The week in review

Biggest search for missing teen: Nearly 100 people turn out December 1 to look for 19-year-old DaShad "Sage" Smith, who was supposed to meet a friend November 20 at the Amtrak station on West Main, and didn't show up. According to Samantha Koon's report in the Daily Progress, some members of the family and the LGBT community are wondering whether Smith's sexual orientation and tendency to cross-dress have limited the public interest in his disappearance.  

Worst boating accident: UVA fourth-year Casey Schulman dies December 1 in the Caribbean when struck by a propeller during a snorkeling excursion off the island of Dominica. The foreign affairs major had completed a Semester at Sea and was scheduled to return December 7, the Cav Daily reports.

Worst fires: A house at 355 Bloomfield Road in Ivy is destroyed by fire early November 30, WINA reports. Damage is estimated at $750,000, and firefighters' efforts were impeded by narrow roads, limited access, and a long driveway. And on December 3, a house on Charlton Avenue burns, and investigators say it may be difficult to determine the cause because of the amount of debris in the house, according to NBC29.

Biggest acquittal: Joseph Michael Harris, 24, is found not guilty November 26 of the February 2005 murder of Anthony Lorenzo "Bunny" Johnson at Darden Towe Park. The jury deliberated for more than four hours before acquitting Harris of five charges associated with the killing, the Progress reports.

Biggest turnover in UVA football: After a dismal 4-8 season, Coach Mike London gets rid of four assistant coaches– Jim Reid, Jeff Hanson, Mike Faragalli, and Shawn Moore– and reassigns Anthony Poindexter, according to the DP. And junior quarterback Michael Rocco is jumping ship, the Roanoke Times reports.

Biggest judicial loss: Federal Magistrate Judge Waugh Crigler announces he's stepping down from the bench in the Western District at the end of his current term in September 2013 after 32 years.

Biggest tumble: Ntelos stock price drops 20 percent November 30 when an analyst predicts Sprint Nextel won't renew its wireless contract with the Waynesboro-based telecom, the News Leader reports.

Biggest move: Silverchair Learning Systems will take its operations and between 50 and 60 jobs to Cary, North Carolina, in late 2013, the Daily Progress reports. Silverchair Holdings sold the learning systems side of the business in March, and is not part of the move.

Best news for the Greenbrier casino: West Virginia Lottery officials and Greenbrier representatives draft a new policy that allows non-hotel guests access to the casino but makes sure it's not exploited by "day trippers," which freaked out Lottery officials a couple of months ago, the Charleston Daily Mail reports. The Greenbrier is owned by billionaire Jim Justice, who has acquired huge tracts of land in Albemarle and the Wintergreen Resort.

Best news for Ken Cuccinelli: Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling announces November 28 he won't seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2013, clearing the upward path for the current attorney general– although without Bolling's endorsement. 

Latest on convicted murderer: Eric Abshire is denied an  appeal November 28 for the slaying of his bride, Justine Swartz Abshire, who was found dead in November 2006 in the middle of a dark Orange County road five months after they wed.

Latest from Lou Bloomfield: The popular "How things work" physics prof has developed a new packaging material that he describes as as the “molecular equivalent of Velcro.” UVA will partner with MeadWestvaco to develop the resealable packaging product.

Latest car crashing into a building: Three people are injured when a red Mercedes plows into Brown Collision Center December 3. Driver Violet Crawford is charged with reckless driving and failure to maintain control. It's the third building to be hit since September, when a 69-year-old woman took out a wall of the Garage arts space, and another female drove into the Burger King at Barracks Road November 18.


Why does Dashad Smith's story continue to only warrant a paragraph in your week in review section? There is so much more you could have done to inform the Charlottesville community of this missing teen. It does not appear that you have even posted his photo on your site. Please go back and review your coverage of Morgan Harrington in the days following her disappearance and ask yourselves WHY THE DISPARITY IN REPORTING???!!

The other "judicial loss" this week was the rejection of City Council's request to appoint a city treasurer for an interim term of 14 months (due to the early retirement of the sitting elected treasurer), rather than hold a special election as required by the Virginia Constitution. Charlottesville Circuit Judge Edward Hogshire held a court hearing after councilors voted unanimously to ask the court's permission to take the decision out of voters' hands and put it into their own instead.

The Jefferson Area Tea Party and others argued there is an important safeguard in having constitutional officers, such as treasurer and sheriff, accountable to the citizens who elect them. Otherwise, we risk creating an all-powerful centralized government via political appointments. Curiously, the typically spendthrift Council became suddenly budget conscious when it proclaimed it did not want to spend the estimated $30K in costs to run a special election.

The JATP also expressed concern that not enough time, energy, or effort was made by the city to drum up potential candidate interest. This point was validated when the publicity of the JATP challenge combined with the few weeks it took for this matter to go through the legal process resulted in a qualified Republican candidate stepping forward to run and create a contested election.

For the first time in many years, Charlottesville city voters will have a choice between TWO candidates running for treasurer. A special election will be held on April 2, 2013.

Why nothing about Representative Toscano saying that his constitutuents "clearly" do not want the GA to approve the reappointment of the failed Helen dragas as Rector at UVA?

Most Insensitive editorial staff: The Hook for putting people's deaths in their weekly paper as "worst of's".