In brief: Basketball fever, deadly tracks, terrorizer pleads, and more

Boylan Heights goes nuts March 30 as UVA takes down Purdue to advance to its first Final Four since 1984.
Martyn Kyle Boylan Heights goes nuts March 30 as UVA takes down Purdue to advance to its first Final Four since 1984. Martyn Kyle

Buzzer beater

UVA heads to the Final Four in Minneapolis April 6 after a heart-stopping 80-75 win over Purdue’s Boilermakers, thanks to a last second bucket by Mamadi Diakite to put the Cavs into overtime. The win marks Virginia’s first appearance in the Final Four since 1984, coach Tony Bennett’s 10th year leading the Hoos, and redemption for last year’s first-round loss to a No. 16 seed.

Guilty plea in CHS threat

Albemarle High senior Joao Pedro Souza Ribeiro, 17, pleaded guilty March 27 to making a racist threat online that shut down Charlottesville city schools for two days last month. The Daily Progress reports Ribeiro told a juvenile court judge that he was “bored” in study hall and posted the threat as a joke. He’ll be sentenced April 24. Another Albemarle teen was charged with a felony for a shooting threat to Albemarle High, but police have not released his name.

Suing Alex Jones

Federal Judge Norman Moon ruled that Clean Virginia exec Brennan Gilmore’s defamation lawsuit against Infowars, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and others of his ilk can proceed. Gilmore videoed James Fields plowing into protesters August 12, 2017, and he alleges the defendants spread false information about him, resulting in death threats against him and his family. Jones is also being sued by Sandy Hook parents for claiming the mass murder of children was staged.

One train, two deaths

A Buckingham Branch train struck Sebastian Herrera, 39, of Waynesboro, around noon March 31 in Crozet, and then hours later killed an unidentified man in Waynesboro. Herrera, the third person to die on the train tracks in Crozet since 2015, was killed near Lanetown Road, close to where a Time-Disposal employee died last year.

Orange hotbed

The gated community Lake of the Woods has been the scene of alleged criminal activity recently. Ryan Chamblin, 36, was indicted on 161 counts of possession of child porn March 25. He’d previously been charged with five counts and two of failure to register as a sex offender. That same day, Stafford resident Roy C. Mayberry, 46, was indicted for embezzling more than $450,000 from the Lake of the Woods Association.

Quote of the week

“It’s clear that you would lynch me if you could so I’m never concerned with your thoughts.” Mayor Nikuyah Walker in a Facebook comment to Justin Beights, who sarcastically said her negativity is inspiring.

Crime pays—a little into government coffers

Cash-strapped localities have been known to use speed traps to plug their budget holes (ahem, Greene County), and after the Department of Justice found that law enforcement in Ferguson, Missouri, had effectively been acting as tax collectors (bringing 23 percent of the town’s revenue in fines and fees), a 2017 report said that a number of other municipalities were doing the same thing. But it’s not the case in Charlottesville and Albemarle. 

“CPD does not use ‘speed traps,’” says Charlottesville police spokesperson Tyler Hawn. “We use traffic enforcement to ensure drivers are following the posted speed limits and rules of the road for everyone’s safety.”

As City Council finalizes its 2020 budget, it voted April 1 to up the local meals and lodging taxes (and seems likely to not raise the real estate tax, after “finding” another $850,000). With all that cash, citizen criminal activities make a small revenue contribution to the proposed $188 million budget. Albemarle County also gets revenue from convictions, a .1% pittance in its $487 million budget.

Here’s how some of the numbers stack up in the proposed fiscal year 2020 budget.


Court revenue $500,000

Parking fines $420,000

Property tax $73.3 million

Meals tax $14.9 million

Lodging tax $6.4 million



Fines and forfeitures: $457,282

Property tax $201 million

Meals tax $9.8 million

Lodging tax $1.2 million

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