Charlottesville Breaking News

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...

1 comment | read more

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...

36 comments | read more

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....

0 comments | read more

$750,000 McGuffy Park renovation moves forward

At the Board of Architectural Review's February 20 meeting, final plans were approved for renovations to McGuffey Park. "That's an interesting project," says BAR vice-chair Syd Knight. "It's going to be a park unlike anything Charlottesville has seen." Indeed, as reported by the Hook in November 2005, the park will be a kind of "living sculpture," replete with design "footprints" of a Victorian mansion and kiddie equipment named "the Kuma," "the Argo," and "the Spica." Designed by free speech wall architects Pete O'Shea and Robert Winstead[error–sorry], the park project has a determined group of North Downtown residents, called Friends of McGuffey Park, who are continuing to raise money for their vision, which could cost as much as $750,000. Of course, not everyone was...

5 comments | read more

Wintergreen sales controversy goes legal

The controversy over Wintergreen Resort's decision to partner with a big Charlottesville-based real estate firm has erupted into a federal lawsuit, according to a story in this morning's Daily Progress. Mountain Area Realty, which purportedly holds a 30 percent share of the market for properties at the Nelson County mountain playground, is claiming in the suit that the new partnership between Wintergreen and Roy Wheeler Realty Co. could monopolize the market. The issue first came to light in September with a Hook story by Courteney Stuart. #

1 comment | read more
Editor's Note
4Better Or Worse