Charlottesville Breaking News
The race for City Council has barely begun, and candidate James Halfaday is already getting heat. The 31-year-old Native American and Democrat doesn't flinch when he's asked about his criminal record or when WINA's Rob Schilling calls him "Chicken Halfaday."
But then, Halfaday is no political novice. He was elected to City Council in his hometown of Dunfermline, Illinois, when he was just 18. And perhaps even more indicative of his determination, this owner of the local franchise of Snap Fitness decided that at 377 pounds he weighed too much and lost more than 180 pounds.
So when a reporter asks him about a 2003 DUI when he was a student at Western Illinois University, Halfaday readily admits his deed, which occurred on St. Patrick's Day, when a then 23-year-old Halfaday barely blew a .08.
"I shouldn't have been drinking," he says, "I've learned from that," he says. "That's why I don't drink. I drink milk instead. I can tell people a DUI is not worth it."
The Western Courier, the newspaper of Western Illinois University, lists two other arrests for Halfaday from that era: a disorderly conduct charge and an arrest for open container.
Halfaday says he wasn't really arrested for disorderly conduct, that that was a mistake in the records. As for the open container, he says he violated a campus ban on toting a six-pack. "I always chuckle when someone says you were ar...
Say it ain't so! After thirty years, a Corner landmark has quietly vanished: the Corner Market at 1411 University Avenue. The phone has been disconnected, the contents have been emptied, and we've been unable to locate long-time owner Chaney Kent.
"Another chapter in the history of the UVA Corner comes to an end," says unofficial UVA historian Coy Barefoot.
Barefoot, who wrote a best-selling book on the history of The Corner, says that the store traces its roots to 1981 when Peter Johnson bought what had been a newsstand/giftshop from Paul Dunsmore (who also founded the iconic White Spot Diner) and rechristened it as the Corner Market.
Barefoot says that Kent, who started working there in 1986 as a UVA undergrad, bought the shop in 1995. One year ago, Kent was among the Charlottesvillians lamenting the death of Yeardley Love, a customer with a penchant for Diet Cokes.
"The Corner Market closing is likely a victim of CVS," says Barefoot. "But I guess we all saw that coming."
Indeed, it's not hard to imagine that the 2007 opening of the expansive, brightly-lit drug store in the adjacent Anderson Brothers building would impact the bottom line of the smaller, funky Market. At about the same time, developer Hunter Craig ...
Why did he do it?
That's a question only one person can answer, and that person– Johnathan Perkins– isn't talking. But it hasn't stopped people from wondering what motivated the close-to-graduating UVA third year law student to make up a story about police harassment and racial profiling.
"I was stunned," says M. Rick Turner, president of the local NAACP, "because why would this person put his career on the line?"
The account Perkins penned detailing the alleged event was published along with a sympathetic news story in the the student-run UVA Law Weekly April 22. At Perkins' request, UVA police launched a full-scale investigation, and high-ranking UVA professors decried the alleged incident in which Perkins claimed he'd been harassed by two officers, thrown up against their cruiser, and searched– simply because he was a black man walking home on city streets.
"Whenever I attempted to turn to answer their questions, they forcibly turned me back around to face the car," wrote Perkins of what he called "a real-life anecdote illustrating the myth of equal protection under the law."
It wasn't true, as Perkins eventually admitted on May 5 after the investigation turned up numerous inconsistencie...