Charlottesville Breaking News

Not immune: VNB corporate profit falls 42 percent

Virginia National Bank, long seen as one of the bulwarks of the local financial services industry, saw its net income fall 42 percent last year, according to an earnings report released Friday.

The new report, released January 27, shows that in addition to suffering a drop in profit, VNB found itself making greater allowances for loan losses– due in no small part to one customer which cost the bank $426,000 last year. As previously reported, VNB lent over $300,000 to the father of accused murderer George W. Huguely V for an ill-fated land speculation on Morgantown Road in Ivy, but that appears not to be last year's jumbo loss.

However, President Glenn Rust says he feels good about the overall results particularly because the bank itself achieved a gain– with its profit rising from $1.94 million to $2.0 million– and saw what Rust calls a "healthy" increase in average deposits of seven percent.

The total profit downturn, from $4.03 million to $2.34 million, Rust says, stemmed primarily from lower "performance fees" at VNBTrust, t...

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FunStuff: Charlottesville events February 1 and beyond

McGuffey Friday
It's the beginning of the month again, and that means one thing for art lovers: First Fridays. From the McGuffey Art Center, always a hub of creative energy that recently welcomed 19 new artists, to the patchwork of galleries that cover the downtown area, First Fridays is a chance to see some great art and meet fellow art lovers. McGuffey's opening reception will feature the work of Kristi Glick, who has created an installation of enameled jewelry, wall panels, and prints. Her jewelry can be worn individually or in groups, inviting the wearer to join in the creative process by choosing where and how to place each pin. There will also be enamel and watercolor works by Salena Hitzeman, a collection of UVA student art work, and an exhibit called "Behind Bars," artwork by inmates from the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.  
February 3, McGuffey Art Center, 5:30-7:30pm, free




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Green monster: UVA's ped-stopping fence claims a victim

It took 12 years, but an overnight impalement indicates that the so-called "Green Monster" has claimed its first injury victim. Fire Chief Charles Werner reports that rescue workers arrived at 258 Crispell Drive at 2:58am Saturday, January 28 to rescue an individual dangling upside-down on the fence erected by UVA to keep pedestrians away from train tracks.

The patient was transported to the UVA Medical Center Emergency Room, Werner said.

In the year 2000, under an agreement with Norfolk Southern Corporation, the University of Virginia erected the $125,000, 1,200-foot long metal fence between the train tracks and the back side of the Medical Center.

With few officially-permitted pedestrian crossings in that area and with train speeds typically much slower than in rural areas, the nearly quarter-mile-long in-town structure has long provoked concern that UVA was overzealously elevating insurance concerns– in the name of safety– over connectivity.

UVA Police spokesperson Melissa Fielding tells a reporter that she can recall no prior injuries on the fence.

Charlottesville Police occasionally embark on stings to ticket people who cross train tracks, with one such sting and its $106 tickets provoking ire in 2008. One of the ironies inherent in any discussion of shortcutting or trespassing over railroad tracks is that pedestrians have the...

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Housekeeping: Court readies for Huguely trial

Pretrial publicity remains a concern for the defense in the upcoming murder trial of former UVA lacrosse player George Huguely for the death of his former girlfriend Yeardley Love.

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Prelim waived: Halfaday fraud charges go to grand jury

Making his third appearance to answer election fraud charges Thursday, former City Council candidate James Halfaday waived a preliminary hearing, so the four felony charges will go to the grand jury. The 32-year-old appeared in Charlottesville General District Court January 26 with his attorney, Scott Goodman.

After coming in seventh out of seven candidates in last August's Democratic firehouse primary, odd allegations started popping up about the man who, until that point, had been best known as both the city's first gay and Native American candidate.

A lawyer contacted the Hook to say that Halfaday was not the owner of Snap Fitness gym as he'd claimed during his campaign. And residents at the Sunset Road address Halfaday used when he filed to run for Council had never heard of him. And several people listed as having contributed $499 to his campaign adamantly denied doing so. (There was even an assertion by Halfaday that he'd been injured in the summertime earthquake.)

On October 19, Halfaday was arrested for making false statements on voter registration forms, a Class 5 felony that carries up to 10 years in prison and up to a $2,500 fine. Also appearing in co...

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