In brief: Diverging diamond, Way’s passing, educator arrested and more

In brief: Diverging diamond, Way’s passing, educator arrested and more

Six road projects, one $36-million package

The Virginia Department of Transportation has identified six upgrades for Albemarle roads, and will choose one contractor
to design and build them for $35.9 million. Citizens can check out and weigh in on the projects from 5:30 to 7:30pm at Western
Albemarle High School on Wednesday, October 10, and at Albemarle High on Thursday, October 11.

  • I-64 and U.S. 29 interchange: Eliminates crash-prone loop exit from U.S. 29 south to I-64 east, and installs two left-turn lanes on 29.
  • I-64 and U.S. 250 at Richmond Road: While left-turn lanes are being installed above, this project eliminates the current left turns across traffic onto 64 with a tricky diverging diamond interchange, like the one at Zion Crossroads, which allows lefts without crossing oncoming traffic.
  • U.S. 29 at Fontaine Avenue: Reduces number of lane changes needed to exit 29 north to Fontaine.
  • U.S. 250 at Route 151: Builds a roundabout at the collision-heavy intersection of Alcohol Alley and Rockfish Gap Turnpike near Afton.
  • Route 20 at Proffit and Riggory Ridge roads: Adds a roundabout at this intersection.
  • Berkmar Drive Extended. Adds a quarter-mile connector with Rio Mills Road


Quote of the week

“We knew all the details. Maurice always told the councilors.”—Bob Fenwick on former police chief Al Thomas remaining on the public payroll, according to the Daily Progress

In brief

Teacher’s aide indicted

The man knocked to the ground by Deputy Police Chief Greg Jenkins at an August 30 Albemarle County School Board meeting has now been indicted on a felony charge of assaulting a police officer. Michael Reid was among dozens of protesters calling for the school board to ban Confederate imagery from its dress code, and was brought to the hospital after the scuffle with Jenkins, who accused Reid of assaulting him.

Another Miller Center departure

Doug Blackmon. Wikimedia Commons

Douglas Blackmon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Slavery by Another Name, follows two other senior historians in leaving the Miller Center. The former director of public programs declined to stay after his contract ended, and wrote in an email to the center’s CEO, obtained by the Cavalier Daily, “our ships are traveling on very different bearings.” Like Melvyn Leffler and William Hitchcock, Blackmon also cited the appointment of former Trump aide Marc Short as a factor.

Korte sentenced

Former UVA film studies professor Walter Korte, 75, was ordered to jail October 2 for possessing two child porn images. Korte, who was sentenced to 12 months, had requested electronic home incarceration, but Judge Humes Franklin denied the request. Korte was arrested in 2016 after tossing thousands of legal pornographic images in a UVA dumpster.

Federal lawsuit

Ira Socol, the Albemarle school division’s former chief technology and innovation officer, says he was wrongfully punished for his unauthorized purchase of school furniture earlier this year. He is suing the school board and Superintendent Matt Haas for firing him without a hearing, violating his right to due process, breach of contract, and defamation, according to the complaint.

Preacher, public servant dies

Courtesy Rob Bell

The Reverend Peter Way, who served on Albemarle’s Board of Supervisors and school board, and was the 58th District delegate in the General Assembly, died October 6 at 82. The Keene resident was elected to the House in 1991 in a seven-vote squeaker.

After his retirement from elected office in 1997, he founded the Conservative Coalition, a Tea Party forerunner. “He was a passionate fiscal conservative,” says Paul Wright, who worked with Way in the coalition in the late ’90s.

Way was passionate about his religious beliefs as well, says Wright, but he was not judgmental toward those who did not share his beliefs. “He was one of the good guys in politics.”

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