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Overblown: Tatum can't save action flick
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Jul 4th 3:51pm

Overblown: Tatum can't save action flick

By Richard Roeper Everyone in White House Down is an idiot, clinically insane, a cliché or a vehicle for shameless exploitation. Some characters go for the combo platter. For example, one guy's an idiot AND insane.     read full story
Illinois bound: Halfaday goes home
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Jul 4th 3:27pm

Illinois bound: Halfaday goes home

The former City Council candidate whose repeated threats to his ex landed him back in jail on probation violations is headed back to Illinois with his mom, a judge ordered June 28.   Related stories 4 months: Halfaday sentenced for probation violation 'Unusual case': Judge okays sending Halfaday to Illinois read full story
Dave Matthews at Monticello
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Jul 4th 2:45pm

Dave Matthews at Monticello

Musician Dave Matthews, sitting beside the president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Leslie Greene Bowman, was the speaker at the annual Monticello Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony today. read full story
Switching gears: Are the newest transmissions better?
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Jul 4th 2:41pm

Switching gears: Are the newest transmissions better?

Dear Tom and Ray:        I'm considering getting a new Honda Accord four-cylinder. For 2013, Honda went to a CV transmission, replacing the five-speed automatic. I wonder about (1) the longevity of this type of transmission; (2) the effect on fuel economy; and (3) the overall driving experience for someone (me) who has driven both manuals and automatics for 50 years. Your carefully considered opinion is appreciated.— Pete        read full story
Thanks but no thanks? Gift giver ponders modern etiquette
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Jul 4th 2:34pm

Thanks but no thanks? Gift giver ponders modern etiquette

Dear Carolyn:I am confused over gift-giving etiquette with the current generation. I have always been prompt in sending gifts, money, cards to my relatives for birthdays, holidays, weddings, births, etc. Yet none of these gifts has been acknowledged through mail, telephone or electronic means to (at least) notify me they had actually arrived. I have always been prompt in sending a thank-you note or calling within a day or two of receipt regardless of the size or nature of the gift. read full story
Franklin Street
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Jul 4th 2:22pm

Franklin Street

June 22, 2010 the Charlottesville Planning Commission added Franklin Street to the City’s sidewalk priority list. Franklin is one of 12 north/south pedestrian paths across the railroad. These railroad crossings are of particular interest because they focus vehicle and pedestrian activity in a confined area. Since June 2010 the bike/ped facilities at Meade Avenue/Carlton Road, at First Street SE, at Shamrock Road, and at JPA have been upgraded. ~ read full story
Self-defense: Officers cleared in Birdwood Court shooting
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Jul 4th 10:42am

Self-defense: Officers cleared in Birdwood Court shooting

A grand jury has indicted the man shot by Albemarle police in a city neighborhood Memorial Day weekend and cleared the officers involved, according to a release from Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman. The May 26 incident began around 8:45pm at Seminole Square Shopping Center when Josue Salinas Valdez rear-ended a car stopped at a light, says Chapman. Salinas Valdez sped away while the driver immediately called 911 with a description of him, his car, and his license number.   read full story
The week in review
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Jul 4th 10:06am

The week in review

Latest Baldi plea: The former restaurateur/admitted embezzler Jim Baldi is in Charlottesville Circuit Court July 2 to plead guilty again, this time for taking between $22,000 and $23,000 from Café Cubano, NBC29 reports. Baldi, 49, previously entered guilty pleas on counts in Albemarle, and will face joint-jurisdictional sentencing September 17. read full story
Reborn in the USA
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Jul 4th 7:33am

Reborn in the USA

By Cathy HardingRecently The Atlantic published a quiz, “Are You Smart Enough to Be A Citizen?” It’s a jumble of multiple-choice questions about iconic American architecture, Supreme Court justices, and historical documents. I had high marks, attaining citizenship “with distinction,” according to the magazine’s editors. The questions weren’t all that hard. read full story
Becoming American: Refugees share tales of horror, hope, and achieving U.S. citizenship
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Jul 4th 6:07am

Becoming American: Refugees share tales of horror, hope, and achieving U.S. citizenship

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”—Franklin D. Roosevelt read full story
Spotlight on Wickham Pond
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Jul 4th 5:05am

