Lisa Provence



Organizer Liz Schenker listens to Latasha Matthew describe what it's like to not get by making slightly above minimum wage. Staff photo

Fight for $15 rallies outside City Hall

Around two dozen people chanting “We can’t survive on $7.25” gathered at City Hall today as part of a nationwide, 500-city protest. Nearly 64 million people live on less than a $15 hourly wage, say organizers, who intend to use that voting bloc in the upcoming 2016 elections. “I can’t survive,” says Latasha Matthew, who […]

Questions about the Mark Weiner case arose after his conviction in 2013. Judge Cheryl Higgins denied a motion to set aside the verdict in June 2014. Submitted photo

The Weiner factor: How one case derailed Denise Lunsford

Unlike Charlottesville, where it was a given that Democratic candidates for City Council would win, Albemarle had several contested races, including two for board of supervisors and four candidates vying for clerk of court. But the race everyone was watching: Whether Commonwealth’s Attorney Denise Lunsford could hold onto her seat for a third term against […]

Upsets in Albemarle constitutional races

Upsets in Albemarle constitutional races

Incumbent Albemarle Commonwealth’s Attorney Denise Lunsford lost to Republican challenger Robert Tracci by 515 votes in a closely watched race, while other county Democratic candidates sailed to victory. Lunsford received nearly 49 percent of the vote to Tracci’s 51 percent. Another constitutional officer, incumbent Clerk of Court Debbie Shipp, running as an independent, lost by an even bigger margin. Shipp took 26 percent of […]

The most hotly contested county race between Dem incumbent Commonwealth's Attorney Denise Lunsford and Republican Robert Tracci got hotter over the weekend.

Down to the wire: Lunsford threatens lawsuit over Tracci ad

  The week before the election, the Albemarle County commonwealth’s attorney race exploded with lawsuits, threats of suits and last-minute retorts in ads between the campaigns of incumbent Denise Lunsford and challenger Robert Tracci. “The good news is that we have some excitement in local races,” says Richmond Sunlight creator and longtime local political observer […]

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,” […]