Samantha Baars

Samantha Baars


Construction on the Center at Belvedere is scheduled to start next year. Courtesy of Peter Thompson

Old news: $2 million for Senior Center in question

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has set aside $2 million in its capital improvement budget for the Center at Belvedere, a new senior center that is set for construction in the Belvedere neighborhood next year. And one county resident isn’t happy about the partnership. “I think it is wrong for government officials to spend […]

Greg Buppert, along with other attorneys at the Southern Environmental Law 
Center, questions the public necessity for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Amy Jackson

Legal group challenges need for Dominion’s pipeline

A local legal group will file a last-minute opinion that there isn’t enough market demand for a $6 billion pipeline. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which will eventually approve or deny plans for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, is accepting comments for its draft environmental impact statement until April 6. “I think the bottom line here is […]

Whitney French, 33, is remembered by family and friends for the way she touched the lives of everyone she met and her expert work at WillowTree. Courtesy of Brent and Eileen French

Domestic violence victim Whitney French touched the lives of many

On February 26, Whitney French, 33, was the victim of a domestic-related homicide at the hands of her husband, Rafal Kalemba, who killed himself after murdering her in their Monticello Road home. Whitney’s parents and friends remember her as a strong, powerful woman, and in looking back on her life, her parents say there were […]

The 1916 building on the Downtown Mall that housed Bank of America until February will be home to Citizen & Farmers Bank, among other tenants. Staff photo

When one bank closes, another one opens

Before Bank of America closed the doors of its 1916 building on the Downtown Mall in February, we reported that a steakhouse and at least one other bank would take its place. Loud construction noises coming from the spot last week caused us to check on its status. Citizen & Farmers Bank will occupy an […]

A judge ruled last week that Chartis Property Casualty Company does not have to cover convicted murderer George Huguely in a wrongful death lawsuit against him. Huguely’s mother, Marta Murphy (above), and stepfather are insured for $6 million with that company.  Staff photo

Split decision: Huguely insurance battle resolved

Last week a federal judge in Maryland ruled that Chartis Property Casualty Company does not have to cover convicted murderer George Huguely in a wrongful death lawsuit against him in Charlottesville. His mother and stepfather, Marta and Andrew Murphy, are insured for $6 million with that company. In 2010, the UVA lacrosse player had a […]

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello, who opposes the pipeline, was at the fundraiser where protesters temporarily took the stage.  Photo by Jen Fariello

Pasta supper surprise: Protest interrupts Dem dinner party

Gubernatorial candidates Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello and three lieutenant governor hopefuls were in town over the weekend for the Charlottesville Democratic Party’s 17th annual pasta supper and auction. New on this year’s menu was an Atlantic Coast Pipeline protest in which seven sign-carrying UVA students took the stage to demand that the candidates oppose […]

Rachel Thielmann is an advocate for allowing mountain biking at Ragged Mountain, and she says her whole family would benefit. Photo by Eze Amos

Is Hedgerow a no-go? County pushes for biking park that bikers don’t want

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has made it clear that, though Charlottesville’s City Council has voted to allow mountain biking at Ragged Mountain Natural Area—a city-owned park located in the county—they don’t like it one bit because county regulations prohibit activities like biking that could pollute the reservoir. As an alternative, the supes are […]

Tim Henley’s peach crop at Henley’s Orchard was already threatened before the latest cold blast and snow.
Rammelkamp Foto

Bummer crop: Warm temperatures worry farmers

Last month was the warmest February on record with an average temperature of 47.7 degrees, based on numbers from the McCormick Observatory dating back to the 19th century. While many are happy to ditch their winter coats early, a nice day this early in the season is a nightmare for some farmers. “It’s really going […]

City Manager Maurice Jones presented his proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 to City Council on March 6. Photo by Eze Amos

City budget up 6%: Affordable housing, parking are priorities

City Manager Maurice Jones presented his $170 million draft budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 at the March 6 City Council meeting, citing the city’s significant growth as a main reason for the 6 percent increase over the current adopted budget. “City Council and staff have identified two critical areas that must be addressed in order […]

Claire Kaplan has continued facilitating bystander intervention trainings in town following her first on January 21, at IX Art Park. Photo by Eze Amos

Hate violence on the rise, bystander intervention training in demand

When Claire Kaplan offered to facilitate a bystander intervention training before a local January 21 rally to support the Women’s March on Washington, the response was so huge that she had to turn people away. She promised to coordinate additional trainings in the future, and she’s been busy doing just that. “Hate violence, and violence […]

Main Street Arena has sold for $5.7 million, but ice skating fans still have time to lace up their skates. Staff photo

SOLD: Ice rink goes for $5.7 million

Taliaferro Junction, LLC and Jaffray Woodriff announced their purchase of Main Street Arena on March 2, but it’s not quite time to say so long to skating—the new owners reached an agreement with the seller that will allow all ice skating programs to operate undisturbed this spring and through its final season this fall. Construction […]

Heather Hill. Photo: Eze Amos

Getting personal with Heather Hill

City Council candidate Age: 39 Resident since: 2003 (with two years away after getting her MBA) She describes herself as a wife and mother of three, a neighbor, an engaged community leader, an engineer, a business person and, now, a candidate for Charlottesville’s governing body. With her navy and lime-green Nikes laced up, Heather Hill […]

Hundreds of light bulbs spelled out "No Pipeline" on this sign that made its Nelson County debut February 22.

