Samantha Baars



The lack of an alternate entrance to Wintergreen could spell disaster during an emergency, say fire officials. Congressman Dennis Riggleman has met with the National Park Service about securing a route through the Blue Ridge Parkway. (File Photo)

One way: Wintergreen wants an emergency exit

There’s only one way in and one way out of Wintergreen, where residents and the local fire department have called for a second emergency exit for more than a decade, and where the topography is strikingly similar to that of Gatlinburg, Tennessee—the site of the November 2016 inferno that killed 14 people and injured nearly […]

Reverend Robert Lewis of the Hinton Avenue United Methodist Church says a decline in membership has left the church with unused space—and the congregation would like to convert it into 15 affordable apartments, with some reserved for people with developmental disabilities. Photo by Eze Amos

Affordable option? Church apartments could be a godsend

When a church in the Belmont neighborhood proposed converting underused space into 15 apartments, with a third of them specifically for people with disabilities, some community members were quick to call it a development idea that they could finally get behind. Others? Eh, not so much. “Public feedback has not been supportive,” planning commissioner Lyle […]

MGT Consulting Group held a series of listening sessions to hear about community members’ experiences with the local criminal justice system. The group is working on a disparity and disproportionality study, and plans to make recommendations this summer. Photo by Martyn Kyle

Unequal justice: City and county seek feedback on criminal justice disparities

To the list of racial disparities in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, we can add arrest rates: According to a new study, African Americans are booked at significantly higher rates than whites at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, and the greatest disproportionality occurs during felony arrests. This is a national problem—black adults are 5.9 times more likely […]

Though there’s always that initial investment, going solar can be a profitable way to save the planet.

Going solar together

A new co-op opportunity in Charlottesville aims to help area home and business owners save money on solar panels and electric vehicle chargers by bulk purchasing the equipment. Solar United Neighbors, a nonprofit headquartered in D.C., has developed similar co-ops in multiple states, including Virginia, to help neighbors save on solar while building a community […]

Emergency Communication Center dispatchers are not pleased with the surprise resignation of their executive director—and they don’t believe it was on his terms. Photo by Sanjay Suchak

Stress center: Abrupt resignation further dismays dispatchers

When the executive director of the city, county, and university’s troubled Emergency Communications Center abruptly resigned last week, questions and concerns started circulating among the center’s employees. “Barry [Neulen] was doing so many good things for us, and we were singing his praises to anybody and everybody,” says one employee. “I wholeheartedly believe Barry did […]

Frank Earnest, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, is the heritage defense coordinator of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Photo by Eze Amos

Monument motions: Another stall for the statues

It was the same old, same old in Charlottesville Circuit Court on March 13, when attorneys involved in a lawsuit to keep the town’s Confederate monuments in place hashed out all-too-familiar arguments. It’s been two years since the Monument Fund and a dozen other plaintiffs filed suit in response to City Council’s vote to remove […]

Walton Middle School is under fire for including City Councilor Wes Bellamy’s photo in a Black History Month display. Photo by Eze Amos

Some county residents have strong opinions about what’s appropriate for Black History Month

Controversy erupted recently over including a local politician and activist in a Black History Month display at Walton Middle School—and we bet you can guess who it is. City Councilor Wes Bellamy had some community members clutching their metaphorical pearls when his photo appeared alongside those of historical black figures such as Harriet Tubman, Langston […]