The week in review
Loudest: Venable neighborhood residents outraged over decibel-searing parties go before City Council August 20 to clamor for the death penalty– or at least stiffer fines and jail time– for chronic violators in their 'hood, according to the Daily Progress. Venable-ites would like fines raised from $250 to $1,000 and on up to $2,500 for more than two offenses in a year, but Council decided to revisit the issue after more serious enforcement efforts this fall.
Best decision for Michael Hash: A special prosecutor decides not to retry Hash, who was convicted in 2001 of the 1996 capital murder of Thelma Scoggins, 74, NBC29 reports. In February, a federal judge set aside Hash's conviction, citing police and prosecutorial misconduct.
Best break for Bank of America: Judge Norman Moon nixes Donald Trump's claim of a right-of-first refusal on Albemarle House, the former home of Patricia Kluge now owned by BofA, which foreclosed on the property in February 2011, Samatha Koon reports in the Progress. Already the owner of the surrounding property including the front yard, Trump will have to submit a bid to buy just like anyone else..
Worst granddaughter: Ann Marie Parks, 42, is sentenced to two years in prison August 14 for forging checks and embezzling nearly $100,000 from her grandmother in Nelson County to feed her drug addiction, the News & Advance reports.
Worst beach trip: Ronald Lee Viar of Crozet and city resident Wendy Lisa Cantrell allegedly get into a fistfight in the back of a cab at Myrtle Beach early August 15. The cabdriver, unable to stop their fisticuffs, drives them to the police station where both are charged with criminal domestic violence, NBC29 reports. Cantrell's sister, Anastasia Cantrell, a passenger in the taxi, faces multiple drug and alcohol charges.
Worst back-to-school campaign: Virginia State Police haul out Operation Air, Land & Speed– even though aircraft are not actually used– on Saturday, August 18, saturating the interstate corridors with cops to promote safety and ticket the heck out of speeding students returning to school. In all, there were 2,579 tickets and arrests.
Worst back-to-school idea: Madison schools Superintendent Matthew Eberhardt weighs randomly drug testing student athletes to "protect their best interest," according to NBC29, rather than to protect their Fourth Amendment rights. The program would cost between $8,000 to $10,000 a year to administer.
Least surprising: Lower-income Virginians are least likely to visit a dentist, according to a UVA study. And western and southern Virginia has fewer dentists.
Most surprising dental results: Four rural counties– Charles City, King and Queen, Surry, and Sussex– with relatively high percentages of African-Americans have no dentists at all, reports Terance Rephann from the Weldon Cooper Center and Tanya Wanchek from the School of Medicine.
Most herbicidal: Sugar Hollow residents are alarmed when they learn a VDOT contractor is spraying Roundup all over the right-of-way to control brush instead of less-toxic Krenite. Charlottesville Tomorrow has the story.
Most like Ralph Nader? Former 5th District Congressman Virgil Goode is running for president on the Constitution Party ticket, which doesn't bode well for Mitt Romney in swing state Virginia, where nine percent of voters say they'd vote for Goode in November, according to Time.
Most flush: Governor Bob McDonnell announces a $448.5 million surplus for fiscal year 2012, and it's the third year the state has posted surpluses in excess of $400 million.
Dumbest question: Why is it again that Virginia's funding of its flagship university is so chintzy– $9,445 per in-state student compared to University of North Carolina's nearly $24K?
Best tailgate contender: Southern Living chooses UVA among its top 20 schools for best pre-game celebrations, but fans have to vote online or by smartphone for their school to win. UVA is up against Hampden-Sydney in Virginia, Clemson in the ACC, and some really hardcore Texas and Alabama schools.