Charlottesville Breaking News

Arts attack: 2nd St. director abruptly resigns

Is there something in the nonprofit water that has directors of local cultural institutions dropping like cherry blossoms to pursue the ubiquitous "other opportunities"? Long-time Second Street Gallery executive director Leah Stoddard becomes the latest to mysteriously disappear, turning in a resignation May 5–- without the usual two weeks or more notice that typically accompanies cordial departures. By May 6, she was no longer listed on the gallery website.

"I have resigned," Stoddard confirms from home May 7. As for the lack of notice, "I can't really talk about it," she says.

Stoddard joins the Paramount Theater's former director Edward Rucker, who tendered his resignation May 2 "to pursue other opportunities" after a 10-month tenure and University of Virginia Art Museum director Jill Hartz, who was shown the door in December and then landed a job heading the University of Oregon's much larger museum. (Not to mention cultural icon ...

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Keno, Lynch dredge up divergent views

So what happened last night at the big dredging confab called by Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris? Well, the two-man team from visiting engineering firm Gahagan & Bryant repeated its pitch from the previous night for how dredging could be knocked out in a matter of months, not years– certainly not 50 years, as Aaron Keno (in photo), the Gannett Fleming engineer who has been blamed for portraying dredging as an expensive, ineffective 50-year nightmare, contends.

Although he avoided mention of his own prior cost estimates, which have prompted such diverse parties as the Sierra Club, netrepreneur William Crutchfield [RTF], and Albemarle supervisor Dennis Rooker to reopen the topic, Keno got paid to reiterate his view last night, but perhaps the biggest shocker was off-topic.

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Mac McDonald resigns as 'Voice of the Cavs'

After more than a decade at the mic at UVA football and men's basketball games, Mac McDonald announced yesterday that he is resigning his post with the Virginia Sports Network as the Cavaliers' radio play-by-play man. "I now have an opportunity on a couple fronts to move forward in my career and After more than a decade at the mic at UVA football and men's basketball games, Mac McDonald announced yesterday that he is resigning his post with the Virginia Sports Network as the Cavaliers' radio play-by-play man.

"I now have an opportunity on a couple fronts to move forward in my career and pursue a couple goals that I have had for some time," he says in a press release. "I will always treasure my time with the players, coaches and administration."

This marks the second time McDonald has said goodbye to Charlottesville. The fir...

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Jill Summers, 74, Faulkner's only child

The only child of William Faulkner, Jill Faulkner Summers, has died at the age of 74, 17 months after suffering a debilitating stroke. An avid fox hunter, Summers was, until the time of her illness, the Master of Foxhounds for the Farmington Hunt, a role she described in a 2005 story in the Hook. Married to a professional money manager, Paul Summers, Summers was the mother of three children, daughter Cathy as well as Bok and Paul Jr., who for many years operated the former Blue Ridge Brewing Company, Charlottesville's first restaurant/brew pub, on West Main Street. The Daily Progress has an obituary.

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Kennedy's not-so-happy Charlottesville anniversary

Although his aptitude for campaigning and policy has since guided him to a long, storied career in Democratic party politics, Edward Kennedy didn't always display such great judgment. Three years before he outran his Republican opponent to become a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, he tried to outrun Albemarle County cops as a 26-year-old UVA law student.

Fifty years ago this month, on the night of March 14, 1958, Deputy Sheriff Thomas "Mac" Whitten spotted Kennedy running a red light in an Oldsmobile convertible. When Whitten gave chase, Kennedy allegedly doused his headlights to avoid detection, but Whitten caught up with the brother of then-Senator John F. Kennedy and issued him a ticket for reckless driving, racing with an officer to avoid arrest, and operating a motor vehicle without an operator's license.

A week later, Whitten was sitting at the same intersection when he spotted Kennedy driving the same Oldsmobile.

"He did exactly the same thing as before," recalled Whitten in Leo Damore's 1988 book, Senatorial Privilege. "He raced through t...

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