RVA Mag’s top stories of 2014 – A year in Review

by | Dec 30, 2014 | POLITICS

Richmond, oh Richmond. How we have learned from and loved one another over the last year.

Richmond, oh Richmond. How we have learned from and loved one another over the last year.

Sure, there were some fights, some tears, but there were some times to celebrate as well. There was also plenty to laugh about.

The thing about time is it keeps moving, and that’s what we plan to do as we enter 2015. At RVA Mag, it’s been a banner year, with more folks reading our website than ever before. We hope to keep this tradition up. But in the mean time, check out some of the stories we loved (and you loved) as we say goodbye to 2014.



2 – KAAATIE’s car crash

Back in March, we had no idea we would be the first to report on a young women’s car accident and the police scandal which lead to her avoiding a drunk driving charge. People called it a case of enfluenza, and it lead to an internal affairs investigation.

Check out the video below, but here’s a bit from the first person account he received:

Our story begins during the fallout from that original incident. The scene is this: the SUV is “parked” diagonally, facing west on Broad Street, into the driver’s side of my east-facing parked car. The police have stopped a patrol car diagonally across the two lanes with their lights on, effectively blocking off the road at the intersection of 30th, just behind the westbound stop sign, and just west of the wrecked SUV. Luckily everyone is OK, just cold and shaken.

3 – Obama asks Netflix to start House of Cards early

Satire isn’t my finest skill, but this made up story was published at just the right time -a snow storm had left the East Coast buried, and Netflix’s amazing House of Cards was set to release the next day.

When I hit the publish button, I had no idea it would blow up like it did. But either way, the people loved our write up, sadly the streaming video service didn’t bow to POTUS’s fake request.

Read the write up here

4 – So long Ian Graham

We lost a friend, writer, and man-about-town when Ian M. Graham passed in September. Graham had been integral to RVAMag since its inception 10 years ago, our post retelling some of his greatest stories helped many members of the RVA community look back and smile.

Here’s to you, Graham, wherever you might be.

5 – RVA Mag’s new office looks like something out of a video game

For the uninformed, 2014 saw the return of the Dark Souls franchise with Dark Souls 2. It also saw the return of RVA Mag into a proper office space.

The two couldn’t have happened at a better time because our new office looked like a location straight out of Dark Souls.

Tony Harris, our crack designer, pulled together a number of images comparing the two. The results are hilarious.

6 – Local girl on MTV’s “16 and Pregnant”

As I look over the top viewed stories of the year, I can’t help but laugh when one of our snarkier posts makes the list.

Poor Autumn and Dustin, just two kids from the RVA suburbs trying to make it in the world, get high, and have a few babies.

When the couple made it onto MTV’s hit show “16 and Pregnant,” I defended the two with some stats from the National Bureau of Economic Research saying the show actually helps deter young adults from getting pregnant – so there’s a silver lining to this shit cloud.

We never spoke with Autumn or Dustin, and I can’t help but wonder where they are now… wait, no I don’t. WRAP IT UP, FOLKS!

7 – Halloween traditions with GWAR’s Vulvatron

It was a dark year for the already incredibly dark RVA-based metal band GWAR. The passing of long-time front man Dave Brockie came all too sudden. But as the bad news flowed in, news of GWAR’s return to the spot light followed suit. They welcomed new members, held GWAR-B-Q, and embarked on another sold-out tour.

But before the band hit the road, we got some advice on how to celebrate All Hallows Eve from GWAR’s newest female member, future-space-assassin Vulvatron.

Vulvatron details a number of great ideas – like putting razor blades in candied apples, and smoking crack – to help make your Halloween extra special.

8 – Avail Hype man announces bid for mayor

Many of us know Beau Butler as a king of cocktails at Starlight, but many more of us know him as a former hype man for the RVA hardcore band Avail.

But not matter how you know the man, his ideas for Richmond if he became mayor were genius. He shared his campaign promises with us, and we’ll be sure to find out more as the seat of Dwight Jones comes up for election in the coming months.

9 – Arthur Ashe tops ‘most horrifying statues’ list

2014 was a year of lists for RVA. When Mental Floss released their list of terrible or confusing statues, none of us were surprised to see famed Richmonder, tennis player, and only bronzed-black man to grace Monument Ave, Arthur Ashe to make the list.

Sure the statue looks like an angry school teacher threatening his students with a book and a tennis racket, but that’s no reason to be… alright, yea, it’s a good reason to be angry. We live in a town of sculptors and this was the best they could do?

10 – VCU’s “We built this city” sparks racial firestorm

Nobody wins when the race card is played, but those who get it thrown in their face often don’t know how to handle or at least diffuse the situation. At least that’s what happened when VCU’s Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) organization began distributing T-shirts with the slogan ‘We built this city’ embroidered in gold over a black background.

Students with a since of history raised some interesting questions about the sensitivity of a shirt which, to them, ignored several hundred years of black oppression.

And in a school full of PR majors, VCU’s STAT president refused to apologize.


Well that’s it folks – the cream of the crop as they say. There was lots of great stories which didn’t crack the top 10, and just because these issues made it to the front doesn’t mean we wont continue to cover the arts and music we know you care about.

Thanks for reading, happy 2015. Stay safe out there, and keep reading.

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner is the former editor of GayRVA and RVAMag from 2013 - 2017. He’s now the Richmond Bureau Chief for Radio IQ, a state-wide NPR outlet based in Roanoke. You can reach him at BradKutnerNPR@gmail.com

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