Charlottesville Breaking News

Parachute punk'd: locals get critical beatdown


Legendary New Yorker music critic Sasha Frere-Jones brutally laid the smackdown on Red Light's high-flying major-label Charlottesville pop-rockers Parachute August 15 via Twitter. But despite the depths of his disdain (he actually coined the phrase "MIT poop wizard" in their honor), he has just been trumped here by what essentially amounts to a music review SWAT team.

The Singles Jukebox, a blog which started as a column in the now-defunct online music mag Stylus, is a sort of roundup rodeo in which several prominent critics from publications like Pitchfork and Rolling Stone review current pop singl...

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The husband, the wife and the hitman... who wouldn't

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

It sounds like the plotline of a Lifetime television drama. A young married couple's relationship hits the rocks, they split up bitterly, the husband hires a hitman to kill his former beloved. Don't check your TV Guide just yet, and put that popcorn away; it's the story of Patrick S. Shemorry, a Charlottesville realtor who–- to the shock of those who knew him–- pleaded guilty to murder-for-hire on September 22 in federal court.

"He was personable, charming, witty," says Ellen Pratt, who worked with Shemorry at Keller Williams Realty, where the 28-year-old Shemorry was employed for a year in 2008.

"I can't make it fit with the Patrick I knew," says Pratt, recalling a workplace sense of humor that once led Shemorry to enter his fluffy cat into an office "...

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Unstarving artists? UVA building boom defies economy

onarch-uva-newmusicbuilding-watercolorConstruction on UVA's new $12.7 million music rehearsal hall will begin in January 2010. Rendering by William Rawn Associates

Artists may starve for their art, but UVA’s Arts Grounds project doesn’t appear to be starving for cash.

Another piece of the ambitious project took shape last week, as UVA’s Board of Visitors gathered in the Board Room of the Rotunda to approve the design and $12.7 million budget for a new music building across from Ruffin Hall, the $25.9 million, 42,000-square-foot “village of workshops” for the studio arts that was completed last year, along with a new $12 million, 540-space parking garage.

As if that weren’t enough, a $2 million renovation of the UVA Art Museum was just completed, $8.4 million was spent renovating Fayerweather Hall, home to the art history program, and there are plans for a new $37 million state-of-the-art drama building and an amphitheater to be built into the slope of Carr’s Hill....

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Friday night light: High school sports mag kicks off

news-scrimmageBart Isley and Ryan Yemen tap into the interest in high school sports. PHOTO BY LISA PROVENCE

As the economy has tanked, traditional print media is gasping for air. So why not start a new niche magazine? That was the thinking of two former Daily Progress sports writers. On Thursday, August 27, the high school sports-centric Scrimmage Play hits the stands.

Bart Isley and Ryan Yemen, both 25, know all too well the dire predictions for print publications.

"Print is failing because news can be covered so easily on CNN," says Yemen.

"Our theory," says Isley, "is print media can still work if it's of high quality and focuses on certain things. Our coverage is local and very specific."

With the help of stringers, Isley and Yemen plan to cover four to six high school football games every weekend in a nine-county area. Game summaries and video will go up promptly on their ...

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Trash talkin': Waste war could decide the future

cover-murfPeter Van der Linde's Zion Crossroads recycling facility, one of the main reasons the RSWA has experienced a 20 percent drop in revenues. FILE PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO

As the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority and Peter Van der Linde, the area's two biggest players in the trash collection business, battle it out in court, the future of our trash and recycling services appear to be hanging in the balance.

While Authority director Tom Frederick has stated publicly that its $3.5 million lawsuit against Van der Linde, which is now seeking damages under RICO, is "in no way related" to Van der Linde's competing trash collection facility and that the private sector "ought to be encouraged," seeing Van der Linde's facility disappear may now be the only way for the Authority to survive.

According to the RSWA's own analysis, Van der Linde's Zion Crossroads faci...

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