Spotlight on Wickham Pond

Location: Wickham PondPrice range: $216,00-$376,800Schools: Brownsville, Henley, WesternPros: visual appeal, amenities, locationCons: small size of lots, ongoing construction read full story
Concealed permits: Gun records even more secret with new law
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Jul 3rd 3:29pm

Concealed permits: Gun records even more secret with new law

What is it about forbidden fruit that makes it so irresistible? For example, we'd never really thought about looking up concealed handgun carry permits until the General Assembly passed a law making those records confidential July 1, and suddenly, all we could think about was looking at soon-to-be-concealed gun records.   Concealed carriers Charlottesville So far this year: 1112012: 1812011: 81 AlbemarleSo far this year: 5102012: 8632011: 556   read full story
Stand down: Mysterious threat shuts farm market
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Jul 3rd 2:47pm

Stand down: Mysterious threat shuts farm market

There's one less place to buy locally grown organic beef, pork, poultry and produce. In a cryptic Facebook post and email to their customers on the morning of July 3, the owners of Timbercreek Organics Farm on Garth Road announced that they are permanently closing their farm market. read full story
Terror at Harris Teeter: Indignation rises over ABC underage drinking op
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Jul 2nd 3:39pm

Terror at Harris Teeter: Indignation rises over ABC underage drinking op

In a week with landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings, the news that had Charlottesville buzzing as outrage mounts? Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agents' arrest of a young woman who'd gone to Harris Teeter to buy ice cream and cookie dough for a charity event and who was charged with three felony counts– even after she profusely apologized for not recognizing the agents as cops in the darkened parking lot. read full story
Recycled remedy: Will Ivy 'transfer' to Van der Linde?
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Jun 27th 4:23pm

Recycled remedy: Will Ivy 'transfer' to Van der Linde?

Four years after Albemarle County supervisors stood behind the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority's RICO lawsuit against recycling entrepreneur Peter Van der Linde, claiming he had defrauded tax payers in Mafia-style fashion, they are now contemplating a "can't refuse" offer from the man. And while the city has contracted with Van der Linde for several years, so far, the county has stubbornly refused to embrace the trash and recycling technology of the man they once tried to punish. read full story
Non-violent felons: How many will get to vote?
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Jun 27th 3:29pm

Non-violent felons: How many will get to vote?

Governor Bob McDonnell's May 29 announcement of automatic restoration of voting rights to non-violent felons brought accolades from both sides of the aisle, as well as from those who've sought to ease Virginia's punitive stance toward ex-convicts. But some in McDonnell's own party do not share his– and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's– enthusiasm for allowing felons to vote. And some felon-rights activists say the measure doesn't go far enough. read full story
Bird bother: Feathered friends leave unwelcome 'gifts'
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Jun 27th 3:06pm

Bird bother: Feathered friends leave unwelcome 'gifts'

Dear Tom and Ray:        read full story
Pushy pop: Help dealing with 'daddy dearest'
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Jun 27th 2:58pm

Pushy pop: Help dealing with 'daddy dearest'

Dear Carolyn:      I am a 19-year-old college student who is home for the summer. At my father's insistence, I found a menial summer job at a fast-food joint. I had been offered a summer research position in my field of study, but my parents did not allow me to take it because it is located halfway across the country.      read full story
Vu moves on: Zinc chef changes pho-cus
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Jun 27th 2:09pm

Vu moves on: Zinc chef changes pho-cus

Zinc's Vu Nguyen has announced that he's sold the the West Main Street restaurant and that the last official day with the chef/owner at the helm with be this Saturday, June 29. Six and a half years ago, Nguyen and former partner Thomas Leroy took over the space that was then called Station, having been a former service station renovated into a restaurant. Eventually, Nguyen and Leroy parted ways, and just last summer Nguyen opened Moto Pho Co. read full story
Giant pig protests Walmart
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Jun 27th 12:26pm

Giant pig protests Walmart

Though it was a small protest with only three people, a 10-foot-tall inflatable caged pig with wounds on its sides to show how live pigs in gestation cages suffer, and elegant young women holding signs with the message, "Walmart tortures pigs," drew notice. The small cadre of two Mercy for Animals protestors and one local volunteer set their sights on the Charlottesville Walmart June 21 as part of a campaign to persuade the retail giant to stop buying pork from suppliers that engage in inhumane treatment of pigs. read full story
Lake Anna: Authorities step up safety measures after drowning
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Jun 27th 11:43am

