The week in review
Most red flags: The region has its third-in-a-row official Red Flag Warning day April 10 because of high winds and low humidity throughout most of the state. The Virginia Department of Forestry reports 40 fires since April 8, and outdoor burns are strictly frowned upon.
Most discriminating: Charlottesville's Human Rights Task Force sets up a website and phone number, and citizens who believe they may have faced discrimination are urged to "Tell us your story."
Most disturbing disparity: A UVA study finds that in Charlottesville, African American youths are 1.5 times more likely to get probation than their white counterparts, and in Albemarle, they're 5 to 7 times more likely to be arrested and confined. NBC29 has the story.
Worst torching: A fire destroys playground equipment at Jordan Park at the end of Sixth Street SE late April 2, and fire officials are unable to determine the source of the fire, the Daily Progress reports. Damage is estimated at $6,000.
Lamest funding proposal: Albemarle and Charlottesville try to weasel out of funding the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library with a scheme that if a jurisdiction can't afford the library's annual request, others may reduce their own contributions proportionately. Library officials say the pay-what-you-can-afford plan could lead to the dismantling of the library system. Aaron Richardson has the story in the DP.
Most expensive flashlights: Richmond resident John Robert Watkins, 39, pleads guilty April 3 to stealing more than 100 Surefire tactical flashlights from the Virginia Army National Guard. The flashlights, which fit onto rifles, allegedly cost an eye-popping $280 each, Samantha Koon reports for the Progress.
Best average salary: UVA full professors pull in an average $141,600, according to a American Association of University Professors survey.
Biggest disparity: Female full profs make about $20K less than their male counterparts, the Cav Daily reports.
Best wrongful conviction compensation: Governor Bob McDonnell signs a bill April 9 that gives Thomas Haynesworth $1,075,178 for the 27 years he spent in prison for rapes he didn't commit. DNA evidence cleared Haynesworth of the crimes, and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli hired Haynesworth to work in his office because of the difficulties a felon has in finding a job. Haynesworth received a writ of innocence in December.
Best chicken-crossing-the-road story: A group of allegedly free-range chickens have taken up residence in the Greenfield mobile home community and have caused traffic problems on Berkmar Road. The Progress reports that the Albemarle police have caught one rooster, and that no one is owning up to owning the fowls.
Greatest escape: Two 17-year-olds stack two chairs in the rec yard to climb onto a platform, wrap a shirt over the razor wire fence at Blue Ridge Juvenile Detention Center, and bolt for freedom April 7, according to the Progress. One dashes across I-64 and is captured by training firefighters, and both are back in custody in about 45 minutes, and both face felony charges for the escape.
Boldest speeding ticket defense: Six alleged leadfoots cited for going between 50 and 54mph on the U.S. 250 Bypass say their due process rights were violated because Charlottesville can't produce a 45-year-old traffic study that's required to implement a 35mph section on the engineered-for-speed bypass, according to the Progress. Judge Edward Hogshire denies a motion to dismiss the Charlottesville General District Court convictions of Michael I. Tocci, Marcela T. Liguria, John Francis Valosky, Bonnie E. Baird, John E. Curry IV, and Turner Barringer, and the six go to trial August 3.
Boldest plan to deal with online trolls: The Daily Progress dumps anonymous commenting on its website and hooks up with Facebook. Now those who want to remark must have Facebook accounts and their names and photos will appear beside their comments.
Best sign Facebook is taking over the world: See above.