Charlottesville Breaking News

Huguely on trial: Slimmer-- as analyst describes his chances

A jury selection in the first-degree murder trial of George Huguely V began Monday, February 6. The Hook's legal analyst, besides noting that this is the biggest career moment for the lawyers involved, ventured a guess that the 24-year-old defendant won't leave court a free man. More on that below.

While the jury selection process wasn't set to start until 9:30am, Huguely bypassed the phalanx of media by arriving well before then in a law enforcement van. Also arriving long before session were the mother and sister of slain lacrosse player Yeardley Love, dropped off in the back parking lot of the Charlottesville Circuit Courthouse.

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Big chill: Biscuit Run presaged Wintergreen money mess

A pile of debt, another warm winter, and the state's unwillingness to accept a dead appraiser's valuation for millions in already-spent conservation tax credits have pushed the company running Wintergreen Resort to the brink of insolvency, as reported Monday morning in the Nelson County Times.

Despite– in a deal reminiscent of Biscuit Run– scooping up $4.6 million from taxpayers four years ago, Wintergreen Partners Inc. has reportedly defaulted on its loan from Bank of America and now implores members to voluntarily lend it $6 million to save the company from bankruptcy.

Another shocker is that Wintergreen joins a host of Virginians in parlaying empty land into cash, part of Virginia's generous conservation tax credit scheme that transfers over $100 million a year from taxpayers to owners of large tracts. The scheme is the centerpiece of ongoing litigation between the state and a team of land speculators who failed to convert an Albemarle tract called Biscuit Run into a housing development.

At Wintergreen, a company subsidiary found an appraiser willing to claim in 2008 that the 1,422-acre peak called Crawford's Knob was worth $11.5 million. Like the owners of Biscuit Run, Wintergreen turned that valuation into s...

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Big scrap: Artists fight for their right to pick

If you've ever hauled junk to the Meade Avenue place long known as Coiner's Scrap Iron and Metal, there's a chance that your old gutter, gear, appliance, or tin slab never got melted down, that it actually became part of a custom lamp, a sculpture, a reinvented machine, or a piece of "found art" that might hang in a fancy gallery in Washington, D.C., or even in the home of a rock star.

For decades, local artists, artisans, and junkyard combers have been going to Coiner's on Saturday mornings, perusing the heaps of iron, steel, and tin scrap for anything that might be useful or attractive for their purposes.

But that came to a halt several weeks ago, temporarily at least, outraging some local scrap hunters.

Indeed, the family owned business that started at the turn of the century had become a kind of Saturday morning "breakfast club" for scrap hounds over the years, says one long-time patron.

"I remember going there with my Dad when I was about eight-years old," says Peter Farrell, a craftsman who has purchased metal scraps for works of art and high-end custom lighting projects. "I've bought thousands of dollars of metal from there over the years."

What's more, Farrell says he's met interesting people at the scrapyard, including a NASA scientist, a British guy who used to work in a Rolls Royce factory, and artists like Michael Fitts, a successful painter who uses scrap metal as a surface medium.

Farrell says that the scr...

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FunStuff: Charlottesville events February 9 and beyond

Bob Marley tribute, mon
This is a twofer– a reggae dance party and a chance to check out the barely opened Black Market Moto Saloon at the corner of Meade Avenue and East Market Street, where we've spotted Tea Bazaar creator Matteus Frankovich jack-hammering away in front of his latest establishment. Dinner is served starting at 5pm– West Indian food to whet the appetite for Marley. The tribute is hosted by Scottie B., a.k.a. Mountainrasta, with WTJU's DJ Rizla, DJ 3rd Degree doing a dub session, and a special performance by Darrell Rose, Scottie B., and William Whitten's Afrikan Drum Fest & Dancers.
February 9, Black Market Moto Saloon, 9pm, $5

 

 

Found moments in photography
It's no secret that...

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Final motions: Judge allows graphic photos in Huguely trial

In anticipation of the largest murder trial Charlottesville has seen, a final hearing was held on Friday, with attorneys for accused girlfriend-killer George Huguely unsuccessful in keeping what they called "prejudicial" photos of slain UVA student Yeardley Love from being admitted as evidence. They were, however, able to prevent news photographers from getting perp-walk photos of Huguely as he moves in and out of the courthouse, at least while the jury is being chosen.

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