4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Earliest start: Winning a waiver from the state's so-called King's Dominion law, the Albemarle School Board votes late last week that summer vacation ends and classes in the County schools begin August 21.
Worst deja-vu: The threat of drought looms with the Charlottesville area at 3.3 inches less rain than usual for March, and nearly 6 inches less for the year, according to the National Weather Service.
Best School Board election contretemps: Candidate Vance High files a complaint with the State Board of Elections and calls for the resignation of Charlottesville Electoral Board Vice-Chairwoman Joan Schatzman after a March 18 candidate forum at which she's quoted in the Daily Progress as saying, "I'm repelled by Vance." Schatzman apologizes, says she's repelled by High's ideas– not him– and then suggests he "stop whining and start campaigning," according to WINA.
Best City Council contretemps: Lone Republican Rob Schilling, who's running for reelection, accuses his four Dem councilors and the city manager of engaging in a "secret little cabal" while writing last year's budget, John Yellig reports in the DP. Outgoing Councilor Blake Caravati demands a retraction for being "accused of criminal behavior and dishonesty, " but Schilling declines and later claims the cabal was smaller.
Priciest Transit Center: City Council votes to seek federal and state grants to cover the latest $400,000 cost overrun to the Transit Center on the east end of the Downtown Mall. From the original estimate of $6.5 million, the current cost has zoomed to $10.5 million, and more money is needed thanks to unstable soil and the discovery of underground storage tanks. Yellig has the story in the Progress.
Biggest flashback: Senator George McGovern, who ran for president against Richard Nixon in 1972, speaks March 22 at the Miller Center on world hunger.
Best get for the World Health Organization: UVA's flu expert, Dr. Frederick Hayden, signs up for a two-year stint to fight avian flu.
Best pro bono: UVA law student Kate Duvall wins the Hunton & Williams Pro Bono Fellowship, which comes with a two-year paycheck that will allow her to work at Central Virginia Legal Aid.
Best excuse that failed: The old "frog lab wet my paper" explanation doesn't prevent third-year engineering student Steve Gilday from being found guilty of lying at a March 26 open honor trial, the Cav Daily reports. Gilday is dismissed from UVA but permitted to stay in class while the decision is under appeal.
Worst of times for the honor code: A survey finds that only 39 percent of UVA students would report a clear violation of the honor code, according to an article by DP award-winning reporter Melanie Mayhew.
Latest arrests of UVA athletes: Football player Michael A. Brown and the soccer team's Michael Giallombardo are charged with breaking and entering with intent to commit assault following a March 3 brawl at the Delta Upsilon house that police say involved dozens of students. Others may be charged.
Most harrowing ride: A Hyundai driven by Matthew Payne, 27, rear-ends a tractor trailer March 21 and is dragged five miles south on I-81 from the Weyers Cave exit with the truck driver unaware of the collision, NBC29 reports. Payne flees and is later arrested. His passenger, Amanda Dudley, 23, is critically injured.
Worst prank: A Fort Defiance High School student, on a $15 bet, defecates in a lunchroom bowl February 9, sparking a walkout of four cafeteria workers, the News Virginian reports. Five students are expelled.
Best Cinderella story: The George Mason Patriots skip from the NCAA Sweet Sixteen into the Final Four, upsetting UConn in overtime March 26.