In brief: FA5 tightens up, free the nipple, another renaming and more

Photo Chris Pecoraro Photo Chris Pecoraro

Fridays new format

Treasured Charlottesville tradition Fridays After Five kicks off April 13, with a not-so-special nod to the realities of crowds gathering in the 21st century. After-Fivers will find enhanced security at the Sprint Pavilion with bag checks and fewer entrances to the area.

“Anyone in the event industry holding mass gatherings understands the shift,” says general manager Kirby Hutto. “We want to provide a safe environment.”

That means professional security will be examining bags and entrance will be limited to the Downtown Mall, Seventh Street at Market and the Belmont Bridge ramp.

And for ticketed events, attendees will walk through metal detectors.

The season will kick off with more rather than less security, says Hutto. “We don’t want to create long lines. We know people come from work with their laptop bags or with strollers.”

Says Hutto, “It’s just a recognition of the changing world we live in.”

In brief

Mayor’s speeding ticket

Staff photo

Nikuyah Walker was in Charlottesville Circuit Court April 9 to appeal a November 14 conviction for driving 43mph in a 25mph zone, but her attorney, Jeff Fogel, didn’t show. The case was continued to June 1.



More Soering defenders

Another cop has cast doubt on the 1990 conviction of Jens Soering for the double slaying of then-girlfriend Elizabeth Haysom’s parents. Former FBI special agent Stan Lapekas says he’s found documents proving the FBI did a profile in 1985 that said the killer was likely a female with close ties to the Haysoms. Bedford investigator Ricky Gardner has steadfastly denied such a profile existed.

Slowpoke schadenfreude

Thousands of the annoying drivers who hog the left lane while going below the normal speed of traffic have been fined $100 since Virginia enacted fines July 1, 2017, WTOP reports.

Topless buskers

Morgan Hopkins. Staff photo

Jeff Fogel filed a lawsuit against Charlottesville police for the August 12 arrest of Morgan Hopkins, who, amid the violence and mayhem of that day, took off her shirt. Fogel, who represented activist Veronica Fitzhugh when she disrobed at Occupy in 2011, says under state law, “the mere fact of nudity does not constitute indecent exposure,” and that shirtless men with Hopkins were not arrested.




“During Aug 12 Nazi rally in #Charlottesville, police ignored assaults by Nazis, didn’t arrest them. Instead, they arrested harmless hippies on the downtown mall. Thanks, CPD, for protecting the public from women’s exposed nipples! Smh”@Jalane_Schmidt in an April 6 tweet

Hand ‘em over

Judge Rick Moore has ruled that Virginia State Police must turn over a redacted copy of its August 12 operational plan to local freelance journalists Natalie Jacobsen and Jackson Landers, who were represented by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. They’ve also obtained Charlottesville police plans as a result of the same Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Unsuccessful lobby

The city hired Troutman Sanders Strategies to lobby the General Assembly against Delegate Steve Landers’ revenue-sharing bill, which requires Charlottesville to account for the millions Albemarle pays it each year and for the two localities to meet annually to discuss economic development. The bill passed unanimously in both houses and Governor Ralph Northam signed it into law.

Teen runaway

Margie Araceli Garcia Urbina, 17, was reported missing March 3. Albemarle police say her cellphone is off,  she has not responded to attempts to contact her on social media, and she appears to have used an ATM March 3 in Opelika, Alabama.





Elder embezzlement

Renee Magruder Madel was convicted of felony embezzlement for using a power of attorney to bilk an elderly victim of thousands. She was sentenced April 3 to 10 years suspended, 30 days in jail and restitution of over $50,000.

Closure wanted

Robert Hourihan. Submitted photo

Robert Hourihan disappeared seven years ago on April 8. Last seen in Palmyra, his car was later found in a parking lot in Maryland. Police suspect foul play and are still seeking information to provide closure to his family.








Popular parks monikers

The city conducted a survey March 6-28 to rename the parks formerly known as Lee and Jackson and currently dubbed Emancipation and Justice. Led by longtime resident Mary Carey’s dislike of the name Emancipation, the survey received 7,535 submissions. Lee and Jackson were disqualified, but that did not keep Lee from receiving the most write-in votes, according to “The Schilling Show.”

Most votes

For Emancipation Park: Market Street Park

For Justice Park: Court Square Park

Weighted votes

Emancipation Park

  • Vinegar Hill Park
  • Market Street Park
  • Central Park

Justice Park

  • Court Square Park
  • Justice Park
  • Courthouse Park

Top write-in (aside from Lee and Jackson)

Swanson Legacy Park, in honor of Gregory Swanson, the first African American to attend UVA law school—after he sued the university, a case that was heard in federal court, which was located in what is now the Central Library bordering Emancipation Park.


Updated April 12 with the Swanson Legacy Park write-ins.

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