Lisa Provence



Albemarle Sheriff Chip Harding (right) believes Jesse Matthew (center) would have been apprehended before allegdly abducting Hannah Graham if DNA was collected for misdemeanor offenses. Delegate David Toscano, left, is one of the state legislators sponsoring a bill that would require DNA collection for certain misdemeanor offenses. Photo credits: David Toscano file photo/Jesse Matthew courtesy FBI/Chip Harding by Sarah Jane Winter

99 problems that could lead to DNA collection

Extending DNA collection to include convictions of misdemeanors seems to enjoy bipartisan support, but two local delegates are carrying separate bills with different visions of how to expand the DNA databank. House Minority Leader David Toscano (D-57th) was the first to answer Albemarle Sheriff Chip Harding’s call for misdemeanor DNA collection after the abduction of […]

Firefighters respond to reports of smoke on the seventh floor of the Wells Fargo building downtown. Photo: Sam Caravana

‘Smells and bells’ empty Wells Fargo building

The Wells Fargo building on the Downtown Mall was evacuated around lunch time Monday because of smoke on the seventh floor. A locked-up motor in a mechanical room on that floor caused the alarm, according to Charlottesville Fire Department Battalion Chief W. A. Hogsten. Even though the ladder truck was extended to the top floor, […]

Bills-ville: Local legislators–and issues–go to Richmond

Bills-ville: Local legislators–and issues–go to Richmond

A week before the General Assembly session began, Waldo Jaquith, the creator of the legislation-tracking website Richmond Sunlight, reported the absence of a recent tradition: “I haven’t seen the bills that are candidates for Virginia becoming a national embarrassment.” He listed examples from sessions past, such as the mandatory transvaginal ultrasound or the droopy drawers bills. […]

Ken Boyd. Photo: Ashley Twiggs

Election 2015: Harding in, Boyd out

Every year is an election year in Virginia, and this year, not only is everyone in the General Assembly up for reelection, but key offices in Charlottesville and Albemarle are on the ballot as well. So far in Albemarle, Sheriff Chip Harding (R) has announced he’ll seek a third and final term. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney […]

Commonwealth's Attorney Denise Lunsford and attorney Steve Benjamin sparred in court about hearing new evidence before Mark Weiner's sentencing for abduction. Photo: Max March

Legal sniping: Weiner sentencing continued…again

Surely Mark Weiner hoped, going into Albemarle County Circuit Court on December 17 to be sentenced for abduction with intent to defile, the third time would be the charm that sent him home. The now 54-year-old former grocery store manager has been sitting in jail for two years despite what his attorneys say is mounting evidence […]

The organizers of Lockn’ music festival in Nelson County have settled with the Virginia ABC, which had revoked the festival’s alcohol license for drug and lighting violations at the 2013 event. Photo: Chris Pecoraro

Lockn’ license intact: ABC accepts cash to move on

Lockn’ Music Festival has settled with the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control, which had threatened to yank the festival’s alcohol license because some festivalgoers smoked pot and the lighting wasn’t bright enough at the 2013 event. In a compromise settlement dated December 5, the festival’s caterer, Best Beverage Catering, will pay the ABC $12,500 to make […]

Someone fired a gun on the Corner Saturday night.
File photo: Martyn Kyle

Lights, cameras, substation: Corner safety in focus

Hannah Graham’s name was not mentioned in the University of Virginia press release about a safety advisory committee’s recommendation for a police substation on the Corner, but the second-year’s national-spotlight disappearance from the Downtown Mall in September and the subsequent discovery of her remains was clearly the impetus. It’s also driving a heightened awareness of […]

The controversial ABC store on West Main Street will remain in its current location. Photo: Michael Johnson

Calling West Main ABC “a menace,” locals petition for closure

More than 30 prominent Charlottesvillians, including Delegate David Toscano, City Councilor Bob Fenwick, neighborhood association presidents and West Main Street business owners, have signed a letter to the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control demanding that the West Main Street store be moved because of the unsavory behavior it brings to the neighborhood. “The store […]

Former registrar Sheri Iachetta was asked to resign two days after the November election. Staff photo

Iachetta fallout: Critics want Electoral Board to resign

This article includes reporting from a previously published story, which you can read here. Scandal-plagued Charlottesville Registrar Sheri Iachetta will leave her job December 31, nearly three weeks after her first scheduled court appearance in a felony embezzlement case. But the controversy over her ouster rages on. In rare bipartisan agreement, some prominent city Democrats […]

Chris Dumler. Photo: John Robinson

State bar revokes law license of former supervisor Dumler

The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board revoked former Albemarle supervisor Christopher Dumler’s license to practice law November 4, the latest fallout from the forcible sodomy charge lodged against him in 2012*, Katy Evans reported in The Daily Progress. Once a rising star in Albemarle’s Democratic party and the youngest to be elected supervisor, then-27-year-old Dumler […]

Charlottesville Electoral Board members (left to right) Rick Sincere, Joan Schatzman, and Jim Nix in a meeting on Thursday, November 6. Photo: Lisa Provence

‘Irreparable damage’: Charlottesville registrar resigns two days after election

The Charlottesville Electoral Board asked for and received the resignation of Charlottesville registrar Sheri Iachetta today during a two-hour closed session. Iachetta was charged with six felonies in September for approving city-funded cell phones for her husband, a former employee of the registrar’s office who left in 2009, and local attorney Stephanie Commander, a former […]

A still from video surveillance taken from Sal's Caffe Italia on the Downtown Mall shows Hannah Graham walking at 1:06am on Saturday, September 13, minutes before she vanished.

In the wake of Hannah Graham’s disappearance, should the city reconsider cameras on the Mall?

In 2007, Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo wanted to put 30 security cameras on the Downtown Mall, raising concerns from civil libertarians about government surveillance and from City Council about cost. Seven years later, leads in the search for missing UVA student Hannah Graham have come from private surveillance cameras, and Longo had an I-told-you-so […]