The week in review
Testiest first meeting of the year: The Albemarle Board of Supervisors goes into 3-3 deadlock mode January 4 over the nomination of Duane Snow as chair and adding anti-bypass supes to the Metropolitan Planning Organization. Ann Mallek remains chair; Snow and Rodney Thomas remain on the MPO.
Skeeviest attempt to lure boys: Gordonsville resident James Dollins, 43, gets 30 years in prison January 4 for creating a Facebook page of "Richmond Times-Dispatch." a fictitious 19-year-old UVA coed, and using it to amorously contact boys between the ages of 13 and 16, many of whom, at Dollins' request, sent nude pictures of themselves, according to the
Weirdest kidnapping: A 21-year-old woman tells police she's taken at gunpoint at 2:30am January 5 from her Quality Inn hotel room off Interstate 64 in Staunton, driven around the area for several hours and released in Stuarts Draft, the News Leader reports. Arrested are Joshua Lawhorne, 27, and Misty Sorrells, 25, both of Greenville, and Sean Jamrose, 36, of Stuarts Draft.
Latest alleged indoctrination-of-Albemarle-school-students: Kid Pan Alley, which holds songwriting workshops at Woodbrook Elementary, is accused of influencing third graders, who allegedly write a song about Occupy Wall Street called "Part of the 99." Some parents are not amused. National blogs, including the Huffington Post, swarm the story.
Worst crash: A southbound ambulance on Route 20 in Buckingham crosses the center line shortly after noon January 6 and hits a cement mixer, according to a release. Ambulance driver Timothy K. Southern, 21, of Waynesboro, dies at the scene and patient Howard L. Watson, 82, of Dillwyn, dies at UVA Medical Center. Route 20 is closed for almost five hours.
Greatest literary loss: Poet Eleanor Ross Taylor, 91, dies December 30.
Best dean: MBA mag Poets & Quants picks Darden's Bob Bruner as the business school dean of the year,
Best get: Michelle Obama comes to town January 11 (after Hook deadline) for a $1,500-a-head fundraiser for her husband's reelection campaign at the home of Dave Matthews Band drummer Carter Beauford.
Most memorable first date: Jamie Page, 17, is out on Saturday night January 7 when a Chevrolet drives head on into and on top of the convertible in which she's a passenger at Hydraulic and U.S. 29, according to NBC29. Albemarle resident Donald Edward Straus, 51, is charged with driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level of .15 in the four-car crash. The teens in the crunched convertible aren't injured.
Most derelict historic landmark: The bathhouses of the Jefferson Pools in Warm Springs, which date from 1761 and 1835, have made the National Trust for Historic Preservation's "threatened" list and Preservation Virginia's 2010 "most endangered historic sites in Virginia," the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. The pools are owned by the Homestead, the luxury resort down the road in Hot Springs.
Most welfare fraud cases: Police allege that Selena Jones, 47, Susan Taylor, 46, and Kianna Taylor, 22, bilked city social services out of nearly $30,000, according to NBC29.
Biggest winery sale: AOL founder Steve Case and his wife, Jean, buy the financially troubled Sweely Estate Winery for $10.2 million, which is believed to be one of the largest real estate sales in Madison County, according to the Madison County Eagle.
Oddest allies: The ACLU files a brief in support of Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman, who are suing to get their names on Virginia's primary ballot. The civil liberties org argues that the state's prohibition against out-of-state petition circulators violates the candidates' First Amendment rights when collecting 10,000 signatures. A judge has blocked the mailing of absentee ballots until after a January 13 hearing.