Lisa Provence



A Charlottesville police officer declares the Unite the Right rally an unlawful assembly August 12.
Staff photo

Where were the police?

A month ago during the July 8 KKK rally, police were accused of overreacting and escalating things when they deployed tear gas on protesters at an event that was already breaking up. At the August 12 Unite the Right rally, they faced the opposite complaint: That they stood and watched assaults take place. Civil rights […]

Captain Victor Mitchell is the man in charge of Saturday's events at Emancipation and McIntire parks.
Staff photo

Police expect thousands, closed streets downtown August 12

At a press conference today, Charlottesville police Captain Victor Mitchell estimated there would be between 2,000 and 6,000 people here on Saturday and said many downtown streets and sidewalks will be closed for the upcoming Unite the Right rally Mitchell is incident commander for both McIntire Park, where the city wishes Jason Kessler would take […]

Ix Art Park. Photo credit: skycladap.com

Goals collide: Fair market value threatens IX Art Park

Ludwig Kuttner, owner of the IX complex, threatened last week to stop the community events held at the Art Park because its city land assessment went up 400 percent. And on August 7, the Board of Equalization said it was affirming the city’s valuation. At an August 1 board hearing, Kuttner complained that the land […]

Then-Commonwealth’s Attorney Denise Lunsford talks with reporters outside of the Albemarle Circuit Court after Mark Weiner’s sentencing was delayed in July 2014. Mark Weiner exits the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail in July 2015 after he spent more than two years in jail for a crime he says never took place.
Staff photo

Immune system: Weiner sues Lunsford for prosecutorial misconduct

The man who was convicted of abduction with intent to defile and who spent two-and-a-half years in jail before the alleged victim’s story fell apart filed suit July 14 against the former commonwealth’s attorney who prosecuted him. Mark Weiner, now living in Maryland, filed a civil lawsuit in federal court July 14—exactly two years after […]

Rapture owner Mike Rodi says the mood among downtown businesses owners is somewhat fearful and that they anticipate the August 12 Unite the Right rally could be a “bloodbath.”
Eze Amos

Bad for business: City mobilizes for alt-right rally

As Charlottesville braces for an influx of alt-white nationalists, 43 business owners have demanded the city enforce its regulations for special events, pastors are calling for 1,000 faithful around the nation to stand with them and the Central Library has announced it will close August 12 for the Unite the Right rally in next-door Emancipation […]

Pharmacist Leah Argie opened Top Notch, an independent pharmacy on Preston Avenue, to “fill the specialty niche no one else is doing in Charlottesville.”  Photo by Eze Amos

In business: Drugs, booze and a moving van

By Lisa Provence and Samantha Baars Sure it’s blistering hot, but for three new businesses, July was the perfect time to hang a shingle. One local pharmacist fills a void, an app from a UVA alum serves an untapped market, and a moving company franchise offers help with the heavy stuff. Meadowbrook begats Top Notch […]

John Edward Hall makes an independent bid for City Council. Staff photo

Another independent runs for City Council

John Edward Hall has left a light footprint in the city where he’s lived for 17 years. But despite his lack of public visibility, he’s decided to run for City Council as an independent. Hall, 66, says he’s an inventor, a design engineer and an entrepreneur. He was inspired to run by independent candidate Paul […]

Lockn' Festival. Photo: Tom Daly

Fired up: Wintergreen chief trashes Lockn’, UVA medical

The chief of Wintergreen Fire & Rescue appears unhappy that his bid to provide emergency medical services to Lockn’ this year was not accepted, and he posted a complaint on Facebook July 18 that takes aim at Lockn’ and UVA Health System, the likely new EMS provider. “Unfortunately, the festival has never been profitable and […]

Victor Dandridge pleaded guilty July 19 in federal court in Richmond to three counts of fraud that carry up to 70 years in prison.
U.S. Eastern District Court of Virginia 

Guilty plea: Dandridge admits bilking widow, bank and fraternity

Victor Dandridge III had already admitted to swindling his dead friend’s widow. In a guilty plea entered July 19 in federal court in Richmond, Dandridge owned up to defrauding Blue Ridge Bank and the company that owns the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house as well. Dandridge pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, which […]

Virginia Democrats printed up Trump-Gillespie signs in hope of using the president's unpopularity against the GOP gubernatorial candidate.
Staff photo

Dems link Gillespie to Trump in governor’s race

Democrats in the only Southern state that voted for Hillary Clinton for president are now trying to wrap GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie around President Donald Trump in hopes Gillespie will sink like a stone in the 2017 electoral waters. State Senator Creigh Deeds, House Minority Leader David Toscano, Mayor Mike Signer and former mayor […]

