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    Google News / 16.01.2018 16:25
  • Proposed State Law May Help Historic Charlottesville Cemetery - NBC 29 NewsProposed State Law May Help Historic Charlottesville Cemetery - NBC 29 News

    NBC 29 NewsProposed State Law May Help Historic Charlottesville CemeteryNBC 29 NewsA new push from Richmond may help those laid to rest in one of Charlottesville's historic cemeteries. 57th District Delegate David Toscano is proposing legislation that will disburse funds for cemeteries to preserve African-American history. The ...

    Google News / 14 h. 10 min. ago
  • Charlottesville superintendent proposes pay increaseCharlottesville superintendent proposes pay increase

    SuperintendShent Rosa Atkins has proposed higher compensation effective July 1st, 2018. Atkins has shared her recommendations with City School Board members Lisa Torres, Jennifer McKeever, Leah Puryear, Sherry Kraft, Chairman Juandiego Wade, and Adam Hastings.

    Charlottesville News / 15 h. 29 min. ago
  • Charlottesville Police Respond to Reports of Vehicle EnteringsCharlottesville Police Respond to Reports of Vehicle Enterings

    The Charlottesville Police Department has taken several reports from citizens in the Blue Ridge Road, Hessian Road, Rosser Lane and Rugby Road area where unlocked vehicles were entered and rummaged through. These incidents were reported to have occurred between 11 p.m. 01/14/2018 and 4 a.m. 01/15/2018.

    Charlottesville News / 15 h. 29 min. ago
  • Charlottesville Police Respond to Reports of Vehicle Enterings ... - NBC 29 NewsCharlottesville Police Respond to Reports of Vehicle Enterings ... - NBC 29 News

    NBC 29 NewsCharlottesville Police Respond to Reports of Vehicle Enterings ...NBC 29 NewsThe Charlottesville Police Department has taken several reports from citizens in the Blue Ridge Road, Hessian Road, Rosser Lane and Rugby Road area where unlocked vehicles were entered and rummaged through. These incidents were reported to have ...Police say several unlocked vehicles entered around town - NewsplexThe Charlottesville Newsplexall 4 news articles »

    Google News / 15 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Vatican Designates Northern Virginia Church as a Basilica - NBC 29 NewsVatican Designates Northern Virginia Church as a Basilica - NBC 29 News

    NBC 29 NewsVatican Designates Northern Virginia Church as a BasilicaNBC 29 NewsALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - The Vatican has designated a historic Catholic church in Northern Virginia as a basilica. Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge announced the designation during services Sunday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Old Town Alexandria ...and more »

    Google News / 17 h. 31 min. ago more
  • Virginia panel votes down push for stricter gun lawsVirginia panel votes down push for stricter gun laws

    A Republican-led panel voted Monday to block legislation that would allow cities and counties to ban firearms at certain public events. The bill came in response to a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last summer where several participants were heavily armed.

    Charlottesville News / 17 h. 46 min. ago
  • McAuliffe takes a shot at Charlottesville on his way out the doorMcAuliffe takes a shot at Charlottesville on his way out the door

    In an exit interview of sorts with a Richmond radio station, Governor Terry McAuliffe took a parting shot blaming Charlottesville completely for what happened August 12th. McAuliffe in nearly his last day in office told Newsradio 1140 WRVA the state was prepared for what was to come that day, but it appears Charlottesville was not.

    Charlottesville News / 20 h. 7 min. ago
  • VDOT Pretreating Roadways In Shenandoah Valley - NBC29 WVIR ... - NBC 29 NewsVDOT Pretreating Roadways In Shenandoah Valley - NBC29 WVIR ... - NBC 29 News

    NBC 29 NewsVDOT Pretreating Roadways In Shenandoah Valley - NBC29 WVIR ...NBC 29 NewsThe Virginia Department of Transportation Staunton District is pretreating interstate roads and some primary roads in the Shenandoah Valley in preparation for possible snow.and more »

    Google News / 20 h. 34 min. ago
  • How the Alt-Right Uses Social Science to Make Racism RespectableHow the Alt-Right Uses Social Science to Make Racism Respectable

    If you are a current Subscriber and are unable to log in, you may have to create a NEW username and password. To do so, click here and use the "NEW USER" sign-up option.

    Charlottesville News / 1 d. 1 h. ago
  • Letter from Charlottesville to UkraineLetter from Charlottesville to Ukraine

    Nazi rallies in the news in recent years have most prominently been held here in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, and in Ukraine. I want to send thoughts of solidarity to those in Ukraine resisting fascism.

    Charlottesville News / 1 d. 5 h. 35 min. ago
  • Soldier who leaked info to WikiLeaks to run for SenateSoldier who leaked info to WikiLeaks to run for Senate

    Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning who was convicted of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of documents and videos to the WikiLeaks website, announced Sunday she would run for a seat in the Maryland Senate. The transgender activist and former soldier filed to run for Senate on Thursday, but confirmed the bid with a campaign ad she posted to Twitter on Sunday, reported The Hill .

    Charlottesville News / 1 d. 7 h. 50 min. ago more
  • MLK celebration encourages students and community to - Be the Difference'MLK celebration encourages students and community to - Be the Difference'

    As students return to the University for the beginning of the spring semester, many will join University staff, faculty and members of the community in a three-week-long celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will feature about 30 different events from Jan. 15 to Feb. 5, with a special address by keynote speaker Joy Reid - national correspondent for MSNBC and host of "AM Joy" and "The Reid Report" - Jan. 23 at the Paramount Theater in downtown Charlottesville. Events range from talks and panels to film screenings, live theatrical and musical performances and community celebrations.

    Charlottesville News / 1 d. 7 h. 50 min. ago more
  • UVA Announces Events in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. - NBC 29 NewsUVA Announces Events in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. - NBC 29 News

    NBC 29 NewsUVA Announces Events in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.NBC 29 NewsCHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Jan. 10, 2018 — Every year, the University of Virginia's Office of the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity, along with dozens of UVA departments and offices, partners with local organizations to offer a ...America clearly has a long way to go to reach Martin Luther King Jr.'s promised landLos Angeles TimesTrump kicks off Martin Luther King Jr. Day by visiting his own golf courseThe Boston GlobeTo honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream we have to say 'enough'USA TODAYall 4,297 news articles »

    Google News / 1 d. 11 h. 23 min. ago more
  • Community Groups Promote Unity Through Martin Luther King Jr. Day CelebrationsCommunity Groups Promote Unity Through Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebrations

    Several community groups in Charlottesville and Albemarle County are hosting events on Monday, January 15, to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. A number of these celebrations will also address the violence that took place in Charlottesville this past summer, and how the community can unite and move on. This Martin Luther King Jr. Day will provide an opportunity for people in Charlottesville and Albemarle County to reflect on King's dream and how it plays into the response to the tumultuous summer of white nationalist violence.

    Charlottesville News / 1 d. 12 h. 11 min. ago more
  • Semi-Professional Soccer Team Prepares for Debut Season - NBC 29 NewsSemi-Professional Soccer Team Prepares for Debut Season - NBC 29 News

    NBC 29 NewsSemi-Professional Soccer Team Prepares for Debut SeasonNBC 29 NewsThe team kicked off the new year by holding its first official practice on Sunday, January 14. The group, known as C-Ville FC, is the first of its kind for the Charlottesville area. The team met at Charlottesville High School Sunday evening, which will ...and more »

    Google News / 1 d. 13 h. 33 min. ago more
  • Charlottesville City Councilors Looking to Change Meeting Format ... - NBC 29 NewsCharlottesville City Councilors Looking to Change Meeting Format ... - NBC 29 News

    NBC 29 NewsCharlottesville City Councilors Looking to Change Meeting Format ...NBC 29 NewsCharlottesville City Council is looking at ways to change how its meetings run. Recently, meetings have at times descended into chaotic shouting matches between Councilors and the public - especial...and more »

    Google News / 1 d. 15 h. 6 min. ago
  • EDITORIAL: Morally unfit for officeEDITORIAL: Morally unfit for office

    Because of Trump's own words and actions - a steady stream of apparently altered consciousness - there's little doubt he's a mentally deficient racist unfit to be president of the United States. In a Thursday, Jan. 11, meeting with a group of senators, Trump reportedly questioned "why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and 'sh--hole countries' in Africa as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal," the Associated Press reported.

    Charlottesville News / 1 d. 16 h. 37 min. ago more
  • Final Day to Recycle Christmas Tree Approaching - NBC 29 NewsFinal Day to Recycle Christmas Tree Approaching - NBC 29 News

    NBC 29 NewsFinal Day to Recycle Christmas Tree ApproachingNBC 29 NewsIf you still have your Christmas tree lying around the house, you're running out of time to recycle it in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Before dusk on Monday, January 15, is your last chance to unload your tree at seven recycling locations in ...

    Google News / 1 d. 16 h. 56 min. ago
  • Northam sworn in as Virginia's 73rd governorNortham sworn in as Virginia's 73rd governor

    Ralph Northam, with wife Pam; Justin Fairfax with wife Cerina; and Mark Herring with wife Laura, during Pledge of Allegiance during Inaugural Ceremonies at the State Capitol, Saturday 1/13/2018.

    Charlottesville News / 1 d. 20 h. 58 min. ago
  • EDITORIAL: 50 years later, MLK's vision remains a dreamEDITORIAL: 50 years later, MLK's vision remains a dream

    TOMORROW, the nation will celebrate the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the great civil rights leader who was assassinated nearly 50 years ago, before he could see his dream of a colorblind America-in which people are judged "not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character"-come to fruition.

    Charlottesville News / 2 d. 1 h. 27 min. ago
  • Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax Sworn in, Discusses Charlottesville - NBC29 ... - NBC 29 NewsLt. Gov. Justin Fairfax Sworn in, Discusses Charlottesville - NBC29 ... - NBC 29 News

    NBC 29 NewsLt. Gov. Justin Fairfax Sworn in, Discusses Charlottesville - NBC29 ...NBC 29 NewsBesides inaugurating Governor Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax was also sworn in on Saturday, January 13, as the lieutenant governor of Virginia. NBC29 was able to talk with him briefly in his first interview after taking the oath of office. Fairfax ...and more »

    Google News / 2 d. 4 h. 45 min. ago more
  • Runathon raises funds to support Austin Justice CoalitionRunathon raises funds to support Austin Justice Coalition

    A group of University of Virginia students created the group Together We Run after the deadly protests in Charlottesville, Va., last year. "Specifically with the Austin Justice Coalition, they are doing really good work about social and racial violence awareness - make sure people are aware of what they are doing, and how every person can be an active bystander in what they are doing," said Yash Tekriwal, who organized the event in Austin.

    Charlottesville News / 2 d. 5 h. 47 min. ago more
  • International cooking program connecting local schools with families, culturesInternational cooking program connecting local schools with families, cultures

    Mafer Salazar Gil looks on as Emily Axelbaum shreds queso fresco at a Bridges Through Bread cooking class, held at the Charlottesville Cooking School. Last week, the Charlottesville Cooking School buzzed with the sounds of a busy kitchen.

