James O’Brien

After it closed in 2003, Western State was a magnet for ghost hunters and daring teens. Now it's going to be a deluxe inn.
Photo Daniel Stein

In brief: Mental health break, Groundhog Day and more

Seeking asylum He’ll tell you it’s not haunted, but owner and developer Robin Miller acknowledges the twisted history of the new Blackburn Inn, his historic boutique hotel set to open in Staunton this spring. Originally serving as the Western State Lunatic Asylum in the early 1800s, a hospital for the mentally ill—known for its electroshock […]

Troy Dunigan, who pleaded guilty to throwing a water bottle into a crowd at the Unite the Right rally, says he doesn't like Nazis. Staff photo

August 12 water bottle-thrower pleads guilty

Another crop of alt-righters and counterprotesters arrested for acts related to the infamous Unite the Right rally were heard in Charlottesville General District Court today. Chattanooga, Tennessee, resident Troy Dunigan says he drove seven hours to plead guilty to a disorderly conduct charge for throwing an empty bottle at a group of white nationalists. “I […]

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