In brief: Bigfoot erotica, council infighting (again), white supremacist infighting and more

Leslie Cockburn captured this screenshot of opponent Denver Riggleman. Leslie Cockburn captured this screenshot of opponent Denver Riggleman.

Bigfoot erotica

Fifth District Democratic candidate Leslie Cockburn called opponent Denver Riggleman a devotee of “Bigfoot erotica” because of images of Bigfoot with a black bar over its genitals on Riggleman’s Instagram account. Riggleman, who co-authored a book on the legendary ape-like creature, said the images are a joke from his friends, and returned fire at Cockburn’s 1991 book on U.S. relations with Israel, which Republicans have called “anti-Semitic.”

Quote of the week

“This is an attempt to put me in my place.”—Mayor Nikuyah Walker on Facebook after fellow councilors ask if she should recuse herself from the selection of a new city manager because she’s a temporary parks & rec employee

Zemp’s response

Sidney Zemp, the man who was offered the interim city manager position, which sparked a major outcry from Mayor Nikuyah Walker, who denounced the selection process and read his resumé aloud on Facebook Live, cited “the controversy contrived by the mayor and her questionable motivations” as a reason for turning down the offer. Assistant City Manager Mike Murphy was named interim city manager hours before Maurice Jones left the position July 31.

Profs resign

Two UVA history professors—William Hitchcock and Melvyn Leffler—resigned from the Miller Center in protest of its offering a senior fellowship to former Trump legislative affairs director Marc Short. Both Hitchcock and Leffler are tenured and retain positions in the history department.

Creepy teacher sentenced

Richard Wellbeloved-Stone

When former Charlottesville High School science teacher Richard Wellbeloved-Stone was sentenced in federal court July 30 to 23 years in prison for one count of production of child pornography, it was revealed that he had also taken more than 100 photos up students’ skirts and down students’ shirts from 2012 to 2014, which could warrant more charges.


Teacher killer sentenced

The man charged in the involuntary manslaughter death of Western Albemarle music teacher Eric Bretthauser in 2016 was sentenced to three years in prison. Aaron Johnson of Richmond initially was charged with manslaughter while driving under the influence.

No prison time

Stephen Dalton Baril

In a case that has been picked up across the country, Stephen Dalton Baril—an ex-UVA student and grandson of John Dalton, the former Republican governor who served Virginia from 1978 to 1982—had his felony rape and sodomy charge reduced to misdemeanor sexual battery and felony unlawful wounding in exchange for an Alford plea. “You raped me whether you want to hear it or not,” the victim said. He’ll serve five years of supervised probation.


It’s an alt-right infight

While it’s become clear over the past year that Jason Kessler isn’t the most popular guy in town, he’s also not the most popular among white nationalist internet trolls. And his decision to allow people of color to volunteer at the Unite the Right reunion planned for D.C. and his apparent ban on neo-Nazis at the event aren’t helping. A quick perusal of snippets from social media site Gab—where many white supremacists flee when Twitter gives them the boot—gives insight into what they’re arguing about these days.



Doggy duty

courtesy draftsman hotel

There’s a new employee at the Draftsman Hotel and this one has fur.

Meet Bulleit Rye Whiskey, the resident Wheaton terrier who was born 21 miles from the hotel at Shady Lane Family Farm in Free Union, and who clocks his hours by greeting guests and their pets.

The Draftsman, the 11-story, 150-room upscale boutique hotel that opened on West Main Street in May, will celebrate its official grand opening this summer—and Bulleit will be there making sure everything goes according to plan.

“Bulleit absolutely loves being around people,” says Draftsman manager and doggy daddy JP Roberts. “He’s thrilled to greet new guests and wander around the library and lobby, but we are most excited about having him interact with the incredibly tough kids next door at UVA Children’s Hospital once he completes his therapy dog certification.”

Bulleit, who bribed us by mailing us a couple beef bourguignon dog treats, has his own message: “I don’t want to brag, but most people say I am a very good boy,” the pooch said in a press release. And his shameless plug?  “I wanted to let everyone know that the Draftsman is open for business and we are having our grand opening on September 20.”

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