Lisa Provence



Photo by Matteus Frankovich/Skyclad AP

Downtown Mall at 40: Is innovation still around?

Even in November, balmy weather and the Virginia Film Festival had throngs out on the Downtown Mall. But it wasn’t always that way. For years after Charlottesville bricked its main street in 1976, the place was a ghost town after 5pm. Landscape architect Lawrence Halprin’s early 1970s vision of a bustling public space took 15 […]

Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy says he’s being targeted because he’s causing too much trouble by trying to remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee.
Photo Ézé Amos

UPDATE: Bellamy takes leave from teaching position

Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy, a teacher at Albemarle High School, has agreed to take an administrative leave of absence while the school division investigates “vulgar” tweets he made before being elected to Charlottesville City Council, according to a statement today from the Albemarle School Board. “Many of these postings contain extremely vulgar and offensive language that […]

Attorney Bill Dinkin says his client, Sandra Marks, is "extemely remorseful" for bilking vulnerable victims of millions.
Staff photo

Psychic sentenced to 30 months, blames Synchronicity

Sandra Marks, aka Psychic Catherine, was sentenced to 30 months in jail November 18 in federal court for bilking victims in search of spiritual solace, and she was ordered to pay more than $5.4 million in restitution. In court and in a sentencing memo, Marks’ attorney, Bill Dinkin, said that she didn’t start bilking clients big time […]

Zenith Quest has reduced the wattage at its ammunition warehouse after residents complained it was too bright a spot in the Rockfish Valley at night. Photo by Anna Kariel/SkycladAP

Lights dimmed at Rockfish Valley ammo warehouse

When the nearly complete Zenith Quest plant in Nelson County turned on the lights in September, Afton resident Dave Connolly said it looked like a “landing strip” from his home 800′ above. He attended a Nelson supervisors meeting October 11 and says within 24 hours, the lights had been turned down. “It’s like night and […]

Albemarle County officials want to move their courts out of Court Square. Staff photo

Legal question: Can supes order Albemarle court move?

When the Albemarle Board of Supervisors passed a 4-2 resolution on November 2 directing county staff to explore options to relocate one or both of its houses of justice from downtown’s Court Square, Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci fired back with a letter questioning whether the supes even have the authority to make such a move. […]

Nicole Eramo, left, leaves the courthouse after a jury found in her favor, with her attorneys Tom Clare, Andy Phillips and LIbby Locke. Photo Eze Amos

Judgment day: Jury rules in Eramo’s favor

As soon as the clerk in federal court read the first verdict finding actual malice in Nicole Eramo’s defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone reporter Sabrina Erdely, the UVA administrator crumpled against her attorney. And as the clerk went on to read more than two dozen statements upon which the jury had to decide in the […]

Jury deliberates for third day in Rolling Stone trial

Jury deliberates for third day in Rolling Stone trial

The waiting game continues Friday for Nicole Eramo, Sabrina Erdely and Rolling Stone deputy managing editor Sean Woods, along with their lawyers, support staff and the media as Day 16 in Eramo’s defamation lawsuit trial against the magazine begins and the jury deliberates for a third day. The jury will decide whether Rolling Stone acted with […]

Day 13: Attorneys make final pitches in Rolling Stone trial

Day 13: Attorneys make final pitches in Rolling Stone trial

It was closing argument day November 1 in U.S. District Court, the site of former UVA associate dean Nicole Eramo’s defamation trial against Rolling Stone for its now-retracted “A Rape on Campus,” and lawyers for both sides spent more than three hours each trying to sway the jury to find for their clients. Plaintiff’s attorney Tom Clare noted the “tremendous […]

Day 9: UVA believed Jackie, too, say witnesses

Day 9: UVA believed Jackie, too, say witnesses

Attorneys for plaintiff Nicole Eramo called her former boss, Dean of Students Allen Groves, to the stand October 26 to bolster her claims that she was unfairly portrayed as a callous administrator to victims of sexual assault in Rolling Stone’s article, “A Rape on Campus.” “My first impression, and it remains my impression, it painted […]

Day 3: Testimony gets heated in Rolling Stone trial

Day 3: Testimony gets heated in Rolling Stone trial

  If yesterday was an emotional sob fest, Wednesday’s proceedings in UVA administrator Nicole Eramo’s defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone were much calmer, with the leading ladies in the suit—plaintiff Eramo and defendant/reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely—both taking the stand and both sparring with opposing counsel. It was not without emotion, however. At the lunchtime recess […]

