Lisa Provence

John Dewberry told City Council 
Charlottesville will reap benefits far exceeding the incentives from having a five-star hotel on its Downtown Mall.
Photo Eze Amos

5-star offensive: Council okays incentives for Dewberry Hotel

City Council approved 4-1 a financial assistance package estimated at $1.1 million over 10 years to assist John Dewberry in finishing the derelict hotel that’s loomed over downtown Charlottesville for the past eight years. The folksy owner of the Landmark Hotel appeared before the council dais March 6. “I’m not used to people seeing my […]

More than 2,000 turned out for Charlottesville’s rally to support the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., January 21. Photo by Ryan Jones

Unprecedented activism galvanizes Charlottesville

Charlottesville is no stranger to protests. The city’s Free Speech Wall is a testament to the First Amendment and a frequent gathering spot for citizens exercising their right to assemble. That said, we’ve never seen anything like this. Since the election of Donald Trump as president, at least seven new groups have sprung up, and […]

Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy promised to keep a smile on his face despite the attempt to oust him from office.
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Priority matter: Bellamy removal case continued

It was no secret that today’s hearing on a petition to remove Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy from office was going to be continued, but that didn’t prevent more than four dozen people from showing up in Charlottesville Circuit Court, most of them Bellamy supporters. The petition with 527 signatures gathered by right-wing activist Jason Kessler was filed […]

Jefferson School African American Heritage Center director Andrea Douglas has a board that’s determined to make the center financially sustainable.
Photo by Eze Amos

Fundraising shortfall: City grant helps keep heritage center afloat

When Charlottesville decided to keep the historic Jefferson School and its prime real estate as a community center rather than selling it for condos, a complicated financial structure was required to make the $18 million rehab of the 1926 high school possible. Four years after the renovated school reopened in 2012, fundraising that was supposed […]

Former UVA film studies professor Walter Korte was well-regarded by many film students and aficionados in town.

Albemarle County police

Invalid warrant: Judge allows evidence in Korte case anyway

Ruling that the search warrant that led to the arrest of former UVA film studies professor Walter Korte was invalid—and that the two images used as the basis for the warrant in fact weren’t child pornography—Judge Cheryl Higgins nonetheless allowed the admission of the photos, citing a “good faith” exemption for police seeking warrants. Korte, […]

Sandra Marks’ psychic reading business on Seminole Trail was raided in June 2014, and she was arrested a year later in New York.
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Psychic’s husband gets 33 months in prison

The husband of Sandra Marks, aka Psychic Catherine, was sentenced to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay $5.5 million in restitution to the clients seeking spiritual solace the couple bilked. Donnie Marks, 43, who was charged with mail fraud and money laundering, appeared in the same U.S. District Court February 10 where his […]

Legal Aid Justice Center attorney Angela Ciolfi wants a federal judge to enjoin the DMV from suspending licenses for nonpayment of fines until state law is changed. Staff photo

‘Constitutional crisis:’ Judge hears DMV’s motion to dismiss

Not in attendance at a civil case hearing February 2 in U.S. District Court were the four plaintiffs who are suing Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles. One reason for their absences, according to their attorney, is because their driver’s licenses are suspended. The case, filed by Legal Aid Justice Center against DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb, […]

Supporters on both sides of the Lee statue issue packed City Council chambers, but councilors on the remove side prevailed.
Eze Amos

Now what? City Council votes to remove Lee statue

Last month’s City Council vote on a motion to remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee deadlocked 2-2 and left the chamber in disarray for 30 minutes. The issue was back on the agenda February 6 after Councilor Bob Fenwick announced he was changing his abstention to a vote to remove the statue, and […]

So far, Delegate Steve Landes, R-Weyers Cave, has not explained his interest in voluntary settlements such as Albemarle and Charlottesville’s revenue-sharing agreement.
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Since 1982, Albemarle County has paid the city of Charlottesville $280,092,577 in revenue sharing dollars. Here’s a look at contributions for the most recent fiscal years.
Albemarle County

