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Muddy tracks: RICO plaintiff alleges vandalism

by Lisa Provence

A Greene County man suing his homeowners association under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act says his property was vandalized on the eve of his June 23 court date. Police contend the damage was accidental, caused by volunteer firefighters who got stuck on Douglas Dye’s Dogwood Valley property.

Dye (left) was returning home around 8pm June 14 when he met two Greene County trucks going around a blind curve “excessively fast,” he says. “I had a bad feeling. It puzzled me.” When he got to his gate, “I saw mud coming out onto the county road.”

He found the land around his pond rutted and gouged. An emergency spill pipe coming from the dam had been run over and damaged, causing seepage and, he says, threatening the dam. (more)

Snap o’ the day: Truck hits pole outside C&O

by Laura Hoffman


Portions of Water and Market streets were closed this morning after a delivery truck backing up outside the C&O restaurant hit a pole and snagged an electrical wire, according to Charlottesville Battalion Police Chief David Hartman.

While Water Street was temporarily closed from 4th Street SE to 10th and Market, C&O employee Michael Volpendesta said the restaurant never lost power.

Of Paramount importance: JPJ’s manager takes over theater

by Lindsay Barnes

Larry Wilson came to Charlottesville in 2006 to manage John Paul Jones Arena.

While the Paramount Theater has had no trouble attracting notable national talent to its stage since its re-opening in 2005, the Paramount board has had a hard time attracting a permanent executive director. Following a tenure that brought crooner Tony Bennett, violinist Itzahk Perlman, comedian Bill Cosby, and $16 million in funds to the theater, president and CEO Chad Hershner resigned abruptly and without explanation in October 2006.

Ten months later, a national search identified Edward Rucker, a Charlottesville resident since 1988 and president and CEO of the Richmond Forum– an ongoing speakers’ series that charged rock-concert prices for Richmonders to hear visiting dignitaries. Rucker’s tenure saw continued booking success for the venue, with shows from the likes of Dionne Warwick, Judy Collins, and Peter Frampton. And yet, in May 2008, the Paramount once again had to announce a mysterious resignation by their top man, stating in a press release that Rucker had left “to pursue other opportunities,” though at the time Rucker could not say specifically what that next opportunity was.

Now, instead of conducting yet another national search for a director, the Paramount board has enlisted the aid of a local entertainment industry heavyweight. No, Coran Capshaw has not added the renovated movie house to his empire. The Paramount is looking to Larry Wilson, general manager of the John Paul Jones Arena, and his company, SMG Facility Management, to take over.

“I’m doing pretty much everything,” says Wilson. “We’re under an exploratory, 90-day consulting agreement. Then if that goes well, we’ll work with the board of directors to reach a more permanent agreement.”

That means Wilson is presently doing double duty as JPJ’s GM and as the Paramount’s acting GM. According to Paramount spokesperson Kristin Gleason, the Paramount gig is no afterthought for Wilson.
“He’s typically (more)

Historic horse farm off the market

by Laura Hoffman

Nydrie farm bred 1947 Kentucky Derby winner Jet Pilot.

If you live in Esmont, you have a new neighbor. Make that neeeeiigggh-bor. After three generations in the Van Clief family and almost three years on the market, historic horse farm Nydrie Stud sold June 18 for $4.8 million to Nydrie Farm LLC, owned by Eric Shobe.

Breeding place of 1947 Kentucky Derby winner Jet Pilot and Natalma, dam of prolific sire Northern Dancer, the 575-acre Albemarle landmark was home to high-dollar horses until five years ago.

“It’s been very quiet at the farm since then,” says D. G. Van Clief Jr., who adds that the sale was a part of his family’s efforts to divvy up family assets.

The Van Clief family will keep several remaining farms– which total approximately (more)

CPC demands $17.5 million (or more)

by Hawes Spencer

Rejecting at least two private bids, leaders of downtown’s for-sale parking company have declared that they won’t consider any offer below $17.5 million and have once again extended the deadline, thereby hinting that the City of Charlottesville (for whom it has already been twice extended) is the favored buyer. That’s a blow to the other would-be deal-makers, neither of whom saw their proposals sent to a shareholder vote.

“I don’t know why they keep extending the deadline,” says would-be buyer and company shareholder Richard Spurzem. “The sales process doesn’t seem to be handled very professionally.”

Contacted by mobile phone, CPC chair Jim Berry said, “I have nothing to report, Hawes. Thank you very much for calling.”

Originally, there was an April 1 deadline for purchase offers, which is the date Spurzem (more)

DMB’s Moore re-admitted to hospital

by Lindsay Barnes

Last night, Dave Matthews Band saxophonist LeRoi Moore was re-admitted to UVA Hospital “due to complications stemming from his recent accident,” according to a statement on the band’s website. This news comes two weeks after the band announced that doctors had upgraded Moore’s condition from fair to good following an all-terrain vehicle accident on his farm outside Charlottesville. No word on what Moore’s current condition is, and calls to UVA Health System, and to the band’s management were not returned at the time of this post.

On June 30, while taking a break between shows outside Washington, D.C. and in Charlotte, Moore was injured while riding an ATV and rushed to UVA Hospital in serious condition, which UVA defines as “vital signs may be unstable, and not within normal limits. Patient is acutely ill.” The next day, doctors upgraded Moore’s condition from serious to fair, and a week later, his condition had improved to good.

