Charlottesville Breaking News

Close call: Federal Realty boots Padow's

Two months after a Padow's Hams & Deli franchise opened in the Barracks Road Shopping Center in 1996, co-owner Desiree Dawson and her husband welcomed the birth of a baby boy. Fourteen years later, when she recently delivered the news to her son, now 13, that the eatery would be closing, the boy was stunned. "I grew up in that place," he told her.

Indeed, many of Dawson's customers also grew up, and grew old, coming to eat at the popular lunch spot. In addition to seeing young customers go through grade school and off to college, Dawson says she's also attended customers' funerals. At one recent funeral, she says, the family talked about how much eating lunch at Padow's had meant to the deceased. 

"Our customers mean a lot to us," says Dawson. "They're not just dollars in the cash register; they're family, and they deserve better than this." 

Today, there's a funereal air around the shop because it will be closing its doors next Tuesday, February 22. But not voluntarily. Dawson says that she and her partners– her mother, Gloria Sanders, and her brother, Michael Sanders– were blind-sided by the news.

After getting behind on the rent they pay to Federal Realty, the Maryland-based real estate development corporation that owns the shopping center, Dawson...

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Pull out your dress and veil-- Hook Weddings Winter 2011 has arrived!

Can you feel the love? The Hook's quarterly wedding issue hit stands today, sending ripples of romance your way. With 14 local love stories, a sneak peek at three new area venues, a tour of four local wedding blogs, or part two of our guide to area wedding photographers, this issue has something for everyone– even if you're not getting married! Pick it up in any of the Hook's red news boxes or just click here to view it online!

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Happy hour: Why your pals at Blue Ridge Numerics should buy the drinks tonight

Ever heard of Blue Ridge Numerics? Neither had we. The firm, located in Peter Jefferson Place, doesn't push itself around town. But somehow it got found by the folks who count: Autodesk Inc.

The California-based and publicly-held Autodesk has just agreed to purchase Blue Ridge Numerics for $39 million. Cash. And thus the chance that the bosses might be soon buying friends a few rounds of beverages.

"It's not closed yet," says company co-founder Ed Williams on announcement day, February 17. "So I'm not buying tonight, but I could certainly use one."

Back in 1992, while the rest of us were enjoying the glamor of teaching, nursing, insurance sales, and dental hygienics, Williams and fellow co-founder Rita Schnipke were setting up this firm to create software for engineers to study fluid dynamics, something that's not as arcane as it might sound.

"From aerospace to ice cream," says Williams. "It could be the comfort of a building. Or smoke removal from a parking garage. Or filling Little Debbie cakes with whipped cream."

Indeed, thanks to the software simulations provided by Blue Ridge Numerics, firms can get a sense...

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As promised: Halsey Minor chooses bankruptcy for mansion's LLC

As he promised to do, internet financier and halted hotel-builder Halsey Minor has placed the LLC he created for owning a historic Williamsburg-area mansion into bankruptcy, thus thwarting efforts to sell the foreclosed property at auction Tuesday.

The move was first revealed by the Virginia Gazette, a newspaper that has been covering the latest contretemps swirling around the embattled Minor. He once held a fortune estimated near $400 million, but he allegedly got behind on his mortgage payments on the 1755 Carter's Grove estate.

In what seems to have become a pattern, Minor used the planned February 15 foreclosure auction to lash out at the seller, accusing the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation of foisting a leaky edifice on him, of draping the property with easements that might prevent him from opening the place to the public, and just generally spewing attacks on the historical organization's management, marketing, motives, and even its corporate vision (or lack thereof).

The Foundation and others have pointed out that terms of the sale gave Minor and his minions copious opportunity to inspect both the property and the legal documents that conveyed it.

California court records show that Carters Grove LLC, in contrast to some of the larger deals involving Minor, has just 10 unsecured...

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Don't go with it: Sandler-Aniston vehicle runs out of gas

The people in this movie are dumber than a box of Tinkertoys. One fears they're so unfortunate it's not politically correct to laugh at them. That's not a problem because Just Go With It is so rarely funny. Here is a story that began as a French farce. Then it was adapted into a Broadway play named Cactus Flower. Then the play was made into a movie. Now it has been made into another movie. This process has diluted it like a homeopathic medicine, so that not an atom of the original formula can be found.
    Consider. Danny (Adam Sandler) broke off his wedding at the last minute, but continues to wear the wedding ring. Women find the ring seductive and cannot resist having sex with a married man. Therefore, most (not all) of the women in his life are stupid. This works for him for approximately 25 years. In the meantime, he becomes a famous plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. He is assisted by Nurse Katherine (Jennifer Aniston), who has two kids. FULL REVIEW.

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