Lisa Provence



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 pledges fair trials if he's elected Albemarle commonwealth's attorney. 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.
UVA UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS

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 […]

Asphalt road

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 […]

Dana Monroe said she did not disregard a stopped school bus when a child was hit in Belmont.
Photo Martyn Kyle

School bus mom: Child hit back of her car

Dana Monroe said she could see the school bus at the top of the hill at Rives and Vine streets as she turned out of Ridgecrest Drive in Belmont. And when she felt something hit her car, she pulled over. Monroe was charged May 15 for disregarding a stopped school bus in an incident in […]

Vinegar Hill could not compete against the corporate muscle of the Regal Cinemas movie theater chain in a closed market.
File photo

Light House Studio buys Vinegar Hill Theatre

Charlottesville’s iconic independent movie theater, Vinegar Hill, which has been shuttered for two years, has been sold to Light House Studio, a nonprofit that encourages young filmmakers, for $850,000. Light House initially was interested in the space as a rental. “Back in November, we realized in sort of an aha moment that we could put […]

Republican Robert Tracci announced he wants to be commonwealth's attorney. Submitted photo

Republican challenges Lunsford for Albemarle prosecutor job

A former federal prosecutor has filed to run as a Republican in the Albemarle race for commonwealth’s attorney against two-term incumbent Denise Lunsford, the Democratic nominee. Robert Tracci, 43, served as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the Department of Justice in Charlottesville. He worked as a deputy assistant attorney at the U.S. Department of […]

Attorney Jeff Fogel sues the city again over stop-and-frisk records, and Westhaven resident Rosia Parker says she's been harassed by police. Staff photo

NAACP, PHAR file FOIA suit over stop-and-frisk records

The man who successfully sued Charlottesville over a panhandling law has now filed suit on behalf of the Public Housing Association of Residents and the local branch of the NAACP. Attorney Jeff Fogel said at a May 21 press conference that Charlottesville police denied his Freedom of Information Act request to see narratives of stops and […]

A driver is supposed to stay three feet away from a bicycler, but that law is rarely prosecuted. File photo

Bike rage? Heated encounter tests 3-feet law

Liz Herlevsen and Ken Ward agree on one thing: When he passed her on her bike on Craigs Store Road, he came really close. From there, their stories diverge—and highlight the challenges for bikers and for drivers on Albemarle’s most rural roads. Herlevsen, who describes herself as an “intense” biker who goes out three to […]

Albemarle Clerk of Court Debbie Shipp is running again, this time as an independent.
Staff photo

Shipp wants to keep clerk’s job

Debbie Shipp announced May 14 she’s seeking a second term as Albemarle clerk of court, although this time as an independent. When she ran in 2007, she won the Democratic caucus and was the successor to long-time clerk Shelby Marshall. Shipp stressed her 39 years of experience in the office responsible for maintaining the county’s […]

Reviewers have consistently said Susan Jordan's firing was unfair and UVA has consistently appealed those decisions. Photo: Ron Rammelkamp

UVA appeals nurse decision for 4th time

The University of Virginia Health System remains undaunted that three reviewers of its firing of a nurse have found the termination unfair, and will appeal for a fourth time to the Virginia Court of Appeals. Susan Jordan was fired from UVA Medical Center April 23, 2014, for looking at her ill ex-husband’s medical records “without […]

Henry Martin, who rang the bell at UVA on the hour for 50 years, was born a slave in 1826 and is now honored with a plaque. Photo: UVA Special Collections

21st century lens: UVA’s troubled history of race

When she came from Rhode Island to the University of Virginia, Alice Burgess was aware there was a dark side to the school’s racial history, but figured she’d be too immersed in pre-med sciences to have to deal with what some call “the elephant in the room.” It didn’t work out that way. As a […]

City Council wants to  augment private security cameras on the Downtown Mall and West Main. Staff photo.

Council considers security cameras

Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo laid out four options for cameras on the Downtown Mall and West Main corridor May 4, and asked City Council for guidance on which way to go. Councilors favored using already installed private cameras, with the city filling in the gaps. The most expensive plan and least favored by councilors […]

Former U.S. Senator John Warner, pictured with City Councilor Kathy Galvin, gets his own sign for the eponymous parkway at a May 11 dedication.
Rammelkamp Foto

Meadow Creek officially becomes John W. Warner Parkway

The last chapter in the controversial history of the area’s oldest road project took place May 11, when the parkway formerly known as Meadow Creek was dedicated to its biggest benefactor, former U.S. Senator John W. Warner. The Albemarle Board of Supervisors first approved a 2.3-mile road that would connect East Rio to McIntire at […]