In brief: Professor sentenced, county crowdsourcing, Anthem’s return and more

Walter Korte leaves court August 8, 2017, after a judge holds off accepting a plea agreement.
Staff photo Walter Korte leaves court August 8, 2017, after a judge holds off accepting a plea agreement. Staff photo

Korte sentenced to 12 months

With a handful of UVA colleagues sitting in the courtroom, film studies professor Walter Korte, 74, was sentenced to five years in prison with all but 12 months suspended after pleading guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography.

Korte was busted in August 2016 when he was spotted dumping thousands of porn images in a UVA dumpster. His lawyer, Bonnie Lepold, argued that despite his predilection for pornography, the images were all “lawful pornography and erotica.” He did not engage in any inappropriate behavior with children and had no criminal record, she said, and in the two years since his arrest, no one came forward to allege such behavior.

“He was not a child pornographer and had no interest in that,” she said. Lepold asked that he be sentenced to the five weeks he’s already served in jail or home incarceration with electronic monitoring.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Galloway said Korte was not a threat, and she acknowledged his lack of criminal history. But she wanted a year to send a message that child porn possession will be punished regardless of one’s age or position in the community.

Judge Humes Franklin added 10 year’s good behavior to Korte’s sentence, and when asked about the home incarceration, he said, “I want to sleep on it.”

“We’re looking for a middle ground of security in the future.”—Interim City Manager Mike Murphy at the August 20 City Council meeting, on the topic of security for August 12, 2019.

Anthem returns

After dumping the Charlottesville area individual marketplace last year and leaving Optima as the area’s sole insurance provider, Anthem says it’s re-entering the market here and in 41 other Virginia localities in 2019. And in related news, Charlottesville couple Steve Vondra and Bonnie Morgan joined a federal lawsuit filed by Chicago and other cities suing President Donald Trump and his administration for intentionally and unlawfully sabotaging the Affordable Care Act.

Foxfield feud

Plaintiffs challenging the Foxfield Racing Association’s plan to sell the 179-acre Marianna de Tejeda property, bequeathed to perpetuate horse racing in Albemarle, were in court August 17. They were represented by William Hurd, the same attorney who thwarted plans to close Sweet Briar College. The judge will issue her ruling August 28.

MoJo’s first day

There’s no getting away from the Confederate statue issue, as former city manager Maurice Jones discovered August 20 on his first day on the job as town manager in Chapel Hill, where protesters at the University of North Carolina toppled Silent Sam.

Charlottesville has its own Silent Sam. file photo


The county has approved plans for a boat landing and trailhead on the Rivanna River at Rio Mills Road, as well as plans to crowdsource the $700,000 needed to open the 20-acre park, according to Charlottesville Tomorrow.

Pipeline halt

A federal appeals court nullified two permits for Dominion Energy’s $6 billion, 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which has temporarily ceased construction. One of the authorizations that judges with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out was a right-of-way permit for the pipeline to run underneath the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Back to legislate

Governor Ralph Northam has called for a special session of the General Assembly to convene August 30 to redraw districts of the House of Delegates. A panel of federal judges ruled June 26 that 11 districts were racially gerrymandered and must be redone by the end of October.

New Hoos

file photo

Though the majority of the University of Virginia’s Class of 2022 will consist of white girls from right here in the Old Dominion, it’ll be the most diverse class in UVA’s history.

Along with “record high” racial diversity at 34 percent—or 1,294 minority students compared to 1,247 last year—the university is also “particularly pleased” that 11 percent of the incoming class are first-generation college students, said UVA spokesperson Wes Hester.

Here’s what the newest crop of Wahoos looks like:

Total number of

Female: 56%

Male: 44%

In-state: 65%

Out-of-state: 35%

African American: 9.1%

Minority total: 34%

First generation: 11.1%

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