Charlottesville Breaking News

Culpeper silence: Citizens, top cop slam shooting inquest

Three months after a Culpeper police officer gunned down an unarmed woman and despite an official explanation that has been contradicted by at least two witnesses, there's still no action. Frustration has grown so intense that about 500 citizens have signed a petition, and now Central Virginia's leading law enforcer is speaking out about the case and its allegedly slow pace.

"What I've heard about it stinks,"says Albemarle Sheriff Chip Harding.

A former Charlottesville police captain who gained a national reputation in DNA technology, Harding says that 80 percent of a police shooting investigation typically occurs in the first five or six hours. Here, the State Police, aside from issuing a pair of press releases essentially blaming the victim, have released little– even denying multiple requests for the name of the officer in question.

Harding says that normal procedure when an officer engages in deadly force is for the police administration to release his name. It's okay, says Harding, for a chief to support the officer who goes on administrative leave with pay while the matter is investigated.

While the town of Culpeper steadfastly refuses to identify the officer, other sources have filled that information void. The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg cites two unnamed officers confirming that the shooter's name is Daniel Harmon-Wright....

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FunStuff: Charlottesville events May 17 and beyond

Batesville Day
Now that Batesville got its country store back, or "café-market" as the owners of the recently opened Plank Road Exchange are calling it, there will again be some tasty food at this year's Batesville Day, the area's iconic small town extravaganza with music, a parade, a 10K road race, and even an Ugly Truck raffle. The 10K starts at 8am, the parade starts at 11am, and the food, tunes, and fun go on until 2pm.
May 19, Batesville, 8am-2pm, Free


Maino at the Paramount
In between a line-up of opera, classic films, and Municipal Band of Charlottesville performances, the Paramount Theater has slipped in something edg...

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A brick house: This lady's stacked... with elegance and comfort

Address: 2985 Earlysville Road
Earlysville in Western Albemarle
Year Built:
3,662 finished sq. ft.
5.0 acres
Curb Appeal:
8 out of 10
Listing Agent:
Andrew Middleditch, McLean Faulconer - 434-981-1410

Real estate advertisements are rife with euphemism, and it would be easy to dismiss the description of “parklike” grounds at 2985 Earlysville Road as just another example of agent hyperbole, but in this case it’s dead-on accurate. The acreage surrounding this expansive brick home includes raised vegetable beds, a colorful water garden, and a formal allée, or avenue, which is suitable for a game of bocce, lawn bowling, or horseshoes, while an invisible pet fence ensures that man can safely enjoy the company of his best friend while walking the trails or relaxing in the gazebo.

Situated to maximize enjoyment of all this horticultural splendor is a 3-bedroom, 4-bath home with over 3,600 finished square feet of living space. Built in 1948 and remodeled in 2002, the house reflects both classic elegance and modern comfort. Pegged hardwood floors, chair rail, and crown molding lend sophistication; bold colors and creative finishes add interest and personality....

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Highway crashes: 'Economist' bureau chief among two killed

Two people including an internationally renowned magazine writer died in separate incidents on Albemarle roads May 10.

The first of the Thursday accidents occurred around 2:50pm on U.S. 29 South near Covesville when a southbound pickup truck crossed the median and slammed into a northbound tractor-trailer, according to a police release.

Pickup driver Correy O. Morris, 34, of North Garden was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash is still under investigation, says Albemarle police spokesman Darrell Byers. Morris was not wearing a seatbelt, he adds.

Seven hours later, a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 64 near the Keswick exit left one man dead and three others injured.

According to Virginia State Police, around 9:30pm a westbound 1995 Lincoln Town Car rear-ended a 2000 Subaru Outback, causing the Subaru to hit the guardrail and roll over onto its roof.

Four people were in the overturned car, and pass...

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Bypass spins: Low bid cheers some, not others

To the delight of highway supporters, the bids for the controversial Charlottesville Western Bypass have come in below budget– with the apparent low bid of $136 million. However, that was just the first spin on the project from its top backer, Neil Williamson, head of a business group called the Free Enterprise Forum.

If the low bid stands well below the $197 million budgeted last July by Commonwealth Transportation Board, there's a good reason. It doesn't include much of the design and land-acquisition cost.

In fact, the low bid of $136 million is $18 million over what the state budgeted for the actual construction: $118 million. That means, the project– if officials decide to go forward on it– is over-budget before the first shovel hits the ground, at least to opponents of the Bypass like Supervisor Dennis Rooker, Southern Environmental Law, and Piedmont Environmental Council.

"Clearly the bid is substantially over the Commonwealth Transportation Board allocation," says Rooker, who puts the overage at least at $20 million. And he notes that the bid does not include landscaping, nor does it have soundwalls to protect schools and neighborhoods. Nor has VDOT acquired all the rights-of way.

Rooker has an even bigger problem with the "design-build" project, in which the construction companies design the road based on VDOT specs. The highest bid came in at $214 million– $80 million more than the lowest bid. "That seems to me...

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