Grand kludd James Moore, far left, alleges purple-robed guy is imperial wizard Chris Barker, whose bond prohibits him leaving North Carolina.
Staff photo

KKK rally peaceful, police tear gas protesters afterward

The Loyal White Knights of the KKK made their showing in Justice Park July 8 to protest the removal of the statue of General Robert E. Lee. Hundreds of protesters surrounded the park, delaying the arrival of the 50 or so Klansmen. The brief 30-minute event was loud, but uneventful. Afterward, Virginia State Police in […]

The band played on July 4, despite hackers. Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello photo by Jack Looney

Monticello still down—and still functioning, despite hack

For more than a week, Thomas Jefferson’s home has reverted back to a time when it didn’t have online ticketing and phone service. And despite the ransomware hack that hijacked its computer and phone systems, the 18th century estate has soldiered on during one of its busiest weeks of the year, when people throng to […]

The Memorial to Enslaved Laborers will be highly visible on Grounds and from the Corner, but inside, provides a contemplative public space.
Höweler + Yoon

Ring of freedom: UVA acknowledges its past with slave memorial

At the same time Charlottesville has faced controversy over its decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, the University of Virginia has approved a memorial—with nary a peep of protest—to the enslaved workers who built and maintained the school. “I don’t think it’s coincidental,” says Frank Dukes, a member of the […]

Imperial wizard Christopher Barker's bond on a North Carolina stabbing charge doesn't allow  rallies in Virginia.
Caswell County Sheriff's Department

Imperial wizard a likely no-show at Klan rally

The head of the Loyal White Knights of the KKK could decide to stay home from the rally he called in Charlottesville July 8 because his bond for a pending stabbing charge prohibits him from leaving North Carolina. Christopher Barker was arrested in December on the eve of a parade to celebrate the election of […]

City councilors Kathy Galvin, Bob Fenwick, Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy and Mayor Mike Signer are among the city officials who gathered to reassure the public safety is paramount.
Staff photo

‘Trash bin of history’: City prepares for KKK

The Loyal White Knights of the KKK is a tiny, disintegrating faction led by a felon facing a charge for abetting in attempted murder, who may not be able to legally leave North Carolina for the July 8 rally his group plans to hold in Justice Park. Yet such is the legacy of terror and […]

The Charlottesville police department has come under fire for showing up at the homes of local activists to inquire about their plans for the July 8 Ku Klux Klan rally. Chief Al Thomas has said he’s worried about local citizens making poor choices.

Staff photo

Police show up at activists’ doors

A couple of weeks ago at a community meeting, Chief Al Thomas said he wasn’t worried about handling the KKK at its July 8 rally. What concerned him more were local citizens making “poor choices.” Now some are wondering if local police made poor choices in showing up at activists’ homes and asking about their […]

Chief Al Thomas said it's not the Klan he's worried about, it's the local response.
Staff photo

Response to KKK: ‘Don’t take the bait’—Chief Thomas

  By the time around 130 people crowded into the fellowship hall at Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church June 13, organizers moved the “So Now What” community forum into the sanctuary to accommodate the mass of people coming out on a rainy evening to discuss the impending appearance of the North Carolina-based Loyal White […]

Heather Hill and Amy Laufer are the Dem nominees for City Council, and Joe Platania is most likely the new commonwealth's attorney.
Submitted photos

Progressive setback? Laufer, Hill, Platania move on; Fenwick, Fogel out

The heavily watched June 13 primary in Virginia offered several surprises, most notably record-setting Democratic turnout and Corey Stewart’s near upset of Ed Gillespie in the GOP gubernatorial race. Conversely, hometown favorite Tom Perriello’s race against Ralph Northam for governor was expected to be much closer than Northam’s 12-point win. And in city Democratic primary […]

Joe Draego chastises commonwealth's attorney candidate Jeff Fogel for not removing himself from a case because Fogel yelled at Jason Kessler, right, who filed charges against Fogel's client.
Staff photo

Draego rebukes Fogel for not recusing himself

Joe Draego was in court today for a charge that he assaulted Showing Up for Racial Justice activist Sara Tansey when he retrieved a phone she allegedly snatched from white-protest organizer Jason Kessler back in February. The hearing in court was pretty routine, but afterward, Draego accused Tansey’s lawyer—commonwealth’s attorney candidate Jeff Fogel—of not acting “in […]

Either Joe Platania or Jeff Fogel will likely be commonwealth’s attorney-elect after the June 13 primary.
Submitted photos

Style and turnout: Platania and Fogel present their cases

Come June 13, Charlottesville likely is going to have a new commonwealth’s attorney, given the unlikelihood a Republican candidate will emerge for the general election in November. That person will be either Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania, who seemingly has the backing of the city’s Democratic machine, or Jeff Fogel, who has captured the support […]