Monthly Archive for October, 2006

The Daily Progress “Uptown” Insert

Brian Wheeler writes for Charlottesville Tomorrow about a curious advertising insert that appeared in the Daily Progress last Friday that turns out to be funded by the Progress. Entitled “Uptown,” it promoted “shopping,” “eating,” and “living” in Hollymead, Forest Lakes and 29 North, mixing promotion of the Places29 master planning process with the advertising. Brian asked the advertising department what the deal was with this, and they explained that they just want “to boost traffic towards that area which is not getting the attention it deserves.” What, it’s so crowded that nobody goes there anymore?

Allen/Dole Event at Omni Goes Awry

An incident at The Omni this morning has put Charlottesville in the national media spotlight, though hardly for the best of reasons. At an event for Sen. George Allen starring Sen. Elizabeth Dole Democratic activist, Marine veteran and UVa law student Mike Stark had some questions for Allen during the media Q&A portion of the event. He asked Sen. Allen whether it was true that he’d spat on his ex-wife, a rumor that has been making the rounds among Democrats. In response, an Allen campaign employee grabbed Stark in a headlock and threw him to the ground. Another employee escorted him out of the building, despite Stark’s protests.

What makes all of this news is that NBC 29 got the whole thing on tape. They ran it for their 12pm broadcast, and the video was in rotation on CNN by mid-afternoon. The wires picked up the story, every major political blog is talking about it, and most major papers have stories or are working on them for tomorrow’s issue.

Stark writes that he intends to press charges against his attackers. The Allen campaign has issued a press release in which they accuse Stark of “verbally attack[ing]” Allen and say that they simply “restrained him” and “asked” him to leave the building.

Belmont Bridge to be Replaced

It was when parts started falling off of the Belmont bridge that it became clear that it needed to be replaced. NBC 29 reports that the fifty-year-old structure is collapsing, and the city will need to spend $9M to replace the structure. It’s going to be a headache to do, since it’ll be seriously disruptive to the flow of downtown traffic to close either the bridge or Water Street underneath it. It’ll be in next year’s budget, and the process may take a few years.

I’ve never been a fan of the thing in the first place — it divides Belmont from downtown in a way that never should have been done in the first place. Too late now.

Cav. Daily Reviews CTS

Further to the city transit discussion, The Cavalier Daily‘s Daniel Reinish took a spin on CTS to see how good it is. He caught a bus from grounds to Barracks Road, another one to Wal-Mart, and then one back to grounds. The first bus (which came on time) failed to stop for him, so he took a UTS bus to Barracks Road. The bus to Wal-Mart was on time departing and arriving. But it was the last bus there for the day (which he knew in advance), necessitating a $14 cab back to grounds. Reinish concludes that CTS is well worth it, though a little research first is necessary, and recommends improving signage and having buses actually stop at bus stops when people are waiting.

Jeffery Shifflett Arrested

Jeffery ShifflettPolice took Jeffery Wayne Shifflett into custody after a high-speed chase down Rt. 20 South yesterday afternoon, the Daily Progress reports. Albemarle police spotted him on Monticello Road and radioed ahead to Charlottesville police to coordinate the chase. Shifflett refused to pull over, and fled south on 20. He called 911 to report that he would drive to his sister’s house and surrender there. Twenty minutes after the chase began he was arrested on President’s Road, presumably his sister’s house.

Jeffery Shifflett is the older brother of Elvis Shifflett, who was recently arrested after a chase that also ended on 20 South. Shifflett the younger is now in the hospital after being shot repeatedly by police after he refused to surrender, a mistake that his brother did not repeat, or at least stopped repeating after twenty minutes of doing so. Shifflett was wanted in Albemarle, Charlottesville, Madison and Greene for theft, burglary, and probation violation, but it was his alleged threat against police after the shooting of his brother that made him particularly popular with area police in the past week. NBC 29’s Paul Merrill has an interview with one family allegedly a victim of Shifflett’s crimes, who say that they feel the world is a safer place today, but they’re still thinking of moving to a new house just to leave behind the memories of the burglary and ransacking of their home.



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