Lake Anna: Authorities step up safety measures after drowning

One month has passed since six-year-old Asa Gayle drowned in Lake Anna by Dike 3, the popular but extremely dangerous fishing spot, and though the new warning signs ordered by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries have not yet arrived, the gap in the fence through which the girl fell has been repaired. Gayle, of Richmond, fell into the lake by Dike 3 while fishing with her grandfather. Three hours later, despite rescue attempts by her grandfather and a bystander, she was found 30 feet below the water’s surface, dragged down by a powerful current. read full story
Fresh zombies: Pitt brings life to walking dead flick
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Jun 27th 11:41am

Fresh zombies: Pitt brings life to walking dead flick

By Richard Roeper Like the heroes in just about every end-of-the-world thriller ever made, Brad Pitt's Gerry in World War Z has the ability to see things no one else can see, figure out things no one else can figure out, overcome obstacles no one else can overcome.     read full story
Ditching the SOL? County considers testing alternative
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Jun 27th 11:39am

Ditching the SOL? County considers testing alternative

In Albemarle County Public Schools, the current debate is not about whether there’s too much standardized testing; it’s about which test is most effective.  While the state stands behind its Standards of Learning exams, Albemarle wants to move towards a new national test of student assessment at the high school level. This comes at a time when the SOLs are getting tougher and scores are expected to decline.  read full story
Pain for gain: High-intensity fitness trend trumps machines
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Jun 27th 10:32am

Pain for gain: High-intensity fitness trend trumps machines

“Who’s gonna win?” calls former Navy Seal John McGuire to the group of about 50 people lined up before him. “We are!” the group yells back in unison, “Hoo-yah!” Up before the sun, the group sprints across a still-dewy field, drops and does pushups, runs relays, lifts and carries one another, working in teams to hoist giant inflatable rafts across an invisible finish line. At the center of this coordinated commotion is McGuire, calling out instructions. read full story
Hot doggin' it
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Jun 27th 10:00am

Hot doggin' it

Have hot dog suit, will travel. Katelyn Hicks stands by as a 1970 Nova gets a tune-up. ~Commentator Bill Emory puts up a new photo nearly every day at  billemory.com/blog. read full story
Shared vision: The quest for beauty has deep roots
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Jun 27th 8:22am

Shared vision: The quest for beauty has deep roots

Remember the story of “The Red Shoes,” where the girl cannot stop dancing? These past several days have been like that, except with clippers and a saw. I’ve been gripped by this obsession for a week now: Arising at dawn, I suit up in boots and denim, douse myself with tick spray, and head out to the jungle. The gnarled, woody, mountain laurel has grown higher than my head; young oaks, maples, and thorny vines are all around, and I hack away at them with a hand saw for the big stuff and a two-handled lopper for the small stuff. read full story
Landmark day: Honk if you support gay rights
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Jun 26th 6:05pm

Landmark day: Honk if you support gay rights

A torrential storm could not dampen the celebration in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's historic June 26 decision that affects gay marriage rights. More that two dozen rainbow-flag-waving people gathered in front of the U.S. District Court on the corner of Ridge-McIntire and were greeted by beeps of support from the rush-hour traffic. The high court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act's denial of benefits to legally married same-sex couples and upheld a lower-court ruling that California's Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage, was unconstitutional. read full story
New dog treat 'Barkery' makes local dogs happy
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Jun 26th 5:06pm

New dog treat 'Barkery' makes local dogs happy

Representing the next step in the growing pet-food industry in the Charlottesville area, Zeus’s Gourmet Barkery, opened its doors on Thursday, June 19 to fellow Charlottesville dog-lovers, however, you won’t find any oversized culinary instruments or more than just a few employees at this pet store. read full story
2 police shootings: No new info released
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Jun 26th 3:06pm

2 police shootings: No new info released

Within two weeks, Albemarle police officers shot people in two separate incidents, one of which was fatal. The details of the Birdwood Court and Afton Mountain shootings are still under wraps. Related stories 'Tragedy': Families question police shooting of Crozet man Code of silence: County clams up when cops open fire read full story
The appointment: Republicans could pick Dumler replacement
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Jun 26th 1:11pm

