No charges have […]

David Toscano stands with Eugene and Lorraine Williams after the Charlottesville couple was honored by the House of Delegates for their leadership during the desegregation of city schools.
Contributed photo

Richmond roundup: Civil rights legends honored in Richmond

When the Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, Charlottesville residents Eugene and Lorraine Williams could not have imagined the General Assembly that supported segregation would one day give them a standing ovation. Yet that’s what happened February 6, when the highly partisan House of Delegates rose in unison to applaud […]

Justin Anderson defends in the Louisville game before the pinkie fracture. Photo Dillon Harding/Virginia Media Relations.

Wrapped around Justin Anderson’s finger?

Star guard Justin Anderson’s fractured finger did not stop Virginia from topping ninth-ranked Louisville 52-47 February 7, nor did it prevent Virginia from being ranked No. 2 in the country again this week. But what does it mean for the Cavaliers for the rest of the regular season, with Anderson out of commission for the […]

Albemarle prosecutor Denise Lunsford announces Jesse Matthew was indicted February 2 on first-degree murder, abduction and reckless driving charges in the Hannah Graham case. Staff photo

Jesse Matthew indicted on murder charge in Hannah Graham case

Jesse Matthew, the man charged in the abduction last fall of UVA student Hannah Graham, has been indicted for Graham’s murder, Albemarle Commonwealth’s Attorney Denise Lunsford announced at a press conference February 10. Matthew was indicted February 2 on first-degree murder, abduction and reckless driving charges in connection with Graham’s death, Lunsford said. He has […]

Angela Lynn. Contributed photo

Landes challenger Angela Lynn announces run

White Hall resident Angela Lynn knows she’s got an uphill battle challenging Republican Delegate Steve Landes for the 25th District seat, which he’s held since 1996. Most of the district is in more conservative Augusta and Rockingham counties, with a chunk of western Albemarle thrown in. It was the gerrymandering of the district that played […]

Harper Lee told Charles Shields when he requested an interview for his biography of her, "Not just no, but hell no." Photo: Michael Bailey

Anticipation: Local author predicted another Harper Lee book

Charlottesville writer Charles Shields was not surprised to learn that more than 50 years after the publication of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, To Kill a Mockingbird, a second novel has been discovered and will be published this summer. “I knew of its existence,” said Shields, who wrote Mockingbird, an unauthorized biography of Lee, in 2006. […]