Charlottesville Breaking News

Black ribbon: Harrington's parents express emotions

news-remembermorgan-ribbonDan, Gil, and Alex Harrington tie a black ribbon to Copeley Road Bridge a day after Morgan's body was found. PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER

“Our sorrow is etched in our faces; our pain has been carved in our hearts." So said the mother of Morgan Dana Harrington, a day after her 20-year-old daughter's body was found in a cowfield south of Charlottesville.

"I can tell you, having seen them," continued Gil Harrington, "that girl even had some lovely bones."

The attractiveness of the blonde, blue-eyed victim and the sudden, heart-breaking mystery following her ...

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Search ends: As devastated parents grieve, hunt for killer intensifies

news-findmorgan-houseposterThe missing Morgan poster and the main house at Anchorage Farm where a body was found. VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT HISTORIC RESOURCES;

After all the rain and high winds in recent days, 68-year-old North Garden area cattle farmer Dave Bass says he went out Tuesday morning, January 26, to check his fences. Around 8:30am, in an area he describes as far from Route 29 South, which fronts his farm, he spotted what he initially thought might be a deer carcass.

"I was on my tractor feeding cows on a remote part of the farm I don't normally go to," says Bass, who quickly realized he had spotted a body.

"It's a shock," says Bass.

State Police Colonel W. Steven Flaherty convened a press conference in Charlottesville at 5 o'clock that evening where he said that, due to "significant items of evidence," investigators believe the body was indeed Morgan Dana Harrington, the 20-year-old who ...

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Freed Van der Linde: Govt drops suit against recycler

news-rswaThe board met for over an hour at 7:30am and reconvened at 6pm on Wednesday to hammer out settlement terms. PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER

Amid a succession of public relations nightmares, including the jailing of its star witness and mounting legal costs (with lawyers billing as much as $515 an hour), the local government that's been using an anti-mafia statute to sue a citizen threw in the towel January 20 as it accepted a $600,000 settlement from the citizen, Peter Van der Linde, a man whose own recycling center brought embarrassment and financial distress to the body suing him, the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority.

"This is a good day's work, and I'm glad to see it happen," said Authority board member David Brown, after the unanimous vote to approve the terms of the settlement, which also...

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'Debt of gratitude': Kaine thanks Biscuit Run sellers, not taxpayers

news-biscuit-craig-smBiscuit run investors Hunter Craig and DMB violinist Boyd Tinsley joined Governor Tim Kaine on January 8 at the new Monticello Visitor's Center to celebrate the state's purchase of the 1,200-acre property. PHOTO BY COURTENEY STUART

In an event attended by dozens of movers and shakers including Dave Matthews Band violinist Boyd Tinsley, Governor Tim Kaine visited Monticello Friday, January 8, to announce his administration's success in securing more than 425,000 acres of Virginia land for conservation, particularly lavishing praise upon the previous owners of 1,200-acre Charlottesville-area residential development-turning-state park Biscuit Run.

Kaine thanked numerous agencies for helping the state purchase the property in southern Albemarle County for what he called the "bargain scenario" of $9.8 million on December 31. Still unclear, however, is the appraised value of the land, for which Biscuit Run owners will be entitled to a 40 percent tax cre...

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Loan woes? Banks expected to share Biscuit burden

news-biscuitrunpresentationPart of a presentation to Albemarle planners. FOREST LODGE LLC

With at least part of its $34 million loan already declared in "early stage delinquency" by the lead lender, Biscuit Run's conversion to a state park may leave several banks with millions in losses.

In a November 6 federal filing, Bluefield-based First Community Bank notified its shareholders of the potentially massive problem but assured them that the loan was "adequately secured" by a "large tract of undeveloped land in Virginia."

What First Community may not have counted on was Governor Tim Kaine's eagerness to add new parkland or on the generosity of Biscuit Run owner Forest Lodge LLC, a consortium publicly headed by Hunter Craig.

Craig spent several years before County staff winning the right to eventually develop 3,100 homes on the 1,200-acre tract in southern Albemarle. On December 30, however, Craig's gr...

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