Charlottesville Breaking News

Video: Brookville's Harrison Keevil: 'We have no boundaries'

Since chef/owner Harrison Keevil opened Brookville Restaurant on the Downtown Mall, his personal, experimental "We-have-no-boundaries" style of cooking may not have pleased everyone who has sat down there. But that's okay. And actually, Keevil is okay with that. Paying $22 for a hamburger requires a certain suspension of disbelief, not to mention the commitment, but you can be sure that Keevil, like any true artist, has put his heart and soul in it. In this profile shot by videographer Anwar Allen, you'll get a glimpse of what makes Keevil and Brookville click. Enjoy!

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Pigged out: How Paulie started small... and smoky

There's a new barbecue place on the way to Wintergreen– new, that is, compared to the one that's been pleasing palates for over 20 years. The venerable one, of course, is the Blue Ridge Pig, and the newbie is Paulie's Pig-Out, located on Route 151 across from the new elementary school. Truth be told, the Pig-Out opened two and a half years ago, August of 2009 to be more precise.

"I couldn't find a job," says self-effacing owner Paul Matheny, "so I opened this little place."

Little indeed, as this take-out-only restaurant is, as Matheny puts it, a "hole in the wall." But like the original McDonald's in Southern California, it offers a menu elegant in its simplicity: ribs, chicken, pork barbecue, and catfish.

And like that original McDonald's, it's fast. An unannounced reporter's visit required no more than two minutes for two barbecue sandwiches.

It turns out that Matheny used to work with the dean of Charlottesville barbecue scene, Jinx Kern, when the two were making upscale food at the Gaslight Restaurant in the 1980s. Jinx concedes that he hasn't yet sampled Paulie's fare, but he holds warm memories.

"He's a good kid, and he made me laugh," remembers Kern, owner of Jinx's Pits-Top near downtown.

Matheny, who turns 49 soon, says he learned how to cook comfort food from his grandmother. His father constructed his steel smoker, and one day whe...

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Only 30: In America… and she needs a kidney

By Brittany Gamble

It’s 11am, and Tihana Macakanja has just spent two and a half hours hooked to a machine; and even after the procedure ends, she's facing a 15-minute drive home. It's an arduous cycle that she repeats three times a week, but with her closest relatives ruled out as kidney donors, dialysis is something she could be stuck with for a long time.

A native Croat, Macakanja, along with her mother, father, and a sister, came to America in 1999. They left behind her older sister– and the bombs that were falling during the Croatian War for Independence.

In 2005, on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall, the two sisters founded a Yugoslavian food store called X-Yuga. After two years, however, the duo closed the store. Macakanja, now living in Fluvanna, makes a thrice-weekly trek to a UVA-affiliated medical facility in Zion Crossroads for her dialysis.

First learned of her failing kidneys when she became pregnant in 2003, Macakanja lost most of her kidney function in 2010.

“Almost two years ago, I started with dialysis,” she says. “It’s supposed to b...

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The week in review

Biggest contract: Ryan Zimmerman, the star UVA baseball shortstop turned star third-baseman for the Washington Nationals, has reportedly inked a deal that could be worth as much as $150 million. NBC Washington has the story.

Boldest call for eminent domain: Fisherville resident Starke Smith calls for Augusta to take over the primo, yet dilapidated real estate on Afton Mountain owned by Phil Dulaney, NBC29 reports. What some call the "Afton Slums" stand as an eyesore entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive, and the former gas station, motel, and restaurant are empty shells of could-be tourist services.

More likely target of eminent domain: Camp Holiday Trails, a facility for special-needs children and neighbor to the Ragged Mountain reservoir, complains that it feels shortchanged in negotiations with the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority and by the $35K it received for half an acre– under threat of eminent domain, ...

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GPS prevails: Hogshire decision delays rapist's stalking trial

Edward Hogshire, the judge who presided over the recent second-degree murder conviction of George W. Huguely V, made a last-minute decision about electronic evidence in another criminal trial that plunged the defense into such a quandary that despite the assembly of victim, witnesses, and potential jurors at the Charlottesville Circuit Courthouse, the defense won permission to continue the case.

On February 29, Hogshire was slated to launch a new trial for Jeffrey Kitze, the so-called "graduation day rapist," on the stalking charge for which he was convicted last year in General District Court. However, Hogshire's day-earlier decision to allow Global Positioning System, or GPS, data into evidence delayed the trial because, according to courthouse sources, the defense now has to formulate new strategies.

Kitze is the man convicted of the notorious rape of his sister's roommate, a crime that involved bashing the woman's head with a tire iron both before and after the rape, which biza...

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Editor's Note