Charlottesville Breaking News

Waste Authority says: Lawsuit ends when Van der Linde pays

news-rswa-davidbrown"He certainly was aware that the service contribution existed," Brown said Thursday. PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER

In its first meeting since its star witness was convicted and jailed for attempted extortion related to its case, the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority isn't shying away from its controversial lawsuit against recycling entrepreneur Peter van Der Linde. Despite a new public plea from a pair of citizens at its December meeting, the board gave no indication that it was backing down.

"I agree that it's a stupid lawsuit," said board member and City Councilor David Brown, noting that the lawsuit would disappear if Van der Linde would pay the approximately one million dollars the Authority contends he owes for depositing trash without paying a $16 Authority fee.

"Figure out how much trash," said Brown. "Have him pa...

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COVER- Person of the Year: Joel Salatin's salad days

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Jury verdict: RSWA's star witness convicted of attempted extortion

news-kendrick1Minutes before a jury found him guilty of attempted extortion, Richard Wade Kendrick, with family members behind him, waits for the verdict. PHOTO BY DAVE MCNAIR

A controversial government-backed lawsuit against a recycling entrepreneur suffered a major blow Thursday when a Fluvanna County jury convicted 50-year-old Richard Wade Kendrick of trying to extort his former employer, Peter Van der Linde. In a separate action, Kendrick had been expected to serve as the star witness in the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority's lawsuit against Van der Linde, but now it appears that Kendrick might have to be plucked from jail if he's still needed to testify against his old boss.

Already, the Authority's case against Van der Linde–- although it has the support of such community notables as Albemarle Supervisor Ken Boyd and Charlottesville City Councilor David Brown–- has drawn criticism for using provisions of RICO, the federal Racketeer Influenced Corruption act, to punish a challen...

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'Relationship guy': Mike London reveals coaching strategy

news-london-b2UVA athletic director Craig Littlepage, left, introduces UVA's new head football coach Mike London. PHOTO BY DAVE MCNAIR

UVA athletic director Craig Littlepage announced that University of Richmond head football coach Mike London will replace recently fired UVA head football coach Al Groh. London comes to UVA after only two seasons as head coach for the Spiders, but Littlepage expressed no reservations about his decision.

“We need a coach that can win,” Littlepage told the crowd of spectators and media that had gathered in the dining hall at John Paul Jones Arena. “Mike stood out on the strength of his character, as a coach, teacher, and leader. He will give UVA football an exciting jump start.”

London racked up a 24-5 record at Richmond and won the 2008 Football C...

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Drugs and duplicity: Shemorry to be sentenced, blames hit-man

news-shemorry-coupleHappier times: Patrick Shemorry and his wife, Starla. He was later tape-recorded ordering her killed. FACEBOOK PHOTO

Former Charlottesville realtor Patrick S. Shemorry may have pleaded guilty to hiring a hitman to kill his estranged wife, but a new 10-page pre-sentencing memo suggests the crime was a "complete aberration" from an otherwise respectable life and that blame should not fall on Shemorry alone when he is sentenced next week.

"Shemorry never sought out someone to kill his wife," states the December 2 federal filing by Shemorry's public defender, Andrea Harris, explaining that the key witness was less a hired hitman than a veteran conman–- one who "volunteered his services."

The witness–- known to Shemorry as Darius Hampton, but actually operating under a cousin's name–- was bad news, the filing alleges, from the moment...

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