Charlottesville Breaking News

Rock Hill forever: Charlottesville's not-so-secret gardens

Forget about the impending Meadowcreek Parkway and the 250 Interchange project for a minute, as well as the fabulous history of the nearby eight-acre Rock Hill estate, once the site of a circa-1820 two-story Federal style house (which, thanks to a mischievous youngster, burned down in 1963). Forget that famed architect Eugene Bradbury once called it home, and that the Rev. Henry Alford Porter, minister of Charlottesville’s First Baptist Church (Park Street), who bought the place in the 1930s, created the extensive rock gardens that one UVA architectural historian has called the "most complex residential garden landscapes in all of Charlottesville."

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Assault history: Haskins gets 25 years for child sodomy

For a 27-year-old, Robert Terrell Haskins has racked up a pretty lengthy rap sheet consisting largely of sexual assaults. His latest day in court June 28 resulted in his lengthiest sentence: 25 years on two counts of forcible sodomy of a minor. Yet some are wondering if that's enough.

Haskins began his notorious career on December 30, 2002, as the Greenleaf Attacker. He knocked down a 34-year-old mother who was in the park with her toddler, and told police he intended to have sexual relations with her; but when she fought him off and screamed, he fled.

In court a year later, police were outraged that instead of a felony attempted rape conviction, an out-of-town judge convicted him of misdemeanor sexual battery and sentenced Haskins to six months time served.

He picked up another misdemeanor sexual battery conviction for grabbing the buttocks of a female jogger in February 2003 on Locust Avenue, and almost immediately after his release from jail in October 2003, he allegedly chased another woman down that same street.

In 2005, he followed a woman who lived on Little High Street several times, asked to use her bathroom, kissed her, then attempted to break into her house, and stole her purse and a laptop, for which he was ...

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Whatever happened? 10 updated stories

Whatever happened after authorities slew the geese in Forest Lakes? Whatever happened to Oliver Kuttner's remarkably light car? What's the latest on the search for Morgan Harrington's killer? This week, we look back at ten classic cover stories– dramatic tales, poignant remembrances, investigative reports, and colorful profiles– to learn the very latest.–Hawes Spencer, editor


Historic decision: Tax credit case stalls School rehab

 When the Hook checked in a year ago on the project to rehabilitate a  historic-yet-decrepit African-American school into a community and cultural heritage center, plans were drawn, tenants lined up, and the project was just waiting on a loan. Despite almost $6 million in city funding, the private partnership in charge of the renovation said there was one other essential: historic tax credits.

In March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit threw a wrench into that plan. Until now, Virginia's credits have been handed out to virtually any rehab deemed historic, but the Court is now declaring them taxabl...

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The week in review

Best example of too little, too late: Five weeks after an unannounced, late-night June 8 vote that resurrects the controversial U.S. 29 Western Bypass, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing July 13.

Latest setback at the former Albemarle Place: The Architectural Review Board decries the generic facade proposed for the Regal Cinema and Trader Joe's at the generically renamed Stonefield on one of the area's most prominent intersections– U.S. 29 and Hydraulic Road– and an entrance corridor, as well, Charlottesville Tomorrow reports.

Latest in Westhaven shooting: Brandon M. Jackson, 21, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the February 3 death of David "Gundo" Cowan, 30. Jackson turns himself in to police June 28, according to a release.

Latest Daily Progress furloughs: Parent company Media General is again asking– wait– telling employees to take off 15 unpai...

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Rugby ousting: Leaders say Zete not worth its salt

"Thank you, sir, may I have another?"–Kevin Bacon in Animal House

Members of the University of Virginia's recently-ousted fraternity should be grateful for their punishment, according to an open letter from a house official in which he discusses the disbanding of the local chapter of Zeta Psi in the wake of a springtime hazing that seriously injured a student.

"The University has taken a very measured and thorough approach," wrote fraternity house corporation president Charlie Kollmansperger. "The Administration did not reach its conclusion lightly."

In his letter to parents, friends, and fraternity alumni posted at a UVA Alumni Association website, Kollmansperger revealed that a review of emails and other information suggested a cover-up of the March incident that hospitalized a pledge for several days.

"We were disappointed to review hard evidence indicating that the account of that evening given to us by the [fraternity members] was inaccurate and incomplete," wrote Kollmansperger.

With its chapter established at UVA in 1868, "Zete" was one of the oldest fraternities on Grounds. Members, drawn largely from East Coast prep schools, have been known to have the organization's Greek letters seared onto a forearm with a branding iron. But the Rugby Road revelry began winding down i...

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Editor's Note