Charlottesville Breaking News

Sudden death: Beer boss loved football, fishing, philanthropy

According to the Albemarle County Police, at approximately 9:30 on Monday morning, April 18, emergency personnel responded to a report of a shooting on the 1200 block of Hammocks Gap Road. While police decline to name the victim, multiple sources confirm it was Terence Y. "Terry" Sieg, the 69-year-old businessman, philanthropist, and former UVA football star.

While the family is remaining tight-lipped about a cause of death, which they say occurred a day before the discovery, and an autopsy report is pending, Police spokesperson Darrell Byers says foul play is not suspected, lending weight to the idea that Sieg's death was self-inflicted. The silver-haired Sieg was buried on the afternoon of Friday, April 22 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Greenwood.

Born in California and raised mostly in San Diego, Sieg went on to become an all-state football star in New Jersey before accepting a scholarship to play at UVA in 1960.

"I was awestruck," recalls Sieg's first-year roommate, Joe Brown. "Here I get paired with this handsome, urbane, athletic guy who spoke Spanish and had the surfer lingo down from living in California."

Upon graduation in 1964 with a degree in English literature, Sieg was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, but a knee injury reportedly ended his professional football career before he could play a  game. That didn't curtail his passion for sports, says his son, Los Angeles-based filmmaker Derek Sieg, who says his father becam...

13 comments | read more

Sober blow? Controversy erupts after student gets breathalyzed

An allegation of drinking some spiked lemonade at Western Albemarle High School led to a 10th grade girl getting pulled out of class and forced to take an on-campus, police-administered breathalyzer test. With the test allegedly finding no trace of alcohol, a Charlottesville-based civil rights organization contends that the school trampled the student's Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches.

"That's not a good idea if you want to protect freedom," says John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute. "It's a good idea if you want a police state."

According to the Institute, the controversy began on March 10 when two unidentified students told a teacher that the sophomore was drinking alcohol. The teacher allegedly informed Associate Principal Greg Domecq, who observed the girl during lunch but allegedly told her father that she "seemed fine" with no indications of impairment.

What's not in dispute is that Domecq had the teen removed from class and taken to a room where an Albemarle police officer was waiting to administer the breathalyzer.

The Fourth Amendment requires a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. For underage drinking at school, that might include stumbling or slurred words, Whitehead suggests. Without probable cause, all students become suspects, says Whitehead whose organization has recently uncovered a spate of what it sees as zero-tolerance abuses, including...

93 comments | read more

Submission guidelines: Will the fallen VQR rise again?

For 86 years the Virginia Quarterly Review, UVA's award-winning literary journal, had appeared on bookstore shelves and in mailboxes each season. But that publishing streak was threatened last summer when the magazine's managing editor, 52-year-old Kevin Morrissey, took his own life. In a burst of violence and grief, the reputation of one of the nation's oldest and most distinguished literary journals, along with that of the youthful editor who had lifted the magazine to new heights, appeared in tatters.

Eight months later, however, the magazine has managed to preserve its publishing streak, gotten nominated again for several National Magazine Awards, and has already won in the digital category for an interactive website about the war in Afghanistan.

Despite the cloud that had been hanging over VQR, the good news suggests things are back to normal.

Or are they?

While the magazine could yet haul in more national awards, subscription rates and circulation numbers have plummeted. What's more, VQR has been stripped of its long-time bonds with the UVA President's Office and English Department, lost its staff and its coveted Lawn-area office, and has been officially placed under a professor of Biomedical Engineering known most recently for studying the use magnets in physical therapy.


29 comments | read more

Paul Garrett wants 8 more years

Longtime Charlottesville Circuit Court Clerk Paul Garrett, 65, announces April 20 another run for the seat he's held since 1981, when he was appointed to fill the position until an election in November of that year. If re-elected, this would be his fourth full eight-year term.

The constitutional office pays $112,575, and so far, one other Dem has lined up to challenge him: Pam Melampy, a deputy clerk in the Albemarle County Circuit Court. The nomination will be determined at a firehouse primary August 20 at Burley Middle School.

Updated April 21.

26 comments | read more

The week in review

Cruelest month: Storms April 16 knock down trees and power lines in Albemarle, cause two flooding deaths in Waynesboro, and a tornado cuts a four-mile swath through Stuarts Draft, while throughout the southeast, tornadoes kill 45 people, many in North Carolina.

Most heartrending rescue story: North Garden resident Chuck Worden saves nine-year-old Adrian Rowe from the flooded Waynesboro creek, and catches Rowe's mother, Tina Marie Allen, by the hair, but the strands slip through his fingers and she's swept away with Lacy Elizabeth Taylor, 8, in her arms. Tony Gonzalez has the story in the News Virginian.

Biggest local losses: Terence "Terry" Sieg, beer and wine distributor and former UVA football star, dies at age 69. Harry van Beek, 77, founder of Klöckner Pentaplast of America in Gordonsville and contributor to Klöckner Stadium, dies April 4.

Biggest inauguration: Teresa Sullivan is installed April 15 as UVA's first female president and eighth person to hold that title at Mr. Jefferson's U.

Biggest tuition hikes: The UVA Board of Visitors okays an 8.9 percent increase in undergraduate tuition, upping the cost to $36,570 for out-of-state students and...

1 comment | read more
Editor's Note
4Better Or Worse
Editor's Note