Lisa Provence



As a surviving hashtag, Martese Johnson has been in demand to give speeches all over the country. Photo: Jackson Smith

#MarteseJohnson: Scarred, still alive and seizing the moment

March 17—St. Patrick’s Day—was a pretty typical day for third-year Martese Johnson at the University of Virginia. A Tuesday, it was one of the heaviest academic days for the media studies and Italian major, and he was in class until mid-afternoon. That evening, “I hung out with friends on the Lawn for a time,” he […]

New Charlottesville Fire Chief Andrew Baxter is a long-time area resident who’s been commuting to Henrico for 20 years.

Courtesy charlottesville communications

Where’s the fire, chiefs?

Local fire chiefs were in the news last week. The city hired Henrico County Assistant Chief Andrew Baxter to head the Charlottesville Fire Department, succeeding Charles Werner, who retired after 37 years in the department. Although he’s worked in Henrico since 1995, Baxter has lived in the Charlottesville area for 25 years, and he has […]

Sandra Marks’ psychic reading business on Seminole Trail was quite lucrative, according an indictment that details the millions she allegedly got from defrauding the vulnerable.
Staff photo

No bond for psychic

Sandra Marks, 41, who was known locally for her Readings by Catherine business on U.S. 29 North until she disappeared following a big raid a year ago, made it back to town August 28 for a bond hearing in U.S. District Court. Marks was arrested in New York, and a 34-count indictment accuses her of […]

Attorney Jeff Fogel says city police don’t want to release narratives of stops and frisks because of “dirty linen.”
Staff photo

Exempt or not exempt? Judge considers FOIA lawsuit

The Public Housing Association of Residents and local branch of the NAACP passed the first hurdle in their lawsuit against the City of Charlottesville for police records of stops and frisks when a judge refused the city’s request to throw out the suit August 25. The case is also raising questions about how government bodies […]

File photo

Dangerous time of year on Grounds

Those heady first weeks of freedom as a college student have a name: the red zone, the time when freshman females are most at risk for sexual assault. And this year, the University of Virginia is mandating two online classes on alcohol and substance abuse, and sexual violence for both male and female students. UVA […]

Commonwealth’s Attorney Denise Lunsford explains that the judge admonished her to adhere to the rules about not making comments that would affect fairness of a jury trial.
Staff photo

Shackled, but no gag: Judge denies most Jesse Matthew motions

Jesse Matthew shuffled into Albemarle Circuit Court in a greenish-gray jail jumpsuit, leg shackles and a belly chain that attached his handcuffed wrists to the middle of his torso. That attire was the subject of one of 12 motions filed by his attorneys, who argued that his appearance in jailhouse garb was prejudicial to a […]

Civil rights legend Julian Bond was ahead of the pack in supporting gay marriage. 
Photo Jim Hall

Julian Bond: Death of a civil rights icon

President Barack Obama called Julian Bond “a hero,” and many thought the man who was the telegenic face of the civil rights movement since he co-founded Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s would be America’s first black president. Bond, who was professor emeritus at UVA, died August 15 at age 75 following a short […]

The dotted line marks the possible expansion of the growth area south of I-64 and U.S. 29 where an unnamed beverage company (let's take a wild guess: could it be a brewery?) wants to locate.
Map Albemarle County

Trust us: Albemarle jumps through hoops for mystery company

    The preservation of Albemarle County’s rural beauty can directly be attributed to its comprehensive plan, the holy grail of where development can occur and where it may not. That’s why some are surprised the Board of Supervisors is fast tracking an amendment that moves 223 acres from rural to growth area for a […]

Alexander Ikefuna is the city's new planning chief.
Submitted photo

Tolbert successor named to neighborhood development

The spot vacated by longtime director of Charlottesville neighborhood development services Jim Tolbert in February officially will be filled August 17. Alexander Ikefuna, former director of community services and planning in Mobile, Alabama, will step in to take over the position that’s been held by interim director Missy Creasy since Tolbert left. Ikefuna discovered he […]

Can you identify this man? Photo courtesy of the Charlottesville Police Departmenet

Burglar bullies Bang!

Bang! restaurant has become the go-to spot for a local burglar, who has broken into the Second Street eatery three times this year and always steals the same thing: booze, according to owner Tim Burgess. The latest hit was July 28, and unopened bottles of gin, bourbon and Absolut vodka disappeared. Each heist has cost […]

Sandra Marks’ psychic reading business on Seminole Trail was quite lucrative, according an indictment that details the millions she allegedly got from defrauding the vulnerable.
Staff photo

Psychic indicted: Found some victims at Synchronicity

The business known as Readings by Catherine on U.S. 29 north became even more intriguing when it was raided by federal officers last summer. No charges were filed, and its owner, Sandra Marks, 40, a.k.a. Catherine Marks, disappeared until she was arrested last week and appeared at a bond hearing in New York for a […]

The many mugshots of Anson Parker: drunk in public, June 25, 2006; obstruction of justice, March 23, 2007; DIP, August 18, 2012, and DIP, January 24, 2015.
Mugshots courtesy Charlottesville and University Police.

Anson’s crawl: City Council candidate details arrest record

Republican City Council candidate Anson Parker is not the first person running for office with an arrest record—Wes Bellamy had his own bout with unresolved traffic tickets two years ago. Parker has racked up three arrests for public drunkenness since 2006, with the most recent in January of this year. He also was charged with […]

A driverless car suscessfully navigated Market Street with no harm to the baby inside.
Staff photo

Baby on board in roll-away car

A 2011 Dodge Avenger left running in the parking lot at Guadalajara with a baby in the backseat July 26 rolled across Market Street and crashed into a truck in the parking lot beside the Charlottesville Recreation Center. The baby was unharmed, according to Charlottesville Police’s Steve Upman. Originally the car was believed to be […]

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 from 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.
Photo: AMANDA MAGLIONE

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 […]