Charlottesville Breaking News
Melampy went to see her parents on January 15. "Mom was having problems with her esophagus, and they went to the emergency room," says Shipp. While they were at Martha Jefferson Hospital, Melampy's mother urged her daughter to seek treatment for the headache.
After a CAT scan and an MRI at Martha Jefferson, Melampy, who had turned 50 on December 24, was transferred to UVA Medical Center, according to her sister. "She sat up in bed and said, 'There's something really wrong with my head,'" says Shipp.
Melampy was a deputy clerk working for her sister in the county. In 2011, she ran unsuccessfully for the Charlottesville Circuit Court clerk job, first in the Democratic primary and then as an independent.
For Debbie Shipp, her sister's death marks a year of unbearable loss. On January 23, 2011, Shipp's 21-year-old son David died in an automobile accident. "It was exactly one week before the one-year anniversary," says Shipp of her sister's January 16 death.
Pam Melampy had organized a blood drive for January 23 in memory of David...
Several years ago, when a local angler waded into a waterway in Alleghany County, he also waded into a legal battle over property rights and public access to Virginia's rivers that has cost him $50,000 in legal fees, and counting.
Along a 14-mile stretch of the Jackson River just beneath the Gathright Dam, the cold, pure waters from the depths of Lake Moomaw, created when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a dam in the late 1960s, create one of the most ideal trout habitats in the state. Indeed, a few years ago, the Jackson's reputation as an angler's paradise prompted one savvy developer to market a high-end residential golfing community along its banks, "providing privileged access to over 4-miles of private river frontage and year-round fly-fishing."
Dargan Coggeshall, a Charlottesville business owner and long-time fly-fisherman, says he discovered a spot in front of the proposed development more than two years ago. Before selling a single lot, Coggeshall says the developer had scattered No Trespassing signs along the river bank, and had even come down to the river's edge to tell Coggeshall he wasn't allowed to fish in that part of the river because it was privately owned.
Coggeshall scoffed at the idea, as a centuries-old Virginia statute deems the beds of all rivers and streams as public property for the "purposes of fishing, fowling, hunting, and taking and catching oysters and other shellfish.”
One time, Coggeshall...