Feds hear pipeline comment behind closed doors

About 160 people attended a February 22 public comment session at Nelson County High School to voice their opinions to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which will eventually approve or deny plans for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. If approved, construction on the $5 billion and nearly 600-mile natural gas pipeline could begin by the […]

Lorenzo Dickerson has been making films about local African-Americans for four years. Photo by Eze Amos

Getting personal with Lorenzo Dickerson

Local filmmaker, age 35 Though he only began teaching himself the art of filmmaking four years ago while researching his ancestry, Lorenzo Dickerson’s calling has always been storytelling. “I enjoy bringing awareness to stories that either have been forgotten or that people have never known about,” says Dickerson about his films. “That’s really where my […]

Who gets the biggest slice of the pie? Here’s how Interim County Executive Doug Walker suggests spending nearly $400 million this year.

Brighter budget outlook in the county

When Interim County Executive Doug Walker presented Albemarle County’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 to the Board of Supervisors last week, unlike last year, it did not include a bump in the 83.9 cents per $100 real estate tax rate. Revenues are projected to increase $21,866,508, or 5.8 percent, thanks primarily to higher real […]

Illustration: Chris Danger

A kid’s obsession: Should they be encouraged?

If you can’t put your daughter to bed without her favorite dolly, or if your son won’t go anywhere without his toy train, you’re not alone—this could be classified as an extremely intense interest, which research finds that one third of children develop in their early stages. “This was one of my favorite pieces of […]

As an example of fake news, Wyatt Andrews referenced the Trump administration’s claim that President Donald Trump’s inauguration was the largest attended swearing-in ceremony in history. The photo on the left shows the National Mall during Trump’s inauguration at 12:01pm on January 20, 2017, compared with President Barack Obama’s inauguration on January 20, 2009, between 12:07pm and 12:26pm. Staff/Reuters via Zuma Press

For fake’s sake: Assault on real news continues

“What I’m about to show you is keeping me up at night,” said former CBS correspondent and current UVA professor Wyatt Andrews at a February 9 seminar addressing the relationship between President Donald Trump, the media and “fake news.” And what he said might surprise you. At 1.2 million, the Wall Street Journal has the […]

Developer Kyle Redinger had hoped to make Adelaide a high-density subdivision with some affordable housing units. Since that plan was shot down, he says he’ll build the 35 high-end homes that have already been approved.

No way, Crozet: High-density subdivision rezoning denied

At its February 1 meeting, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors denied a rezoning request for Adelaide, a proposed 80-unit housing development in Crozet. The project is currently zoned for one single home per acre, and developer Kyle Redinger sought a zoning change to six units per acre, which would provide more density in the […]

Ahmad Alboni, Ola Mansour and their three children came to Charlottesville through the International Rescue Committee last summer. After fleeing from Syria, they lived as refugees in Jordan. Family members who were supposed to join them in America this week have been affected by President Trump’s travel ban.
Photo by Eze Amos

‘Capital of the resistance’ supports its immigrants

Since 1998, the International Rescue Committee has welcomed nearly 4,000 refugees to Charlottesville from more than 32 countries. Ola Mansour is one of them. “Charlottesville is safe,” says Mansour, who in June 2016 relocated to Charlottesville from Jordan with her husband and three children. Three years prior, they had fled to the Middle Eastern country […]

Pam Rivera photographed the pig July 3 when it was found wandering around her neighborhood near Proffit Road.

Courtesy Pam Rivera

Judge sides with defendants’ motion in pig stealing case

The man and woman charged with stealing, maiming and torturing a pig to death were in Albemarle County Circuit Court for a motions hearing February 7. But first, the backstory. Last July, two Albemarle County Police officers picked up a pig in the Proffit Road area and took it to the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA. The […]

Ashley Williams, the general manager and marketing director at Water Street restaurant, says the partial closing of the road with the same name has been bad for business. Rammelkamp Foto

Water Street construction closure affects businesses

Anyone attempting to drive east down Water Street over the past couple weeks has noticed a large traffic sign intercepting her mission—and some business owners in that area aren’t happy about it. Construction of a seven-unit mixed-use building at 550 E. Water St. (called 550 Water Street) will cause intermittent lane closure for the next […]

Frayser White IV. Photo courtesy of the Albemarle County Police Department

Frayser White appears for motions hearing

The man involved in Albemarle County’s first fatal traffic crash of 2016 appeared in Albemarle County Circuit Court on January 30 where a judge denied two motions that would amend his house arrest and suppress evidence collected from his vehicle after the wreck. On March 15, 2016, Frayser White IV crossed double solid yellow lines […]

Amelia Tat

Ex-teacher pleads guilty to sex with underage student

A former Jack Jouett Middle School teacher pleaded guilty to having sex with someone under the age of consent—a previous student that she admitted to having feelings for at that time, according to the prosecutor. Amelia Tat, accompanied by local defense attorney Andre Hakes, entered a plea agreement, which said she was guilty on two […]

Kailey Leinz, a fourth-year and WUVA president, says students are excited about the radio station’s switch to digital news coverage. Photo by Amy Jackson

WUVA sale: Video killed the radio station

Folks at WUVA, the university’s student-owned radio station in operation for 70 years, announced January 17 that they were selling their FM radio license to a major radio group in town to endow their online video and news enterprise. Purchased by Saga Communications for $1.65 million, the license and frequency will be part of the […]