Charlottesville Breaking News

Going, gone: Bank takes Kluge's Vineyard Estates

news-vineyd-estates-auctionAttendance was thin as substitute trustee James Autry, in black hat, read the foreclosure notice.

The swanky subdivision that Patricia Kluge once envisioned as pairing top-flight vineyards with high-end houses hit the auction block Monday, and nobody except the project's lender wanted to pay what the bank thought it was worth–- $4.9 million–- so now the bank owns Vineyard Estates.

The new valuation represents a considerable downturn. Not only did Sonabank reclaim the place for far less than the $8.2 million it lent, but the 511 acres in Southeastern Albemarle–- a place where an empty 3.74-acre lot sold four years ago for $1.2 million–- sold for less than $10,000 an acre.

As McLean-based Sonabank joins the ranks of lenders turned real estate owners, Sonabank rep Norman Hammer, who attended the auction, expresses enthusiasm that the bank could recoup more o...

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Straight talk: 'Buy local: Save your job'

In tough economic times, it might be hard to come up with anything more visceral than this appeal from a Central Virginia businesswoman: "Buy local. Save your job."

It's a slogan so powerful that it's been attracting attention since its last-year unveiling, and it's the brainchild of a local business owner.

"I want tax dollars staying in Albemarle," says Nancy Vetter, vice president of PrintSource, a printing and marketing company located on Berkmar Drive.

Vetter says she was inspired to put her message into the iconic European automobile oval sticker format when she saw yet another customer go online to order out-of-state printing services.

"Spending money in California doesn't help here," says Vetter.

She surmises that many people just don't realize how online ordering can yank money from the local economy. And for many younger people, online is the first place they go when making a purchase.

"My daughter says toner is $3 cheaper in New Jersey," says Vetter, who notes that when one adds in shipping costs, online isn't always cheaper.

It's not just private businesses that lose out when dollars leave Central Virginia. So do...

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Judge's wife: Should relationship be revealed?

cover-laxmurder-franlawrenceFran Lawrence reads a statement to the media in the George Huguely murder case with his partner, Rhonda Quagliana, who's standing beside him and mostly obscured. PHOTO BY LISA PROVENCE

It's no secret in local legal circles that Judge William Barkley is married to high-profile defense attorney Rhonda Quagliana.

Those who aren't lawyers might remember that Quagliana represented the apologetic rapist, William Beebe, arrested more than 20 years later when he begged his victim for forgiveness as part of a 12-step program. They might remember that she represented porn pastor Gregory Briehl, or wife-murderer Anthony Dale Crawford, or that she and her partner cu...

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Plot thickens: Halsey Minor claims outrage over foreclosure

news-cartersgrove-mMinor agreed to pay the Foundation over $17 million for the historic estate.

Claiming that he withheld his mortgage payments to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation as part of an intentional strategy, financially troubled millionaire Halsey Minor lashes out at the condition of the mansion in a new story in the Williamsburg Gazette.

In the story, Minor talks of squatters living in the 1755 dwelling, of a "caved-in" wall, and suggests the he might have to remove the entire roof to find a leak that has allegedly been causing water damage. If he's right, it wouldn't be the first time someone sold Minor a leaky dwelling. And it wouldn't be the first time he fought back.

Five years ago, Minor plunked down $20 million for a modernist house in the tony Los Ang...

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3.4" snow at O: But not enough to reload groundwater

438"captionLeftLandscape"> news-somedudeinsnowDowntown Mall circa 6pm on Wednesday, January 26.

How much did it snow on January 26? Well, it depends on where you were.

According to UVA Climatologist Jerry Stenger, most of the Charlottesville/ Albemarle area got just two inches–- far less than the four to seven inches that had been predicted by the National Weather Service. However, Stenger points out that thanks to cooler air out there, the Shenandoah Valley averaged 7-10 inches from the late-January precipitation event.


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