To date, neither the band nor the hospital has discussed the nature or the extent of Moore’s injuries.

While one of their founding members recuperates, Dave Matthews Band (more)

Eugene Foster dies: Found Jefferson-Hemings genetic link

by Lisa Provence

Eugene Abram Foster, the scientist turned historian who single-handedly smashed through over a century of denial by scientifically linking the family trees of Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings, died July 21 at UVA Medical Center.

Foster, 81, a pathologist at UVA Medical School and later Tufts University New England Medical Center, was also well known as a civil rights activist. But it was a retirement project suggested by a friend, his decade-ago DNA study on the descendants of Hemings and Jefferson, that created a firestorm.

“It was kind of astonishing,” says lawyer/author Annette Gordon-Reed. “He’s a scientist who entered into history.”

Gordon-Reed had just published her own Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy when Foster’s work appeared November 1998 in the weekly scientific journal Nature. Combining historical accounts and DNA evidence, Foster concluded (more)

Memorial for Magruder

by Dave McNair

Memorial for Joshua MagruderYesterday, friends, family, and passers-by gathered at a make-shift memorial on the corner of Monticello Avenue and Sixth Street SE to remember slain teen Joshua Magruder. American flags, stuffed animals, written messages, beer bottles, cigars, and figurines adorned a graffiti strewn wall in the area where Magruder was gunned down last Saturday morning.

On Monday, four people were arrested and charged with the murder–Bobby Wayne Gardner Jr., 25 , Trenton Michael Brock, 20, Theodore Calvin Timberlake, 20, and Rachel Turner, 25– were arrested in a motel room on Emmet Street at 8pm Sunday, where they were “holed up,” according to Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo.

Today, the memorial was still standing, along with a special framed message from Magruder’s cousin, India Scott (see photo below), who calls him by his nickname “Spanki,” and writes, “I know you wasn’t perfect and all, but no one had a right to take you life…We miss you cuz!! Watch over your baby girl…she love you just like we all do!!”Letter from India Scott

Man dies on Mall

by Lisa Provence

A month after Charlottesville began installing Automated External Defibrillators in all public buildings, a man collapsed in a Downtown Mall office this morning, and rescue personnel performed CPR on him in front of Hamiltons’ restaurant for approximately 15 minutes, witnesses estimated.

According to an officer on the scene, the man was carrying furniture to a new business on the second floor above Hamiltons’, and on the second trip, complained of chest pains. Charlottesville Fire Department arrived in less than four minutes, says Charlottesville Albemarle Rescue Squad Chief Dayton Haugh, and the rescue squad was there in eight minutes, but they were unable to revive the man.

Hamiltons’ does not have an AED, which delivers an electrical shock to an irregularly beating heart and increases a cardiac arrest victim’s survival rate by as much as 85 percent. The restaurant was not open when the man collapsed at around 10:30am.

“In general, the sooner you can do that, the better the chances are of survival,” says Haugh. Both rescue units carry the device as part of their regular equipment.

“We’re trying to promote putting them in businesses,” says Charlottesville Fire Chief Charles Werner. He cites an AED rescue in Madison in the past week. “They had one, the person went down, and they were able to revive that person,” says Werner.

That was not the case this morning, and the man was dead when he arrived at UVA hospital.

Building a case: UVA student cleared in open honor trial

by Marissa D'Orazio

Emily Bauer, a UVA Architecture student, was found not guilty of lying and cheating.At UVA’s School of Architecture, being in the wrong place at the wrong time can certainly be costly.

That’s what third-year Emily Bauer found yesterday as her seven-month honor infraction ordeal ended in an open trial where she was found not guilty of lying and cheating.

In the “trial room” in Newcomb Hall, a panel– 12 randomly selected student jurors, three from the “A-school,” and a trial chair– sat facing three student lawyers representing Bauer, and three representing the community. Ticket-holding observers sat in the back of the room during UVA’s first open honor trial since 2005.

Bauer’s alleged infraction involved the A-school’s only firm deadline– the deadline just before the final review of students’ small “site models.” While due dates are fluid because of the evolving nature of their work throughout the semester, the A-school has a firm “pencils down” policy at 6pm before the day of the final review. In Bauer’s case, the deadline fell on December 6, 2007.

“It’s pretty easy to tell what is cheating in other classes,” Bauer told the Hook before her trial, “but in the A-school, it’s less clear. If your (more)

Night of violence shakes Charlottesville

by Stephanie Garcia

Four people have been arrested and charged in the Saturday morning homicide of 19-year-old Joshua Magruder. Today in a press conference, Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo released information about last weekend’s spate of shootings in the city.

At approximately 2:51am Saturday, police found Magruder’s lifeless body on the 700 block of Sixth Street SE. The four charged with Magruder’s death– Bobby Wayne Gardner Jr., 25 (pictured left), Trenton Michael Brock, 20 (right) Theodore Calvin Timberlake, 20 (below left), and Rachel Turner, 25– were arrested in a motel room on Emmet Street in Albemarle County at 8pm Sunday, where they were “holed up,” according to Longo.

“They were arrested without incident,” Longo said. “They surrendered themselves.”

After a bond hearing this morning, Turner, charged with being accessory to a crime, was released on $5,000 bond, while the three men were held without bond and charged with first-degree murder. Gardner is also charged with possessing a firearm after previously being convicted of a felony. (more)


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