Locals ignite national firestorm
The appearance of Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son Humayun, a UVA grad and Army captain killed in Iraq in 2004, at the Democratic National Convention July 28 drew negative comments from Donald Trump and support from Republicans like Senator John McCain, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Four charges in crash that left woman dead
A grand jury indicted Frayser White IV August 1 on two felony counts for possession of heroin and cocaine, and two misdemeanors for reckless driving and possession of Xanax in the March 15 Ivy Road collision that killed Carolyn Wayne, 81. White initially was charged with his second DUI, but the prosecution dropped that after finding no evidence he’d consumed alcohol, according to court documents.
Title IX probed at UVA (again)
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights launched another Title IX investigation of UVA July 22. A former student has filed a complaint with the office alleging that he was discriminated against based on his gender and disability in the previous investigation that concluded last September.
Hingeley hangs it up
Jim Hingeley, who founded the Charlottesville-Albemarle Public Defender Office in 1998, is retiring, and an original member of his office, Elizabeth Murtagh, has been appointed the next public defender.
There’s an app for that
WillowTree and UVA developed an app that sends info to patients’ smartphones before colorectal surgery for improved outcomes, such as a reminder to stop taking certain vitamins or to get up and walk around after surgery.
Suicide at the river
Charlottesville police, who responded to a report of a body near a beach area on the Rivanna Trail on July 30, say the death was an apparent suicide and there is no safety concern on the trail.
Show on the road
With as much wringing of hands as there was about the construction at U.S. 29 and Rio Road this summer, the grade-separated intersection was opened to traffic July 18, a surprisingly quick 46 days ahead of schedule, earning contractors a $7.3 million bonus. Other Route 29 projects underway this summer:
Best Buy ramp: The additional lane from Emmet Street onto the U.S. 250 bypass, Barracks Road merge lane and noise barriers along the bypass were completed in May. The $17 million project includes a sidewalk in the median on Emmet between Angus Road and Morton Drive.
North 29 widening: This eliminates the squeeze down to two lanes at Polo Grounds Road and makes the 1.8-mile section three lanes in each direction up to Hollymead Town Center. Better yet, the $46.8 million project improves sightlines on hilly stretches, and adds sidewalks on both sides of the highway and a paved multi-use path on the east side.
Berkmar Drive extension: The two-lane, 2.3-mile road will run parallel to U.S. 29 behind Walmart up to Hollymead Town Center. VDOT has a cool time-lapse camera capturing the construction of a bridge over the South Fork Rivanna River on its Route 29 Solutions website. Sidewalks, bike lanes, a paved multi-use path and the rights of way in case we ever want to expand it to four lanes are included in the $54.5 million price tag.
Hillsdale Drive extension: Work on the $14 million road, which will take you from Whole Foods to Greenbrier Drive without having to get on Seminole Trail, began about a month ago.
Summertime doesn’t just bring bugs. Local vets typically see an uptick in snake bites to pets, with Greenbrier Emergency Animal Hospital reporting between four and eight a week.
- There are three venomous snake species in Virginia: eastern cottonmouth,
timber rattlesnake and copperhead.
- Copperheads are the only venomous species found statewide.
- Rural pets are more likely to be bitten than city pets.
- Sunset and just after dark are the most active times for copperheads, especially following a warm summer rain.
—John Kleopfer, herpetologist for Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Quote of the week
“It was July 4 weekend, so I figured we could turn it into some bacon.”—Aymarie Sutter, who’s charged with stealing a pig from the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA along with her fiancé, Lee Oakes Jr., tells the Newsplex she had permission from police to take the pig officers brought to the SPCA July 3.