In brief: Berkmar Bridge, underage drinking, stinky festival and more

In brief: Berkmar Bridge, underage drinking, stinky festival and more

Getting busy

Construction on the Berkmar Drive extension and the Berkmar Bridge is well underway, with VDOT’s goal of substantially finishing both by the end of the year and officially completing them next summer, months before the
October 2017 deadline. A team of VDOT employees and representatives from a project delivery advisory panel suited up September 22 to check out the progress. Here’s what they learned:

  •  60,000 cubic tons of dirt excavated
    from the Rio Road interchange on
    Route 29 were used as fill for the
    2.2-mile road extension, which will
    have a mixed-use path and sidewalk
    on either side.
  • The next and final steps for the road
    will be installing drain pipes, piling
    seven inches of stone, compacting and
    paving three layers of asphalt that
    will add another seven inches.
  • A 35mph speed limit will be imposed.
  • VDOT workers were placing the
    bridge’s final girders last week. Next,
    the forms that will support the
    concrete deck while the concrete
    cures will be installed on top of
    the girders.
  • The overall Berkmar project cost is
    $38.2 million.
  • Hard hats and reflective vests are
    quite warm.

Follow us on Twitter @cvillenews_desk for more photos and videos of the tour.

Guv goes shopping

mcauliffe stripes

Terry McAuliffe had a tough choice to make September 22 at Mincer’s—which striped polo shirt to buy. He was in town to talk at the Center for Politics, do lunch with Larry Sabato and Teresa Sullivan and rally the troops at Dem headquarters on the Downtown Mall.

Male contraceptive researcher dies

UVA reproductive biologist John Herr, 68, died September 17 of a heart attack shortly after running a 10K. He was a prolific inventor, filing scores of patents. Among them were SpermCheck, a home male fertility test, and a reversible male implant that blocks sperm. 

Habeas hearing

Convicted murderer George Huguely’s attorney, Jon Sheldon, was in court September 26, and said an improper jury instruction resulted in Huguely being unlawfully imprisoned. The judge will rule on motions in the former UVA lacrosse player’s writ of habeas corpus.

Korte hospitalized

Former UVA film studies professor Walter Korte, who is charged with two counts of possessing child pornography, did not appear in court September 26. NBC 29 reports that Korte was granted bond September 9 and attempted suicide two days later. On September 15, he was listed as being in serious condition at UVA Medical Center. His next court appearance is October 24.       

Rob Bell’s seat in play

With Bell running for attorney general in 2017, candidates are already lining up for his 58th District seat. Greene resident Mike Allers, a fourth-grade teacher, announced September 21 he’ll seek the Republican nomination.

The downside of winning Saturday’s game

Ten 18- and 19-year-olds were arrested around UVA for underage possession of alcohol, along with one fake ID charge, according to Charlottesville police reports.

DIP triple play

Kevin Anthony Glover, 26, was arrested for being drunk in public September 23 on Sixth Street SE, September 24 on 14th Street NW and September 25 on Wertland Street, according to city police reports.

$25,000 victory

From left to right, Sepehr Zomorodi, Zachery Davis, Payam Pourtaheri, Ameer Shakeel, Joseph Frank and Dr. Mark Kester are current members of the AgroSpheres team. Courtesy of Payam Pourtaheri
From left to right, Sepehr Zomorodi, Zachery Davis, Payam Pourtaheri, Ameer Shakeel, Joseph Frank and Dr. Mark Kester are current members of the AgroSpheres team. Courtesy of Payam Pourtaheri

AgroSpheres, a local bioremediation startup reported on in C-VILLE’s September 21 issue, was the winner of Virginia Velocity Tour’s business pitch competition in Charlottesville September 23 and gets $25k in grant money.

Best press release goes to…

An e-mail titled “26th Annual Garlic Festival Promises a Stinkin’ Good Time” graced C-VILLE inboxes this week to advertise an event that must truly reek. The two-day October 8-9 festival at Rebec Vineyards in Amherst attracts winos and garlic fanatics from far and wide.

Quote of the Week: “We need people who can get things done. I’m tired of partisanship. We need someone who can work with the new president—Hillary.”—Governor Terry McAuliffe weighs in on the 5th District congressional race.