Samantha Baars

Samantha Baars


Hogwaller Farm will include two multi-story residential buildings, with 12 one-bedroom and 18 two-bedroom apartments on Nassau Street, and several acres of farmland and a farm stand. Courtesy of Justin Shimp

Development discontent: A Hogwaller by any other name

A new development proposed in Hogwaller—that fabled southeast corner of the Belmont-Carlton neighborhood—would give residents the opportunity to live and grow their own food on a small urban pasture called Hogwaller Farm. However, some people have objected to its location. And its name. Developer Justin Shimp, an engineer, says his idea for the new community […]

Kristen Martin, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, says securing all firearms, unloaded and away from ammunition, is the most important safety tip. Photo by Eze Amos

Guns & PE: Firearm safety comes to high school health class

Charlottesville’s physical education teachers are already tasked with teaching a range of heavy topics in health class, from the dangers of opioid addiction to how to avoid unhealthy relationships. Now, gun safety will be added to the list. Fifteen of the city school division’s PE teachers traded a day in the gym last week for […]

A judge found the arrest of local mom Lara Harrison at an August school board meeting unconstitutional. Others arrested that day weren’t as lucky. Photo by Eze Amos

County warning: School board activists go to trial

Five anti-racist activists were in court October 30, following their arrests at an August 30 special meeting of the Albemarle County School Board. But many community members feel like only one was handed down the verdict she deserved. While Lara Harrison’s trespassing charge was dropped, four others were convicted of trespassing or obstruction of justice. […]

Donna Gasapo called John Miska a Nazi as he left the courthouse in September. Staff photo

Gasapo not guilty, veteran gets protective order

Veteran and activist John Miska, who was followed by a group of protesters and called a “Nazi” after a recent court hearing, filed a criminal charge for abusive language against a member of what he called a “mob.” On November 5, a judge found her not guilty. Anti-racist activist Donna Gasapo is known for hurling […]

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is only one approval away from reality. Construction has already started on its tail ends in West Virginia and North Carolina, and Dominion has applied for permission to start building in Virginia.

Edging closer: Atlantic Coast Pipeline gets state go-ahead

Earlier this month, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality issued the final state approval needed to begin construction on the $6 billion, 600-mile, 42-inch diameter Atlantic Coast Pipeline planned to slice through Nelson County on its way from West Virginia to North Carolina, leaving only one more federal hurdle. Massive opposition to Dominion Energy’s pipeline […]

Before potentially renaming Cale Elementary School, Albemarle County School Board Chair Kate Acuff wants the superintendent to review the current policy on naming schools, and to examine the names of all schools in the division. Photo by Eze Amos

Another name change? Albemarle school board confronts racist past

“White parents would not permit their children to receive instruction from inferior Negro teachers—and they were inferior.” These recently resurfaced words, which originally appeared in a July 1, 1956, article titled “Virginia’s Creeping Desegregation: Force of the Inevitable” in Commentary Magazine, were said by Dr. Paul Cale, the longest-serving Albemarle County schools superintendent, and the […]

New data concludes that children growing up in Westhaven have the least chance of escaping poverty when they become adults, while equally poor children who grow up in northern communities such as Locust Grove, Wildwood, Willow Heights, and Village Square have the most. Courtesy the New York Times

Opportunity gap: How your city neighborhood defines your life

The neighborhoods where poor children grow up can have a huge impact on their future earnings, a new analysis of census data shows. Here in Charlottesville, children growing up in Westhaven, the public housing complex in the 10th and Page neighborhood, have the least chance of escaping poverty, while equally poor children who grow up […]

Anti-racist activist Eric Martin was found guilty of trespassing in UVA’s law library, where he entered and refused to leave a private room where Jason Kessler was studying. He’s appealing the conviction. Contributed photo

Found guilty: Theologian banned from UVA for life appeals decision

When about 40 protesters gathered at the University of Virginia School of Law library April 25 to chase off Jason Kessler, one man was arrested—and it wasn’t the one who brought hundreds of torch-wielding white supremacists to Grounds. Eric Martin, a local activist and theologian, entered the private room where Kessler was studying, sat down, […]

Maria Chavalan Sut, a Guatemalan refugee, has been given sanctuary in the Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church while she fights to stay in the United States. Photo by Eze Amos

