The week in review
Biggest breakthrough in water wars: The city and county reach an agreement on how they'll split the costs of the mega-dam at Ragged Mountain Natural Area and the nine-mile-uphill pipeline to fill it. Albemarle County Service Authority will pay 85 percent to build the dam and Charlottesville will pay 15 percent; Albemarle pays 80 percent of the pipeline and the city pays 20 percent, and the county and city split cost of dredging the Rivanna Reservoir 50-50.
Boldest initiatives by House Minority Leader David Toscano: The new Dem leader calls for more transparency in the House of Delegates and for allowing the governor to serve two consecutive terms. The Democratic caucus also wants votes taken in subcommittees recorded, governors' commissions open to the public, and proper oversight of tax credits.
Most futile moves: See above. The Dems are the minority.
Biggest blackeye for Albemarle: After enticing people to retire and promising extra benefits, the county comes back and says, oops, clerical error, your benefits should be lower and no, your old jobs aren't available. Thirteen sue and a jury, in less than two hours, comes back and orders the county to pay $83,000 in promised benefits, according to NBC29.
Worst bait and switch attempt: The Board of Supervisors unanimously votes December 14 to deny Redfields developer Gaylon Beights' plan to build 125 homes on land that was marketed as open space when homes in the subdivision were being sold in the 1990s. Charlottesville Tomorrow has the story.
Latest Tom Perriello gig: The former U.S. congressman will join the advocacy arm of the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank, according to the Times Dispatch.
It seemed like a good idea at the time: Jay Gatliff, 26, pleads guilty to stealing a Greene County ambulance parked at UVA Medical Center in March. The felony could be reduced to a misdemeanor if several requirements are met, Henry Graff reports for 29.
Baddest dog: Coco the pit bull is in big trouble for attacking a Louisa K-9 dog named Maggie during an early December 10 search for a suicidal man. Maggie dies of her injuries two days later, and Coco is in the shelter, where she chewed her way out of a cage the first day. His owner, Alfred Bennett, says Coco was just protecting his property; the Sheriff's Office wants Coco declared vicious. NBC29 has the story.
Worst driving: A woman crashes into Old Dominion Animal Hospital on Preston Avenue around 10:30 am Tuesday, and a friend tells NBC29 she had just learned to drive.
Worst alleged driving/parenting: Albemarle police Officer Timothy Carrico pulls over a child-on-board car in the wrong lane on East Rio Road around 3am December 14, and arrests Santana Faulkner, 26, for driving under the influence, third offense, which is a felony, driving on a suspended driver's license, and for reckless disregard for a child, which is also a felony, according to a release. Passenger Dwayne Norwood, 28, is charged with reckless disregard for a child and possession of cocaine.
Worst accidental shooting: Brandon Maurice Jackson, 21, pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the February Westhaven shooting death of his friend, David Lee "Gundo" Cowan, who was trying to avoid a gunfight, Ted Strong reports in the Progress.
Worst time to order breakfast: A man robbing a Waffle House in Staunton December 16 threatens to shoot a cashier in the head if she doesn't open the register. When she says she can't open it unless an order is placed, he orders two scrambled eggs, raisin toast, grits, bacon, and a cup of hot chocolate, according to the News Leader. Police arrest Lemorial Silk, 51, of Churchville.
Most elegant holiday decor: The Washington Post features And George home furnishings shop co-owner Christy Ford, who says she gets most of her decorations– seasonal fruit and greenery– at the grocery.