Samantha Baars



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 […]

Mark Hormuz Dean. Courtesy county police

Testimony/cross-examination questioned in rape cases

An Albemarle County physician facing 11 charges related to sexually assaulting 10 female patients was in court February 19 for a motions hearing. Mark Hormuz Dean will be tried on multiple counts of rape, object sexual penetration, aggravated sexual battery, sexual battery, forcible sodomy, and abduction, all from his time as a doctor of osteopathic […]

Aerial view of the Chesapeake Bay. Photo: Robert Llewellyn

For the love of the South

As he prepares to step down, the founder of the Southern Environmental Law Center looks back on three decades of defending the region’s natural treasures   Ambitious and naive. That’s how Rick Middleton describes himself 33 years ago, when he founded the Southern Environmental Law Center, a small nonprofit that would protect the air, the […]

Katrina Turner, a member of the Police Civilian Review Board, didn’t do anything wrong when she announced her role on the board and filmed a portion of her son’s traffic stop, according to the city’s top prosecutor.  STAFF PHOTO

Conflict of interest on the Police Civilian Review Board? Prosecutor says ‘no’

When Police Civilian Review Board member Katrina Turner got involved in her son’s February 1 traffic stop, a local defense attorney asked the city’s commonwealth’s attorney to determine whether she had violated the state’s conflict of interest act. At last week’s review board meeting, attorney and regular attendee Denise Lunsford told the board she’d asked […]

Local Goodwill stores have seen a nearly 20 percent increase in donations compared to this time last year, says District Manager Lisa Sexton, and she’s attributing it to the new Netflix show “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.” Photo by Sanjay Suchak

The Kondo effect: Donations surge as people purge

Local Goodwill stores collected 13,800 donations in the month of January —an 18.5 percent increase from those gathered this time last year. And they’re attributing it to a Netflix special about a now world-famous Japanese decluttering expert named Marie Kondo. Perhaps you’ve heard of her. Before starring in “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” she made […]

Dana Naylor, who drove the Times Disposal garbage truck hit by an Amtrak train a year ago, was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Christopher Foley. Photo by Jack Looney

Trash truck driver fights DUI charge

First he was hit by a train. Now his attorney is attempting to prove that he was also hit with a bogus DUI charge. Dana Naylor, the driver of the garbage truck that was hit by an Amtrak train in Crozet last year, was in court January 22 to dispute evidence being used against him. […]