Charlottesville Breaking News

Last stand: Bank takes Kluge's own house in foreclosure

Just two days after the Trump Organization revealed that her job is secure, Patricia Kluge found out that her home is not. The financially challenged vintner lost her residence Wednesday at the Albemarle Courthouse.

Nine people gathered for the 10am May 18 sale of "Glen Love," the luxury spec house that Kluge and husband Bill Moses built as part of what was to become a high-end, wine-growing subdivision called Vineyard Estates.

Before the bidding began on the property listed as 2621 Coopers Lane, auctioneer Emmanuel Voces took a call from his office to make sure the former billionaire's wife– whose heavily-mortgaged assets have been sold off over the past few months at the stately brick courthouse– had not filed for bankruptcy. At 10:10am, the bidding began.

Two bidders–- Donald Trump representative Les Goldman and a Charlottesville bargain-shopper named Rob Iten–- volleyed back and forth for about 15 minutes, with Goldman stopping the auction three times to make phone calls.

Iten opened at $500,000, and Goldman immediately had to make a call. The two bid in $5,000 and $10,000 increments up to $605,000, when Goldman stepped away for another call.

At Iten's bid of $655,000, the Trump rep dialed in a third time, and bidding continued until Iten offered $705K.

"That's it," said Goldman.

And that's when Sonabank stepped in w...

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Up tick: Why you should be worried about Lyme disease

Scuttle aside, cockroaches. You're losing your spot as the most feared insect in Virginia, and your competition doesn't even look that scary. So tiny it can scarcely be seen, the black-legged tick doesn't move fast, it doesn't have a nauseating shiny shell, it doesn't even have antennae to inspire revulsion. No matter. Its fear factor comes from its status as host to a disease that, if left untreated, can permanently disable.

Jo Ann Freeman knows first hand. The retired computer software manager was looking forward to an early retirement spent traveling, gardening, and fixing up a historic Afton home. Instead, she spent nearly four years bedridden, unable to summon the energy to make a phone call. Her teeth chattered, her hands shook, and she had such severe cognitive deficits that she could no longer even read. Worst of all, no one could tell her what was wrong.

"The tests were negative for everything," says Freeman. "I thought I was dying."

After a nearly five-year medical journey that would eventually take her out of Virginia, Freeman was finally diagnosed with not one but two tick-borne illnesses including Lyme disease.

Freeman's not the only Central Virginian who's experienced the serious aftermath of an untreated Lyme infection, and Lyme cases are on the rise.

According to a recent warning by the Virginia Department of Health, Lyme is now the state's most common tick-borne illness; and it has increased eight-fold in the Charlottesvi...

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You're hired: Trump to keep Kluge and Moses at winery

On the same day that Donald Trump announced that he won't be making a run for the U.S. presidency, his son reveals that the famous deal-maker plans to continue to invest in the wine operation he recently bought out of foreclosure– and that he plans to give former owners Patricia Kluge and Bill Moses roles in the operation.

"It will continue as a vineyard," says Eric Trump in a May 16 telephone interview. "How we'll put a label on it, we're still wrapping our arms around that."

What team Trump has wrapped its arms around is the couple vanquished by their own ambitions.

"Patricia's an amazing woman; Bill I very much admire," says Eric Trump. "Yes, they are coming aboard."

Owning the Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard means Donald Trump, via Trump Virginia Acquisitions LLC, now has a toehold in the state that sent eight men to the White House.

On April 7, Trump agreed to buy two Kluge parcels at auction for $6.21 million: a 129-acre tract with vineyards and the winery and a 647-acre tract with vineyards, pavilion, office, and carriage museum. Earlier, for $374,600, Trump had secured a 217-acre parcel from a trust for Kluge's son, a parcel that's essentially the front yard (and former golf course) to Kluge's former mansi...

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More notoriety: UVA Law's alleged stalker previously impeached

Not since Teddy Kennedy was speeding through town and picking up reckless driving tickets in the late 1950s has UVA Law School seen so much scandal. This academic year ends with two unseemly incidents: third-year Johnathan Perkins was on the verge of graduation when he admitted fabricating an incident of police racial profiling, and classmate Daniel Watkins was arrested May 6 on stalking and assault charges.

For Watkins, a second-year lawyer-in-training from Fredericksburg, it was not the first time he'd felt the public glare. In September 2008, as an undergraduate political science major and student body president at Abilene Christian University, the African American Watkins reported finding a noose on his office chair, an incident of potential bias that made national news. Police investigated, and no arrests were made.

Six months later, Watkins was impeached and booted from office for a host of charges including manipulative and unethical behavior. Student leaders said the charges had nothing to do with the noose incident, but in an interview with the ...

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Pre-Belk flashback: C.H. Williams estate hits auction block

An upcoming estate auction recalls one of the long-gone department stores where Charlottesvillians shopped for most of the 20th century. Slated for May 21, the sale features art and antiques from the estate of Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Williams, whose namesake store operated from 1935 to 1981 on East Main Street.

"In the first two thirds of the 20th century, if you thought about about going to a department store in Charlottesville, you went to C. H. Williams," says longtime city resident Rey Berry, who notes that the store preceded such other mid-century notables as Leggett, now operating as Belk, and the now-defunct Miller & Rhoads.

Mr. Williams, a native of Greene County, was sent to Charlottesville in 1935 to manage the Pugh Company store at 212 East Main Street. A few months later, he bought the store.

For over 40 years, C.H. Williams Co. was a Charlottesville destination for fine clothing and household goods. An advertisement from a 1944 edition of the Daily Progress touts 36-inch cotton lace for $1.39 a yard and pure linen selling for $2.19. According to another newspaper clipping on file with the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, the company employed 60 people in 1963 with an annual payroll of $175,000.

In 1981, however, after the death of the Williams' son, Harvey, who served as president, the business closed, and the building was sold. The structure became a Smith's of Bermuda shop in 198...

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