Samantha Baars



Maria Chavalan Sut, a Guatemalan refugee, has been given sanctuary in the Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church while she fights to stay in the United States. Photo by Eze Amos

Local church offers sanctuary to refugee

A Guatemalan woman who fled to America seeking asylum in 2015 has been ordered by federal immigration agents to leave the country. But instead, a local church has given her sanctuary while she fights to stay in the United States through the legal system. “I have lived all of my life with violence,” said 44-year-old […]

Former Police Chief Al Thomas is still collecting a paycheck. Photo by Eze Amos

Former police chief still on city payroll

Former Charlottesville police chief Al Thomas may have left last year, but it hasn’t stopped him from collecting a paycheck. Although the city said in December that Thomas’ retirement would be “effective immediately,” it turns out, as first reported by WINA’s Rob Schilling, that Thomas has continued to receive his $134,513 annual salary, and will […]

Michael Del Rosso, chairman of the Charlottesville Republican Committee, was the first person to speak to the jail board during the public comment session. He said, "illegal aliens...have no reason to be here, anyway." Photo by Eze Amos

Overflow meeting: ICE calls continue

After months of thousands of community members urging the authority board at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail to stop voluntarily reporting the release dates of undocumented immigrants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the board held a special meeting September 13 to take a revote on that policy. At the local jail, and every jail in […]

Kathy Yowell Rohm. Courtesy Albemarle County Police

Daycare operator sentenced

A Forest Lakes woman who pleaded guilty to child cruelty in May for neglecting more than a dozen kids at an unlicensed daycare will serve two years in jail. “I would like to publicly apologize to all the parents,” said a tearful Kathy Yowell-Rohm, before a judge pronounced her sentence September 7 in Albemarle Circuit […]

Now we’ll never see more than a rendering of West2nd, the $50 million development of luxury condos and retail space that had been proposed at the current site of a Water Street parking lot since 2014. Rendering Keith Woodard

‘The last straw:’ Woodard pulls the plug on West2nd

Developer Keith Woodard has abandoned his plan to build a $50 million castle of downtown luxury condos and retail space on a city-owned Water Street parking lot. “The project was a tremendous undertaking, and over time, the process of obtaining the  necessary approvals became very difficult and at times adversarial, causing continual delays and uncertainty,” […]

When James Fields allegedly drove his car into the crowd on Fourth Street, he also smashed into a Toyota Camry. Photo by Eze Amos

YouTuber wants access to car attack videos 

In an August 21 hearing in Charlottesville Circuit Court, Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania took an unusual seat—in the defendant’s chair—with his files resting on a table on the left side of the room, while another man took Platania’s usual seat on the right. William Evans, a Fairfax attorney representing himself, is suing the commonwealth’s attorney […]

On March 14, exactly one month after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, thousands of students at area schools walked out of their classrooms to honor the 17 students and faculty who lost their lives on Valentine’s Day in Florida, also demanding stronger gun control across the nation. Photo by Eze Amos

The fear, the fight, the future: The threat of gun violence is a new reality for today’s students

The lights were off and the door was locked in Shreya Mahadevan’s fourth-grade classroom at Johnson Elementary School. Small bodies huddled quietly behind a wall of backpacks—their teacher in tears. “It was really scary. Petrifying,” says the 9-year-old girl about the lockdown her school was under last October, when a man in nearby Johnson Village […]

Former Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas and current Chief RaShall Brackney. Former Virginia State Police Superintendent Steve Flaherty and current Superintendent Gary Settle. Former UVA President Teresa Sullivan and current President Jim Ryan. Former UVA Police Department Chief Michael Gibson and new Chief Tommye Sutton. Former Mayor Mike Signer and current Mayor Nikuyah Walker. Former City Manager Maurice Jones and current Interim City Manager Mike Murphy.

Out and in: A turnover of top local leaders

It was an unprecedented year for the city, but also one in which we saw a major shift among people in positions of power. Some heads rolled, some quietly retired, and the list of local leaders is almost unrecognizable from this time last summer. Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas abruptly resigned in December, making way […]

At a university-sponsored event this morning called The Hope That Summons Us, President Jim Ryan had a message for the victims of the white supremacist attack on Grounds exactly one year ago: "I am sorry. We are sorry." Photo courtesy of UVA Office of Communications

Hope and an apology

About 200 people gathered in the Old Cabell Hall auditorium at the University of Virginia on the anniversary of last summer’s August 11 white supremacist tiki-torch march across Grounds, where a small number of students and faculty were encircled and beaten by angry men in white polos and khakis. The ticketed event was called The […]