Bell is out, UVA raises $3 billion, and Barefoot’s on TV: News briefs

Albemarle Delegate Rob Bell lost his bid to be the state GOP’s pick for Virginia Attorney General at the Republican Party’s convention in Richmond last weekend. Photo: Ash Daniel. Albemarle Delegate Rob Bell lost his bid to be the state GOP’s pick for Virginia Attorney General at the Republican Party’s convention in Richmond last weekend. Photo: Ash Daniel.

Check daily and pick up a copy of the paper Tuesday to for the latest Charlottesville and Albemarle news briefs and stories. Here’s a quick look at some of what we’ve had an eye on for the past week.

Obenshain beats out Bell for AG nomination

Albemarle Republican Delegate Rob Bell won’t be running to take Ken Cuccinelli’s place as Virginia’s Attorney General in November, having lost the nomination to State Senator Mark Obenshain at the Republican Party’s convention in Richmond Saturday.

The 8,000 Virginia GOPers in attendance gave Obenshain 55 percent of their votes on the first ballot in their effort to select a candidate, according to press reports. Bell, a former Orange County prosecutor who has served in the Statehouse since 2002, had advertised his tough-on-crime chops in the runup to the nomination.

Obenshain, who hails from Harrisonburg, will join a Republican ticket headed by Cuccinelli, who officially became the party’s pick for governor over the weekend.

UVA giving campaign meets $3 billion goal

As its class of 2013 celebrated graduation weekend, UVA President Teresa Sullivan announced the University had met its lofty $3 billion goal in a 9-year-old giving campaign, according to a Daily Progress report.

The fundraising effort was one of the largest in the history of public education when it was initiated in 2004 under former president John Casteen, but like many capital campaigns initiated prior to the recession, it floundered when the economy took a nosedive in 2008. Inside Higher Ed reported in January 2012 that UVA’s campaign had become the first billion-plus effort to have its deadline extended without an increase in the total giving goal. But last year, Senior Vice President for Development and Public Affairs Bob Sweeney set a new spring goal for the close of the campaign. According to a UVA press release, donations from more than 220,000 individuals and corporations helped the University cross the finish line.

UVA has plans to launch a $5 billion bicentennial campaign in 2017, according to a financial report released earlier this year, and aims to double its philanthropic cash flow growth rate from 2 to 4 percent.

Barefoot launches local CBS TV show

Charlottesville radio show host Coy Barefoot has partnered with Charlottesville CBS 19 to launch a half-hour TV program with a focus on in-depth local news.

Barefoot is an author and the founder and host of the news and talk radio show “Charlottesville–Right Now!” on WINA, and has been partnering with Newsplex—home to local CBS, ABC, and Fox affiliates—since last year, when he created a weekly TV feature on Charlottesville and Albemarle history, according to a report in The Hook.

The new show, “Inside Charlottesville,” airs at 11:30am Sundays after “Face the Nation.” It’s not the only local news partnership announced this month. Online public affairs reporting website Charlottesville Tomorrow is launching a Kickstarter-funded education beat, and is partnering with The Hook and C-VILLE Weekly to publish school-focused stories in print.

Scottsville residents celebrate new and improved downtown

Scottsville’s town improvement project has been a decade in the making, and last Sunday, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and downtown celebration was held to commemorate its completion. According to NBC29, the improvements and additions include new street lights, signs, sidewalks, and trees downtown, and new bathrooms next to the farmers’ market pavilion.

The town-wide renovation also included converting an old jail building, across the street from the pavilion, into a new visitors’ center. The 10-year project cost almost $2 million, according to Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler, and the second phase of the streetscape project was funded by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

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