    Charlottesville News / 2 d. 10 h. 5 min. ago
  • Charges dropped for mask-wearing protesters at KKK rallyCharges dropped for mask-wearing protesters at KKK rally

    Three people charged with wearing a mask at the July 8 KKK rally in Justice Park were in Charlottesville General District Court today, where the prosecution dismissed their felony charges because tear gas used by police could have been a factor in why they covered their faces. Diego Trujillo, from Charlottesville, Sarah Barner from Waynesboro and Naomi Bendersky from Montgomery Village, Maryland, each were charged with the Class 6 felony that can carry up to five years in jail. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Nina Antony told the judge Virginia code prohibits masks worn with the intent to conceal the identity of the wearer. She said police officers saw the three walking toward them. “Fearing an escalation, they arrested these individuals,” she said, adding that the officers had “ample probable cause.” After the 40 or so Klan members left the July rally, police declared an unlawful assembly, ordered everyone to leave and then fired tear gas into the crowd of those still on High Street, which was closed. “The use of tear gas beforehand” could have been a reason they covered their faces, acknowledged Antony. “The commonwealth does not have proof beyond a reasonable doubt these individuals were trying to conceal their identities.” Judge Bob Downer, who has had all the KKK and the August 12 Unite the Right arrests go through his court, commended the prosecution for dropping the charges. “I think it’s well-founded and appropriate” to use discretion in such cases. The defendants declined to comment after the hearing. Attorney Jeff Fogel, who represented Bendersky, complimented new Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania, whom Fogel challenged last year in the June Democratic primary, for deciding to nolle prosequi the charges. However, “I don’t think they should have been arrested,” he said. “They were arrested because they didn’t follow orders. The tear gas should never have been used.” Bendersky “took out a T-shirt and put it over her face” when the tear gas was fired, he said. “To be arrested for trying to protect yourself?” Bendersky’s family is from the Soviet Union, and Fogel says they fled because her father was a dissident. She’s 18 and just started at VCU. “This was her first demonstration,” he said. The law originally was written to prevent KKK members from marching masked in public, but Fogel said the people who tend to get arrested under the statute usually aren’t Klansmen. “I think it’s written wrong,” said Fogel of the mask-wearing law. Rather than citing intent to conceal one’s identity, he said it should target “intent to intimidate.” Another case from the KKK rally was continued to January 19. Jordan Romeo from Roanoke is charged with assaulting an officer, a felony, disorderly conduct and misdemeanor assault, the latter complaint brought by frequent City Council critic John Heyden.   The post Charges dropped for mask-wearing protesters at KKK rally appeared first on C-VILLE Weekly.

    C-VILLE Weekly / 4 d. 14 h. 48 min. ago more
  • Album reviews: Girlpool, Say Sue Me, Novella and Sloan PetersonAlbum reviews: Girlpool, Say Sue Me, Novella and Sloan Peterson

    Girlpool Powerplant (Anti-) Philadelphia-by-way-of-California duo Girlpool released Powerplant in May, and it was probably a great summer heartbreak album, all intertwining guitars and fragile voices. Opener “123” comes in like a lamb and revs up to lion level at the chorus—but it’s a sweet, sad lion. The soft/loud ratio remains pretty constant throughout Powerplant, and it’s pretty obvious that Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker’s hearts are in the ’90s—The Softies loom largest, though Girlpool crunches too much to attain such snowy perfection. Tividad and Tucker’s voices get just a bit irritating, as they stick to barely-a-whisper mode, but maybe it helps to hear them as menacing in a downturned way—the shy girls who nod and smile, and then go key your car. Girlpool plays D.C.’s Black Cat with Land of Talk on February 7. https://girlpoool.bandcamp.com/album/powerplant Say Sue Me Say Sue Me (Damnably) South Korean pop: It isn’t just flash dancing boy bands anymore. Say Sue Me is led by Busan singer/guitarist Sumi (get it?) Choi, who comes from the this-is-easy school of indie songwriting. This disc collects the band’s first LP, plus an EP and a new song, nearly all of which is catchy and full of familiar moves—a little Pavement, a little surf rock, all within the classic confines of two guitars, bass and drums. The small problem is that at 18 cuts, the album does get to be a bit too much of a good thing—I kept hearing songs that sounded like the last one, and then there’d be another one. Still, Choi is charming company, capable of wrenching a wry smile while steady rocking on “I Know I’m Kind of Boring” and delivering gorgeous wistfulness on “Summer Night.” https://saysueme.bandcamp.com/album/say-sue-me Novella Change of State (Sinderlyn) In February, London’s Novella released a driving sophomore album that delivered on the promise of its 2015 debut, Land. Recorded with James Hoare—whose stock keeps rising around here—Change of State does justice to a bevy of rad reference points. Opener “Does the Island Know” sounds like Echo & the Bunnymen fronted by lotus eaters; the breakdown in the title track throws in some ’60s psych buzz guitar; and the whole thing is soaking in Stereolab, Neu! and Dum Dum Girls. Holly Warren and Sophy Hollington’s reverberating duet harmonies are spot-on throughout, and the prevailing tone is one of casual badassery with a touch of pain, or at least ennui. They ride on top of churning, chiming guitars, faintly floating organ pads and automatic grooves. Change of State is physical and heady—hopefully Novella will stay that course and hold at bay the tempting charms of cool affect. https://novellasinderlyn.bandcamp.com/album/change-of-state Sloan Peterson Midnight Love (Mirror) It bugs me when bands name themselves for movies, and I’m almost grateful when I hate their music, too. So thank you, Save Ferris. Keeping an open mind can pay off, of course —from the same movie, we have Aussie singer-songwriter Sloan Peterson (who in fairness basically had to adopt a stage name, because her real name’s Joe Jackson). And this EP actually kinda does sound like music Ferris Bueller’s cool, fun girlfriend would listen to, cruising suburban Chicago in a Cabriolet, hair waving in the sun like the glossy flag of privileged ’80s teenhood. But Sloan the singer is cooler than the character—too personable to be insouciant and too ragged to be glossy—and Midnight Love is full of well tarnished nuggets of new wave and ’80s alt rock from the chugging, dusty “105” to the melancholy, moonlit “Break My Heart.” https://mirrorrecords.bandcamp.com/album/midnight-love The post Album reviews: Girlpool, Say Sue Me, Novella and Sloan Peterson appeared first on C-VILLE Weekly.

    C-VILLE Weekly / 4 d. 21 h. 38 min. ago more
  • Doctor’s orders: Physician makes bond, put on house arrestDoctor’s orders: Physician makes bond, put on house arrest

      The Pantops-area doctor arrested last Friday on five felonies related to allegedly raping and sexually assaulting his patients will be released from jail on a $50,000 bond. A mass of friends and family showed in support of Mark Hormuz Dean, the Albemarle Pain Management Associates Clinic physician, and sat shoulder to shoulder in the crowded courtroom. Several witnesses, including Dean’s father-in-law and a friend who also was a patient, testified about the character of the man who has been indicted on two counts of rape, two counts of object sexual penetration and one count of forcible sodomy. Since his January 5 arrest, prosecutor Darby Lowe said five additional victims have come forward. “When he’s not working, he’s constantly with his children,” said Peter Pellechia, the father of Dean’s wife and a retired NYPD homicide investigator. “He takes them and they go fishing.” Dean is married to Stacy Pellechia Dean, an adjunct instructor at UVA’s Curry School of Education, and the couple lives in an Ednam Forest with two kids who are 15 and 13 years old, according to Pellechia’s testimony. The Deans purchased the house last year for $1.35 million, according to county property records. Derrick Stone, the director of software development for the UVA Health System, told the judge that Dean often brings his children to Stone’s home for spiritual education classes on the religion they both share, called Baha’i, which teaches the unity of all people and the worth of all religions. Stone, like the other witnesses who testified, said he was shocked to learn of the allegations against Dean. “I can’t believe it,” he said. “I immediately reached out to see how I could help.” The doctor was granted a $50,000 bond on the condition that he wears an ankle monitor, doesn’t leave his home and has no contact with his patients or staff. Though the prosecutor argued that Dean has family in Florida and is considered a flight risk, defense attorney Rhonda Quagliana reminded the judge that several witnesses noted the doctor’s commitment to his family. “People generally don’t just pick up and abandon a wife and kids,” she said.   The post Doctor’s orders: Physician makes bond, put on house arrest appeared first on C-VILLE Weekly.

    C-VILLE Weekly / 5 d. 16 h. 10 min. ago more
  • Another Exciting New Homes Market Predicted for 2018Another Exciting New Homes Market Predicted for 2018