Landes’ surprise: Move to thwart revenue sharing catches locals unaware

Albemarle hates it and Charlottesville loves it. But neither jurisdiction saw Delegate Steve Landes’ budget amendment coming that could scrub a 1982 agreement in which Albemarle pays millions every year to Charlottesville for the privilege of not being annexed—even though the General Assembly put a moratorium on annexation in 1987. “The county was only recently […]

Khizr Khan speaks out against the "dark chapter that is being written" at Mayor Mike Signer's capital of the resistance rally.
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UPDATED: ‘Capital of the resistance’ rally draws hundreds

Mayor Mike Signer had a quorum of councilors today outside City Hall, but it wasn’t for a City Council meeting. A band played Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” as hundreds of Charlottesvillians assembled at noon below the statues of three presidents, along with a handful of vocal protesters, and Signer declared Charlottesville the “capital of […]

The Villas at Belvedere. Photo by Matteus Frankovich/SKYCLAD Aerials

Boom town: Long-dormant county developments get second wind

The Great Recession is officially over. The evidence? Building permits in 2016 were the highest since 2007 housing-bubble levels. Construction is going on all over the area, from 5th Street Station to West Main to U.S. 29 north. And a recent Weldon Cooper Center population study pegs the Charlottesville area as booming.

Councilor Bob Fenwick advises Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy that he's about announce that he'll vote to remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee.
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Fenwick says he’ll vote to remove statue

In his second press conference of the week, Councilor Bob Fenwick, who abstained during the heated City Council 2-2 vote to remove Confederate statues last week, said today he’ll vote to move the statue of General Robert E. Lee at the next meeting February 6. “Immediately upon the vote being recorded, I will make a separate motion […]

City Councilor Bob Fenwick’s abstention during the 2-2 vote on removing Confederate statues deadlocked council and resulted in the statues remaining. At a press conference January 23, Fenwick pressed some criticisms he made of city spending during the statue debate.

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Council chaos: Audience erupts over Confederate statue vote

Charlottesville’s confrontation with its slave-owning past has resulted in difficult discussions since Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy and Councilor Kristin Szakos called for the removal last March of statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and the renaming of the parks where they reside. At City Council’s January 17 meeting, the debate spiraled out […]

About 2,000 people were estimated to have attended the Charlottesville Gathers rally Saturday at IX Art Park.
Photo Ryan Jones

Charlottesville marches: Thousands take part in global demonstrations

More than a million people showed up at Women’s March demonstrations Saturday in all 50 states, according to the New York Times, and that’s not counting the rallies in London, Paris, Berlin—and even Antarctica—in what was the largest public rebuff of a newly elected president ever. More than 500,000 flooded into Washington, the AP reports, […]

Women's March on Washington events kick off near the U.S. Capitol on Saturday.
Photo Martin Falbisoner

Hundreds headed to Washington to protest

Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the United States’ 45th president today, and hundreds of Charlottesvillians are heading to D.C., not to celebrate his inauguration but to protest it on Saturday at the Women’s March on Washington. Cynthia Neff is organizing eight buses, and she estimates there are at least 25 buses leaving Charlottesville […]

Timberlake Lighting, which is owned by Victor and Ann Dandridge, is named in Lynne Kinder’s $9 million suit against the couple and their business.
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Former Farmington president admits to stealing from widow

The former president of Farmington Country Club, Victor Dandridge III, admits he stole money from his friend’s widow, but quibbles about the amount in a January 6 response to her lawsuit. Dandridge, who also served as president of the Farmington Property Owners Association and the Virginia Athletics Foundation, which raises money for UVA’s athletic scholarships, […]

Councilor Kristin Szakos is out after her term ends at the end of this year, while Bob Fenwick isn’t ready to say whether he’ll seek re-election. Elli Williams/Rammelkamp Foto

