4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Worst driving– second runner up: Salatiel Dedios allegedly crosses a double yellow line on Stony Point Road March 11 and causes Albemarle Police Officer Tavis Coffin to veer into a ditch to avoid a head-on collision. Dedios flees but is arrested by the Charlottesville police and charged with DUI and reckless driving.
Worst driving– first place: Former Albemarle resident Kelly Dinelle Payne, 33, for the second time in less than five years, allegedly kills someone with her car while driving drunk. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Payne struck a man walking home from work in the median March 7 as she was fleeing an earlier accident in Chesterfield County. Payne earlier served 3-1/2 years for killing a 13-year-old in Tennessee.
Eeriest mug shot: Payne grins like she just won the lottery as she's booked by the Chesterfield police.
Worst deja-vu: A 31-year-old woman is raped walking home from work on Fifth Street SW around 3am March 8 by a man who hits her and knocks her to the ground. Police say it's premature to link the attack to the serial rapist, whose last known attack was in August 2004 on Webland Drive.
Latest murder: Gerald Washington, 18, is shot in the neck around 11:30am March 14 on West Sixth Street and dies within an hour.
Best minimum wage: UVA boosts the salaries of its lowest-paid employees from $8.88 to $9.37 an hour.
Biggest issue in Richmond: The General Assembly fails to pass a budget– again– this time because of differences over transportation funding. Legislators adjourn and will return March 27.
Oddest FOIA: Delegate Vincent Callahan files a Freedom of Information Act request for email and telephone records of the head of Virginia's community colleges, Chancellor Glen DuBois. The quest was prompted by a March 5 Daily Progress commentary by Piedmont Virginia Community College President Frank Friedman, Bob Gibson reports in the DP. Incensed by the lobbying, Callahan called DuBois to task for "fabrications and misrepresentations" about the House budget.
Biggest alleged car theft ring: Albemarle police arrest three men March 7 and charge them with three counts of motor vehicle theft: Robert Wayne Ramsey, 18, Earnest Lee Gaines III, 18, and Steven Joseph Faulkner Jr., 20.
Windiest: Brush fires spark in Charlottesville, Albemarle, and surrounding counties.
Driest: Central Virginia is down three or four inches of rain, Kate Andrews reports in the Progress.
Smelliest: Woolen Mills residents gather March 13 to complain to Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority– again– about its nearby composting facility.
Worst place to take a nap: A man lying on U.S. 60 in southern Nelson County around 7pm March 9 is struck by a motorist and killed, the DP reports.
Worst scrape: Charlottesville residents are advised to move their now-obsolete windshield decals or face fines. City Council did away with the stickers last year.
Biggest ouster: Region Ten's Board of Directors fires executive director Philip Campbell March 13, citing his "arrogant management" style as the main reason, John Yellig reports in the Progress.
Best coaching gig for a CEO: New resident Greg Allen, head of the multi-million-dollar Advance Food Company, thinking he is volunteering to help launch a middle school baseball program at St. Anne's-Belfield, suddenly finds himself hired as the coach, according to the Enid News in Oklahoma.
Best writing gig for a former Hook columnist: Mara Rockliff, author of the children's book Pieces of Another World, has a story in this month's Highlights for Children: "Too Many Cookies."
Best protest: A scantily clad Dana Littlefield draws attention to PETA March 13 on the Downtown Mall.