Charlottesville Breaking News

Alone on a mountain: the true story of Flight 349

An artist's rendition of how Flight #349 might have appeared before it flew into the southeastern flank of Bucks Elbow Mountain in Albemarle County, killing 26 of the 27 people aboard.
–painting by Dave Paulley, digitally altered with permission

It was the fall of 1959, and Scarsdale, New York teenager Janet Silberman had been planning to accompany her parents, a top cigar company executive and an avid photographer, on their trip to Virginia. Her younger brother had just begun his freshman year at Staunton Military Academy, and the Silbermans envisioned a getaway to see him as autumn foliage erupted in the Shenandoah Valley.

 But when a handsome Yale student invited the 16-year-old Janet to a football game, her plans for the weekend changed. She was in the stands in New Haven on Saturday, October 31, when a close family friend, who was also the family lawyer, suddenly appeared.

"I didn't realize you went to Yale," she wisecracked.

"I'm sorry, Janet," replied her grim-faced friend. "But the game is over for you. The plane your parents were on is missing."

Fifty years ago this month, near the Blue Ridge in Western Albemarle County, a commercial airliner disappeared while carrying a crew of three and 24 passe...

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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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