Charlottesville Breaking News

Waste War II? Van der Linde Recycling boldly attacked

After fending off a former employee-turned-extortionist, a $20 million government-filed RICO lawsuit, and dozens of bogus complaints filed with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, recycling entrepreneur Peter Van der Linde thought the "waste war" was over. But a Memorial Day weekend attack has sabotaged his entire fleet of trucks and tractors– and taken that war to a new level.

"This wasn't a shot across the bow; they were trying to take us out," says Van der Linde, noting that not a single vehicle was left operable.

According to the silver-haired entrepreneur, who discovered the damage when he came to work on Monday morning, May 30, all 26 company vehicles on site had been disabled with holes gouged in radiators, gas tanks, and hydraulic lines.

"This was pretty hardcore," says Van der Linde, describing the attack as demonstrating "SWAT-like precision."

The spillage of fuel, hydraulic fluid, and anti-freeze was so severe that the Virginia DEQ really needed to be called this time– to oversee cleanup of the contaminated soil.

In addition to the tens of thousands of dollars he thinks will be spent for property clean-up and vehicle repair, Van der Linde– who says he's waiting for an exact estimate– notes that he plans to shell out even more money for a surveillance system to prevent future at...

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Fire ruins CAT bus

A Charlottesville Area Transit bus appears to be a near-total loss after a Thursday morning fire. News reports indicate that nobody was injured in the June 2 blaze which completely destroyed the engine compartment of the full-size bus and occurred downtown on Water Street near the Lexis Nexis building.

City spokesperson Ric Barrick says the vehicle was heading to the Downtown Transit Station around 9:15am when the operator noticed smoke coming from the rear. There was just one passenger, who, like the operator, exited safely. Barrick says the investigation indicates that a broken fuel-line and engine heat led to the combustion.

–story updated 2:10pm on Tuesday, June 7

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4BETTER or worse: The week in review

Worst week for baby deaths: The family of year-old Camora Latay Wicks raises money May 30 to pay for a $4,000 funeral to bury the baby, whose cause of death is undisclosed. Ramon Turley, 18, is charged with second-degree murder. And on May 21, an unresponsive one-year-old is airlifted from a foster home in the 5000-block of Jefferson Mill Road in Scottsville and pronounced dead at UVA Medical Center. Police are investigating that death, the Daily Progress reports.

Worst bus crash: Four people are dead and more injured on I-95 about 30 miles north of Richmond when a commercial tour bus overturns and lands on its roof early May 31.

Worst law enforcement rampage: Franklin County deputy Jonathan Agee, 32, is accused of fatally shooting his wife at a Roanoke Sheetz May 30 and wounding a state trooper who gave chase.  Additional troopers surround and fire upon Agee, whose wounds are life threatening, WSLS reports.

Worst time to go shopping at Kohl's: The department store is closed for nearly three hours May 24 after an envelope containing a white powder is discovered in the parking lot. Haz-mat specialists determine the mysterious substance is not harmful.

Biggest gho...

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No felony: Victim wants tougher penalty for crotch invasion

Caitlln Mahoney was walking out of a Charlottesville nightclub last fall when she made an unpleasant discovery: a man's hand up under her skirt. In court May 31, a judge convicted the perpetrator of sexual battery, but the victim says she's speaking out in hopes that courts will consider getting tougher on such crimes.

Mahoney, a 2009 UVA grad who was in town for homecoming on October 17, testified that she was leaving the after-hours Club 216 on Market Street when she heard a man trying to get her attention. She ignored him and continued walking toward the street.

"Someone reached up under my skirt and grabbed my genitalia," Mahoney told Judge Edward Hogshire, describing how she felt a palm-up hand and then felt another squeeze, this time to her buttocks.

"You don't do that to people," the 24-year-old Mahoney said she yelled at the man as she shoved him away. A police officer working private security for the Club intervened and handcuffed Antoine Rashard Anderson and charged the 29-year-old Gordonsville resident with sexual battery– as well as public intoxication, a charge he's encountered five other times, according to city court records.

Mahoney, however, made a case to the prosecutor that the contact was way too intimate for a mere misdemeanor and got the groping charge upgraded to a Class 4 felony: ...

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Extreme makeover: rich edition-- State program benefits those who need it least

Ask most preservationists what they think of Virginia's Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program, and you'll hear them proudly say it's one of the most generous, if not the most generous, programs in the country, leading to the rehabilitation of thousands of historic properties. Indeed, since the program's inception in 1997, the state has awarded nearly $700 million in tax credits to homeowners and developers.

"This is free money," writes Charlottesville architect Brian Broadus, who has specialized in historic building projects for over 20 years. "Why don’t more homeowners come and grab it?"

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Editor's Note
4Better Or Worse
Editor's Note