Charlottesville Breaking News

Good afternoon, Irene: Eat, drink, and be merry...

Irene may have stood us up, attracted as she was to the coast and the mountains of Vermont (Hey, prayers for those affected by the rains up there, and for those all along the East Coast who weren't as fortunate as we were), but it looks like some local restaurants and eateries got into the hurricane spirit! Indeed, some notable establishments even invented their own spirits...

Over at Mas they concocted a "Hurricane Punch" made with rum, more rum, some kind of juice, triple sec and grenadine. At Mono Loco they offered a cryptic message on their FB page, "Eat, drink, and be merry…" Indeed, according to bartender Ben Louquet, who also happens to be a Hook ad rep, Mono Loco's own 'Hurricane' special may have done more damage than Irene. His windy brew called for dark rum, light rum, Cointreau, passion fruit, orange juice, lime juice, agave nectar, and raspberry puree.

Down at Camino on Market Street they also had a Hurricane punch that packed a wallop with Myers rum, light Bacadi, orange juice, fresh lime, and grenadine.

"It was such a hit on Friday night that we had to go get more rum," says Camino's Drew Hart. "But curiously, after that, no one ordered one. I guess by Saturday night everyone was already sick of the hurricane, and on Sunday I talked to a bunch of people who said no one went out at all."


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Rattle on: We've had 'more than 100' aftershocks

Still feeling multiple aftershocks every day? Friends saying you're dreaming? You may not be, according to a top earthquake scientist, who says that there have been "more than 100 aftershocks."

Bill Leith, the acting senior advisor for earthquake hazards for the U.S. Geologic Survey, say that Central Virginians will continue to feel about a dozen aftershocks per day in the immediate future. At press time, the Survey's website listed 19 quakes of 2.0 and above since the 5.8 whopper on August 23, and sensitive devices are registering many more.

"These aftershocks are going to go on for weeks and months," says Leith, adding that the magnitudes with diminish over time.

How about another big one?

"We can't rule out another large aftershock," says Leith, "but the probabilities are low."


Original August 27 headline and posting:

Irene-schmirene: We've had TEN aftershocks

Irene has just begun its Charlottesville sprinkling, but the hurricane has begun weakening and steering east, and folks in Louisa County are still reeling in the aftermath of the earthquakes that have hammered their houses and schools. According to a Friday damage report by government officials, they've already tallied about $7 million in damage– and that doesn't even include the two public schools that'll be closed f...

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Irene cancels: Bad weekend to go to New York

Airlines are usually the first to cancel in bad weather. With Hurricane Irene ready to slam into the Eastern Seaboard, trains and buses are getting scratched as well.

Amtrak canceled trains south of Washington, DC, for Friday-Sunday, August 27-29. So far, that doesn't include the trains that go through Charlottesville– the Crescent, Cardinal and Northeast Regional– but an Amtrak spokeswoman expects an update today.

Flash floods and debris on the tracks are the main worries, says Amtrak's Christina Leeds. Lots of times, local operators take down the track gates that keep cars off the tracks, she says. And Northeast corridor trains run on electricity, problematic if the power is out.

Over at the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport, executive director Barbara Hutchinson expects to see Dulles, Laguardia and Philadelphia airports closing tonight, affecting United and US Airways flights. "They'll want to reposition those aircraft," she says. And some of them may be riding out the storm at CHO.

US Airways has loosened its rescheduling fees for ...

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Books, bags, iPads-- oh my! Local students show school spirit

Summer may be ending, but for Charlottesville and Albemarle County students, the start of a new school year brings the excitement of picking out new clothes, planning extracurricular activities, and refocusing their minds on a new grade level. Whether reuniting with old friends or starting out at a new school, local students bring a high level of energy, dedication, and passion both in and out of the classroom.

We asked students from all grades and from schools across the city and county what they're most looking forward to this fall– and from sports to classes, lunches to fashion, we found that local kids are ready to take on the new year.

Jack Bruns, 10
6th grade, Charlottesville Day School

Extracurricular: Baseball, golf, trumpet
Must-have fall clothing: Cardinals jersey
Lunch choice: Sushi rolls
Favorite subject: Math and music
The best thing about being in middle school is my teacher, Mrs. Reed!




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Game over: Whites 2, blacks 0 in Democrats' firehouse primary

By Rob Schilling

A 32-year reign of engineered, single-seat black representation on Charlottesville’s City Council crashed to a screeching halt on Sunday, August 21 with the early morning release of results in Charlottesville’s Democratic Firehouse Primary. In their wake, racial turmoil and long overdue electoral reform increasingly are likely.

Colette Blount, assumed successor to the “black crown” on Charlottesville’s all Democrat and historically white City Council, has lost her electoral bid, reportedly finishing fifth in a field of seven candidates. Only the top three vote-getters can appear on the November general election ballot where the finalized Democrat slate is predestined for victory.

Blount’s defeat puts Charlottesville’s primarily white Democrat committee and the city’s black com...

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