Charlottesville Breaking News

Time machine: Will clunker survive same '80s road trip?

Dear Tom and Ray:   

I'm a 50-year-old male. For my midlife crisis, my old college roommate and I are taking a 1960 Triumph TR3 roadster on an 8,000-mile road trip, retracing the route of a 1987 trip we took in the same car right after college. Back in '87, the car literally disintegrated along the trip, shedding parts (generator, hood, left rear wheel, even the steering wheel) all across America. We limped home with a blown radiator, a leaking gas tank, a completely non-functioning electrical system (thank goodness it had a hand crank) and a body held together with black rubber straps.

The car has been in my friend's garage for the past 25 years. We recently rolled it out, replaced tires and rubber bits, put in a new voltage regulator, drained and refilled the fluids and repaired the radiator. Here are my questions: (1) Are we nuts? (2) What else should we do to the car, and what spares and tools would you recommend that we take with us? – Patrick  

TOM: Of course you're nuts. And I wholeheartedly endorse this idea, Patrick. It sounds great to me!  
RAY: Me, too.   
TOM: What spares should you bring with you? Well, probably the most useful spare part would be another car. Maybe a 2004 Toyota Camry?  
RAY: No, this is going to a be a marvelous adventure, Patrick. Are you going to break down? Absolutely. Are you g...

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The week in review

Most competent: Attorney-puncher Rashad Riddick's capital murder trial for the 2011 slayings of three family members will go forward following a hiatus to determine if he's capable of assisting his own defense after he assaulted his lawyer last summer, K. Burnell Evans reports in the Daily Progress.

Best Miranda hearing: Attorneys for Wanda Turner, 48, who's accused of the first-degree murder stabbing death of 51-year-old Eddie Snead in March 2012, argue that two transcripts of her interview with police and physical evidence police found as a result of the interview be thrown out because Turner had invoked her right to remain silent. She's scheduled for trial in November. Aaron Richardson has the story in the Progress.

Best rescue: A motorcyclist who crashed on Scottsville Road and lay there injured possibly for a couple of days is discovered by friends September 4 after he doesn't show up for work, the Newsplex reports.

Worst crash into a b...

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'Assembly line': Fake ID manufacturers plead guilty

A student with a fake ID had been turned away from a bar on the Corner when a man said, "I can help you with that." The 2010 encounter spawned what prosecutors call "a very sophisticated and very lucrative" Charlottesville-based fake ID ring, which raked in $3 million until it abruptly ended in May with a SWAT-style arrest and shut down of Rugby Road.

 

The three defendants in the enterprise that produced approximately 25,000 phony licenses pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court  September 4 to two felony charges that could send them away for up to 17 years and carry as much as $500,000 in fines.

 

Alan McNeil Jones and Kelly Erin McPhee, both 31, and Mark Gil Bernardo, 27, entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to commit identification document fraud and aggravated identity theft, the latter of which carries a two-year mandatory sentence. They also...

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Costco at Stonefield: Supes vote to approve another big box

Back when Stonefield was known as "Albemarle Place," and still on the drawing board, developers touted the "town center" development as a place with "rich architecture, upscale boutiques and eye-catching entertainment... casual sophistication mixed with unmistakable class." 

There were architectural renderings that showed the newly built, pedestrian-friendly streets teeming with activity in a lush urban landscape. Today, courtesy of different developers, the "town center" is a largely isolated landscape that has the feel of an abandoned movie set, and with the recent announcement that big box discount store Costco will be moving in, there's some doubt about the "unmistakable class" we were originally promised.

Moreover, a Costco is not in line with the spirit of the county's Places29 Design Plan, which was implemented to guide future growth along the corridor, and allows a maximum building footprint of 80,000 square feet. The planned Costco will be 155,000 square feet. A vote on allowing the square-footage increase, which county planning staff have already recommended for approval, is expected to take place at the Board of Supervisor's September 11 meeting after the Hook goes to press.

Most supes we contacted were mum a...

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UVA embraces Tom Tom

The upcoming Tomtoberfest promises a weekend of innovation, music, food and fun, as the Tom Tom Founders Festival founder, Paul Beyer (center), joined UVA innovation bigwigs Philippe Sommer (left), director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Darden School, and David Touve, Director of the Galant Center for Entrepreneurship at UVA's McIntire School of Commerce, to announce the line-up of the fall festival that takes place September 25-28 in downtown Charlottesville and on UVA Grounds. Among other things, the weekend features a candidate forum on Wednesday September 25, a block party with live music, public art and plenty of food, and the humorously named "Lawnie flash seminars" on Saturday, September 28 in which residents of the Lawn speak on contemporary topics from their rooms. Presumably, they will be fully clothed. For a full list of events visit www.tomtomfest.com.

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