Charlottesville Breaking News

City arrests leashless dog owners

Attention dog owners: if you're one of those people who've been flouting the city's leash law along the Greenbelt in Riverside Park, you might want to consider that your canine's free-roamin' ways could cost you some freedom. Or at least some money. This past weekend, the city kicked off a new wave of leash law enforcement, as a community patrol officer issued five citations for leash law violations– a class four misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $250. In late December 2001, the city enacted a leash law in all parks, designating certain spaces and times when dogs can be off leash. While Riverside's rules allow dogs to run free on on the "short loop" (starting and ending at the park parking lot) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, many dog owners are letting their dogs exceed these bounds. "We're going to enforce it," says Charlottesville Police Sergeant L.A. Durrette, "and city and county residents need to understand that the city does have a leash law." Durrette says the decision to ramp up enforcement in all city parks was a result of community complaints,

and at least two...

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Beta Bridge painters revealed

A group of heretofore mysterious artists have finally been revealed as the painters of the masterful faux brick design that has covered the east side of Beta Bridge for the past month. Impressive in its own right, the project is also remarkable for its apparent role in the preservation of the orange and maroon "Hoos for Hokies" message painted on the bridge on the day of the Virginia Tech massacre. 'Hoos for Hokies' has remained unpainted-over longer than any other message since Beta Bridge became a daily-altered canvas in the 1970s. Nine UVA undergraduate students and their professor, Sara Brown, painted the brick trompe l'oeil as a final project in their Scenic Painting class this past spring semester. "We've done this kind of thing as a final class

project before," says Brown, but since this year's project became inevitably linked to the preservation of 'Hoos for Hokies,' it has enjoyed a different and more public success than previous ones have. Brown began assigning her students a final project to be painted on B...

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Another milk spill soaks Afton

For the second time in three months, a refrigerated truck has spilled its milk near Afton. Today's wreck occurred around 8am when the tanker overturned at the intersection of Critzer's Shop Road (Rt. 151) and Rt. 250. Steve Elliott, Albemarle County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief, said the truck's driver was able to safely extricate himself from the vehicle. However, city and county officials remained at the scene in order to deal with the milk spill, which poses an environmental hazard, he added. Elliot said that the truck dumped around 3,000 gallons of milk directly into Stockton Creek, a Rivanna River tributary which runs under Critzer's Shop Road at that intersection. With help from biologists at the state Department of Environmental Quality, Elliott learned just this morning that milk can become hazardous when it leaks into a water source, because multiplying bacteria use up oxygen in the water. Consequently, "Even a few hundred gallons of milk will kill living things in the water," he says, adding that he expects a substantial fish die-off as a result of this spill. "We take environmental stuff pretty seriously because of what we have aro...

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Seccuro’s story inspires TV drama

Over a year after the Hook first extensively reported it, somebody at CBS decided the story of William Beebe, Liz Seccuro, and justice delayed 21 years would make a good TV show. At least that seemed to be the case when a recent episode of the CBS crime drama Close to Home hit the air. The opening sequence of the March 30 episode, entitled "Making Amends," features characters Ellen Pinter and Tim O'Neill exchanging e-mails about an event that Pinter writes "more than just hurt me that night." After a face-to-face meeting that goes awry, Pinter tells a prosecutor that

as part of his 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous program, O'Neill has sent her a letter of apology for raping her at a fraternity party 11 years before, but that O'Neill danced around the word "rape." Eventually Marion County, Indiana prosecutors charge O'Neill with drugging and raping Pinter, at which point O'Neill cuts a plea deal to implicate fraternity brothers who also took part in the incide...

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600-pound black bear: 'It sounded like it was tearing my arm off'

It was just before dawn on Friday, November 17, and Thurman Hensley's life was about to change. Making his way over the rocky terrain and thick patches of mountain laurel of his 250-acre property bordering the Shenandoah National Park, the seasoned hunter and expert marksman tracked his prey. 

Then, at 8:30am, with the sun shining brightly on the cool fall day, Hensley finally spotted his mark. He raised his muzzle loader, took aim, and fired the gun's single round. Through the cloud of smoke, the 60-year-old saw the animal lurch as his bullet penetrated its torso behind the shoulder.

It could have been a fatal shot. But rather than fall, the massive creature lumbered off into the woods with Hensley close behind, determined to snare a prize kill and put the wounded animal out of its misery. An hour later, however, Hensley, now unarmed, found himself fighting for his own life, locked in a bloody battle to the death with Virginia's largest mammal.



Thurman Hensley discusses the attack by a 600-pound bear....

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