    By Celeste M. Smucker – One of 2017’s biggest real estate stories was the emergence of a fast-growing new construction market, which continues to keep builders very busy, in many cases, well into this year.  Historically low interest rates and an upward trending stock market motivated buyers to jump into the market, seriously depleting inventories of existing homes and encouraging many to consider new construction for the first time. More of the same is on the way this year according to the Realtor.com® 2018 National Housing Forecast that predicts a 7 percent increase in new home sales and a 3 percent growth in home starts.  Home sales are expected to be even more robust in southern states thanks to “healthy building levels combating the housing shortage.” In our area, agents are enthusiastic about the prospect of another profitable year of new home sales. Thanks to quality of life variables like our gorgeous scenery that regularly attract buyers, we can also count on the market stability that comes from UVA and our expanding tech sector all of which bring high-income newcomers still actively working as well as those ready to retire. Fortunately these buyers will have a variety of new home options to choose from as more neighborhoods come on line and builders work to meet the growing demand for such popular options as one-level living and energy efficient design. Customized and Carefree Design New homes are a hot commodity for  many reasons, a big one being that buyers can customize the design to suit their current lifestyle. Some are looking for a change because they are entering retirement, while others have outgrown their starter homes and want something bigger to accommodate a growing family.  A smaller, easier-to-maintain and energy efficient home appeals to many of these buyers due to lifestyles that don’t leave time for house cleaning or yard work. Still others want an open floor plan that works well for entertaining or large family gatherings.  Whatever the reason, a popular way to describe this trend is “right sizing,” and it can be about buyers at any stage of  life who see the value of  designing a home to fit their unique situation, explained Greg Slater, Associate Broker with Nest Realty Group.  While these buyers may find a resale home that suits them, many choose  to go the new construction route after seeing homes with obsolete floor plans, he continued. In today’s world, livable floor plans often include homes on one level—or at least those with a first floor master suite—that make life easier now while also facilitating aging in place.  Many new homes are also characterized by open floor plans that adapt well to a variety of different kinds of lifestyle needs. Michelle Pike with Roy Wheeler Realty Co. helps many clients who want to age comfortably in place and appreciate features such as wider doors (to permit passage via wheelchair or walker), no-step entries and single-level living.  Her clients also demand other features that make life easier such as walk-in showers that are much larger than the familiar rectangular stalls. While these kinds of amenities accommodate aging in place, they also make it possible for home owners to stay put without major renovation expense if they are unexpectedly disabled.  And down the line, selling the home will be easier because it appeals to so many different kinds of buyers. Many new home buyers also love the advantages of smart technology, explained Sasha Farmer, Vice President of Montague Miller and Co. Realtors, Inc. With the right systems in place, home owners can monitor their house whether they are just out for the evening or on the other side of the world.  Did they really turn off the stove?  Are the doors and windows locked and security system turned on?  Is the next door neighbor remembering to water the plants?  Are the teenagers having an unexpected party? Along with innovative smart technology a multitude of other options are now available for folks who want to free up time for pursuits such as working a demanding job, or enjoying volunteer, recreational or social activities.  These amenities could include anything from maintenance-free decking to quartz countertops to hardiplank siding and smaller yards. Of course, with a new home, buyers can choose the ones that fit their budgets and make the most sense for their lifestyles. One popular low maintenance option is a resilient, commercial-grade laminate flooring, explained Andrea Akers, Sales Administrator with Southern Development Homes, that is very easy to maintain.  This flooring can be more expensive than hardwood, but “it lasts forever,” she said and, the other good news is, it is impervious to damage from pets, high heels and other sharp objects.  Still another appealing and carefree feature of new homes is the warranties, said Susan Stewart with the Zion Crossroads office of Roy Wheeler Realty Co., whose new home buyers sleep better knowing that everything is covered for years to come. “Peace of mind is everything these days,”  she emphasized. Energy Savings Utility bills can be steep and who wouldn’t want to save on this major household expense? Commitment to a green lifestyle and concern about energy savings often send buyers into the new construction arena as these homes can be significantly more energy efficient than their resale cousins saving homeowners hundreds of dollars a year. “Energy efficiency continues to be key to the new home buyer,” Slater said. Rob Johnson with Green Mountain Construction agrees stating that in today’s market savvy new home buyers understand the value of the long term payback associated with energy saving features such as additional insulation, especially when they plan to stay for awhile. Interest in green and energy savings is also evident in the increased use of solar panels in new homes.  Akers’ company has responded to this interest by partnering with Sigora Solar, a local solar energy provider.  The cost of the panels can be included in the buyers’ mortgage, or not, she added. High performance HVAC systems are also popular, Pike said, as are low-e windows that, according to energy.gov, will help pay for themselves over time by saving homeowners on the cost of heating and cooling their homes. New Homes Market Continues to Impress Given all the reasons for the popularity of new homes, it is not surprising that the market is expected to continue its impressive run. The third quarter Nest Realty Market Report observes that year-over-year contract activity was up 10 percent indicating a “strong end to 2017,” and that “new construction continues to be a driving force in our market.”  The Report continues adding that there was a 49 percent year-over-year increase in contracts on attached homes of which “31 percent…were new construction properties.”  This kind of momentum plus the continued inventory shortage of resale homes also bodes well for new construction in 2018 The years of  2016 and 2017 were “the years of new construction,” said Michael Guthrie, CEO and Managing Broker for Roy Wheeler Realty Co., who added that new homes have been “an increasing percentage of total home sales the last two years,” and he expects this trend to continue.  One important reason for this phenomenon is the number of new communities that have been approved, the ground  cleared and new homes being built.  In addition, Guthrie explained, not only does UVA bring in new buyers but our area has “become very much a market for start-ups.”  He referenced some of these formerly fledgling companies that have grown from very small ventures to ones that now employ 30 to 40 or even 100 to 200 employees, all of whom are good buyer prospects who appreciate homes that take advantage of new technologies. We are experiencing “a robust year for new homes,” explained Jim Faulconer, Broker with McLean Faulconer Inc. While most of the action is within two miles of Charlottesville, he is also excited about activity further out that he described as “a glimmer of hope.” In his estimation jobs are the main driver of this action, however he noted that new homes also appeal to second home buyers and retirees.  New home buyers value the fact that “everything works,” when they move in, Faulconer continued referencing some current clients who chose new in part to be “free of worry.” “Market conditions are helping new homes sales,” Slater said citing statistics that show year-over-year  resale contracts up just one percent while, in contrast,  new homes sales were up 23 percent. “When existing homes aren’t available, buyers have to consider their new construction options,” he explained, cautioning that “buyers have to be educated to the process and the differences between buying new vs. resale. Having a REALTOR® offer advice in this regard can be very helpful,” he said adding that the belief that buyers don’t need agents to buy new construction is “a misconception.” Market conditions have helped accelerate the boom in new construction in another way: “The biggest change we’ve seen recently is the ability for our customers to sell their existing homes,” said TJ Southmayd with Nest Realty Group and Customer Representative for Craig Builders.  “This peace of mind allows them to move into a home and/or location that better suits their needs—whether that’s a little bit larger, or smaller, depending on the buyer.” Jodi Mills with Nest Realty Group  stated that she has been “swamped” lately, especially with the opening of the new Riverside Village Condominiums in Charlottesville, the first EarthCraft certified multi-family project in Virginia.  She is especially proud of the solar canopy over the covered parking that she says “is a real conversation piece and looks like a work of art,” while it also helps offset the cost of power for common areas keeping HOA fees lower. Customized Interiors New homes open the door to customization of everything from paint colors to extra tile to adding the perception of increased square footage by including outdoor living spaces. “Shiplap is number one these days,” Mills said.  This trend that uses horizontal boards is the “hottest thing right now.” Another hot commodity is rooftop terraces that are popular in recent townhome construction, as are open tread stairs that “let in more light,” and are especially in demand among buyers choosing three-story townhomes and some condos. Kitchen design is an important consideration these days, Guthrie said, stating that more and more this room is the focus for much of a home’s social activity.  “Light and bright colors are popular as are white kitchens and granite countertops,” Faulconer added.  Buyers are also asking for a more contemporary look that includes “higher ceilings, open floor plans and lots of glass.”  He indicated that this is a change from previous years (when more traditional floor plans were popular) and, of course, helps drive the interest in new homes. If building a new home intrigues you, talk to your agent about where to find the amenities that best suit your needs. Then relax and enjoy the excitement of customizing it to fit your family’s lifestyle. Celeste Smucker is a writer and blogger who lives near Charlottesville. The post Another Exciting New Homes Market Predicted for 2018 appeared first on C-VILLE Weekly.

    C-VILLE Weekly / 5 d. 22 h. 57 min. ago more
  • Dramatic and Functional Stairway StatementsDramatic and Functional Stairway Statements

    By Marilyn Pribus – It’s an iconic movie moment—Our Heroine sweeping down the dramatic curving staircase toward Our Hero or the Supporting Cast of 1,000. Of course most of us don’t have a grand staircase or even any stairs at all. But if you do, here are some classy, functional, or just plain fun ideas for your new or current home. First, the terminology. Each part is important and each can lend itself to enhancing your décor. The tread is the flat component you step on. The risers are the vertical elements between the treads. The balustrade is the rail system including the handrail and its supports. The balusters are the vertical supports between the tread and the railing. Treads Treads are usually made of wood and can employ a wide range of grades. Formal staircases are  usually constructed from high-quality unblemished wood—often stained. For other stairs, lower quality wood is frequently used instead. The treads are sometimes stained, but more often are painted to provide uniformity for wood that may have knotholes or unmatched grains. Treads can be completely carpeted or enhanced with a well-secured runner, which can make a statement in color or texture.  The runner can also serve as a transition from more formal areas to a more casual floor.  Ideally, it should be relatively easy to remove for cleaning.  Risers The risers are the vertical components between the treads and they offer a nearly endless blank canvas for interesting decorations. Risers can be stained or painted to match or to contrast with the treads. Paint can be a uniform shade or a palette of colors or even a series of mini-murals.  Ceramic tiles also make an interesting contrast to the treads.  One family replaced their risers with small shallow shelves which were just the height of paperback books. Another clever homeowner devised drawers under the cellar treads (which had no risers) for storage of seldom used items like an oversized turkey-shaped platter and ice skates. His wife painted the drawer-front risers with “blackboard” paint, then used chalk to designate the changing contents. Balustrade This system offers opportunities for a variety of decors from colonial to uber-modern. The major support posts, or newels, are generally at the bottom and top of the stairs, the middle of a long straight rise, and at the landing of a turning staircase. They must be sturdy, but can have a design from formal to whimsical.  They can be of the same wood as the stairs themselves or provide a dramatic contrast. The handrail may also be decorative, but must be easy for people to grasp. Balusters These vertical supports provide an excellent place for interesting décor, but remember to check building codes for the required distance between individual balusters for the safety of children.  Balusters are frequently made of wood, often “turned” to create interesting patterns, but pipes or panels can also be used. Other options might be rustic wood, stylish wooden panels, or welded metal. One dwelling had welded balusters with the shapes of branches complete with leaves. In some cases, see-through panels of Plexiglas or smoked safety glass can replace traditional supports, lending a sense of openness.  Balusters can also be replaced with floor-to-ceiling installations of rope, pipe, wood strips, or cables. Mini Art Gallery The wall beside the stairs is a prime spot for displaying artwork or photos. It’s often the perfect location for a particularly large piece of art or a selection of various shapes and sizes. It’s also a great spot to display a collection such as flower prints or children’s art. One homeowner displayed dozens of antique automobile license plates climbing the wall. Check the internet for clever presentations. Some have identical frames and matting while others unify a collection of different sizes and shapes with uniformly colored frames.  This could also be a place for very shallow shelves for books or mementoes.  Underneath Depending on the layout of a staircase, the space beneath it can offer functional options. It could house a coat closet or even a powder room, particularly if it is reasonably close to plumbing connections. There might also be space for a stackable washer and dryer combination, again with nearby plumbing. A special hideaway for the kids is another great way to use space under the stairway since they don’t need a lot of headroom.  Just provide carpeting, small shelves for seating and storage, some lighting and good ventilation. The space might even have a child-height door or a “hidden” entrance provided by a swing-out panel. Finally, the area under many stairways offers extra storage space. This could be simple open shelves or cubbies for family members. A tidier but more expensive option is built-in cupboards with doors or drawers. One interior designer drew up plans for roll-out shelves faced with panels which, from the outside, appear to be a plain wall. The three-foot-deep shelves provide generous storage and, when pulled out, give good access to the short units at the lower part of the stairs and to the back end of all the shelves. Stairs don’t just go up and down. With some imagination they can offer drama, extra functionality, and additional storage in your home. Marilyn Pribus and her husband live in an Albemarle County home with no stairs at all, but when she was a little girl in upstate New York, she had a “fort” under the cellar steps.    The post Dramatic and Functional Stairway Statements appeared first on C-VILLE Weekly.

