In brief: New bridge, 10-story luxury hotel, funky smoothies and more…

Upon completion of the Berkmar Bridge, one can drive from the former Shoppers World, now called 29th Place, up to CHO without setting wheels on 29. Courtesy of VDOT Upon completion of the Berkmar Bridge, one can drive from the former Shoppers World, now called 29th Place, up to CHO without setting wheels on 29. Courtesy of VDOT

Good news for smoothie fans

Charlottesville has no reports of hepatitis A cases like the outbreak that struck 28 Tropical Smoothie Cafe patrons throughout Virginia that was thought to be caused by contaminated Egyptian strawberries, according to the local Virginia Department of Health office.

Understudy steps in

walter korte

While UVA drama professor Walter Francis Korte Jr., charged with two counts of possessing child pornography earlier this month, is still being held at the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail, two of his classes—Cinema as an Art Form and Film Aesthetics—are now being taught by Matthew Marshall, another professor in the department, according to the Cavalier Daily. History of Film, which Korte was also scheduled to teach this semester, is no longer listed for students.

A little more time

Governor Bob McDonnell's conviction on 11 counts of corruption highlighted Virginia's lax policies on the acceptance of gifts by public officials. Photo: Scott Elmquist.
Photo: Scott Elmquist

U.S. Supreme Court justices unanimously ruled to reverse former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell’s 11 corruption convictions in June, sending his case back to Richmond’s 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to decide whether there is enough evidence for a retrial. His council and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are now asking the appeals court to give the U.S. Justice Department three more weeks to further prepare and consider its next steps before taking any action.

Hotel hot spot

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Rendering courtesy of CARR City Centers

Developers announced August 29 that they have secured a $25.8 million loan for a 10-story luxury hotel on West Main Street. As part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection Hotels, the space will feature 150 guest rooms and suites, a restaurant and 3,000 square feet of meeting space. It will be located next to Uncommon, West Main’s newest digs. Construction is slated to begin this fall, and the hotel is expected to open in 2017.

Sexual assault details

The victim of the August 19 sexual assault occurring on Emmet Street, possibly between Thomson Road and Jefferson Park Avenue, recently told Charlottesville Police that “a couple of people” on the street took her home after the assault. Police ask for anyone who aided the victim or noticed anything suspicious in the area between 11:30pm and 1am to contact Detective Regine Wright-Settle at 970-3274.

Bridging the gap

Upon completion of the Berkmar Bridge, one can drive from the former Shoppers World, now called 29th Place, up to CHO without setting wheels on 29. Courtesy of VDOT

While the U.S. 29 and Rio Road grade-separated intersection got all the attention this summer, the Berkmar Drive Extended project, parallel to Seminole Trail, has been chugging along. Upon completion, one can drive from the former Shoppers World, now called 29th Place, up to CHO without setting wheels on 29. And VDOT has documented the bridge construction over the Rivanna with pretty nifty time-lapse photography. The connecting road beams are supposed to go in this week.

  • 2.3 miles long
  • Costs $54.5 million
  • Two lanes with four-lane right of way for future expansion
  • Includes bike lane, sidewalk and multi-use path

By the Numbers: Power struggle

Dominion Virginia Power was officially given the go-ahead August 23 to begin

a $140 million power line burial project across the state.

  • 400 miles of power lines buried
  • $350,000 per mile
  • $6 extra per year that each customer will pay
  • 50 cents added to average customer bill starting next month

Quote of the Week:

“Every year he has new evidence about why he shouldn’t be in jail in Virginia.” —Delegate Rob Bell about Jens Soering’s petition for absolute pardon.

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