The appointment: Republicans could pick Dumler replacement

The three Republicans on the Albemarle Board of Supervisors say they want a unanimous vote for the person to take Chris Dumler's place representing the Scottsville District– but two of them say they could live with a 3-2 vote on party lines. read full story
The week in review
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Jun 26th 10:10am

The week in review

Latest in the McDonnell scandal: The Washington Post reports that the investigation into a $15,000 wedding gift for catering to Governor Bob McDonnell's daughter from Star Scientific's Johnnie Williams is expanding. Former Albemarle winemaker Patricia Kluge has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury. Her lawyer tells the Post she is a close friend of First Lady Maureen McDonnell, and denies any impropriety. read full story
Payback time: Baldi pleads guilty to embezzlement charges
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Jun 20th 6:39pm

Payback time: Baldi pleads guilty to embezzlement charges

James Baldi, the former restaurateur and accountant who abruptly skipped town three years ago and lived under an assumed name in San Francisco before being arrested in early January, has pleaded guilty to embezzling approximately $200,000 from his former bookkeeping clients. read full story
Officer's defense
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Jun 20th 4:06pm

Officer's defense

After reading comments concerning the officer involved shooting on Birdwood Court ["Code of silence: County clams up when cops open fire," June 14], I feel compelled to share certain information. I have known this officer [William Underwood– editor] for many years and would like to share some pertinent facts as to his competence and good judgment. This young man, a native of Charlottesville, is an exceptional human being whose entire life has been one of service. read full story
Automatic winners: AHS robotics team finishes strong
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Jun 20th 2:18pm

Automatic winners: AHS robotics team finishes strong

Last week, the Albemarle High School robotics team beat out nine other teams to take first place at the in-the-water robotics Sailbot competition in Gloucester, Massachusetts. read full story
Game on: Curry School professor tackles academics with CHS athletes
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Jun 20th 1:17pm

Game on: Curry School professor tackles academics with CHS athletes

Long before research, teaching and thoughts of tenure filled Paul C. Harris’ workdays, he was an eighth-grade boy who loved baseball and basketball. But after falling short of the honor roll that same year, his father took away the privilege of playing baseball in the spring.Now, twenty-plus years later, the University of Virginia professor is focusing his research on the academic performance of African-American male student athletes, and he's conducting the second phase of a study at Charlottesville High School. read full story
Accidental shooting: No charges filed in Crozet girl's death
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Jun 20th 12:36pm

Accidental shooting: No charges filed in Crozet girl's death

Maggie Hollifield's obituary describes a camp-loving 10-year-old who died from a "tragic accident" in her Crozet home. Albemarle Commonwealth's Attorney Denise Lunsford agrees and will not seek indictments against the girl's 13-year-old brother nor her parents for the fatal May 21 shooting. read full story
The week in review
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Jun 20th 10:39am

The week in review

Worst week for the Western 29 bypass: The Washington Post's Robert McCartney slams the project in his June 15 column, "Wasteful Charlottesville highway highlights problem with Bob McDonnell’s road plans," and notes that the controversial $245-million, six-mile road inspired John Grisham's new novel, The Activist. read full story
'Steel' yourself: Latest Superman flick not so super
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Jun 20th 10:13am

'Steel' yourself: Latest Superman flick not so super

By Richard Roeper ** "Ah, so that's where Superman comes from!"— something nobody will say after watching Man of Steel.     Can we just please hit the ground running with the next superhero reboot instead of going back to the origins story and a familiar villain?     read full story
Tortured logic: "Trust us" is no longer good enough
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Jun 20th 9:52am

Tortured logic: "Trust us" is no longer good enough

By Retired Brigadier General David R. IrvineThe Convention Against Torture, which President Reagan signed 25 years ago, states "[n]o exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture." Reagan would be disappointed that many Americans reject that view. read full story
Roseberry's eye: 60 years behind the lens
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Jun 20th 9:50am

Roseberry's eye: 60 years behind the lens

Local photographer Ed Roseberry is excited and a little anxious. After eight decades shooting film— producing an estimated 200,000 photos that have won him national awards and will soon form a special collection at UVA— he's recently made the leap to digital and has spent the last two months experimenting with his new camera, a Nikon D-7100. read full story