    C-VILLE Weekly / 5 d. 23 h. ago more
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  • In brief: Bad prank, bad parking, bad practices and moreIn brief: Bad prank, bad parking, bad practices and more

    Meter’s not running Crews are set to start ripping meters out of the ground this week after City Council voted at its January 2 meeting to indefinitely suspend the parking meter pilot that began on streets surrounding the Downtown Mall in September. “It seemed pointless to try to convince the manufacturer to continue to loan us this equipment,” says parking manager Rick Siebert, who was initially hired to implement the program. “We obviously didn’t want to pay rent with no revenue coming in.” With no reimplementation date in sight, Siebert says he’s disappointed that the city seems to have permanently pumped the brakes on the pilot, and he’ll continue to work toward a solution to Charlottesville’s well-documented parking problem. “We had some issues with parking before that led to hiring Nelson\Nygaard to do the study, which led to the initiation of the meter pilot,” he says. “Those issues haven’t just evaporated.” By the numbers 28 meters 13 pay stations 71 days in service $51,490 generated in revenue $42,995 paid in rent $20,000 for a 2016 parking meter pilot implementation plan by Nelson\Nygaard $500,000 for startup funds allocated by City Council in 2016 for personnel and initial equipment costs, including a $73,000 salary for hiring a parking manager “Voting is the civic sacrament of democracy.”—James Alcorn, chair of Virginia Board of Elections, before a random drawing to determine the winner of House District 94 and control of the House of Delegates Not funny A teen hoaxer who on social media advised Monticello High students to not go to school January 8 underneath a photo of guns was charged with a Class 5 felony for making threats to harm people on school property. The post alarmed other schools around the country with MHS initials, and at least one in Pennsylvania canceled classes. Malpractice Mark Hormuz Dean. Photo Albemarle County Police Police arrested Mark Hormuz Dean, 50, a physician at the Albemarle Pain Management Associates Clinic, on January 5 for two counts of rape, two counts of object sexual penetration and one count of forcible sodomy, which he has allegedly committed on the job since 2011. Dean has worked in pain management in Charlottesville since 2003, and performed more than 10,000 interventional pain procedures, according to the clinic’s website.     It’s about time At the January 4 Board of Supervisors meeting, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a 99-year lease that gives Albemarle County control of the 1,200-acre Biscuit Run Park, which the state has owned since 2010 and agreed to help open to the public. Town crier Photo Eze Amos Christopher Cantwell has filed a lawsuit against anti-racist activists Emily Gorcenski and Kristopher Goad, who accused the “Crying Nazi” of spraying them with a caustic substance at UVA on August 11. Cantwell’s complaint claims the activists “framed” him in the alleged attack by spraying themselves with mace.         New county leadership File photo While perhaps not as monumental as Charlottesville’s election of its first African-American female mayor, Albemarle County’s Board of Supervisors has also picked new leaders. Ann Mallek has been named chair for the fifth nonconsecutive year and Norman Dill will serve as vice chair.       Trial date set A three-week jury trial is scheduled to begin November 26 for James Alex Fields, the man who plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters on August 12. Fields is charged with first-degree murder, five counts of malicious wounding, three counts of aggravated malicious wounding and failing to stop at the scene of a crash.       Another missing person found dead Three days after missing woman Molly Meghan Miller was found dead in her home on January 1, police found Arthur Mills, the Fluvanna County man who was reported missing January 3, dead on the side of Oliver Creek Road. His cause of death is unknown.   Downtown loses some sparkle Submitted photo Frances Gibson Loose, longtime owner of Tuel Jewelers, died January 5 at age 86. For 65 years, she showed up for work, always professionally dressed, until about a week before she passed away. When Loose bought the store in 1975, she was the only female business owner downtown, and according to her daughter, Mary Loose DeViney, she told another woman in a male-dominated field, “I’m going to do it my way and you will, too.” She was a member of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, which named her Small Business Person of the Year in 2009. Loose was well-known and well-liked and was often called “Mom” by her many friends, says DeViney. “She extended credit to people that others wouldn’t have—and they paid her. She just believed in people.” People from all walks of life came to the store just to talk to Loose. “I’ve got to talk to Momma,” DeViney heard regularly. “I shared my mom with all kinds of people.” The post In brief: Bad prank, bad parking, bad practices and more appeared first on C-VILLE Weekly.

    C-VILLE Weekly / 6 d. 1 h. 14 min. ago more
  • Shifting ground: What to expect in this year’s General Assembly sessionShifting ground: What to expect in this year’s General Assembly session

    If you thought 2017 was a year like no other, well, 2018 will likely continue to ride the tide of the unprecedented, at least according to what we’ve seen in the new year’s first week. The General Assembly begins its session January 10 with a tsunami shift from last year’s seemingly unbreachable 66-34 GOP majority. The makeover from the November 2017 election unseated 15 white male Republicans. Among the 15 Democrats taking office are 11 women, including the state’s first transgender legislator, first openly lesbian delegate, first Asian American and first Latinas. For a few months, it looked like the legislature would be evenly split 50-50, until a random drawing January 4 kept the balance of power with the Republicans 51-49 when the 94th District’s David Yancey’s name was pulled out of a bowl to break the tie with Dem Shelly Simonds. Even if Simonds asks for another recount, which means Yancey won’t be seated until the recount is certified, the GOP will hold a 50-49 majority, enough for it to elect Kirk Cox to succeed longtime speaker Bill Howell. “We’ve never had a tied race for equitable distribution of the House of Delegates,” says State Board of Elections Vice Chair Clara Belle Wheeler. “We’ve never had a 50-50 split. There’s no protocol on how to pick a speaker.” That crisis was averted, but questions remain about how the shift in power will affect legislation and committee assignments, where previously, Democratic bills went to die in subcommittee. “The speaker has immense power,” says former Daily Progress political reporter Bob Gibson. “He has the ability to assign all members to all committees—at any time. The speaker assigns all bills to committees. It’s unlike anyone in the Senate.” House Minority Leader David Toscano is optimistic that Cox won’t stack committees with Republicans because for the past two decades, the House leadership has agreed to proportional representation on committees. Of course, those proportions look a lot different with a 66-34 majority than a slimmed down 51-49 majority. “There is no doubt November 7 was an earthquake in Virginia,” says Toscano. UVA Center for Politics’ Geoffrey Skelley says, “On the face of it, it’s a closer divided chamber. Previously, when Republicans were working with a very large majority, they could ignore anything Democrats had to say.” Going in to the session even with a slim majority, “the GOP doesn’t have to worry about power sharing,” says Skelley. The nearly even body has led Toscano to warn his members to not call in sick and not go to the bathroom during the floor session, in case a close vote is called while the member is away, the Washington Post reports. And it’s not like shenanigans haven’t taken place in both chambers in the past. The last time the House was this closely split was in 1998, when Dems held 50 seats and the GOP had 49, plus an independent who tended to vote with Republicans. “When the session opened, the Democrats had a slight majority and reelected Thomas Moss as speaker before other Republicans could be seated,” recounts Skelley. “There was a lot of outrage.” And in 2013, with a 20-20 Senate split, Republicans took advantage of Democratic Senator Henry Marsh’s absence to attend President Barack Obama’s inauguration to vote to redraw the lines and take a chunk out of Marsh’s district. Skelley doesn’t think the GOP can write off Dem political pressure after the 2017 election, especially with midterm congressional elections looming. “At the same time, in this partisan era, I’m going to vote on them battening down the hatches, especially if they’re stacking committees.” Skelley points out that the House makeup could still shift if Simonds calls for a recount. And that’s not the only district where election results are being challenged. In the 28th District around Fredericksburg, where Republican Bob Thomas won by 73 votes after a recount, voters have filed suit in federal court asking for a special election because 147 voters were given the wrong ballots for their district. “That’s another potential sleeping dog,” he says. And while all attention has been focused on the uncertainty in the House of Delegates, Republicans hold a slim 21-19 lead in the Senate, with a Democratic lieutenant governor as tiebreaker, offering an opportunity for bipartisanship in the usually more moderate body. Albemarle Delegate Rob Bell, a Republican who’s heading to Richmond for his 17th session, is not perturbed by the influx of Dems. He says he’s served in close sessions before, as well as under both Republican and Democratic governors. “For a bill to become law, Governor Northam has to sign it, and we have to work together for that to happen,” he says. Speaker Cox hasn’t made committee assignments yet, but with Bell the vice chair and senior member of the Courts of Justice committee, it’s possible he could end up chair. [Update January 11: Bell was named chair.] State Senator Creigh Deeds was in the House of Delegates the last time it was this closely split in 1998, and he says most Republicans there now have no experience not being in the super majority. Photo by Jackson Smith Twelve-term Republican Delegate Steve Landes, who represents western Albemarle, also has accrued seniority, and last year was chair of the education committee and vice chair of appropriations. “One of my concerns is from listening to a lot of new members, who seem to be anti-business,” says Landes. “When the governor-elect is trying to improve the economy, saying business is the enemy” is not helpful, he says. Landes offers a different perspective from pundits on how the House will operate with the influx of Dems. “The majority of what we do is not partisan.” As for the still possibly up-in-the-air election results, says Landes, “We’ll play the cards we’re dealt.” The General Assembly is a part-time gig, with the budget session lasting 60 days if all goes well. To Republican Delegate Matt Fariss, who represents southern Albemarle, some of the newly elected delegates seemed unaware that they need to be in Richmond for eight or nine weeks. “My freshman year there were 13 of us,” he says. Adjusting to the House was like “drinking water from a firehose,” he says. “We knew to be quiet and learn.” When it comes to his new colleagues, he says, “It’ll be interesting to see what they can get done.” State Senator Creigh Deeds, who first came to the General Assembly in 1992, says the biggest difference will be “most Republicans in the House of Delegates have never been there when they didn’t have a supermajority.” Says Deeds, “I think having to work with the other side is not a bad thing in a democracy.” Big issues Biennium budget Every other year, the General Assembly makes a budget, and this is the year.  “The budget will be and always is the biggest issue,” says Landes. “The unknown is whether we’ll have additional dollars. That could help us or hurt us.” “The hardy perennials are still there—education, Medicaid and Medicaid expansion,” says Bell. “The good news is our economy is picking up,” says Toscano. The biennium budget outgoing Governor Terry McAuliffe submitted has $500 million earmarked for new Standards of Quality for education, including teacher salaries, he says. “Teachers and rural sheriffs’ departments need to get paid more,” says Fariss. “They’re having a hard time keeping deputies.” And he wants to avoid the situation of a couple of years ago when state employees were promised 2 percent raises, only to have state revenues fall short. Medicaid expansion McAuliffe pressed to expand Medicaid for 400,000 uninsured Virginians and take federal Affordable Care Act dollars every year he was in office—to no avail in the GOP-dominated General Assembly. Bell, who is not a supporter of expanded Medicaid, refuses to speculate on how it will fare this year. “I always hesitate to predict,” he says. “We have a real shot at doing that,” offers Toscano.  “I honestly think Medicaid expansion has a real chance this year,” says Deeds, because the need for coverage continues to grow, especially in mental health. Former reporter Gibson also says Medicaid expansion has a better chance, especially with a couple of moderate Republicans in the Senate open to the idea. And he points out that Democratic Governor-elect Ralph Northam, who campaigned on expanded health care, strikes a “cooperative, bipartisan tenor.” Northam is also the first governor elected who’s a Sorensen Institute alum, notes Gibson, who used to head the political leadership institute. “He’s a true moderate.” However, Skelley says the Republicans who lost their seats in the House were the moderates. “If the House is even more conservative, that would auger poorly for Medicaid expansion. That’s such a polarizing issue.” Nonpartisan redistricting As more citizens understand the impact of gerrymandering, which gave Republicans their 66-34 House of Delegates majority despite Democrats winning all statewide races since 2012, the call for reform continues.  Previously, “anti-gerrymandering bills, despite Republican support, get killed in subcommittee,” says Gibson, who also co-chairs with former lieutenant governor Bill Bolling, a Republican, an advisory panel with One Virginia 2021, a bipartisan group advocating—and litigating—for compact, contiguous line-drawing when redistricting occurs in 2021 after the 2020 census. Toscano says redistricting reform “may have a shot and Republicans could say, ‘We’d be better off with nonpartisan redistricting, especially if the Democrats are drawing the lines.’” But such reform requires a constitutional amendment, not an easy process that must go before voters twice before it becomes law.  “I could imagine some consensus on that,” says Skelley. “However, it would have to get out of committee.” The reform requires General Assembly members giving up their right to draw the lines and a constitutional amendment.  “It could be an opportunity for progress,” says Skelley, adding, “I’m skeptical.” Local legislator bills Following the summer of hate in Charlottesville, Toscano and Deeds will be carrying bills designed to lessen the area’s attractiveness as a place for violent clashes. One bill adds Charlottesville and Albemarle to the 10 or so localities in the state that can prohibit people from carrying guns in public places, Toscano says. Another would allow localities to determine what to do with monuments in public spaces, an issue that’s currently being litigated in Charlottesville after City Council’s vote to remove two Confederate monuments. “Mine would clear that up,” says Toscano. A third bill was proposed by McAuliffe, who wanted Toscano to carry it, says the delegate. “It gives more flexibility for localities to regulate weapons around demonstrations like August 12.” Toscano predicts there will be a lot more gun-safety legislation, much of it coming from Northern Virginia delegates who ran on issues such as restricting bump stocks, like those used in the Las Vegas massacre, or reinstating Virginia’s purchasing-one-gun-a-month prohibition. Going into this legislative session, House Minority Leader David Toscano has warned Democrats not to call in sick or even go to the bathroom during the floor session, in case a close vote is called while the member is away. Photo by Elli Williams The long-term viability of solar energy depends on the ability to store energy when the sun is not shining, says Toscano, and he’s carrying two bills to encourage increased battery capacity, including tax credits. And he’s got money in the budget to go to the Daughters of Zion to help figure out who is buried in the downtown cemetery. Bell is carrying one of his perennials, the Tebow bill, which would allow homeschooled students to participate in public school sports. “McAuliffe vetoed it three times,” he counts. Bell’s bills typically deal with criminal justice, and this session he’s trying again with restitution reform. Its numbers “shock the conscience,” he says—$230 million overdue to victims. Service dogs in court became an issue here recently, says Bell, so he wants to define what exactly a service animal is and what sort of notice must be given to have them show up in courtrooms. He’s also got a bill that re-examines the statute of limitations for animal cruelty. Landes usually carries legislation dealing with education, and this year he has a bill that establishes academic standards for dual-enrolling high school students who take community college courses. He also wants to make it easier to move from other professions into teaching to alleviate the teacher shortage, and proposes shortening a collegiate teacher-certification program from five to three years. Last year Landes caused a stir when he tried to modify the ironclad revenue-sharing with Charlottesville that’s widely loathed by Albemarle residents. “I’m looking at that and hoping to reopen talks between the city and county,” he says. Redistricting reform is not typically an issue for Republicans, but it is for many of Landes’ gerrymandered constituents, so he’s taking another crack at it, this time focusing on the process around line drawing so that localities don’t make precincts that the legislature will split. Rustburg resident Fariss says his bills are aimed at reducing regulations to make it easier for people to do business. For example, a single proprietor locksmith has to jump through the same hoops as a business with 10 people, he says. And Fariss has had it with hunters who dump animal remains all over the place. “It makes me so mad when these deer hunters throw deer carcasses out along public roads,” he says. He wants stiffer penalties and to draw attention to the unsightly littering. The bills Legislators file thousands of bills—literally—during their 60-day session, most of which die quietly in subcommittee. Because the elected ones have until the morning of January 10 to get those bills filed, we’ve only seen a smattering of legislation.  Here’s some of what the General Assembly will be considering. • Menstrual supplies exempt from sales tax, aka the Dignity Act. If you’re betting this bill didn’t come from a man, you’d be right. Another bill provides female inmates menstrual supplies at no extra cost. • Swearing or cursing in public no longer a crime. • Elimination of the Kings Dominion law. A couple of bills would allow localities to set their own school calendars, rather than have to request permission from the General Assembly to start school before Labor Day. • Absentee voting for any reason, unlike current law that only allows specific excuses for not showing up at the polls on election day to vote. • Female genital mutilation would become a Class 6 felony rather than the misdemeanor it currently is. • Grand larceny threshold. Currently stealing something that costs $200 is a felony. Various bills up that limit to $500, $750, $1,000 and $1,500. • Fornication between unmarried people would no longer be a crime. • No talking while driving. Virginia could join the many other states that prohibit use of a handheld cellphone while driving.  Former registrar: Newport News panel botched recount Former Albemarle County registrar Jim Heilman, who has traveled all over the world monitoring elections in developing democracies, has been through at least eight recounts. “I believe I’m fairly knowledgeable about recounts,” he says. And that’s why he feels qualified to declare that the three-judge panel handling the recount in the 94th District, upon which control of the House of Delegates hinged, made “two major mistakes.” Democratic challenger Shelly Simonds trailed Republican incumbent David Yancey by 10 votes in the November 7 election for the 94th District seat representing the Newport News area.  A December 19 recount put Simonds ahead by one vote. The Republican leadership sent its congratulations and the recount results went to a three-judge panel the next day for certification. That’s where things went screwy, say Heilman, who also is a member of Albemarle’s electoral board, but stresses he’s speaking personally, not as a board member. Overnight, an unnamed Republican contacted one of the judges and said an invalid ballot should be counted, says Heilman. And the three-judge panel reopened the recount. “Mistake No. 1,” he says. Former Albemarle County registrar Jim Heilman says a three-judge panel made two big mistakes in the Newport News district recount. Photo by Eze Amos He explains that recount officials are appointed by each party, and with Democratic and Republican observers on hand, they feed all of the paper ballots through the optical scanners, which kick out undervotes or overvotes. Those are the ones recount officials scrutinize, he says. And if there are questions about the ballot’s validity, it goes to the three-judge panel, says Heilman. The ballot in question, which had bubbles filled out for both Simonds and Yancey and a line through Simonds’ name, was declared invalid by the recount officials, who signed off on the recount, as did the registrar, says Heilman. “The three-judge panel has no reason to open the recount,” says Heilman. “The election is over. Under the Code of Virginia, they had no legal right to reopen the recount.” The second mistake, he says, was to count the vote for Yancey.  “The universal principle is that the intent of the voter is clear,” says Heilman. State election guidelines have “pages and pages” on what constitutes clear intent and whether a ballot is valid or invalid, he says. The judges looked at other races marked on the ballot and reasoned that because the voter went Republican, using an X to indicate Ed Gillespie for governor, the intent was to vote for Yancey. “No, no, no,” says Heilman.”It could be a split ticket. They shouldn’t be looking at other races.” State elections guidelines are clear, he says. “Two shaded bubbles is an invalid ballot.” Albemarle resident and State Board of Elections Vice Chair Clara Belle Wheeler disagrees, and says a 2015 revision in the rules for recounts allows the ballot to be counted if the intention is understandable. “The three-judge panel deliberated for over two hours,” she says, and until the panel certifies the recount, “It’s not a done deal.” Heilman and Wheeler agree about one thing: If a voter marks the wrong candidate, he should get a new ballot. Heilman says the optical reader likely would have had a pop-up screen indicating a problem with the ballot when the vote was cast. “I guess the voter didn’t want a new ballot,” he surmises. The three-judge panel declared the race a tie at 11,608 votes each. The panel refused to reconsider Simonds’ challenge to the recount, and less than a week before the General Assembly was gaveled into session, Yancey won a drawing out of a bowl January 4, giving Republicans a 51-49 majority in the House and the opportunity to elect a GOP speaker. The post Shifting ground: What to expect in this year’s General Assembly session appeared first on C-VILLE Weekly.