Szakos won’t seek third term on City Council

If it seems like we just finished an election, well, we did, but in Virginia, it’s never not an election year. In Charlottesville, the two seats on City Council currently held by Kristin Szakos and Bob Fenwick are up for grabs, and Szakos says she won’t be seeking another term. “Eight years is a long […]

Sandy Seal with Robert Davis after his December 2015 release from prison. Photo Ryan Jones

Robert Davis’ mother killed in head-on collision

The mother of Robert Davis, who spent 13 years in prison for crimes he didn’t commit and who got an absolute pardon from the governor before Christmas, died in a collision with a tanker truck Thursday morning in Augusta County. Sandra M. Seal, 57, of Crimora, was traveling on U.S. 340 just before 11am when […]

Legal Aid Justice Center attorney Mario Salas says a busted taillight is a situation that can spiral out of control and result in a suspended license—and even jail time—for an indigent driver.
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Governor joins call for driver’s license suspension reform

Charlottesville resident Damian Stinnie, 24, grew up in foster care, and in 2013 was diagnosed with lymphoma. That same year, he was convicted of three traffic citations in Henrico and Goochland counties. Unable to pay the resulting $1,002 in court costs and fines with his minimum wage paychecks, Stinnie’s driver’s license was suspended. Although he […]

Holly Edwards was known for bringing different voices in the community together.
Photo Kelly Kollar

Former vice mayor, activist Holly Edwards dies

Even before she received a Drewary Brown Memorial Community Bridge Builders award in October, Holly Edwards was known for her care and compassion, and for bringing people who normally didn’t have voices to the table. The former vice mayor and parish nurse for Jefferson Area Board for Aging died January 7 at age 56. Edwards […]

Joe Platania, left, gets Dave Chapman's endorsement for city commonwealth's attorney.
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Chapman passes prosecutorial torch to Platania

Charlottesville’s legal community turned out today for Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania’s official announcement that he wants the job of his boss, Dave Chapman, who will not be seeking a seventh term. Chapman introduced and endorsed Platania, whom he hired in the city prosecutor’s office in 2003. “It’s important to me who’s the next commonwealth’s attorney,” […]

Jimmy Dettor stands beside police case files from his friend's unsolved 1963 death. Staff photo

UPDATED Akins revisited: New reward in county’s coldest case

  Nearly 54 years ago, Charlottesville was rocked with the bizarre death of high school football star Pat Akins, 19, whose body was found under a red Triumph TR3 after purportedly having been dragged 12 miles from Crozet. Today his Rock Hill Academy classmate Jimmy Dettor is offering $20,000 for information leading to resolution of […]

Eric Trump's Albemarle vineyard uses foreign workers to prune the vines. 
Photo Amanda Maglione

Foreign laborers: Trump not the only vineyard hiring

President-elect Donald Trump made stopping illegal immigration a cornerstone of his campaign. Legal immigration, however, is another matter, and son Eric Trump’s winery has filed a request with the U.S. Department of Labor to hire six foreign workers to prune grapevines. Trump Vineyard Estates isn’t the only local winery importing laborers on an H-2A visa. […]

Writer/musician Lynn Pribus says she’s annoyed by the county’s recent requirement that freelancers pay for a business license. Courtesy photo

Freelance tax: County expects to rake in $11 million

Since C-VILLE wrote about Albemarle County now retroactively demanding $50 business licenses—for the past five years—from freelancers who didn’t know they were businesses, surprised writers chief among them, we’ve learned that the county expects to bring in over $11.3 million in revenue, which will more than cover the $123,000 cost to hire two auditors. However, […]

Since the initial City Council meeting in which blogger Jason Kessler called for Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy’s resignation, he has spent time making YouTube videos explaining white identity politics and collecting signatures for his petition. Photo by Eze Amos

Kessler petitions to remove Bellamy from City Council

Jason Kessler, the previously unknown writer who last month exposed Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy’s racist and vulgar tweets from before he was elected, is now collecting signatures to remove him from office. He’s also made a video that elucidates some of his concerns about issues affecting white Americans. “I’m closing in on a hundred,” says Kessler […]