Samantha Baars

Samantha Baars


Jordan Romeo. Courtesy of the Charlottesville Police Department

Guilty plea, dropped charges for another KKK rally protester

A woman arrested on three charges, including felony assault of a law enforcement officer at the July 8 KKK rally, has pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor. Jordan Romeo was protesting the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Justice Park when she allegedly assaulted a city cop and City Council critic John Heyden. […]

Mark Hormuz Dean. Courtesy county police

Doctor’s orders: Physician makes bond, put on house arrest

  The Pantops-area doctor arrested last Friday on five felonies related to allegedly raping and sexually assaulting his patients will be released from jail on a $50,000 bond. A mass of friends and family showed in support of Mark Hormuz Dean, the Albemarle Pain Management Associates Clinic physician, and sat shoulder to shoulder in the […]

Kathy Yowell Rohm. Courtesy Albemarle County Police

Dirty diapers: Daycare provider will go to grand jury

A local daycare operator who was arrested last month on a felony charge of cruelty and injuries to children after 16 youngsters were found in her Forest Lakes home will go before the grand jury in February. A Juvenile and Domestic Relations court judge ruled January 8 that there was enough probable cause to certify […]

KKK imperial wizard Richard Wilson Preston is charged with firing a gun August 12.
ACLU video

Split decision: Shooter gets bond, alleged assailant doesn’t

  Two ponytailed Unite the Right participants represented by the same Blairs, Virginia-based lawyer had different fates in their January 4 bond hearings in Charlottesville Circuit Court. Judge Humes Franklin granted 52-year-old Baltimore resident Richard Preston, an imperial wizard of the Confederate White Knights of the KKK who was filmed firing a gun during the […]

Karen Dougald, president of the University Circle Neighborhood Association, says residents were surprised to learn about UVA’s plans to build a softball stadium at Lambeth Field, though the Board of Visitors was scheduled to vote on it at an upcoming meeting. The board deferred its decision to gather more input from the community. Photo by Eze Amos

Lamenting Lambeth: UVA proposes sports complex in its place

On December 7, the UVA Board of Visitors deferred a decision on the construction of a softball stadium at the university’s Lambeth Field—and those living nearby are thanking their lucky stars. Lambeth Field, also known as the Colonnades, opened in the early 1900s as a stadium for varsity football, baseball and track. Now, it’s used […]

Heather Heyer's coworker and mentor Alfred Wilson, mother Susan Bro, and Mayor Mike Signer spoke at the dedication of Heather Heyer Way on Fourth Street. Photo by Eze Amos

The Heather Heyer way

On the morning of December 20, around 50 people drew to the scene of the August 12 vehicular attack that killed Heather Heyer and injured dozens more, where dead flowers still line the street and brick walls are still chalked with messages that mourn the 32 year old and disavow the hate that came to […]

Ronna Gary, the alleged victim of two counts of forcible sodomy, says she's devastated that she lost her case on March 6. She says she understands why victims don't come forward. Photo by Eze Amos

“Me too:” Sexual assault victim speaks out

Sitting on a black ottoman in her living room, the same room where she says an on-duty Charlottesville police officer sexually assaulted her in November 2016, Ronna Gary draws invisible lines with her pointer finger to illustrate the ways she’s rearranged the space since the cop allegedly pressured her to her knees, unzipped his pants […]

Solidarity Cville encourages August 12 victims who are subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury to not cooperate. Staff photo

Activist group encourages resistance—to grand juries

“I was already run over by a car, I will not be bullied by the federal government,” said Star Peterson, a victim of the August 12 vehicular attack in which a white supremacist bowled over a group of counterprotesters with a dark gray Dodge Challenger. Peterson was among about 20 members of activist group Solidarity […]

Six Hundred West Main, an apartment complex being constructed behind Blue Moon Diner, is also running behind schedule. Courtesy of Six Hundred West Main

Blue Christmas: Diner not ready to reopen

When we last heard from the owner of Blue Moon Diner in May, she said she was closing the West Main Street institution for renovations until early 2018. Now, as the new year is upon us, Laura Galgano says it could be fall before the lights come back on at the beloved home of the […]

On Saturday, December 16, Charlottesville’s main post office located at 1155 Seminole Trail will stay open until 4pm as part of an extended holiday hours promotion. Staff photo

Dude, where’s my mail? Frustrated residents want answers

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” wrote Herodotus, an ancient Greek philosopher, in what later became the U.S. Postal Service’s unofficial credo. “That obviously doesn’t stand true in Charlottesville these days,” says Bentivar resident Bill Lawrence. In May, C-VILLE wrote about […]

Donald Short, who killed his mentally ill son while defending his family last year, won’t serve any additional jail time. Staff time

Family closure: Sentence suspended for father who killed son

The former UVA police officer who killed his mentally ill son while defending his family last year won’t serve any additional jail time, an Albemarle County judge ruled December 5. On November 9, 2016, then-84-year-old Donald Short shot his 47-year-old son, Matthew, in the leg and abdomen after Matthew started a violent fight with Short’s […]

