In brief: Goonz get life, Eramo public figure and more

Dome Room and reopened gallery.
Photo Dan Addison/UVA Dome Room and reopened gallery. Photo Dan Addison/UVA

Goonz sentenced

Daniel Mathis, Mersadies Shelton, Shanti Shelton and Kweli Uhuru, members of the 99 Goonz Syndikate, each were sentenced in federal court September 19 to life sentences for the 2013 murder of Waynesboro reserve police captain Kevin Quick.

Kevin Quick's killers get life sentences. Photo courtesy Waynesboro Police
Kevin Quick/Waynesboro Police

Higher return on DUI checkpoint

Albemarle police stopped 297 cars at a September 10 DUI checkpoint on Route 20 and Riding Club Road and pulled over 28, netting four DUIs, five suspended licenses and one pot charge. In June, police stopped 60 cars on Proffit Road, screened 10 and found zero drunk drivers, but did get one marijuana and one cocaine possession.

Eramo a public figure

Nicole Eramo Photo Dan Addison / UVA Communications
Dan Addison/UVA communications

A judge ruled September 15 that former UVA associate dean Nicole Eramo is a limited public figure, which means a jury must determine whether Rolling Stone published “A Rape on Campus” with malice, a higher standard than that for private citizens, when her defamation lawsuit against the magazine goes to trial October 17. Seven people will sit on the jury, which will not include UVA employees.

Racism alive and well

Residents of Kent and Dabney discovered the N-word and other racial slurs inked in permanent marker throughout the first-year dorms September 2. UVA responded after the Cav Daily reported the incident September 14.


The 5th Street Station Parkway, a half-mile stretch that connects Avon and Fifth streets, opened September 16 and provides a much-needed shortcut.

Call and response

The Charlottesville Salvation Army raised $101,685 at its fourth annual telethon September 13, in which local celebrities, including Charlottesville and Albemarle police chiefs Al Thomas and Ron Lantz, helped answer phones and take donations.

Rotunda redux

Dan Addison, UVA communications

The just completed $58.5 million restoration of the Rotunda highlights its importance both to the University of Virginia and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and with a big bicentennial birthday coming up, it was a good time to freshen up. “Daily life is hard on 200-year-old buildings,” says UVA architect Alice Raucher, especially one that is well used.

But what’s been missing for a long time in the iconic site are actual students. A survey revealed that only one in four ever sets foot in the Rotunda during his time at UVA. And with that in mind, many of the renovations were made to lure students back to what Thomas Jefferson designed as the heart of the university. Officially open September 26, here’s what’s new.

  • Classrooms instead of offices. State-of-the-art teaching rooms, including one for first-year seminars, are designed to maximize student use.

    Dan Addison, UVA communicationsClassrooms instead of offices. 
  • The old gymnasia is the new multipurpose room on the first floor. Windows were turned into doors opening to the west courtyard for casual indoor/outdoor events.
  • The old chemical hearth is a pretty astounding discovery, uncovered last year during the renovation. Probably bricked up in the 1850s, it indicates how fortunate it was that the Rotunda was not blown up by early students.
  • New brick floor. A crucial part of the work was to dig out the first floor and east courtyard 15’ deep and add a 6,000-square-foot mechanical room to bring the infrastructure up to the 21st century—while not collapsing the historic landmark.
  • Velvet rope is gone on the second-floor museum room, with comfy sofas added to encourage student studying there at least three days a week.
  • Dome Room study hall. When not being used for events, students can hit the books under the new acoustic plaster ceiling.

    Dan Addison/UVA communications
  • Mid-level gallery. Newly accessible around the upper Dome Room, 25 chairs offer more opportunities to study the new and improved column capitals.

Quote of the week

“I would think that after a while people would get tired of Mark Brown’s constant whining and his relentless efforts to twist everything to benefit himself at the expense of others.”Tom Wolf, the Richmond LeClairRyan attorney representing Charlottesville
in its litigation against Brown.

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