As we usher in the new decade, let’s take a look back at the most popular Greene County stories from our website in 2019.
1. Former Boosters Club members face felonies — A Greene County grand jury handed down indictments on Aug. 12 for the former president and the former treasurer of the William Monroe High School Athletic Boosters Club, a nonprofit organization.
2. Body found in car — Brian Dudley, 37, of Stanardsville was found shot to death in his car off Dundee Road in Stanardsville on Wednesday, July 10. Dudley, the father of one son, was a member of Shiloh Baptist Church in Stanardsville. A service for him was held on Monday with burial in the church cemetery following. He was employed at Wolf’s Fixin’ in Ruckersville at the time of his passing. This was the county’s first homicide since 2011.
3. Brother honors late brother — Sophomore Shea Jeffers brings his late brother on the football field every time he plays for the Dragons while wearing the number 2 jersey. Craig Jeffers wore the number 2 for the last time five years ago on Mooney Field as his family and friends all cheered from the stands. No one knew then what fate would bring just seven months later. Craig graduated from William Monroe High School on June 5, 2015, and five short days later he died tragically in a moped accident in Myrtle Beach. To say Greene County was rocked would be an understatement—and nothing to what his parents and siblings felt—as dozens gathered around the football field for a candlelight vigil on June 13, 2015. Craig left behind two brothers, Shea and Liam, and his parents, Maureen and Sam.
4. A new future for Dyke Store — A Stanardsville has purchased the Dyke Store and they are excited about the changes they have planned and hope to create a gathering place for locals and a destination for travelers. Todd and Katie Sansom plan to rename the location Maybelle’s after their golden retriever. “It was about June last year when we were driving Dyke Road and we noticed the “for sale” sign, and I just off-the-cuff said we ought to buy that and turn it into something. Then we were going to dinner and talking about it and suddenly realized we weren’t really kidding anymore,” Todd Sansom said. The couple soon put a contract on the property at the intersection of Dyke and Bacon Hollow roads.
5. State record bear — A Greene County man was honored in September by the state for tagging the largest bear in Virginia during the 2018 hunting season. Tony Shifflett, owner of Rangeland in Ruckersville, wasted no time earning this honor, killing the bear in Albemarle County on Oct. 7—the second day of bow season. “Before I even got to my deer stand, I heard this pop and cracking noise,” Shifflett said. “I sneaked into the woods and I saw a bear about 100 yards away. I just kept easing, sneaking, sneaking, easing and got to within 28 yards and I shot my crossbow.
6. Man guilty for solicitation, child porn — A Ruckersville man was found guilty on May 30 of three counts of solicitation of a juvenile between 15-17 years old and one count of possession of child pornography. The jury recommended 15 years after deliberating for more than an hour in the punishment phase. Retired Judge Daniel Bouton presided. Harold Edward Brown Jr., 34, pleaded not guilty in Greene County Circuit Court to the four felony charges. Five women and seven men were seated on the jury early last Thursday.
7. Charge dismissed in homicide — Charges were dismissed after a preliminary trial in late November against an Orange County man in the death of Brian Keith Dudley, who was killed in July in Stanardsville. Robert Lee Webster, 41, of Orange County was arrested by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 4 and charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree. Greene County General District Judge Hon. Matthew Quatrara dismissed the case against Webster after a nearly two-hour preliminary trial on Nov. 27. “The court has no doubt that the investigators in this case have worked incredibly hard amassing copious amounts of evidence that’s been presented to the court,” Judge Quatrara said. “Based on the testimo-ny of those investigators and additional work … additional evidence is likely yet to come. The court doesn’t have that evidence before it today and the court can’t find some scintilla of evidence ... that probable cause has been met with regards to the statute under which the defendant is charged..
8. Remembering the courthouse fire – Stanardsville has seen its share of natural disasters over the years, but it was an explosion 40 years ago today which rocked the town’s court square that is difficult to forget. There were 13 people injured that day. On Oct. 24, 1979, a construction worker yanked a live gas line out with a backhoe as the courthouse was undergoing renovations. Thinking quickly, someone ran into the clerk’s building to tell everyone to get out. By a miracle, no one was killed when the building exploded minutes later. The Greene County Historical Society hosted a talk at the courthouse Sunday, Oct. 27 at 4 p.m.
9. A View of the Past – It was a run-down log cabin that attracted Larry Lamb, 67, to the site of his homestead “View of the Past” in Crozet. Even though the chimney was cracking and the building was leaning, Lamb could see the gem that Carter Cabin would become. With that vision, he and his wife, Debbie, built their own log home in 1989 to the west of Carter Cabin, setting down roots for their two children and now five grandchildren. But they did more than set down roots for their immediate family—they’ve managed to transport some from other descendants, especially from Greene County, to their Albemarle County home. In the 1930s, Lamb’s family was forced off the Blue Ridge Mountains to make way for Shenandoah National Park. Until he began researching his family tree, he believed he only had family in Greene County, but really he had family in Page, Madison and Albemarle counties who were forced to make way for the East Coast national park. Lamb’s connection to Greene County goes way back, as one of his family members even signed the petition to break Greene from Orange County in late 1830s.
10. Record-setting Dragon – William Monroe High School senior Dupree Rucker just finished a football season for the record books and he and Kaiden Pritchett, defensive back, are heading to the Virginia High School League’s All-Star game on Dec. 15 at the University of Virginia-Wise. Rucker, the team’s running back, broke the school’s single-sea-son rushing record with 2,060 yards under his belt. The previous record was held by Cordell Burley for the 1991 state champion season. “Cordell is my cousin,” Rucker said. Burley had finished his senior season with 1,993 yards in 14 games. “Rucker eclipsed it in 11 games,” said Monroe head coach Jon Rocha, who was also on the 1991 champion team for William Monroe.