Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’

Karma’s a bitch-Arrogant professor who caused a mistrial as a juror gets a shot as a defendant this time around

July 24, 2008

Arrogant, psychology, and professor aren’t words that are typically used in the same sentence<end sarcasm>

STAUNTON — The Staunton grand jury directly indicted a former Mary Baldwin College psychology professor Monday on 26 counts of possession of child pornography after a student reportedly found the images on a campus desktop computer in October, according to the Staunton Police Department.

The indictments were handed down against Chadwick Blackwell, 40, of Staunton in Staunton Circuit Court.

Blackwell had been under suspicion since Oct. 19 when the student told officials at the college about seeing the images the day before, police said. The college waited four days to report the incident to the Staunton Police Department.

Asked why the college delayed relaying its findings to police, Staunton police spokeswoman Lisa Klein said, “I can’t comment on that.”

MBC spokeswoman Crista Cabe said Blackwell, an assistant professor of psychology, was suspended by the school in October and ordered not to appear on campus for any reason.

He resigned July 11, Cabe said.

As for the delay in reporting the incident, Cabe said, “I am convinced Mary Baldwin did the right thing and acted appropriately.”

Blackwell was a full-time employee since 2002 and on “tenure track,” she said.

Police confiscated the computer, and a forensics specialist employed by the city analyzed the images, said Klein, who would not discuss them in detail. “All I can tell you is that they’re sexually explicit images of children under the age of 18,” she said.

In April 2007, Blackwell made news during the jury trial of a Crimora woman accused in the drowning death of her 11-month-old daughter. As a juror in the case, Blackwell caused a mistrial when he interrupted the proceedings and offered his personal take on the interrogation of the woman by sheriff’s office investigators. While jurors watched a videotape of the questioning in open court, he demanded the tape be stopped.

“As a psychologist, this strikes me as coercive,” Blackwell blurted.

Minutes later, Circuit Judge Thomas H. Wood declared the mistrial and offered choice words for Blackwell.

“He is pompous and arrog@nd belief,” Wood said at the time.

Fish pedicures-Carp clean your disgusting feet

July 21, 2008

Check out the salon that’s offering these at

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) – Ready for the latest in spa pampering? Prepare to dunk your tootsies in a tank of water and let tiny carp nibble away.

Fish pedicures are creating something of a splash in the D.C. area, where a northern Virginia spa has been offering them for the past four months. John Ho, who runs the Yvonne Hair and Nails salon with his wife, Yvonne Le, said 5,000 people have taken the plunge so far.

“This is a good treatment for everyone who likes to have nice feet,” Ho said.

He said he wanted to come up with something unique while finding a replacement for pedicures that use razors to scrape off dead skin. The razors have fallen out of favor with state regulators because of concerns about whether they’re sanitary.

Ho was skeptical at first about the fish, which are called garra rufa but typically known as doctor fish. They were first used in Turkey and have become popular in some Asian countries.

But Ho doubted they would thrive in the warm water needed for a comfortable footbath. And he didn’t know if customers would like the idea.

“I know people were a little intimidated at first,” Ho said. “But I just said, ‘Let’s give it a shot.’ ”

Customers were quickly hooked.

Tracy Roberts, 33, of Rockville, Md., heard about it on a local radio show. She said it was “the best pedicure I ever had” and has spread the word to friends and co-workers.

“I’d been an athlete all my life, so I’ve always had calluses on my feet. This was the first time somebody got rid of my calluses completely,” she said.

First time customer KaNin Reese, 32, of Washington, described the tingling sensation created by the toothless fish: “It kind of feels like your foot’s asleep,” she said.

The fish don’t do the job alone. After 15 to 30 minutes in the tank, customers get a standard pedicure, made easier by the soft skin the doctor fish leave behind.

Ho believes his is the only salon in the country to offer the treatment, which costs $35 for 15 minutes and $50 for 30 minutes. The spa has more than 1,000 fish, with about 100 in each individual pedicure tank at any given time.

Dennis Arnold, a podiatrist who four years ago established the International Pedicure Association, said he had never heard of the treatment and doubts it will become widespread.

“I think most people would be afraid of it,” he said.

Customer Patsy Fisher, 42, of Crofton, Md., admitted she was nervous as she prepared for her first fish pedicure. But her apprehension dissolved into laughter after she put her feet in the tank and the fish swarmed to her toes.

“It’s a little ticklish, actually,” she said.

Ho said the hot water in which the fish thrive doesn’t support much plant or aquatic life, so they learned to feed on whatever food sources were available—including dead, flaking skin. They leave live skin alone because, without teeth, they can’t bite it off.

In addition to offering pedicures, Ho hopes to establish a network of Doctor Fish Massage franchises and is evaluating a full-body fish treatment that, among other things, could treat psoriasis and other skin ailments.

Ho spent a year and about $40,000 getting the pedicures up and running, with a few hiccups along the way.

State regulations make no provision for regulating fish pedicures. But the county health department—which does regulate pools—required the salon to switch from a shallow, tiled communal pool that served as many as eight people to individual tanks in which the water is changed for each customer.

The communal pool also presented its own problem: At times the fish would flock to the feet of an individual with a surplus of dead skin, leaving others with a dearth of fish.

“It would sometimes be embarrassing for them but it was also really hilarious,” Ho said.


Videos of the pretty fish and gross feet.

Beersicles-who wouldn’t want one on a hot summer day?

July 16, 2008

Reason Magazine

The Triumphant Return of the Hopsicle

Radley Balko | July 15, 2008, 9:39am

Last summer, I posted on the travails of Rustico, a great little restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia trying to get the okay from state alcohol regulators to put frozen beer on a stick on its menu. Virginia had an old law on the books stating that alcohol must be either served in its original container or immediately after pouring. After a year of negotiation, the “hopsicle” returned to Rustico earlier this month. There’s also now a bill pending in the state legislature cementing the legal status of the frozen treat.

I had one last night. It was the cherry-flavored pop you see above, made from a Belgian kriek. Very, very tasty.

Also taking effect this month in Virginia: a bill legalizing sangria. That drink was also banned in the commonwealth, due to a post-Prohibition law banning any drink that mixes spirits, wine, or beer. The law technically outlawed martinis and boilermakers, too.

Funniest headline ever

June 16, 2008

Man squeezed more than Charmin in local grocery store, police say

A Stafford County man was squeezing more than Charmin Friday in a North Stafford grocery store, police said.

Sheriff’s Maj. David Decatur said the suspect, 51-year-old Kenneth Lawrence Green, is accused of grabbing at least two women’s buttocks in the Shopper’s Food Warehouse in Stafford Marketplace.

Green was placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail under a $1,000 bond after being charged with assault and battery.

According to Decatur, the assaults occurred about 1 p.m. The known victims were 49 and 57.

One victim said she was shopping when she felt someone grab the lower part of her buttocks. She looked up and saw Green next to her, police said.

A few minutes later, Decatur said, the same thing happened to the same woman and police were called.

Green was still in the store when deputies arrived and was taken into custody. During the investigation, police learned there was a second victim.

Several witnesses observed the improper touching, Decatur said.