The week in review
Latest slam on the BoV's June debacle: The American Association of University Professors releases a report on Rector Helen Dragas' firing of President Teresa Sullivan and calls it a "crude exercise of naked power," as well as "a failure of judgment, and alas, of common sense." Ted Strong has the story in the Daily Progress.
Latest bombshell in the Hash case: Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins said in a 2010 deposition he was told to forge reports and lie to the prosecutor's office as lead investigator in the 1996 murder of Thelma Scoggins, and that he didn't believe Michael Hash had anything to do with it. Hash's conviction was overturned in 2012 when a federal judge cited police and prosecutorial misconduct. Now being sued by Hash, Jenkins says he believes Hash was the murderer. The Culpeper Star-Exponent has the story.
Biggest leak: A natural gas leak in the median of U.S. 29 March 13 closes the road between Rio Road and Hilton Heights Road for several hours.
Biggest leak week: Charlottesville launches "Fix a leak week," part of an EPA national program to fix residential water leakage, from March 17-23.
Biggest whistleblower reduction: Judge Norman Moon slices a jury award of $1.46 million to former UVA assistant professor Weihua Huang for reporting his supervisor's alleged alteration of a National Institute of Health grant to around $420K, according to the DP. Huang was told his contract would not be renewed after he reported the use of funds for unrelated expenses.
Biggest lawsuit: The estate of Lexington food and restaurant writer Delores Kostelni, 75, who was hit crossing the street at Putt Place in November and died two days later, sues Wayne Craft, the driver of the van that hit her, for $2.25 million in damages, the Progress reports.
Most interesting non-Dumler Board of Supervisors action: Albemarle supes pass 4-2 a resolution to ask Congress to consider industrial hemp legislation, WINA reports. Ken Boyd and Rodney Thomas vote against the resolution.
Most influential prof: UVA's Larry Sabato makes Virginia Business' list of "50 most influential Virginians." Not surprisingly, several UVA Board of Visitors members make the list: William H. Goodwin Jr. , Bobbie G. Kilberg and Vincent Mastracco.
Boldest daylight mugging: Five men attack and rob a man in the 500-block of 7 1/2 Street SW in the Fifeville area around noon March 11. Two men have been arrested– Gerald Lee Payne, 47, and William Johnson, 38, according to the Progress.
Most harrowing high-speed chase: Police arrest Karen Baumann, 49, after an 85-mph chase through Orange County March 15. Baumann allegedly kept going through a spike strip, and swerved into traffic to avoid a moving road block, according to the Progress. Among the multitude of charges she accrued is possession of a controlled substance and driving while intoxicated.
Goofiest state gouging: Electric-powered moped owners could pay an annual $100 fee– thank you, General Assembly– if Governor Bob McDonnell signs that piece of the transportation package, while gas-powered mopeds get charged $14, the Virginian Pilot reports.
Worst/best basketball news: UVA does not get a second-year-in-a-row invite to the NCAA tournament– but the Cavs are a number-one seed at the NIT.
Best environmental justice series: Environmental Health News, which was founded by local scientist Pete Meyers, receives an honorable mention from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for its 10-part series, "Pollution, Poverty, People of Color, which assessed the environmental-health threats to low-income minority communities.
Best news for consenting adults: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit finds unconstitutional Virginia's "Crimes against Nature" statute, which makes oral and anal sex illegal. The decision stems from William MacDonald's conviction under the sodomy law for engaging in oral sex with a 17-year-old girl.