    C-VILLE Weekly / 6 d. 2 h. 8 min. ago more
  • ARTS Pick: The Opera HouseARTS Pick: The Opera House

    When legendary soprano Leontyne Price appeared at the reopening of the Metropolitan Opera in 1966, she could only be upstaged by the stage itself. It was the beginning of a new era in a new location for the Met, and The Opera House documents the cultural impact of the venue’s last 50 years with behind-the-scenes footage, renowned performances and interviews at the largest repertory opera house in the world. Saturday, January 13. $10.50-14.50, 12:55pm, The Paramount Theater, 215 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. 979-1333. The post ARTS Pick: The Opera House appeared first on C-VILLE Weekly.

    C-VILLE Weekly / 6 d. 2 h. 11 min. ago more
  • ARTS Picks: Playback TheaterARTS Picks: Playback Theater

    Have you ever imagined watching a movie or stage play about your own life? Drama, humor and self-reflection are sure to combine when Playback Theater hosts a fundraiser for the Charlottesville Players Guild in which the actors connect with audience members, learn about their lives, then construct and perform improv scenes based on the details. Thursday, January 11. Pay what you can, 7pm. C’ville Coffee, 1301 Harris St. 817-2633. The post ARTS Picks: Playback Theater appeared first on C-VILLE Weekly.

    C-VILLE Weekly / 6 d. 2 h. 14 min. ago more
  • ARTS Pick: The Honey DewdropsARTS Pick: The Honey Dewdrops

    Most descriptions of The Honey Dewdrops point to an honesty in the duo’s music—a sound they refer to as rock and reel. Conduits of the Americana tradition, Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish (former C’ville locals) have been touring for almost 10 years, perfecting tunes that enlighten the soul with songs such as “Guitars,” a tribute to the legacy of songwriters who came before them: “Everyone with a song to teach / some sing pain / some sing peace.” Friday, January 12. $13-15, 7pm. The Prism at C’ville Coffee, 1301 Harris St. 817-2633. The post ARTS Pick: The Honey Dewdrops appeared first on C-VILLE Weekly.

    C-VILLE Weekly / 6 d. 2 h. 17 min. ago more
  • Missing Charlottesville woman found dead in home New Year’s DayMissing Charlottesville woman found dead in home New Year’s Day

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Molly Meghan Miller, a 31-year-old woman reported missing December 30, was found dead inside her Charlottesville home January 1, Charlottesville Police told WCAV. Miller was reportedly last seen December 29 leaving her home on King Street in Charlottesville. Details about Miller’s cause of death have not yet been released, however the police department said there was no threat to the public at large. Police have also not yet commented where in the house her body was located. Charlottesville Police had led a search effort to find Miller on Monday. This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips here.

    WTVR / 13 d. 20 h. 34 min. ago more
  • Missing Charlottesville woman last seen leaving home FridayMissing Charlottesville woman last seen leaving home Friday

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Authorities are asking for the public’s help to find a missing 31-year-old woman last seen on Friday in Charlottesville. Charlottesville Police said they received a report Saturday at 9:20 p.m. that  Molly Meghan Miller was missing. Police said Miller was last seen Friday at 8:30 p.m. when she left her residence in the 900 block of King Street. Miller was described as a white female, 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 115 pounds. She has brown eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt, WCAV reported. “Investigators are in the early stages of attempting to locate Ms. Miller and are asking for the public’s assistance with any information related to this investigation,” officials said. If you have any information that could help investigators, call Det. Oberholzer at 434-970- 3985 or call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000. SHARE on social media to SPREAD the WORD!  Please RT! Have you seen Molly Meghan Miller? Missing Charlottesville woman last seen Friday https://t.co/x0kRLnfVab pic.twitter.com/odCScpBVAb — WTVR CBS 6 Richmond (@CBS6) January 1, 2018

    WTVR / 15 d. 12 h. 34 min. ago more
  • Charlottesville taps former Chesterfield police chief to fill interim roleCharlottesville taps former Chesterfield police chief to fill interim role

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The City of Charlottesville has named former Chesterfield Police Chief Thierry Dupuis as the city’s new Interim Police Chief. The vacancy comes after former chief Alfred Thomas announced his retirement earlier this month, just over two weeks after the release of a report highly critical of his efforts handling multiple protests in Charlottesville. Dupuis, who joined the Chesterfield County Police Department as a patrol officer in 1979, retired as Police Chief in September of 2017, after serving in the role for a decade. “Chief Dupuis established a distinguished record during his nearly 40 years as a law enforcement official in Chesterfield County,” said City Manager Maurice Jones. “We have many dedicated officers in our department and I’m confident Chief Dupuis will do an excellent job of guiding them and our civilian staff as we search for a new police chief.” Chief Dupuis will begin his role as Interim Chief on January 2, 2018. “I would like to thank Mr. Jones and the City Council for this incredible opportunity,” said Chief Dupuis. “Charlottesville is a special place and I look forward to working with the members of the community, the police officers and the staff during this interim period.” The City of Charlottesville has begun its search for a permanent police chief.

