Charlottesville Breaking News

Last stand: The Charlottesville Occupier who died

She didn't come to Lee Park to protest. She was just looking for a safe place to sleep.

Now, friends and family are mourning the death of Linda Doig, a former international fashion model who once worked with top designers in Milan and Paris, but whose downward spiral into alcoholism brought her into the Occupy Charlottesville encampment in late November. Within days of setting up camp in the park, she told a reporter, she embraced the movement.

"You have to listen to what they're saying," said Doig. "They're making sense."

During the interview, conducted on November 28, the 51-year-old Doig appeared tearful and frail but mentally lucid as she recalled her glamorous past and the medical issues that ravaged her. She noted that a back injury and other conditions were exacerbated by the outdoor living conditions she endured since getting evicted from an Albemarle County residence in mid-November.

"I don't know where I'm going to go," said Doig, weeping, as her companion, 47-year-old carpenter Carey Hicks, squeezed her hand and expressed sympathy for her situation.

"She had further to fall than I did," Hicks said of their sudden homelessness.

Sources indicate that Doig's family members, who had been trying to find her since her eviction, had obtained a room for her in an area motel soon after she left Lee Park; but her health appears to have deteriorated...

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Halfaday holiday: Candidate's election fraud case continued

The trial of former City Council candidate James Halfaday on four counts of address-based election fraud has been continued until January 26.

Outside the courtroom on Thursday, December 15, Halfaday declined to comment or to say where he really lives.

"I just want to wish the people in Charlottesville and the media," he said, "a happy holiday."

Making his first bid for public office on a pro-business, pro-people platform, Halfaday came in last in the Democratic firehouse primary in August.

After the primary, a lawyer contacted the Hook to say that Halfaday was not the owner of Snap Fitness gym, as he'd claimed throughout the campaign. And according to residents at the Sunset Road address Halfaday used in his campaign filings, he didn't appear to live there either. And three contributors listed as giving $499 to Halfaday's campaign told the Hook they had never made donations to him.

Halfaday was arrested October 19 and charged with four felony counts of election fraud for the alleged false address. If convicted of all four counts and handed the maximum sentence, Halfaday could earn as much as forty years in prison.

As the...

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Transcript-gate continues: Spy-cam found in registrar's office

His modeling pictures show Joshua Peter Gomes as a man comfortable in front of a camera. Now, according to a search warrant, Gomes appears at ease in front of a camera even when, authorities allege, he was breaking into the University of Virginia's registrar's office.

Gomes, 25, a now-former UVA law student, was arrested outside of Carruthers Hall on Emmet Street around 3am December 7 and charged with two counts of breaking and entering and one of possession of burglary tools.

UVA police assert that employees at the registrar's office had noticed a few things amiss and contacted University Police December 6 to investigate a B&E. Officer J. Thacker noticed what some might consider an ordinary coat hook mounted on a wall inside the registrar's office. But that was no ordinary coat hook.

As many voyeurs already know, tiny cameras can be mounted inside household objects, and the Internet is replete with coat hooks pre-installed with a micro video-cam.

Examining the output from the spy-device camera, Officer Thacker allegedly saw the image of a black male clearly facing the camera, a man who then turned to go rifling through a...

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Person of the year: Ken Boyd. King of the road... and the midnight vote

If Ken Boyd's entire political career were an Aesop's fable, he'd be the slow-and-steady tortoise. But when the opportunity arose earlier this year, the usually mild-mannered Republican maneuvered and rammed through a late-night vote on the controversial Western 29 Bypass, a highway project that had been presumed dead for more than a decade. In seizing the reins of power after the public had gone home, Boyd helped overturn long-established opposition from the Board of Supervisors, sent shock waves through the environmental community, and launched a permanent change to the landscape of Albemarle County.


Earlier t...

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Verdant Parkway: County's part likely to open in January

With no opposition– only advice– from Charlottesville City Council and with the Albemarle Supervisors having resolved to open the Melbourne-to-Rio Road portion, the county's stretch of the two-mile Meadowcreek Parkway is poised to welcome drivers in January. While the exact date is undetermined, the Virginia Department of Transportation appears unlikely to reject City Council's December 5 request for tweaks such as turn lane-striping and lower speed limits near schools.

The Hook's person of the year, already famous for another road– the U.S. 29 Western Bypass– has urged the state to speed the opening of the County's 1.3-mile stretch of Meadowcreek (which had a year-ago multi-week test-drive). On December 7, Ken Boyd and the other Supervisors put their request in the form of a unanimous resolution.

"VDOT will evaluate concerns recently identified by the city and coordinate with the city staff on appropriate action," VDOT says in a same-day release

"The update to the schedule as of this week," says VDOT spokesperson Lou Hatter on December 20, "is an estimated opening at the end of the first week of January, weather permitting."

–story updated Tuesday, December 20 swapping out press release VDOT statement for Lou Hatter VDOT statement.

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