Samantha Baars



Frayser White IV. Photo courtesy of the Albemarle County Police Department

Frayser White hearing continued—again

The man involved in the first fatal traffic crash of 2016 in Albemarle County was scheduled to appear in court May 12 for a pre-trial motions hearing. He and his attorneys were not there and, for the third time since a January 30 hearing, the motions were continued. The prosecution maintains that on March 15, […]

Carolyn McGee, president of StayVA and owner of The Inn at 400 West High in the city, says all homestays should be held to the same standards. Photo by Eze Amos

Ready to regulate: Albemarle eyes homestays

In Albemarle County, about a third of the homestays are flying under the radar. At a May 3 Board of Supervisors work session on the topic, county staff said something must be done to regulate them. The county has received 60 applications since 2004, and of those, 27 have been approved, according to Rebecca Ragsdale, […]

Before the St. Thomas Aquinas statue was moved. Photo by Stephen Barling

Bumper Buddha’s big move

Drive past St. Thomas Aquinas Church on Alderman Road and you’ll notice something different—a Charlottesville icon has disappeared. The UVA student-dubbed “Bumper Buddha,” a statue of the church’s namesake welded out of chrome car bumpers, was moved to IX Art Park on May 2. “Without question, the sculpture became a landmark not only for our […]

Drainage from a mountain named Big Ridge will affect two of the state’s remaining native brook trout streams, Townsend Draft and Erwin Draft. Photo courtesy of Rick Webb

Mountaintop removal: Groups argue its definition

In an April 27 telepresser, a number of environmental groups discussed Dominion’s alleged plans to decapitate 38 miles of ridgelines in Virginia and West Virginia to make way for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. About 5.6 of those miles are atop Roberts Mountain in Nelson County. Moderated by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, spokespeople from […]

On the last day of May, Blue Moon Diner will close until early 2018. While a four-story mixed-use apartment complex is under construction behind and adjacent to Blue Moon this summer, the diner will undergo a few renovations itself. Rendering courtesy of Neighborhood Development Services

Feeling blue: Local diner set for closure

  On a recent Sunday morning, a crowd of Blue Moon Diner patrons could be seen hovering outside the side door of the self-proclaimed “best little breakfast, sandwich, burger, dinner, live music, arm wrestling, vinyl record-playing, family-friendly neighborhood bar and activist spot” with menus in hand. Lovers of the eatery, a Charlottesville institution, are shoveling […]

Construction on the Center at Belvedere is scheduled to start next year. Courtesy of Peter Thompson

Old news: $2 million for Senior Center in question

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has set aside $2 million in its capital improvement budget for the Center at Belvedere, a new senior center that is set for construction in the Belvedere neighborhood next year. And one county resident isn’t happy about the partnership. “I think it is wrong for government officials to spend […]

Greg Buppert, along with other attorneys at the Southern Environmental Law 
Center, questions the public necessity for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Amy Jackson

Legal group challenges need for Dominion’s pipeline

A local legal group will file a last-minute opinion that there isn’t enough market demand for a $6 billion pipeline. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which will eventually approve or deny plans for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, is accepting comments for its draft environmental impact statement until April 6. “I think the bottom line here is […]

Prime 109, a steakhouse bent on highlighting products from three cornerstone farms, is slated to open in May in the former Bank of America space on the Downtown Mall. Staff photo

When one bank closes, another one opens

Before Bank of America closed the doors of its 1916 building on the Downtown Mall in February, we reported that a steakhouse and at least one other bank would take its place. Loud construction noises coming from the spot last week caused us to check on its status. Citizen & Farmers Bank will occupy an […]

A judge ruled last week that Chartis Property Casualty Company does not have to cover convicted murderer George Huguely in a wrongful death lawsuit against him. Huguely’s mother, Marta Murphy (above), and stepfather are insured for $6 million with that company.  Staff photo

Split decision: Huguely insurance battle resolved

Last week a federal judge in Maryland ruled that Chartis Property Casualty Company does not have to cover convicted murderer George Huguely in a wrongful death lawsuit against him in Charlottesville. His mother and stepfather, Marta and Andrew Murphy, are insured for $6 million with that company. In 2010, the UVA lacrosse player had a […]

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello, who opposes the pipeline, was at the fundraiser where protesters temporarily took the stage.  Photo by Jen Fariello

Pasta supper surprise: Protest interrupts Dem dinner party

Gubernatorial candidates Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello and three lieutenant governor hopefuls were in town over the weekend for the Charlottesville Democratic Party’s 17th annual pasta supper and auction. New on this year’s menu was an Atlantic Coast Pipeline protest in which seven sign-carrying UVA students took the stage to demand that the candidates oppose […]

Tim Henley’s peach crop at Henley’s Orchard was already threatened before the latest cold blast and snow.
Rammelkamp Foto

Bummer crop: Warm temperatures worry farmers

Last month was the warmest February on record with an average temperature of 47.7 degrees, based on numbers from the McCormick Observatory dating back to the 19th century. While many are happy to ditch their winter coats early, a nice day this early in the season is a nightmare for some farmers. “It’s really going […]

Main Street Arena has sold for $5.7 million, but ice skating fans still have time to lace up their skates. Staff photo

SOLD: Ice rink goes for $5.7 million

Taliaferro Junction, LLC and Jaffray Woodriff announced their purchase of Main Street Arena on March 2, but it’s not quite time to say so long to skating—the new owners reached an agreement with the seller that will allow all ice skating programs to operate undisturbed this spring and through its final season this fall. Construction […]

Heather Hill. Photo: Eze Amos

Getting personal with Heather Hill

City Council candidate Age: 39 Resident since: 2003 (with two years away after getting her MBA) She describes herself as a wife and mother of three, a neighbor, an engaged community leader, an engineer, a business person and, now, a candidate for Charlottesville’s governing body. With her navy and lime-green Nikes laced up, Heather Hill […]

Hundreds of light bulbs spelled out "No Pipeline" on this sign that made its Nelson County debut February 22.

Feds hear pipeline comment behind closed doors

About 160 people attended a February 22 public comment session at Nelson County High School to voice their opinions to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which will eventually approve or deny plans for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. If approved, construction on the $5 billion and nearly 600-mile natural gas pipeline could begin by the […]

Lorenzo Dickerson has been making films about local African-Americans for four years. Photo by Eze Amos

Getting personal with Lorenzo Dickerson

Local filmmaker, age 35 Though he only began teaching himself the art of filmmaking four years ago while researching his ancestry, Lorenzo Dickerson’s calling has always been storytelling. “I enjoy bringing awareness to stories that either have been forgotten or that people have never known about,” says Dickerson about his films. “That’s really where my […]