Charlottesville Breaking News

Starsia sued: UVA lax coaches, state targeted by Love family

The family that sued George Huguely V in the death of their 22-year-old daughter has now filed a $29.4 million suit against the lacrosse coaches who reportedly missed key signals that they had a violent man on their team.

The suit, filed May 1 in Louisa County Circuit Court, names University of Virginia's head lacrosse coach, Dom Starsia, along with assistant coach Marc Van Arsdale, athletic director Craig Littlepage, and the Commonwealth of Virginia and comes in the wake of the 2010 beating death of Yeardley Love. Why the coaches were sued in a rural and earthquake-scarred county east of Charlottesville could not be immediately learned, and telephone messages left with the UVA Athletic Department and with the Love family attorney were not immediately returned.

Hook legal analyst David Heilberg suggests one possibility for the venue. While rural populations are often conservative in their social beliefs, Heilberg says that Louisa is liberal in another regard.

"A Louisa jury is very generous," says Heilberg, who says he's seen larger than expected awards given in that county, particularly for...

117 comments | read more

Get a room: Bad weather doesn't slow Foxfield revelry

Fake IDs, underage drinking, and public drunkenness– the usual suspects at the Foxfield Races– were undeterred by a cold and rainy Saturday, April 28. Nor were the couple caught having sex behind a bus.

The 61 arrests this year slightly exceeded last year's 55, and most seemed to involve alcohol, except for one pot charge. An indecent exposure arrest turned out to be an incorrectly charged public urination, according to Albemarle police spokesman Darrell Byers. Urinating in public, while still illegal, will keep the offender off the sex offenders registry.

One young man drew police scrutiny from his photographic activity.

"We were called in to look at a situation of a guy talking pictures on his cellphone," says Byers. "I think he was taking pictures of people urinating." No charges there, because photographing acts that occur in a public place is not illegal, explains Byers.

And once on the road, the 37 summons issued were mostly inspection and seatbelt violations, according to a county police release.

Albemarle police teamed up with the Albemarle Sheriff's Office, Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control, and Virginia State Police to keep the Orange section, where UVA students congregate, from getting out of control.

"When you consider there's approximately 10,000 students in the Orange section, that's a small percentage," says Foxfield president Benjamin Dick of this year's arrests.

As for Dick, he's seen worse. "...

9 comments | read more

Johnson's journey: Parkway chase ends in naked capture

An early Wednesday police chase on the Blue Ridge Parkway ended with a crashed-and-burned sport utility vehicle and a driver who, by the time a canine team caught up with him, had ditched his clothes.

Police say the trouble started around 6:46am on May 2 in Augusta County. A Virginia State trooper allegedly began trying to stop Trevis H. Johnson, 28, of Charlottesville, for speeding and then eluding arrest on Mt. Torrey Road.

Johnson, driving a 2004 Ford Explorer, allegedly continued south to the Blue Ridge Parkway, a winding mountain-top road favored by cyclists and sightseers. Police say Johnson barely made it a quarter mile before the Explorer ran off the road, hit an embankment, and rolled onto its driver's side.

Climbing out of the passenger window around 6:52am, Johnson fled on foot into the woods, according to Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller, who says the Explorer burst into flames, so pursuing Senior Trooper D.C. Brydge put out the fire with an extinguisher– twice.

"He didn't pursue on foot," explains Geller, "because he had to make sure no one was in the car."

Next up was the Augusta Sheriff's canine team, called in to track Johnson in an area of "pretty rugged terrain," says Geller.

By 10:45am, about two miles away and close to the popular Crabtree Falls hiking area in Nelson County, pursuers captured Johnson, who was completely naked. Asked why Johnson might have shed his clothing, spokesperson Ge...

2 comments | read more

Battle of the noodle: Allied heats up recycling rhetoric against Van der Linde

For several years now, Allied Waste, which is owned by mega-waste company Republic Services, has been largely silent while Van der Linde Recycling (VDLR) steals all the local trash and recycling glory. Now the company is fighting back with a vengeance. With an onslaught of web, print, radio, and TV advertising, Allied suggests that much of the recycling collected by local haulers using VDLR is ending up in a landfill.

However, according to Peter Van der Linde, Allied's new "separate, don't contaminate" ad campaign is just the last gasp from a company tied to an outmoded way of handling trash– and to its own landfills.

"Republic's business model in our area is built on its landfill business," says Van der Linde, "and they are understandably fighting to stay alive."

Four years ago, Van der Linde put his money where his mouth is by opening a 100,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Zion Crossroads, a facility that transformed the trash business. Suddenly, local haulers such as Dixon Disposal and Time Disposal could offer their customers all-in-one, single-stream recycling: just throw all your household trash and recycling in one big bin and let Van der Linde's facility do the sorting. Not only does your recycling get processed, but those bags of household trash get probed for recyclables too.


73 comments | read more

Café-market: Batesville gets its store back

The historic structure that previously housed the beloved Batesville Store has reopened, and its new incarnation is Plank Road Exchange, which its foodie proprietors describe as a "café-market."

Jessica and Aris Cuadra, who met in a restaurant and have 35 years experience between them, ran a restaurant in Luray last year called the Victorian Inn. But nights-and-weekend childcare for their son, three-and-a-half-year-old Rocco, was difficult, says Jessica Cuadra, and when they became aware the Batesville space was available, they took it. Now Rocco gets to hang out with his parents.

"It's much more relaxed," says his mom.

Not that running a café-market is necessarily relaxing. The couple makes a lot of prepared foods for "grab-and-go dinners," says Cuadra. "The broccoli peanut salad has been a really big hit."

They also make their own baked goods, like the salivation-inducing blueberry brown-butter tart, chocolate chip cookies, macaroons, and bittersweet chocolate brownies. "Those we can't keep on the counter," she says of the brownies.

"The sandwich I had was fantastic," says realtor/blogger Jim Duncan, enthusing over the "MC-50," a Cuadra creation of Boar's Head roast beef, green chili mayonnaise, and onion marmalade, the two latter ingredients made in-house, served on an Albemarle Baking Company baguette.

"All our sandwiches are our own creation," says Cuadra, "and we make the c...

8 comments | read more
Editor's Note
4Better Or Worse