Local church offers sanctuary to refugee

A Guatemalan woman who fled to America seeking asylum in 2015 has been ordered by federal immigration agents to leave the country. But instead, a local church has given her sanctuary while she fights to stay in the United States through the legal system. “I have lived all of my life with violence,” said 44-year-old […]

Former Police Chief Al Thomas is still collecting a paycheck. Photo by Eze Amos

Former police chief still on city payroll

Former Charlottesville police chief Al Thomas may have left last year, but it hasn’t stopped him from collecting a paycheck. Although the city said in December that Thomas’ retirement would be “effective immediately,” it turns out, as first reported by WINA’s Rob Schilling, that Thomas has continued to receive his $134,513 annual salary, and will […]

Michael Del Rosso, chairman of the Charlottesville Republican Committee, was the first person to speak to the jail board during the public comment session. He said, "illegal aliens...have no reason to be here, anyway." Photo by Eze Amos

Overflow meeting: ICE calls continue

After months of thousands of community members urging the authority board at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail to stop voluntarily reporting the release dates of undocumented immigrants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the board held a special meeting September 13 to take a revote on that policy. At the local jail, and every jail in […]

It’s too bad Saturday’s UVA football game against Ohio University was moved to Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville—with little rain, the Cavs probably could have played at home. Photo by Jack Looney

Few Florence floods: But local area hit with power outages

Grocery store shelves in Charlottesville and Albemarle County were picked clean last week by people preparing for Hurricane Florence’s worst. But come this week, those cases of water, boxes of batteries, and jars of peanut butter had gone largely unneeded. While a tornado left one person dead in Richmond, and significant flooding threatened folks in […]

Kathy Yowell Rohm. Courtesy Albemarle County Police

Daycare operator sentenced

A Forest Lakes woman who pleaded guilty to child cruelty in May for neglecting more than a dozen kids at an unlicensed daycare will serve two years in jail. “I would like to publicly apologize to all the parents,” said a tearful Kathy Yowell-Rohm, before a judge pronounced her sentence September 7 in Albemarle Circuit […]

Now we’ll never see more than a rendering of West2nd, the $50 million development of luxury condos and retail space that had been proposed at the current site of a Water Street parking lot since 2014. Rendering Keith Woodard

‘The last straw:’ Woodard pulls the plug on West2nd

Developer Keith Woodard has abandoned his plan to build a $50 million castle of downtown luxury condos and retail space on a city-owned Water Street parking lot. “The project was a tremendous undertaking, and over time, the process of obtaining the  necessary approvals became very difficult and at times adversarial, causing continual delays and uncertainty,” […]

When James Fields allegedly drove his car into the crowd on Fourth Street, he also smashed into a Toyota Camry. Photo by Eze Amos

YouTuber wants access to car attack videos 

In an August 21 hearing in Charlottesville Circuit Court, Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania took an unusual seat—in the defendant’s chair—with his files resting on a table on the left side of the room, while another man took Platania’s usual seat on the right. William Evans, a Fairfax attorney representing himself, is suing the commonwealth’s attorney […]

On August 11, community members protested police presence at UVA, where one university officer declared an unlawful assembly. It was quickly rescinded. Photo by Eze Amos

Unlawful assembly: Cops call for one, change their mind at UVA

Police called unlawful assemblies last summer after the KKK rally and before the Unite the Right event began. This summer, it appeared Charlottesville had gotten through the August 12 anniversary weekend without the declaring of any unlawful assemblies—but that wasn’t the case. At the August 11 UVA rally—after students had moved their protest to Brooks […]

Former Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas and current Chief RaShall Brackney. Former Virginia State Police Superintendent Steve Flaherty and current Superintendent Gary Settle. Former UVA President Teresa Sullivan and current President Jim Ryan. Former UVA Police Department Chief Michael Gibson and new Chief Tommye Sutton. Former Mayor Mike Signer and current Mayor Nikuyah Walker. Former City Manager Maurice Jones and current Interim City Manager Mike Murphy.

Out and in: A turnover of top local leaders

It was an unprecedented year for the city, but also one in which we saw a major shift among people in positions of power. Some heads rolled, some quietly retired, and the list of local leaders is almost unrecognizable from this time last summer. Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas abruptly resigned in December, making way […]