    WTVR / 19 d. 14 h. 44 min. ago more
  • Charlottesville street renamed in honor of Heather HeyerCharlottesville street renamed in honor of Heather Heyer

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.  -- A crossing on Charlottesville’s downtown mall has been renamed in honor of Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed in a white supremacist rally in August. City leaders and community members joined Heyer's mother, friends, and co-workers at the dedication for Heather Heyer Way Wednesday morning. The honorary title is for the portion of 4th street, where the 32-year-old was killed when a driver plowed his car into a crowd of protestors. That driver, Alex Fields Jr., of Ohio, was charged with first-degree murder in connection to Heyer’s death. Charlottesville's Mike Signer read the official proclamation. “This honorary designation pays tribute to Ms. Heyer's dedication to justice, fairness, equal rights for all and positive social change,” said Singer. In order to have an honorary street, a person must have made an important contribution to the city or represent part of its history. City Council members approved the renaming in October. “I'm glad that they recognize what she means to the history of the city, but I'm also glad that she's only a small memorial because she's really only a small part of the rich history of the city,” Heyer’s mother Susan Bro said. After the dedication, the city released a statement that said Heyer was standing up for social justice and racial equality when she died. "I'm proud of how she died," said Bro. "I'm proud of why she died. I'm not proud that somebody killed her."

    WTVR / 26 d. 13 h. 33 min. ago more
  • Charlottesville, Va., police chief retires after criticism over white nationalist rally - USA TODAYCharlottesville, Va., police chief retires after criticism over white nationalist rally - USA TODAY

    USA TODAYCharlottesville, Va., police chief retires after criticism over white nationalist rallyUSA TODAYCHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Charlottesville's police chief, who oversaw the department's widely criticized response to a violent white nationalist rally this summer, abruptly retired Monday. In a brief statement, the city did not give a reason for Chief Al ...Charlottesville, Va., Police Chief Retiring, As Fallout From 'Unite The Right' RallyNPRCharlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas RetiresNBC 29 NewsCharlottesville, Va., Police Chief Announces Retirement Effective ImmediatelyThe RootNew York Times -TIME -WTOP -charlottesville.orgall 104 news articles »

    Google News / 28 d. 15 h. ago more
  • What happened when a Klansman met a black man in CharlottesvilleWhat happened when a Klansman met a black man in Charlottesville

    Watch Video Daryl Davis’ home is filled with memories of the days he has spent with the Ku Klux Klan. He is not a member of the white supremacist organization. He can’t be. Davis is the descendant of slaves. He’s a blues musician who has learned how to lift hate out of hearts, even from those who in other times might have been hell-bent on killing him or anyone who looked like him. You could consider Davis a KKK whisperer, a man who’s spent decades talking to Imperial Wizards, Grand Dragons, and rank and file Klansmen. His questions started as a 10-year-old in the 1960s, when he was confronted by racism in the Belmont suburb of Boston and wondered “How can you hate me? You don’t even know me.” As a man, Davis took that question directly to Klansmen, and some women too. Sometimes it can get ugly. Davis, now 59, has been kicked and attacked. But mostly he listens. Even as some people spew hate. He listens. Thinks. And responds. Occasionally, Davis is the first black person they’ve ever spoken to. Thirty years of these meetings has left him hopeful, not hateful. His closet is filled with dozens of KKK robes and memorabilia given to him by those whom he has inspired to leave the Klan. Not because he demanded it, cajoled or threatened them. But, he says, because they learned from him. “They’re done, they’re done,” he says of the men who’ve given up the robes they used to wear so proudly. “As a result of meeting me and having these conversations, not overnight, but over time.” This week, Davis drove to Charlottesville, Virginia, where racism turned violent this summer when white supremacists clashed with counter protesters leading to one death and several injuries. He was to meet the Imperial Wizard of the Rebel Brigade Knights, Billy Snuffer. He was in Charlottesville with other Klansmen to attend the hearing of a colleague charged with shooting a gun during the Unite the Right rally that was also where James Fields is accused of killing Heather Heyer and injuring many more. “What’s going on man, how you doing?” Davis asks as Snuffer extends a hand. The two men embrace. One the descendant of slaves, the other a proponent of the Confederate South who thinks the mixing of races is against God’s will. Snuffer wears a cap with the Confederate flag on it, along with the phrase “Heritage not hate.” They chat in the courthouse square of this college town. Snuffer has his stance — the Klan, he says, is not racist though it has some bad actors and a bad history. Now, he’s trying to take the organization back to its roots, and he has no time for neo-Nazis or skinheads. Davis listens, despite knowing the vile and violent history of the Klan and its penchant for hanging, raping, and terrorizing black people in America. He pushes back gently as he tries to steer the conversation toward shared ground on this, his second meeting with Snuffer. He credits Snuffer for at least talking with him, a black man. “As Americans, your Confederate history is as much a part of my history as my black history is a part of yours,” Davis says. “Sure it is,” Snuffer agrees. His point is that he wants to honor the history and heritage — and to defend monuments of Confederate leaders such as Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson whose statue is now shrouded in Charlottesville. As they talk, something unusual happens. Both men realize they share the same feeling about the Unite the Right rally. Both say it had nothing to do with saving Confederate statues. “This was all about starting a race war,” Davis says. Snuffer replies: “You’re exactly right.” Snuffer and Davis are an odd and highly visible pair, standing at the site of one of the flashpoints of the confrontation in Charlottesville. And they attract attention. “F**king a**holes over here trying to make apologies for the legacy of racism,” a woman yells at them. “You f**king a**hole. Do not come into our city and try to rewrite history. We know what this history is.” Davis tries to defuse the situation and engage the woman. He wants her to know where he’s coming from. Why he’s talking with a Klansman. She can’t stand it. It’s too raw. The fear and pain felt by some residents is still very real. Emotions still run extremely high. Davis wants to explain. He wants to tell her about his work, the robes that show how he has converted Klansmen. How he’s trying to find middle ground. It fails. “Get the f**k out of Charlottesville,” the woman shouts. “You’re a person of color. Why the hell are you talking to them?” she asks. “That’s right, I am a person of color,” Davis responds. “But I’m also an American and so is this man right here.” Suddenly he is defending an Imperial Wizard of the KKK. This isn’t the first time Davis has gotten criticism from another person of color for talking to the KKK. Years ago, an NAACP branch member derided him for what he was doing. But for change to happen, Davis believes you have to recognize the similarities, even with people who hate you. A small crowd gathers now, surrounding Davis and Snuffer. Police approach as the shouting continues and separate the groups. The bluesman stays with the Klansman, continuing the conversation, perhaps finding some brotherhood in them both being targets of the vitriol as they wait to go into court for the hearing. Davis has an idea for one of the cases being heard here today. He wants to suggest to the judge that he take the man accused of shooting into the air near a school to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C., in the way that courts sometimes mandate education for a first drunk-driving offense. “Why not send them to learn something about the very people that they profess to hate or they profess to be inferior?” Davis asks. It is all part of the conversation and bridge Davis is hoping to build. He knows he will not change Snuffer overnight. And he realizes some residents of Charlottesville may not be ready to see a black man trying to make sense of what the Klan has to say for itself. But Davis says he hopes and believes Snuffer will go home and reflect on the day. That he will remember Davis was screamed at as much as he himself was. How Davis tried to defend him, to find a way to have a conversation. That he sat in court for two hours alongside him. As the sun sets in Charlottesville, Davis heads home, hoping he has planted a seed that will one day change a mind. On his drive, Davis’ phone rings. It’s the Imperial Wizard calling to make sure the musician has gotten home safely. He had just witnessed a black man stand up for him against protesters. A caring call. Perhaps the seed was sprouting. “So it begins,” Davis says.

    WTVR / 31 d. 15 h. 24 min. ago more
  • Public meeting gets heated after scathing review of deadly Charlottesville rallyPublic meeting gets heated after scathing review of deadly Charlottesville rally

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Charlottesville City Council heard hours of emotional public comment after being briefed on the independent review of summer protests including the deadly “Unite the Right” rally on August 12. Former federal prosecutor Timothy Heaphy briefed council and the community on the report that was released Friday. It determined the Charlottesville Police Department and the Virginia State Police “failed miserably,” but Heaphy said it was not for a lack of caring. “CPD and VSP failed to operate under a unified command,” said Heaphy. “This so called independent review is not going to wipe the blood off your hands. The review is full of errors and omissions is an insult to the dead and the community,” said a member of the public. The report says there was a lack of police response to violence at the far-right rally. Related: Report on Charlottesville rally faults police over planning, failure to protect public “Their instructions were to only respond to serious violence. ‘unless someone’s getting killed we aren’t going out there,’” explained Heaphy of police. Heaphy said this lead to deep distrust of government. “Here’s your action plan you need to fire (city manager) Maurice Jones you also need to fire (Charlottesville Police Chief) Al Thomas and the commanders if the report is half true there should be a criminal investigation and criminal charges,” said a speaker. “If you don’t, that means Heaphy’s report was full of lies that means you need to demand the $100,000 back.” “I am eager to see people listening to each other,” said a speaker. “We are told as the counter protesters or the Antifa to listen to you guys you guys haven’t been doing a lot of leadership and I would love to see a little more,” she added. The findings also show the death of counter protester Heather Heyer, a woman intentionally run down by a self-proclaimed member of the alt-right, could have been prevented had safety measures been implemented. “People I love were severely injured and permanently traumatized,” said another speaker. “Heather Heyer became the victim of murder. Her parents lost their baby.” she added. Related: VSP responds to independent review of 2017 protests in Charlottesville “Heather Heyer was killed. The troopers were killed. Unquestionably, this is an awful tragedy, but it could have been worse,” Heaphy pointed out. Council apologized for letting down the community. They made recommendations on how to move forward to prevent this from ever happening again and how to address race and discrimination concerns. They will meet again in two weeks. ​ You can read the full independent review, here.