Community members sat shoulder-to-shoulder in City Council Chambers at the December 4 meeting, where people also spilled into at least two remote viewing locations within City Hall. Protest signs called for Mayor Mike Signer’s resignation, and the abolition of police. Photo by Eze Amos

‘How dare you:’ Tensions boil during Heaphy presentation

Emotions ran high at the December 4 City Council meeting that began at 7pm when Councilor Kristin Szakos placed two paper plates piled with homemade cookies at the podium and ended at midnight. Mayor Mike Signer opened the meeting, during which former federal prosecutor Tim Heaphy presented his $350,000 independent review of the summer’s white […]

Jason Kessler's permit for the anniversary Unite the Right rally was denied. Photo by Eze Amos

Kessler calls for Unite the Right redo

It’s a day those living in Charlottesville would rather not relive. That it left three people dead and countless injured, or that it was shut down before it was scheduled to begin last August 12 has not stopped Jason Kessler from planning a second Charlottesville rally—on the one-year anniversary of Unite the Right. While many […]

The owner of the STARS group home on Park Street is requesting a special use permit to increase the number of girls allowed to live in the home from eight to 12. Neighbors say it's not a good idea, and so does the planning commission. Staff photo

STARS saga: Occupancy request receives a unanimous “no”

When the owner of a Park Street group home for at-risk adolescents went before the Board of Architectural Review November 21 to request permission to increase the number of teens allowed to live in the house, the board opted not to make a recommendation. “It was out of our purview,” says BAR member Carl Schwarz. […]

Kenneth Staples, owner of Staples Barber Shop, passed away November 18 at the age of 85. Photo by Ashley Twiggs

Beloved barber Kenneth Staples remembered fondly

Charlottesville lost an icon November 18 when Kenneth Staples, owner of Staples Barber Shop, died at age 85. “I would describe Kenny as one of those guys who looked like a duck on water,” says Jim Carpenter, a local photographer and friend of Staples since the early ’70s. “He was so smooth, but underneath, I’m […]

Lynelle Lawrence, co-owner of Mudhouse Coffee Roasters, says business owners hope the holiday parking promotion will welcome patrons back to the Downtown Mall after a stressful summer. Photo by Amy Jackson

Downtown visitors get a parking break

Some business owners say the Downtown Mall hasn’t been quite the same since shield-wielding white supremacists and neo-Nazis invaded it over the summer, followed immediately by the onset of a pilot parking meter program that required drivers to pay to park for what was once a free space. So what better way to welcome back […]

Veronica Fitzhugh waves to about 50 supporters outside the Charlottesville General District Court after Judge Robert Downer dismissed an assault charge. Staff photo

Dismissed: Another win for Veronica Fitzhugh

In her most recent court appearance, a judge dropped an assault charge against activist Veronica Fitzhugh after her accuser failed to appear. Alleged victim Jason Turner blamed Fitzhugh for yelling at him and pushing him in Emancipation Park on May 21 as he attempted to take a photo of the General Robert E. Lee monument. […]

Stephen Dalton Baril, second from right, appears outside Charlottesville General District Court November 16. A judge certified his rape and sodomy charges to the grand jury. Staff photo

Gubernatorial grandson: Rape charges certified to grand jury

During a preliminary hearing in which the alleged victim burst into tears and ran out of the courtroom, a judge certified rape and forcible sodomy charges against a former UVA student. Stephen Dalton Baril, 20, is accused of pushing another student onto the bed of his Wertland Street apartment, taking her clothes off, performing oral […]

Christopher Cantwell posted a tearful video online before turning himself into police. Cantwell video

‘Crying Nazi’: Judge dismisses two charges against Cantwell

Two of three felony charges were thrown out in a more than six-hour-long preliminary hearing November 9 for “Crying Nazi” Chris Cantwell, the New Hampshire man accused of pepper spraying multiple people at the violent August 11 tiki-torch march across the University of Virginia. Hundreds of white supremacists were in town that weekend for homegrown […]

The National Park Service announced plans to raise entry fees to some of its most popular parks to $70 per carload. This includes the Shenandoah National Park, where the cost is currently $25. Courtesy photo

Price hike: National park users asked to pay up

About 1.4 million nature enthusiasts from near and far flock to the Shenandoah National Park each year, but they may soon be greeted by a different type of hike than they’re seeking—a price hike. The National Park Service announced plans October 24 to increase entrance fees in 17 of the country’s most visited parks from […]

An emaciated-looking horse at Peaceable Farm. Photo courtesy of Jean Thornton

Gruesome testimony: Convicted animal abuser appeals

An Orange County woman will remain out on bond as she appeals a conviction of 25 counts of animal cruelty in what some have called the worst case of its scope they’ve ever seen. When police arrested Anne Shumate Williams, the owner of a nonprofit horse rescue called Peaceable Farm, on October 19, 2015, hey […]