Charlottesville Breaking News
Details of the incident that resulted in a domestic violence charge against former Charlottesville Mayor J. Blake Caravati did not emerge Friday, September 16 when he appeared in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. His arrest, however, has already sent shockwaves through the community.
"It's a sad situation," says current Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris, who though never serving in office alongside Caravati, knows him through Democratic political circles.
First elected to City Council in 1998 after launching his campaign from the grounds of the railroad station on West Main Street, Caravati told prospective voters he hoped to locate a transit center on the site. Two years later, he assumed the mantle of mayor.
During his mayorship, Caravati took an active role in infrastructure issues. Although he admited surprise when, during his term at the helm, Martha Jefferson Hospital suddenly announced that it was leaving downtown, Caravati was mayor when Council launched the redesign of the Downtown Mall with a $369,000 contract to a Philadelphia design firm. He would win acclaim from some citizens for eventually reversing his earlier stance in opposition to the controversial road that would link downtown and U.S. 29, the Meadowcreek Parkway.
Caravati won reelection to a second four-year Council term in 2002 even as his ticket-mate made history for becoming the first Democrat in a generation to suffer defeat to a Republican. Yet...
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The long-anticipated Jefferson School renovation officially kicked off September 14 with the ringing of a school bell by a former student and donations of $67,000 to the $18-million rehab project.
The largest donor was Union First Market Bank, which loaned the project $12 million and presented a check for $50,000. Kjellstrom and Lee is doing the construction, and that company kicked in a $15,000 donation. And an organization called The Links contributed $2,000 to the African American Heritage Center, which will be housed in part of the old school.
Work on the historic African-American school is expected to be completed in the fall of 2012, when its tenants will include the city's Carver Recreation, Piedmont Virginia Community College, and the Piedmont Family YMCA.