Samantha Baars

Samantha Baars


Left: Courtesy of NBC 29
Right: Staff photo

8K to honor Running Man, an urban legend to some

In honor of Philip Weber III, aka Running Man, the director of Champion Brewing Company’s running club is organizing a memorial 8K that will take place on Saturday, May 28, and benefit the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. Weber died after he was struck by an SUV on Ivy Road last December. “There were times when, to […]

The Sierra Club’s John Cruickshank says many people are surprised to learn that
city groundskeepers still use products
such as Snapshot, Oryzalin, ProStar and Roundup QuikPro. Photo by Jon-Phillip Sheridan

Poison control: Some say no to chemical weed killers

The Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club is urging the community to speak out against the usage of synthetic chemical pesticides in parks and on school grounds. Though city staff has taken steps to reduce the overall use of toxic chemicals in those areas, environmentalists hope to make 2016 the year in which they are […]

Russell Matthews, who will be released from the Dillwyn Correctional Center in December, pitches his final plan to start a landscaping business after his release. Photo: Amy Jackson

Darden program helps inmates plan for life after prison

Thirty-five-year-old Russell Matthews, dressed in a denim shirt, blue jeans and white sneakers, enters a small classroom in the Dillwyn Correctional Center in central Virginia and shakes his instructor’s hand. He’s the first of about 15 prisoners to arrive to class on this mid-April day. “Good evening,” Matthews says to Jonathan Jones, the class instructor […]

Local nonprofit How2Recycle helps you recycle through descriptive labeling. Photo courtesy of How2Recycle

Learn How2Recycle the tough stuff

  If you’ve ever wanted to recycle the plastic bag inside of your box of Cheerios but didn’t quite know how, a Charlottesville-based initiative called How2Recycle could be your saving grace. In the spirit of Earth Day, here’s a bit more about the project created by a three-person team working to make a big impact […]

ACAC trainer Gina Ostarly, No. 14, auditioned for the Saintsations April 17. Had she made the team, she would have been the oldest cheerleader in the NFL. Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr.

Cheer leader: 48-year-old tries out to be a Saintsation

One local woman proved that age is only a number when she auditioned for the New Orleans Saints’ official cheerleading team, the Saintsations, April 17. A personal trainer at ACAC and a New Orleans native, 48-year-old Gina Ostarly spent last Sunday performing a choreographed dance routine on the Saints’ practice field at its team headquarters […]

George "Tex" Wells, right, dresses as General Robert E. Lee at the Virginia Flaggers rally in Lee Park. Staff photo

Virginia Flaggers rally to keep the Lee statue standing

In an effort to “Save Lee Park,” the Virginia Flaggers hosted an April 18 rally in front of the park’s General Robert E. Lee monument to advocate for keeping the historic statue in place, after the group made their opposition to removing it known at a rally last month, which was hosted by Vice-Mayor Wes […]

Lucas Ames, creator of Smart Cville, hopes to leverage technology to make Charlottesville a better place to live. Photo by Ron Paris

Get smart: Local group calls for open data policy

People actually want to know how much compost is being dropped off at City Market, Lucas Ames was surprised to learn. The creator of Smart Cville, a year-old website that publishes local data, sent a letter to City Council April 12 to ask the city to adopt an open data resolution. Ames, the man with […]

In April, a Forest Lakes resident was arrested for installing a hidden camera inside his neighbor’s master bathroom. Facing 23 years in prison, he was sentenced to seven months August 25. Mugshot courtesy of Albemarle Police

Forest Lakes man charged with unlawful filming

Thomas Andrew Eagleson, 45, was denied bond April 12 after being charged with two felony counts of unlawful filming of a juvenile and three misdemeanor counts of unlawful filming of adults. Albemarle police say Eagleson, who lives in the 3100 block of Turnberry Circle, was pet sitting for his neighbors in March when he installed […]

After turning himself in for the violation, a representative from the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail says he is not currently incarcerated. Mugshot courtesy of the Charlottesville Police Department

Bryan Silva pleads guilty, now under strict house arrest

Bryan Silva, the 25-year-old social media celebrity jailed after a January 3 SWAT standoff, pleaded guilty April 11 to brandishing and possessing a firearm. Though he has been denied bond twice since January, Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Rick Moore agreed to release him from jail on a $20,000 bond and under a stricter than usual […]

Because of complications with paperwork, Bryan Silva's sentencing was rescheduled for October 18.
Photo: Charlottesville Police

Bryan Silva set to plead guilty

The 25-year-old social media celebrity charged with abducting his girlfriend and brandishing and possessing a firearm while being a convicted felon is set to enter a guilty plea April 11 at 1pm in Charlottesville Circuit Court, according to the court docket. SWAT teams and local police blocked off Bryan Silva’s Jefferson Park Avenue apartment during […]

Artist Aaron Fein's "White Flags" exhibit went up on the Downtown Mall Monday. (Photo by Eze Amos)

