Lisa Provence



The Marriott Residence Inn looming on the corner of West Main and Ridge-McIntire will have 124 rooms and boasts great views.
Image: Design-Develop LLC

Deluxe lodgings: Two West Main hotels set to open this year

Two upscale hotels are under construction on West Main Street, and rather than creating an oversupply of hotel rooms, tourism officials say they will hardly make a dent in prime season demand. This summer, the former Red Roof Inn on the Corner will unveil itself as Graduate Charlottesville, part of a new chain hitting college-town […]

Sex for sale:  Or, how to become a confidential informant

Sex for sale: Or, how to become a confidential informant

For a good time, call “HoTT & spicy,” “IHOP—International House of Pleasure,” or “SeXy HoT” under the escort section of Backpage.com, where dates can run $200 an hour—or $70 for 15 minutes. Back in February, Albemarle County Police arrested six people at the Courtyard Marriott on Hillsdale Drive who posted or were lured by ads […]

Ann Mallek and Lawrence Gaughan were the first contenders in the Board of Supervisors race. Photos: John Robinson, Jackson Smith

No rush to the races: A look at this year’s county contests

In Charlottesville, five candidates had tossed their hats into the ring by February for three open City Council seats. In Albemarle, which has open seats for constitutional offices as well as the Board of Supervisors, it’s April, and candidates don’t seem to be in much of a hurry to declare they’re running. Only two races […]

Ed Miller takes issue with the Board of Visitors leadership. Photo: UVA University Communications

Miller cuts UVA Board term short, blasts leadership

Dr. Edward D. Miller, former Johns Hopkins medical school dean and health system CEO, resigned from UVA’s Board of Visitors March 15, and said in a statement he could “no longer support the direction the University of Virginia’s leadership continues to pursue.” His resignation is effective June 30. Miller, who was also on the UVA […]

Sidney Stinnie (left) said it was devastating to be accused of forcible sodomy by James Halfaday while in jail. Photo Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

Another Halfaday accusation: Forcible sodomy case dismissed

Sidney Stinnie admits he shot a man. He admits he sold drugs. But he emphatically denies that he sexually assaulted former City Council candidate James Halfaday in the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail in 2013. The prosecution appears to agree and dropped a forcible sodomy charge against him in February. “I lost family members,” said Stinnie, […]

Charlottesville Fire Chief. Photo: Kelly Kollar

City fire chief announces retirement

Chief Charles Werner said he’s calling it quits this summer after a 37-year career at the Charlottesville Fire Department. Werner started at the department at 18 years old, became chief in 2005, and in January, his department received the insurance industry’s top Class 1 rating, which translates into lower premiums for residents. Werner started a […]

Virginia Flaggers Susan Hathaway and Patrick Anderson were in town March 2 to object to City Council ditching Lee-Jackson Day. Their organization has a Sandston address.
Submitted photo

Red flag? Group plans to hoist Confederate flag

The same people who came to Charlottesville earlier this year to defend the city holiday honoring Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, which City Council axed March 2, now plan to raise a Confederate flag on private property here. “Any time people try to take something away from our heritage, we try […]

Photo: Martyn Kyle

Illegal norms: Is the 21 drinking age working?

Americans have an uneasy and contradictory relationship with alcohol—and with how underage drinking laws are enforced. Last week, while Virginia was reeling from another high-profile arrest of a 20-year-old, the Richmond Times-Dispatch published an editorial that urged rethinking the nation’s minimum drinking age of 21. The same day, Mothers Against Drunk Driving sent out a […]

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: […]