JoAnn Robertson makes an impassioned appeal to boycott City Council. 
Staff photo

Activist calls for boycott of City Council

JoAnn Robertson has had enough. She was appalled at conditions facing elderly and disabled residents at Crescent Halls who spent the summer without air conditioning. Now she’s calling for a boycott of City Council in protest of its new public comment rules that went into effect in February—and that already have drawn a lawsuit. At […]

Bad idea: Constitution of Virginia author Dick Howard advises against amendments, especially for social and economic issues. Photographed here in 2006, when he warned against the now-unconstitutional definition of marriage amendment.
JACK LOONEY

Legal opinion: Don’t clutter the Constitution of Virginia

Virginia voters will notice two constitutional amendments on the ballot in November, and given past history, they’ll probably pass them, despite legal experts concerns that such amendments clunk up the state constitution. The first amendment on the ballot enshrines an existing right-to-work statute that prohibits employers from requiring union membership. The second allows spouses of […]

The Greenbrier was bilked by its former fine dining director, who took a job at Darden while the hotel thought he was seeking cancer treatment.

Photo Bobak Ha’Eri

Fake cancer survivor gets 14 months

Carmelo “Carmine” Carrozza, who claimed he had cancer and collected paychecks from The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs while taking a job at the Darden School Foundation, was sentenced October 5 to 14 months in prison for wire fraud and ordered to pay more than $48,000 in restitution, according to a release from the […]

More lights are going up at Zenith Quest’s facility on Route 151 in Nelson County.

Anna Kariel/SkycladAP

Night lights: Munitions company shines in Rockfish Valley

David Connolly used to gaze out the windows of his Afton Mountain home and see twinkling lights and the occasional headlight in the valley below. That was before Zenith Quest International “fired up the lights,” he says, of its already controversial, 84,000-square-foot firearms and ammunition distribution warehouse smack in the middle of Nelson County’s scenic […]

Jane Dittmar and Tom Garrett on running for Virginia's 5th Congressional seat. Photos by Eze Amos

Toss up? Down ticket in the 5th District

In a normal election year, the incumbent Republican 5th District congressman would run for re-election and win. That’s how it works. Incumbents are always favored, and in a gerrymandered district, they’ve already picked their voters. Turns out 2016 is anything but a normal election year. At the top of the ticket are two of the […]

Albemarle’s new police chief, Ron Lantz, wants to foster cooperation during encounters 
with police.
Eze Amos

Interact this way: Albemarle police pocket guide raises concerns

A just-printed Albemarle County Police Department pamphlet was intended to build trust and cooperation between citizens and law enforcement during interactions that are now under a national spotlight. Its content, however, has alarmed some local attorneys, who say the guide’s instructions are incorrect or even unconstitutional. “The document is very concerning,” says Legal Aid Justice […]

UVA prof Siva Vaidhyanathan calls Starving the Beast a “blow against the ideologues against higher education.”
Courtesy Starving the Beast

Commodity U: Starving the Beast looks at the dismantling of public education

Ever wonder why Virginia’s vaunted flagship university gets such paltry state funding? To the filmmakers of Starving the Beast, that’s an ideological decision. The documentary, produced by Violet Crown owner Bill Banowsky, connects the dots between a movement to cut funding in public universities that started around Ronald Reagan’s presidency. The Texas-based filmmakers—University of Texas […]

Jody Kielbasa fills in the highlights of the 29th Virginia Film Festival.
Staff photo

Film fest announces lineup—mostly

Virginia Film Festival director Jody Kielbasa promised today “the best program in my eight years at the festival” for this year’s November 3-6 cinemathon. The 29th festival will include screen legends Shirley MacLaine and Liv Ullman, and auteur Werner Herzog. What Kielbasa did not reveal was the opening night film, typically a made-in-Virginia effort. He gave that honor […]

Are the orange stripes too much? Governor Terry McAuliffe checks out polos at Mincer's.
Staff photo

Governor goes shopping at Mincer’s

Governor Terry McAuliffe popped into Mincer’s on the Corner this afternoon because he likes to visit small businesses—and he needed a new polo shirt. “Extra large,” says McAuliffe. “I’m pumped.” He was in Charlottesville to speak to UVA scholars at the Center for Politics and he’d had lunch “with Larry and Terry—” Professor Larry Sabato […]