Charlottesville Breaking News

Month late: Scrap yard to debut 'METAL' program

As previously reported, the CEO of the company that operates the Meade Avenue scrap yard long known as Coiner's Scrap Iron and Metal had promised to relaunch walk-in sales to artists and others in February.

"So I called the Charlottesville office," says artist Mike Fitts, who was featured in the Hook's story, "and they said they knew nothing about opening up again for walk-in sales."

Ditto for David Slezak, Director of Community Service at Tandem Friends School, and a former Boy Scout troop leader, who is advising an Eagle Scout candidate on putting up a bluebird trail.

"We need one-inch scrap metal pipes to mount the bluebird houses in public areas," says Slezak. "We used to get them from the scrap yard when I was a troop leader."

After calling, he says he emailed the company headquarters to complain.

Well, the company, Cycle Systems, seems to have finally gotten the message.


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The Chang re-effect: New place, new movie, and taking NYC by storm

The Year of the Dragon is turning out to be a special one for chef Peter Chang and his partners Gen Lee and his wife, Mary, who opened Peter Chang's China Grill in the Barracks Road Shopping Center last year. For our March 2010 cover story on the elusive chef, we remember stumbling across Lee at the Li'l Dino Subs shop he owns in Albemarle Square. At that time, Lee served as an unofficial translator for Chang, who was cooking at Taste of China next door, the setting for a profile in the New Yorker that set the local food scene abuzz.

Lee, an experienced executive chef himself, would partner with Chang to create a permanent home for Chang in Charlottesville, something many doubted would really happen.

 Well, it did happen, and just last month Lee found himself a long way from his Li'l Dino Subs shop: at the famed James Beard House in Manhattan, where Chang and his wife Hong Ying Zhang (an exceptional chef in her own right...

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Wrong on red? Cameras successful, says report; worries remain

According to a recent County police report, the controversial red-light cameras at the intersection of Route 29 and Rio Road are a success. Crashes at the approaches where the cameras are located are down, and the County hauled in nearly $100,000 in ticket revenue last year that will be used for safe-driving initiatives, such as DUI goggles for driver impairment education and training manuals for teen driver education.

"If you do a month-to-month comparison, there is a significant reduction in citations issued during January 2011 compared to January 2012, which would lead us to believe that driving habits are changing," says County police Sergeant Darrell Byers. "So the goal of reducing red light crashes combined with a change in driving habits makes the program a success."

The report showed that crashes due to red light running (at the two approaches with cameras only) fell from 6 in 2010 to just one in 2011. The number of rear-end crashes, which research has shown typically increase when cameras are present, actually dropped at the two approaches to the Rio/29 intersection; from 17 in 2010 to 10 in 2011.

However, Byers admits that looking at "more comparative data from this coming year" is needed to find out if the cameras are really making the intersection safer. Some say safety isn't the goal.

"It's really all abo...

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Brutal force? Love's injuries conjure visions of strangulation, smothering

From a hemorrhage in her neck suggestive of strangulation to facial injuries consistent with smothering to signs of blunt force trauma on nearly every part of her body, the injuries apparent on the body of Yeardley Love conjure an image of a terrifyingly violent encounter.

In painstaking– and for many courtroom observers, pain-causing– detail, Virginia Assistant Chief Medical Examiner Bill Gormley described his observations from the May 4, 2010 autopsy he performed including, in particular, bruising to an area of the neck called the "carotid body," which, among other things, regulates hea...

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Bombshells away: Huguely prosecution readies blood evidence

Monday morning in the trial of accused murderer George Huguely may have launched a few yawns in the courtroom, as literally dozens of photographs and other bits of evidence were shown to the jury. However, pieces of shower curtain, parts of a sink or two, and myriad photographs of red stains in Huguely's apartment appear poised to provide some afternoon bombshells for the prosecution.

Meanwhile, lawyers for a Washington news outlet lost their quest to gain better access to the screen that's showing all this evidence. Prosecutor Dave Chapman argued in the hearing earlier February 13 that only the jury– not the media– have the right to see the evidence during the trial. CBS-affiliated reporter Bruce Leshan of WUSA led the charge to re-orient the large monitor on which the jury has seen such evidence as photographs of first-responders attempting to revive Yeardley Love as well as Friday's dramatic video interrogation of her alleged killer. However, Judge Edward Hogshire sided with Chapman.


The jury on Monday morning has been hearing from Charlottesv...

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