4 BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Fieriest day: March 15 starts with a fire reported around 4:30am that destroys a home on Owensville Road and leaves a woman in critical condition, flames sear Court Square tavern around 5:30am and another brush fire off Hydraulic Road occupies firefighters that afternoon.

Fieriest week: An elderly couple identified by neighbors as Reginald and Frances Wood die in an early morning blaze March 19 in their Cismont home, according to Liesel Nowak in the Daily Progress. And on March 21, a dog dies in a Key West home blaze.

Worst loss for the local legal scene: Court Square Tavern, which will be out of commission for a few months.

Most grounded: Former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro can't get out of New York because of high winds March 15, thus canceling her Center for Politics appearance at UVA.

Most convictions: Antron Marcus Poindexter, 24, had 47 previous criminal convictions before being sentenced to 12 years March 16 for beating his girlfriend, Nowak reports in the Progress.

Most wanted: Charlottesville police issue two bulletins March 20 for fugitives Omar Perez Taylor, aka "John Weddle," 18, wanted in connection with a March 10 shooting on Cherry Ave, and Troy "Pork" Martel Shelton, 28, wanted in a March 19 shooting of a Charlottesville woman.

Latest arrest of an Albemarle High student: A 16-year-old is arrested at school March 17 with baggies containing what police believe is pot and crack cocaine; and $2,900 in cash, a handgun, a small scale, and small pieces of a cocaine-like substance are found after a search of his bedroom, according to a police release. The student is charged with possession with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm.

Worst student casualty: Visiting Cornell freshman Matthew Pearlstone is found dead in a Cauthen dorm room March 17, the Cavalier Daily reports. Alcohol may have been a factor.

Latest alleged bomber: A grand jury indicts Whitewood Road resident Jonathan Leonard Dean, 23, on two counts of possessing a destructive device and possessing child porn March 15, John Yellig reports in the Progress.

Most zeroes: The Congress raises the national debt ceiling to $9,000,000,000,000.

Most black graduates: UVA leads the public university pack for the 12th year with a graduation rate of 86 percent, compared to a national graduation rate of 42 percent for black students, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

Best lawsuit: SNL Financial takes on financial giants Standard & Poor and the American Bankers Association and sues to use CUSIP numbers– the nine-digits used to identify individual securities– and S&P's credit scores, David Hendrick reports in the DP.

Best magazine: The Virginia Quarterly Review racks up six nominations for awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors, topped only by Atlantic with eight nominations and edging out the New Yorker and GQ's five nominations.

Latest "mainstream media" addition: Waldo Jaquith debuts a monthly column on technology and the political blogosphere for Campaigns & Elections Magazine starting in April.

Worst change of venue: A March 21 press conference called by Delegate Rob Bell and the Piedmont Environmental Council at Chapel Springs Farm, which was on sale for $19.5 million in 2003, is changed to the Albemarle County Office Building because of inclement weather.

Most successful land preservation program in the nation? That's what PEC claims in its release.

Best protest: Approximately 100 citizens march from the Rotunda to the Downtown Mall March 20 on the third anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.