Charlottesville Breaking News
Approaching the second anniversary of their daughter's disappearance, the parents of murdered student Morgan Dana Harrington are unveiling a new campaign aiming to raise awareness about the vulnerability of young women to predators and to offer support to other victims' families.
Dubbed Helpsavethenextgirl.com, the multi-media campaign includes not only that website but also a Facebook page, and it launches with a series of bold online ads placed on media websites from Blacksburg to Northern Virginia aimed at sparking new leads in a case that appears to be running cold.
"Spit out Morgan Dana Harrington's killer," says one of the animated ads, featuring an airline "barf bag" bearing the composite image of a bearded black man linked by DNA to a 2005 rape in Fairfax and to Morgan's case.
Another features a photo of Morgan with the stark words: "20 years old. 5'5" tall. 6 feet under." And a third ad features images of a smiling Morgan followed by the grim composite sketch. "She was the girl next door," it reads. "Is this the guy next door?"
The ads are intended to be harsh, says Morgan's mother, Gil Harrington.
"Something ugly happened here, and I'm not going to sugar-coat it for him," she says, referring to the man she believes is responsible for killing her daughter. "From the beginning, I've tried to use clear...
Despite being resoundingly whupped in the Democratic primary, Pam Melampy declared her candidacy as an independent for Charlottesville clerk of court on September 27.
"We're not happy she's doing that," says Democratic co-chair Jim Nix. "She signed a document saying she would support the Democratic nominee."
Melampy contends that her over 20 years of experience in the court system make her the best choice for the $112K-a-year job, and if elected, she promises she'll donate 10 percent of her salary to the local Boys and Girls Club, SPCA, and Hospice House of the Piedmont.
"I want to take a pay cut," says Melampy. "You don't hear many people saying that."
Independent City Council candidates Scott Bandy and Andrew Williams joined Melampy as she entered the November 8 race for the second time.
Her first time as one of three Democratic candidates in the August 20 primary running against incumbent Paul Garrett and public defender Llezelle Dugger left Melampy feeling duped, she says. The Democratic Committee initially was "gung ho" about her candidacy until she had signed a check for $250 to the party and the declaration that she would only support the Democratic nominees, according to Melampy.
The support she thought she had among Dems and local lawyers evaporated when...