    WTVR / 42 d. 8 h. 35 min. ago more
  • Christopher Cantwell, white nationalist accused of using tear gas, granted bondChristopher Cantwell, white nationalist accused of using tear gas, granted bond

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Christopher Cantwell, a white supremacist arrested after police say he used tear gas during a torch-lit march in Charlottesville, has been released from jail on a $25,000 secure bond. The 37-year-old was also indicted Monday by a grand jury on a felony charge of illegal use of tear gas. While being released on bond, the judge ordered Cantwell to home electronic monitoring and ordered him to stay in Virginia. Cantwell will also not be allowed to have firearms. Cantwell and dozens of others marched through the University of Virginia grounds on August 11, carrying torches and chanting “Jews will not replace us” and “White lives matter.” They were protesting a Charlottesville City Council plan to remove a Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue from a nearby park. Christopher Cantwell Cantwell was also a subject on a VICE documentary that featured the ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Emancipation Park on August 12. In the documentary, Cantwell was seen carrying several guns. Last month, a judge dismissed several charges against Cantwell, including the malicious illegal use of gas and unlawful injury by acid. Cantwell, has been dubbed “The Crying Nazi” by several news outlets after he posted a tearful video after a warrant was issued for his arrest. The New Hampshire resident surrendered to police in Lynchburg, Virginia. Back in August, Cantwell’s bond was denied by a judge, as he was considered a flight risk and a risk to public safety. Cantwell is expected to be released from jail no earlier than Tuesday.

    WTVR / 42 d. 13 h. 9 min. ago more
  • Charlottesville violence: City officials to hear report critical of policeCharlottesville violence: City officials to hear report critical of police

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- An independent review that faults Charlottesville, Virginia, police for their response to protests that sparked deadly violence in the city will be presented Monday night to the city council. White nationalists and other far right organizations gathered in Charlottesville on August 12 for a "Unite the Right" rally prompted by the city's decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Numerous fights broke out between members of those groups and counterprotesters -- and Heather Heyer was killed when a man drove a car through a crowd. The city hired former US Attorney Timothy Heaphy's law firm to investigate its response to the protests. He released the results of his investigation in a 220-page report Friday and is scheduled to address the city council at 7 p.m. Monday. The report said Charlottesville failed to prepare adequately for the August event by not providing specialized training for police on the ground. Local and state police did not develop and operational plan ahead of time, he said, meaning different agencies were confused about their roles. There also was confusion about whether the protest would take place in a city park or be moved to another location, causing police officers to be spread too thinly, he said. Fights broke out between protesters and counter protesters, but Heaphy's investigation found that Charlottesville police officers had been ordered to intervene only in altercations if there was a possibility of serious injury or death. Numerous people were injured and Heather Heyer was killed when a man drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters. Heaphy's report recommended four major changes: Prepare better for civil disturbances: Public safety officials should follow incident command system procedures, share intelligence and reach out to peers in other cities for advice. Do a better job of managing protests: The city should consider creating a secure perimeter to separate conflicting groups when an event becomes volatile. Change the laws: Certain objects should be banned at large protests and events involving open flames should require permits. The far right groups marched with torches the night before the protests over the statue. Restore faith in government: The city council should solicit community input more effectively and the police should become more engaged in the community. In remarks following the Friday release of the report, Police Chief Al S. Thomas Jr. said he was "committed to implementing the recommendations" made in the report. Jason Kessler, the Unite the Right organizer, has already applied for a permit to protest on August 11 and 12, a year after the deadly protests. Several days after the rally, at a contentious press conference, President Donald Trump prompted a political firestorm when he said "both sides" were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville.

    WTVR / 42 d. 21 h. 24 min. ago more
  • Charlottesville report details what NOT to doCharlottesville report details what NOT to do

    RICHMOND, Va. -- The "Independent Review of the 2017 Protest Events in Charlottesville, Virginia" is a very unusual, fascinating, highly detailed and seemingly neutral look into the guts of one of our recent social explosions. It's an indictment of the alt-right demonstrators, many of the counter-protesters and particularly the different police and other agencies that were supposed to keep them from colliding. In the end, the 220-pagre report compiled by former U.S. Attorney Timothy Heaphy and the Hunton & Williams law firm is a textbook analysis of what NOT to do. It includes a detailed analysis of the near-disastrous July 8 Klan rally in Charlottesville, highlighting problems with police communication, preparation and deployment, which, amazingly, repeated and even worsened one month later during the Unite the Right rally. Related: Report on Charlottesville rally faults police over planning, failure to protect public The report faults University of Virginia Police chief Michael Gibson for not mobilizing and stopping the alt-right torch march through the campus on August 11, despite having intel that it was going down. That march and resulting scuffle sharply ratcheted up tensions and passions for the next day's rally. The threat and the haphazard preparations for August 12 were so severe, one Charlottesville police officer freshened up her will and wrote notes to her kids before reporting for duty that day. The state police didn't know what the Charlottesville PD were doing, and vice-versa. Many of the city's front-line cops hadn't even tried on their riot gear. Instead of mobilizing the state's Emergency Management Team, which is designed for just this kind of event, the city force largely lone-wolfed the operation. The mayor wasn't even allowed in the command center. Again and again, police stood by as the violence escalated, unsure of when to arrest or intervene. Charlottesville PD Chief Al Thomas reportedly said, let 'em fight, it'll make it easier to legally shut the whole thing down. And when they finally decided to declare it an unlawful assembly because of the violence and injuries, the order was delayed so an undercover state police officer could get clear of the crowd, the report states. And then, the way police cleared the chaotic Emancipation Park mashed the opposing sides together. Yes, the report highlights what went right, such as treating victims, gathering intelligence and noting the fact that no one got shot despite many armed citizens. In the end, I do not see how Charlottesville police Chief Al Thomas can keep his job after this report settles in. It appears to this layman it could provide grounds for lawsuits, overwhelming the usual protections offered to municipalities through sovereign immunity. Don't take my word for it. Everyone should read it. It's well-written, almost like a novel. There are many conclusions in it, but after reading it, the main one for me is how much worse this event could've very easily been. Related: VSP responds to independent review of 2017 protests in Charlottesville

    WTVR / 45 d. 8 h. 39 min. ago more
  • Report on Charlottesville rally faults police over planning, failure to protect publicReport on Charlottesville rally faults police over planning, failure to protect public

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- An independent review of the circumstances surrounding an August rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to a woman's death found police were unprepared and failed to protect the public. The August 12 "Unite the Right" rally was a gathering of white nationalists and other far-right groups that culminated in the death of Heather Heyer when a man drove a car through a crowd of counterprotesters. The rally was originally planned as a protest over the city's decision to remove a Confederate statue of Robert E. Lee. Former US Attorney Timothy Heaphy released the results of his investigation in a 220-page report Friday, detailing failures by the city and law enforcement to prepare adequately for the rally, which led to a breakdown in communication and an inability to protect participants. But Heaphy said at a press conference Friday morning that his investigation "never found evidence of misconduct ... or anything but the best of intentions" on the part of local and state police. Charlottesville hired Heaphy's law firm to review how the city handled the protest. Heaphy is set to present his findings to the Charlottesville City Council on Monday evening. In remarks following the press conference, Charlottesville Police Chief Al S. Thomas Jr. said he was "committed to implementing the recommendations" made in the report. "We are a community divided, we are still a community in crisis," Thomas said. "It's not a time for finger-pointing; it's a time to come together." The report also cited evidence from officials who said that the police chief told officers to let the two sides fight, to make it easier to declare an "unlawful assembly" and provide a basis for it. The report said Thomas did not remember making that statement. Kevin Martingayle, an attorney representing the chief, said after the press conference the report's assertion that Thomas said, "Let them fight," is inaccurate. Failure to prepare Charlottesville officials failed to prepare adequately for the August event, the report said, by not providing specialized training for police on the ground. Some officers, Heaphy said, didn't even know how to use the riot gear that they'd been issued that day in case the rally became violent. Charlottesville also should have consulted with other cities and communities where similar gatherings had occurred and taken their advice, Heaphy said. "Some of those cities actually reached out," he said, pointing to Portland, Oregon, where right-wing protesters and left-wing demonstrators clashed in June. Still, none of the shared information became part of the Charlottesville police's plan, Heaphy said. He called the decision not to implement the intelligence a "tremendous failure." "The fact that there was no effort to talk with those other places and gather lessons learned was a missed opportunity," the former federal prosecutor said. "There was a sense of, 'We got this.' " Local and state police didn't consult with each other and develop an operational plan ahead of the rally, Heaphy said, and the result was a lack of unified command. With different agencies on the ground, there needed to be coordination, Heaphy said, and without it, joint efforts were "horribly inefficient." Communication failures Inadequate communication was another misstep, the investigation found. Central to this breakdown was confusion over whether the event would take place in Emancipation Park, where it was originally planned, or move elsewhere. The rally ultimately stayed at that park, but the uncertainty forced police to "plan for different contingencies." As a result, it was unclear where crowds would gather, and police were spread thin and ineffectively placed to respond to the battling groups, Heaphy said. Another issue was how long it took for an "unlawful assembly" to be declared, the investigation found. From the time it was requested -- around 10:50 that morning, Heaphy said -- it took 40 minutes for police to get prepared and declare an unlawful assembly. Failure to protect the public The third failure was law enforcement's inability to protect the public, Heaphy said. "The most tragic manifestation of the failure to protect public safety after the event was declared unlawful was the death of Heather Heyer," the report said. In the immediate aftermath, both rally-goers and counterprotesters said that police had not done enough, and in some cases, intentionally stood by. Heaphy's investigation found that Charlottesville police officers had been ordered to intervene only in violent altercations between participants if there was a possibility of serious injury or death. "Short of that, they were not going to intervene," he said. Meanwhile, according to the investigation, the Virginia State Police had been told its responsibility was to protect Emancipation Park, and not to disperse violent participants or make arrests because of concerns for those officers' safety. In interviews with line officers, Heaphy said, he was told they believed "they were prevented from doing their job." "In sum, this was a poorly conceived plan that was not flexible enough to not accommodate changing conditions," Heaphy said at the press conference. "Good intentions, gone awry. Failure to communicate, failure to protect, all a product of the failure to prepare."

    WTVR / 45 d. 16 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Review scrutinizes 2017 Charlottesville protests, makes recommendationsReview scrutinizes 2017 Charlottesville protests, makes recommendations

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A 220-page independent review of several of the 2017 protest rallies in Charlottesville that brought thousands to the streets, and ultimately ended in gruesome fatality was released Friday.  Former federal prosecutor Tim Heaphy and his firm Hunton & Williams led the investigation. Heaphy will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. Friday at City Space to discuss the review. On Nov.19, the Robert E. Lee statue at Emancipation Park sits covered, with a fence around it. Heaphy and his team reviewed events surrounding the rallies that took place between May and August, as well as the white nationalist-led tiki torch procession through the University of Virginia campus the night before the last Unite the Right rally which ended in a fatality after thousands of counter protesters clashed with white nationalists in the city streets. More than half a million documents were collected in the creation of the review, which begins with the May 13 and 14 rallies — assessing that those events “hardened the resolve of both sides to continue their ongoing battle over the statues and broader issues of race and history.” [Read the document: Independent Charlottesville review] The review  also determined that on August 12, the City of Charlottesville Police Department and Virginia State Police “failed miserably.” “In contrast to the July 8 event, the City of Charlottesville protected neither free expression nor public safety on August 12,” the review found.  “The City was unable to protect the right of free expression and facilitate the permit holder’s offensive speech. This represents a failure of one of government’s core functions—the protection of fundamental rights. Law enforcement also failed to maintain order and protect citizens from harm, injury, and death. Charlottesville preserved neither of those principles on August 12, which has led to deep distrust of government within this community.” The Charlottesville City Council will recieve the findings at its meeting next week. According to city officials, that council meeting will take place earlier than usual, starting at 4 p.m. on Monday. Heaphy will present his findings around 7 p.m., Newsplex reported. The document can be read in full by clicking here, or downloading from our website, here: Independent Charlottesville review. Developing. CBS 6 is headed to the press conference in Charlottesville. Stay with CBS 6 for complete coverage online and on-air. 

