Charlottesville Breaking News

Friedman's field: The man who never left community college

Frank Friedman has been in community college for 33 years. The good news? He did get several degrees beyond an associate's, and a pretty sweet job as president of Piedmont Virginia Community College.

Friedman dispels a common misperception: "That all community colleges are grade 13, an extension of high school," he says. "Or that the only people who go to community college can't go any place else."

Instead, he's convinced, "We're in the golden age of community colleges."

And he touts PVCC as the best higher-ed deal around. Students can get a two-year degree at PVCC for around $3,000 a year and then transfer to a state four-year college.

"When you earn your diploma and put it on the wall," says Friedman, "it will say UVA or Virginia Tech, the same as anyone else who went there."

Friedman got his first taste of community college at Vincennes University in Indiana, which, despite the "university" in its moniker, is a community college.

He wanted to teach psychology at the college level, but Friedman learned something else at Vincennes. "I'm an individual who doesn't like to complain," he explains. "I like to solve things."

It was that skill on the college senate that led to a dean asking him to take on an administrative project, and his fate in community college was pretty much sealed.

Friedman came here in 1999 from Austin Community College, a massive 30,000-student, multiple-campus facility. Pi...

12 comments | read more

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...

15 comments | read more

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...

40 comments | read more

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...

11 comments | read more

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 ...

16 comments | read more
Editor's Note
4Better Or Worse