Charlottesville Breaking News

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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Victory demo: crushing for founder's granddaughter

victoryshoestore-web Downtown's Victory Shoe Store, as Ethel Crowe remembers it from her childhood. HISTORIC PHOTO

While the unceremonious demolition of the art-deco glass storefront of the old Victory Shoe Store on the Downtown Mall has angered city planners, preservationists, and fans of the classic storefront–and contributed to some spirited discussion on the function of the BAR, property rights, anonymous comment posting, and “unconsciously bourgeois pathology”–for Ethel Crowe, it’s been like losing a piece of her life.

“It has made me so sick, I can’t tell you what it has done to us,” says Crowe, whose Russian immigrant grandparents, Isaac and Freda Kobre, opened the store in 1921.

“I was born in that store,” says Crowe, “That�...

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Cloudy water: Murky billing soaks Autumn Hill residents

news-mikenatalia-bostMike and Natalia Bost say they can't afford to pay a $100 water/sewer bill at Autumn Hill apartments. PHOTO BY LISA PROVENCE

When Natalia and Michael Bost moved into Autumn Hill apartments with their new baby in July, they thought the $827 a month rent for a two-bedroom apartment was a pretty good deal–- until the day they received a $200 water and sewer bill. Now, they're among several tenants at the Commonwealth Drive-area complex who think water is being used as a profit center.

"We were told that water, sewer, and trash payments would be made directly to the leasing office and that they would run $30-40 a month," says Natalia Bost. "In our last apartment, we paid about $25."

At Autumn Hill, the lease reveals that residents may be paying for utilities consumed not only in common areas but also in other residential units, as well as paying an a...

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