The week in review
Biggest contract: Ryan Zimmerman, the star UVA baseball shortstop turned star third-baseman for the Washington Nationals, has reportedly inked a deal that could be worth as much as $150 million. NBC Washington has the story.
Boldest call for eminent domain: Fisherville resident Starke Smith calls for Augusta to take over the primo, yet dilapidated real estate on Afton Mountain owned by Phil Dulaney, NBC29 reports. What some call the "Afton Slums" stand as an eyesore entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive, and the former gas station, motel, and restaurant are empty shells of could-be tourist services.
More likely target of eminent domain: Camp Holiday Trails, a facility for special-needs children and neighbor to the Ragged Mountain reservoir, complains that it feels shortchanged in negotiations with the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority and by the $35K it received for half an acre– under threat of eminent domain, Brian Wheeler reports for Charlottesville Tomorrow. The camp will suspend its therapeutic horseback-riding program for two years during construction of the controversial Ragged Mountain dam.
Most inconvenient crash: A tractor trailer runs off U.S. 29 south near North Garden around 10am February 26, takes out an electric pole, overturns across the road, and backs up traffic until around 2pm, NBC29 reports.
Most house fires: Albemarle firefighters are called to a Dudley Mountain Road house with flames shooting out of its roof early February 26, NBC29 reports. The family escapes unharmed, and the fire is believed to have started in the chimney. Later that day around 4pm, a house in the 1000-block of Old Fox Trail Lane in Crozet is aflame. Investigators say a basement bathroom ceiling fan was the cause.
Most disturbing numbers: Jordan McNeish spends nearly six months in jail for $400 worth of pot, and he alleges it cost taxpayers $17,000 to incarcerate him, the Newsplex reports. He's urging City Council to support decriminalization of marijuana.
Most gruesome equine discovery: Animal control officers remove four dead horses and eight malnourished ones from a Scottsville farm in the 5700-block of Jefferson Mill Road earlier this month, Jessica Jaglois reports for the Newsplex. Charges are pending.
Most transportation moves: Barbara Hutchinson resigns as executive director of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport Authority, and deputy William Pahuta will serve as interim director. And over at Charlottesville Albemarle Transit, Bill Watterson resigns as manager to take a $114K-a-year job in Vermont, according to the Schilling Show.
Biggest alleged credit card ring: Albemarle police arrest five men in connection 30 cases of credit card thefts, car break-ins, and burglaries in the Barracks Road area. Arrested are Kenneth C. Washington, 42, of Crozet Anthony N. Kilby, 29, of the 2600-block of Barracks Road; Anthony A. Timberlake, 22, of Schulyer; Wendell M. Burton, Jr., 21, of Hardy Drive, and Dionte C. Barbour, 20, of Antoinette Avenue.
Oldest hit-and-run: Brandon L. Fields pleads guilty to the 1994 death of John M. Banks, 34, on a dark Louisa road. Fields was 18 when he struck Banks, who had fallen off his moped and was sprawled on Route 22, Bryan Mckenzie reports in the Progress. Fields, 37, is sentenced February 22 to 12 months in jail.
Latest Dem congressional candidate: Brigadier General John Douglass of Fauquier is expected to announce a run for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican incumbent Robert Hurt for the 5th District seat. Retired Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel Peyton Williams of Charlottesville has already thrown his cap into the race.
Best way to catch the Albemarle supes: Streaming live audio of meetings is now available available on "Listen Live" at albemarle.org/bos. Of course, City Council meetings have been broadcast live on TV for years now.
Best swim team: UVA men's swimming and diving team won its fifth ACC championship in a row February 25, its 13th conference title in the past 14 years.
Best break for Bambi: City Council refuses to allow sharpshooters and bow hunters to thin the ranks of ravenous deer grazing through city residents' gardens.