    WTVR / 45 d. 23 h. 14 min. ago more
  • Parents of Hannah Graham testify in favor of enhanced DNA collectionParents of Hannah Graham testify in favor of enhanced DNA collection

    RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia State Crime Commission is drafting a bill to expand the Commonwealth’s DNA collection. “I’m living every mother’s worst nightmare. I urge you to do what you can to stop this from happening to another woman and her family,” said Hannah Graham’s mother Sue Graham. The parents of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham testified in front of the commission Wednesday as it was briefed on a study regarding DNA expansion. “Our daughter Hannah, an 18-and-a-half-year-old second year student at the University of Virginia was plucked off the streets of Charlottesville, raped and murdered by a man, Jesse Matthew who should have been in jail,” testified Hannah’s father John Graham. The Grahams want to see extending DNA collection to additional class one misdemeanors. Currently, DNA collection is required for those convicted of felonies and 14 misdemeanor crimes. The Grahams say Jesse Matthew would not have been able to rape and murder their daughter in 2014 had that law been in effect in 2010 when Matthew was convicted of criminal trespassing. DNA collection would have linked him to a 2005 rape and attempted murder in Fairfax and the killing of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington in 2009. “A very dangerous sex offender and murderer would have been incarcerated and not been at liberty to inflict his evil on my daughter,” John Graham testified. Sue Graham “In Virginia we’re waiting for them to commit a felony,” said Albemarle Sheriff Chip Harding. “Her study showed that in fact in Virginia 70% of those convicted of a violent crime or burglary had a previous misdemeanor conviction I think that’s pretty compelling data.” Opponents raised privacy and cost concerns. The ACLU released the following statement to the commission. The Grahams say it’s the Government’s responsibility to keep citizens safe. “How could you bring yourself to face the next Sue Graham if you didn’t do your upmost to keep her daughter and all other young women safe when you had the opportunity?” John Graham asked. The Grahams say they are private people and as difficult as it is to speak out and tell their story, they know how important it is. Hannah Graham and Jesse Matthew “Part of our coping mechanism is to try not acknowledging Hannah’s death, we tell ourselves she’s alive just away studying perhaps,” explained John. “Addressing you today of course completely ruptures this denial and is something we find very difficult, but we do feel that the circumstances of Hannah’s death imposes an obligation for us to speak up. Lessons can be learned from her death and actions taken to spare the next young girl’s life and her parents enduring agony.” “This is an important issue and an important public safety issue and of course it’s extremely difficult to stand up there and tell my story but it’s something I feel I have to do in order to protect other young women in Virginia, and yes I think Hannah would be very proud,” said Sue. Sue Graham The commission will vote on the bill Monday. If endorsed, it will head to the General Assembly. Jesse Matthew is serving multiple life sentences for the murders of Hannah Graham, Morgan Harrington, and an attempted murder and sexual assault in Fairfax in 2005. He is behind bars in Red Onion State Prison in Wise county. That is a supermax facility that houses some of Virginia’s worst criminals. As part of his plea deal, he will never be eligible for parole or geriatric release.

    WTVR / 47 d. 9 h. 15 min. ago more
  • UVa. professor accused of sexual harassmentUVa. professor accused of sexual harassment

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. --The University of Virginia is investigating claims that a creative writing professor sexually harassed former students. According to the school's newspaper, The Cavalier Daily, two former graduate students have filed complaints with the university against author John Casey, who won the National Book Award in 1989 for his novel "Spartina." One former student claimed Casey repeatedly touched her and others and made vulgar remarks about women between 2012 and 2014. When I was at #UVA in MFA program, professor John Casey sexually harassed me & other female students: touching inappropriately at social functions, sexually-inappropriate comments, referred to women as "cunts," passed us over in class & thesis advising. Complaint filed today — Emma C. Eisenberg (@emmaeisenberg) November 10, 2017 Casey, who declined to comment to the newspaper, has taught at UVa. since the 1970s. “The University takes seriously any report of sexual harassment and is investigating this matter in accordance with its applicable policy and procedures," a University spokesperson said in an email to the newspaper.

    WTVR / 51 d. 8 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Businessman sentenced for pillaging nest egg of best friend’s widowBusinessman sentenced for pillaging nest egg of best friend’s widow

    RICHMOND, Va. — Despite testimony from his family, friends and priest, a Charlottesville businessman was sentenced Thursday in Richmond to seven years in federal prison for pillaging the nest egg of his best friend’s widow, defrauding a Virginia bank and stealing from his fraternity, reported RichmondBizSense.com. Victor M. Dandridge III received an 84-month sentence from Judge Henry Hudson after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud, charges stemming from a 10-year scheme that bilked Richmonder Lynne Kinder and her family of at least $3 million. Dandridge also admitted to federal investigators that he defrauded Blue Ridge Bank in Luray, Virginia, and the Virginia Omnicron Chapter House in Charlottesville, associated with the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Dandridge, 53, is a UVA alum and was a member of that fraternity. The sentence was in line with the 87 months requested by federal prosecutors, but far heavier than the 12 months in prison and 11 years of supervised released argued for by Dandridge and his attorneys. They argued that less prison time would allow him to work and earn income for restitution. Dandridge began managing Kinder’s money shortly after the 2005 death of her husband Trey, who left more than $6 million for his wife and two daughters. Dandridge and Mr. Kinder were lifelong friends, having grown up together in Roanoke. Kinder took the stand at Thursday’s hearing, describing the emotions of suddenly becoming a widow and Dandridge’s offer to manage the family’s money because he “owed it to Trey.” “It makes me sick to my stomach that he wakes up every day knowing he was ruining me financially,” said Kinder, alleging that Dandridge stole more than $6 million from her, differing from the $3.1 million calculated by the feds. She said she believes Dandridge’s actions were premeditated. “I constantly have to relive my husband’s death, confounded by the betrayal of his best friend,” she said. Continue reading on RichmondBizSense.com. 

    WTVR / 66 d. 21 h. 45 min. ago more
  • Reupholstering the game
Reupholstering the game

    While Meléndez enjoys the performance aspect of the game he most appreciates that the Globetrotters take the opportunity to give back.

    The Cavalier Daily
  • Medical Center limits visitation, cites flu prevalence Medical Center limits visitation, cites flu prevalence

    Last Wednesday, the University Medical Center announced additional patient visitation limits due to the increase in flu cases.

    The Cavalier Daily
  • University faculty respond to Rolling Stone article released WednesdayUniversity faculty respond to Rolling Stone article released Wednesday

    Amid a sea of protests, University faculty have been active participants in the dialogue permeating Grounds which critically analyzes the University's culture and policies surrounding sexual assault. In addition to organizing a rally Saturday night on Beta Bridge, faculty from a swath of departments have issued statements and held discussions to help promote constructive change on Grounds, after a Rolling Stone article published last week thrust the University community into the national spotlight over the administration's handling of sexual assault cases.

    The Cavalier Daily more
  • Sexual Assault Resource Agency holds annual award celebrationSexual Assault Resource Agency holds annual award celebration

    The Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA), a Charlottesville-based nonprofit that aims to support survivors of sexual assault, held its sixth annual Annette DeGregoria Grimm Award Celebration last Friday at the Darden School of Business. This year’s award went to Ron and Lorelei Pulliam of the Gallastar Equine Center in Afton.

    The Cavalier Daily
  • Miller Center releases Clinton Project interviewsMiller Center releases Clinton Project interviews

    The University’s Miller Center released the first installment of interviews for the Clinton Presidential History Project Friday at the end of a symposium on the Clinton administration.

    The Cavalier Daily
  • Charlottesville Health Department investigating first-year gastrointestinal illnessesCharlottesville Health Department investigating first-year gastrointestinal illnesses

    The Charlottesville Health Department is investigating the cause of a gastrointestinal illness which sent about 15 students, mostly first years, to University Emergency Services during the weekend.

    The Cavalier Daily
  • Albemarle Sheriff Chip Harding calls for change in DNA collection proceduresAlbemarle Sheriff Chip Harding calls for change in DNA collection procedures

    Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding said he wants to see an expansion of the Virginia DNA databanks. Harding said he believes that if Jesse Matthew had his DNA collected in 2010 when he was charged with a misdemeanor, the DNA would have matched the 2005 sexual assault case.

    The Cavalier Daily
  • Hackathon to be held in honor of Connor CormierHackathon to be held in honor of Connor Cormier

    Several University students are organizing a hackathon in honor of late second-year Engineering student Connor Cormier, who committed suicide in October, to be held Nov. 15-16.

    The Cavalier Daily
  • Police issue tickets, summons at train tracks crossingPolice issue tickets, summons at train tracks crossing

    Despite continued patrolling of the fence by police, students and other Charlottesville residents continue to risk tickets and the issuance of a summons as they illegally cut across the railroad tracks.

    The Cavalier Daily
  • University Hall precinct finalizes in midterm election resultsUniversity Hall precinct finalizes in midterm election results

    University Hall was the last precinct in the state of Virginia to report their final vote tally to the state Electoral Board on Monday after a voting machine broke during Tuesday’s election.

    The Cavalier Daily
  • University representatives discuss building projects around grounds at Student Council's "Breaking Grounds"University representatives discuss building projects around grounds at Student Council's "Breaking Grounds"

    Representatives from the UVa Facilities Management and the Office of the Architect spoke about the state of construction projects occurring around Grounds Monday night at a talk called “Breaking Grounds.” Student Council’s Building and Grounds Committee hosted the presentations.

    The Cavalier Daily
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  • Professor Larry Sabato hosts Crystal Ball, releases midterm election predictionsProfessor Larry Sabato hosts Crystal Ball, releases midterm election predictions

    Politics Prof. Larry Sabato hosted his annual Crystal Ball predictions Monday night, predicting Republican gains in Tuesday’s congressional and state elections. Sabato and his team said they predict the Republican Party would gain a total of eight seats in the Senate to gain a 53-47 majority as well as nine seats in the House of Representatives, which which would give them a 243-192 majority.

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  • Local counties receive grants to improve emergency preparednessLocal counties receive grants to improve emergency preparedness

    Agencies in Albemarle, Buckingham, and Greene counties will receive grants totalling nearly a quarter of a million dollars to improve emergency preparedness .

    The Cavalier Daily
  • Governor McAuliffe holds summit addressing sexual violence on  college campusesGovernor McAuliffe holds summit addressing sexual violence on college campuses

    At a summit held to address sexual violence on college campuses in Virginia on Thursday and Friday, Governor Terry McAuliffe said he intends to lead an effort that changes the sexual assault culture at Virginia schools.

    The Cavalier Daily