In brief: Dissent in the air, taco shop heist and more

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The scene at Lee Park February 11 when Corey Stewart clashed with SURJ--Stand Up for Racial Justice.
Photo Eze Amos The scene at Lee Park February 11 when Corey Stewart clashed with SURJ–Stand Up for Racial Justice. Photo Eze Amos

Rolling Stone resists

The magazine was back in court February 9 in Roanoke to ask a judge to throw out a $3 million jury award to UVA administrator Nicole Eramo for defamation, arguing Eramo didn’t prove reporter Sabrina Erdely acted with actual malice and that running a correction isn’t defamatory republication. Judge Glen Conrad will rule in a few weeks.

Behind-the-scenes civil rights activist

Paul Saunier, who helped recruit black students to UVA in the ’60s, support them once here and who convinced most Corner businesses to desegregate in 1962 while he served as an adviser to the university’s then-president Edgar Shannon, died February 8 at age 97.

Patriot boycott

Super Bowl winner Chris Long, a St. Anne’s-Belfield and UVA grad and son of Howie, says he will not join his fellow New England Patriots in the traditional visit to the White House.

Coran Capshaw
Coran Capshaw. Photo Ashley Twigg

Still powerful

Music and development magnate Coran Capshaw comes in at No. 11 on Billboard’s Power 100 list—he was No. 7 last year.

Psychic’s husband sentenced

Donnie Marks will spend 33 months in prison and was ordered to pay $5.5 million in restitution to the victims he and his wife, Sandra Marks, aka Psychic Catherine, bilked when she claimed she could remove curses by cleansing large sums of cash. Marks, who is serving 30 months, met her marks at Synchronicity, a spiritual facility in Nelson.

Photo: Tom McGovern
No tacos were harmed during the Brazos burglary. Photo Tom McGovern

Brazos bandits

The Austin-style taco shop posted a video of two hooded thieves attempting to break into its cash register with what appeared to be a hammer over the weekend. The “knuckleheads,” as Brazos Tacos called them on Instagram, were caught by the Charlottesville Police Department.

Weekend warriors

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GOP candidate for governor Corey Stewart, center, with Joe Draego, left, who sued City Council, and Thaddeus Dionne Alexander. Photo Eze Amos

Demonstrations are becoming the new norm since the election of Donald Trump, and last Saturday saw at least three occasions of citizens exercising their rights to assemble. Although mostly peaceful, the demonstration and counterprotest at Lee Park got loud.

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Counterprotesters. Photo Eze Amos
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A local blogger with Harper Lee’s book. Photo Eze Amos

Gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart came to denounce City Council’s decision to remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee, bringing with him Thaddeus Dionne Alexander, who became a social media sensation for telling Hillary Clinton supporters to “stop being crybabies.” Stewart was met by protesters shouting, “Hey hey, ho ho, white supremacy’s got to go,” and his campaign described them as “an aggressive mob of liberal protesters.” WINA’s Rob Schilling captured on video WCHV’s Joe Thomas being verbally blasted by a bullhorn-wielding demonstrator.

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Rob Schilling and Corey Stewart. Photo Eze Amos
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Jennifer Tidwell, holding sign up, protests across town at Congressman Tom Garrett’s office.

Congressman Tom Garrett’s Berkmar Crossing office has been the venue of regular Tuesday protests since he was sworn in, and Charlottesville NOW’s February 11 protest brought hundreds to decry the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Down the road, a smaller anti-abortion group carried signs outside of Planned Parenthood’s facility.

Richmond watch

Last week was crossover week, when each chamber had completed work on its own bills and began considering legislation passed by the other body. Local delegates had these bills passed.

Delegate Steve Landes. File photoSteve Landes, R-Weyers Cave

Free speech on campus bill: For when the First Amendment isn’t enough.

Beloved bill redux: Requires boards of education to notify parents when materials have explicit content that would be defined as felonious sexual assault.

Photo: Amy JacksonRob Bell, R-Albemarle

Tebow bill: Bell carries his bill for about the 18th time that would allow homeschooled kids to play public school sports. The governor vetoed it last year.

Delegate David Toscano will stick around as House minority leader for at least one more session. Submitted photoDavid Toscano, D-Charlottesville

Misdemeanor DNA: Resolution requesting a study on expanding the use of DNA is headed to the Crime Commission for consideration.

Matt Fariss

Matt Fariss, R-Rustburg

Dangerous dog: Amends law to specify a nip doesn’t make a canine a menace.

Quote of the week

“Newby Gov candidate @Denver4Governor’s inexperience is showing. Doesn’t he know I voted AGAINST moving Lee statue?!”—Mayor Mike Signer responds to Denver Riggleman on Twitter

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