Lisa Provence



Sandra Marks’ psychic reading business on Seminole Trail was raided in June 2014, and she was arrested a year later in New York.
Staff photo

Judge will consider bond for psychic

Sandra Marks, aka Psychic Catherine and Catherine Marks, had a bond hearing October 22 in U.S. District Court and Judge Glen Conrad said he would consider it if she and her attorney can come up with an acceptable plan for her release. Marks, 41, has been in jail since her July 23 arrest in New York […]

With the blighted Landmark Hotel in the background, City Council candidate Mike Signer, joined by ticket-mate Kathy Galvin, left, proposes a one-year deadline for a resolution plan.

Signer fed up with ‘eyesore’ called the Landmark

City Council candidate Mike Signer stood before the skeletal Landmark Hotel, an unwelcome landmark on the Downtown Mall since 2009, and quoted the graffiti scrawled on its boarded up side: “We’re fed up.” And he promised to explore all legal actions for resolving the situation, including eminent domain. Flanked by fellow Dem candidates Kathy Galvin […]

Frank Birckhead was devoted to the University of Virginia and his family.
Photo courtesy the Birckhead family

Former BOVer, businessman Frank Birckhead dies

Frank Birckhead, 61, a former member of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors, founder of MoneyWise Payroll Solutions and Birckhead Consulting, ardent UVA basketball fan and community volunteer, died unexpectedly at home October 18. Birckhead was a lifelong resident of Charlottesville, graduating from Albemarle High in 1972 and UVA in 1976. Except for a […]

Francis Fife in 2009 at Oak Lawn, the Cherry Avenue house his family has owned since 1847.
Photo Jen Fariello

Mensch: Former mayor Francis Fife dies at 95

If it seems like Francis Fife has always been an integral part of Charlottesville, for most of the 20th century he was. “It’s hard to imagine a program here he didn’t have a finger in,” says his wife of 33 years, Nancy O’Brien, who was Charlottesville’s first female mayor. She remembers meeting him when he […]

Here come the meters.
Staff photo

Meters gauged: Study agrees with one in 2008

Charlottesville is known for its fondness for studies, and a recent one on downtown parking concurs with a 2008 study that meters are a way to relieve a paucity of parking spaces. The question now is whether City Council will follow the recommendations that so far have cost taxpayers $98,500 for both studies, according to […]

Photos and videos of Martese Johnson's bloody arrest went viral. Photo: Bryan Beaubrun

ABC records: released—for the wrong reason?

In a change of heart, Governor Terry McAuliffe released the Virginia State Police investigation report of Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agents’ March 18 arrest of UVA student Martese Johnson, the bloody image of which went viral. When he initially declined to make the report public, McAuliffe claimed the Freedom of Information Act prohibited […]

Jane Dittmar greets supporters before announcing her run for the 5th Congressional District.
Staff photo

See Jane run

Albemarle Board of Supervisors Chair Jane Dittmar chose the front of the County Office Building to announce her run for Congress September 17 because “this was where I began my public service and where I was sworn in,” she said. That was not quite two years ago after she won a special election, and now […]

Sage Smith. Photos courtesy Charlottesville police

Sage’s grandmother beseeches City Council

A couple of grim anniversaries were noted on September 13: the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of 18-year-old UVA student Hannah Graham, and five years since 19-year-old Orange resident Samantha Clarke vanished. Her last known contact was with Randy Taylor, the man convicted in 2014 for the murder of missing teen Alexis Murphy. The grandmother […]

The Board of Supervisors could vote to adjust the comprehensive plan boundary at the September 9 meeting.

Residents petition BOS to slow comp plan amendment

People living around the property at the Interstate 64/U.S. 29 interchange, which the Albemarle Board of Supervisors is considering adding to the growth area to attract a West Coast brewery, are circulating a petition to slow the process. “We started being concerned about a factory across the street surrounded by a rural and residential area,” […]

Andrew Baxter is the new city head firefighter; the county's Dan Eggleston gets an award from the international fire chiefs org.
Submitted photos

Where’s the fire, chiefs?

Local fire chiefs were in the news last week. The city hired Henrico County Assistant Chief Andrew Baxter to head the Charlottesville Fire Department, succeeding Charles Werner, who retired after 37 years in the department. Although he’s worked in Henrico since 1995, Baxter has lived in the Charlottesville area for 25 years, and he has […]

Sandra Marks’ psychic reading business on Seminole Trail was raided in June 2014, and she was arrested a year later in New York.
Staff photo

No bond for psychic

Sandra Marks, 41, who was known locally for her Readings by Catherine business on U.S. 29 North until she disappeared following a big raid a year ago, made it back to town August 28 for a bond hearing in U.S. District Court. Marks was arrested in New York, and a 34-count indictment accuses her of […]

Attorney Jeff Fogel says city police don’t want to release narratives of stops and frisks because of “dirty linen.”
Staff photo

Exempt or not exempt? Judge considers FOIA lawsuit

The Public Housing Association of Residents and local branch of the NAACP passed the first hurdle in their lawsuit against the City of Charlottesville for police records of stops and frisks when a judge refused the city’s request to throw out the suit August 25. The case is also raising questions about how government bodies […]