Art installation waves the white flag temporarily

  One of the 193 flags in the Tom Tom Founders Festival’s “White Flags” exhibit installed on the Downtown Mall just two days ago has fallen, causing festival organizers to remove the entire installation. Tom Tom organizers stated in a release they are unsure whether the fallen flag, which hit the ground April 5, was […]

For $11 million, this 12,433-square-foot city estate could be yours. Photo by Andrea Hubbell

City estate on the market for $11 million

Four Acres, the estate on Rugby Road that went on the market last week, may haul in the heftiest amount of any home in the history of Charlottesville. And if you have an extra $11 million, it could be yours. The 1314 Rugby Rd. property, listed with Loring Woodriff Real Estate Associates, was purchased for […]

Here come the meters.
Staff photo

Downtown parking meters are a go

At an April 4 City Council meeting, councilors voted 4-1 to move forward with a plan to install parking meters at 157 parking spaces around the Downtown Mall, as part of a six-month pilot program. Those spaces, which are currently free, will cost $2 an hour, in 15-minute increments, with the first 30 minutes free, […]

Defenders of the statue of General Robert E. Lee include a  great-nephew of sculptor Henry Shrady.
Rammelkamp Foto

Can the statue be moved? Not just a local issue

The Charlottesville park bounded by Jefferson, North First, Market and North Second streets isn’t the only Lee Park under heavy scrutiny. Last July, a group of folks in Dallas led a demonstration at Oak Lawn’s Lee Park to demand that a General Robert E. Lee statue be removed and the park renamed. Activists felt called […]

Governor Terry McAuliffe in Charlottesville. File photo.

Deschutes Brewery announces Roanoke location

After expressing interest in an Albemarle County location last fall, Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery has announced that its first expansion into the East Coast will take place in the Star City, instead. Governor Terry McAuliffe announced March 22 that the brewery will invest $85 million in its Roanoke location, creating 108 new jobs. “This is another […]

Allied Concrete, zoned industrially, is close to a residential neighborhood. Photo by Jack Looney

Noisy neighbors: Residents ask Allied Concrete to quiet down

North Downtowners have long complained about the noise from Allied Concrete, which was established on industrially zoned Harris Street in 1945—just on the outskirts of a residential neighborhood. Colette Hall, who has lived in downtown Charlottesville for 16 years and served on the North Downtown Residents Association board for 12, five as president, says the […]

Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy addresses a crowd of those who support removing the Robert E. Lee statue at Lee Park and those who called him racist believe it should stay. Staff photo

Rally to remove Robert E. Lee statue brings flagwavers

Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy’s March 22 press conference at Lee Park to advocate removing the General Robert E. Lee statue and changing the name of the park drew Confederate supporters such as Virginia Flaggers, who at times shouted down speakers. “When people come to this park, they should never feel uncomfortable,” said Charlottesville High School ninth-grader […]

Police say test on this fox, captured March 14, did not indicate any signs of rabies.
Photos by Michelle Walker (via NBC29)

A third fox joins the gang that’s terrorizing downtown

Early this morning, a fox bit a Charlottesville woman on her lower leg, making her the third person in two weeks to report being attacked or bitten by a potentially rabid fox. According to city police, animal control responded to a report of a fox acting aggressively in the 1200 block of Monticello Road around […]

Jay Varner, a local writer and professor, received a handwritten letter from President Barack Obama. Photo by Martyn Kyle

From the Oval Office: Obama responds to local’s letter

After a friend was one of the estimated 13,393 people shot and killed in America last year, Batesville resident Jay Varner wrote to eight political representatives about the increasing threat of gun violence. Last month, he received a handwritten response from the president of the United States. The August 26 on-air slayings of WDBJ7 reporter […]

Diane Berlin, who leads the Pantops Walkability Committee, says a pedestrian bridge over Route 250 at Rolkin Road would be safer for walkers and ease traffic, too. Staff photo

Committee advocates for Pantops pedestrian bridge

The Pantops Walkability Committee is hosting its first community meeting to discuss the need for a pedestrian bridge over Route 250 at Rolkin Road. The committee, under the leadership of Diane Berlin, hopes retailers and residents in the Pantops area will support their vision for the proposed bridge, which would follow the Pantops master plan and make the area […]

Police say test on this fox, captured March 14, did not indicate any signs of rabies.
Photos by Michelle Walker (via NBC29)

Another rabid fox? Reported descriptions don’t match

An aggressive and potentially rabid fox attacking residents in North Downtown has worried people for the past week. Police say a fox acting suspiciously on March 14 was captured and put down, but did not appear to be the same fox originally reported. “We just want our neighborhood to be safe,” says Sarah Peaslee, who […]

Wastewater will be discharged from the Bremo Power Plant in Fluvanna County.  Photo by Robert Llewellyn

Riverkeeper pleased with coal ash settlement

Charlottesville’s Southern Environmental Law Center, representing the James River Association, reached a settlement with Dominion on the utility’s plans to dump coal ash wastewater from the Bremo Power Station in Fluvanna. A local riverkeeper says new standards will protect human and aquatic life. The deal between the groups, which will be enforceable by law, requires […]