Samantha Baars



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 […]

Several supporters lined up outside of Charlottesville General District Court October 20 to hug Veronica Fitzhugh, who was found not guilty of obstructing free passage at the July 8 KKK rally. Staff photo

Not guilty: A win for Veronica Fitzhugh

Updated Tuesday, October 24 at 3pm with a second story about court appearances on Monday, October 23.   Even months prior to August 12, the community was up to its figurative elbows in lawsuits stemming from the emergence of Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler into the local spotlight and the people who’ve made it […]

If the pipeline is approved, Richard Averitt will be hit on two fronts—his residential property and a commercial lot he bought with the dream to build a $35 million five-star boutique resort. Photo by Sanjay Suchak

Head to head: Feds approve controversial pipelines

Though the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the Atlantic Coast Pipeline October 13, those opposing the $6 billion and 600-mile gas fracking project say they’re not going down without a fight. “It’s not over by any means,” says Kirk Bowers, a program coordinator with the local chapter of the Sierra Club. Though he’s not showing […]

JonPaul Struys, Evan McLaren and Nathan Damigo leave Charlottesville District Court after being convicted of failing to disperse August 12.
Photo Natalie Jacobsen

Alt-righters found guilty of failing to disperse

Police had to intervene after an October 13 court hearing where three white nationalists were found guilty of failure to disperse during the Unite the Right rally, and then were chased into a nearby parking garage by people waiting for them outside the courthouse. Counterprotesters with their middle fingers in the air rushed Nathan Damigo, […]

The Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection lawsuit hopes to keep "unlawful paramilitary activity," like that seen on August 12, out of Charlottesville. Photo by Eze Amos

Militia madness: City files suit against August 12 participants

  Exactly two months after the summer’s Unite the Right white nationalist rally that left three dead and many injured, a legal group has filed an unprecedented complaint on behalf of Charlottesville, local businesses and neighborhood associations that could prohibit “unlawful paramilitary activity” in the city. Lawyers with the University of Georgetown Law School’s Institute […]

White nationalists held another tiki torch rally in Emancipation Park on October 7. Photo by Jalane Schmidt

City responds to weekend tiki torch rally

“The so called ‘alt-right’ believes intimidation and intolerance will stop us from our work,” says Mayor Mike Signer in an October 8 press release after about 40 white supremacists held another torch-lit rally in Emancipation Park. “They could not be more wrong. We must marshal all our resources, legal and otherwise, to protect our public […]

A judge will decide by February 27 if the tarps that shroud statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson should be removed.
Photo by Eze Amos

‘Trash bags’ can stay: Statue lawsuit moves forward

In the case of whether the city’s longstanding General Robert E. Lee statue should remain on its feet, a judge ruled October 4 that a lawsuit protecting it can go forward, and the black shrouds temporarily draped over Lee and his buddy, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, can also stay. In Charlottesville Circuit Court, S. Braxton Puryear—one […]

UVA library systems employee Tyler Magill is one of 11 plaintiffs suing white nationalists and ne--Nazis who came to Charlottesville. Photo by Eze Amos

Meme-able Magill: August icon recovers, keeps fighting back

During the August weekend that scarred Charlottesville, one man was in the thick of the major events, and became both a casualty and a meme of resistance to hate. That man was Tyler Magill: a UVA alum, longtime WTJU DJ once known as the Velvet Facilitator and a local fixture in the community. Before hundreds […]

New experts are in Jens Soering's corner. He's pictured here in 2003. Photo: Clement Mayes

Pressure to pardon: New experts weigh in on Soering case

  A nationally recognized DNA expert says his conclusions provide further evidence that convicted murderer and former UVA student Jens Soering, who was charged with the 1985 murders of his girlfriend’s parents, Derek and Nancy Haysom, could be innocent—and that two killers who were involved are still at large. Forensic scientist Thomas McClintock, who is […]