4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Best news for city property owners: City Council likely will approve dropping the real estate rate from $1.05 per $100 of assessed value to $1 when it votes on the budget April 11.

Latest oh-please-you've-gotta-be-kidding bomb charges: UVA first-year John Sweeney is arrested March 27 for setting off a "Drano bomb" in a plastic bottle March 25 in the Hereford parking lot, the Cavalier Daily reports. Sweeney is charged with felony manufacture of a fire bomb or explosive material, and released on a $10,000 bond. "I didn't know they were illegal," he tells the CD.

Best Virginia/international incident: The welcome mat is abruptly withdrawn from a delegation of the Wildlife Center of Virginia invited to a military base in Venezuela to conduct training on how to combat illegal trafficking in wildlife March 27, according to a release. The group, told they are not allowed into any government facility, beats a hasty retreat out of Venezuela the next day.

Worst dine and dash: Robert Fox is hit by a tractor trailer on U.S. 29 at Rio Road March 30 after he allegedly skips out on his Pizza Hut tab and then slips out of the back of a police car after being arrested and handcuffed on several outstanding warrants, NBC29 reports. Fox is in stable condition at UVA Medical Center.

Worst clipping of an Albemarle sheriff deputy: The side-view mirror of a gold-colored SUV hits the arm of an officer pulled over on the U.S. 250 Bypass near Hydraulic March 29 and does not stop. Charlottesville police are looking for the driver.

First Virginia manslaughter conviction for a pit bull owner: Deanna Large is sentenced to three years in prison March 29 for the mauling death of an 83-year-old Spotsylvania woman. Dorothy Sullivan and her Shih Tzu, Buttons, were attacked in her front yard by Large's three pit bulls last March. Witnesses said Large's pit bulls menaced the neighborhood, and at one time she had 13 in her doublewide trailer.

Best free ride: UVA students, faculty and staff ride fare-free on any Charlottesville Transit Service bus during April.

Seventh best value: The Princeton Review ranks UVA in the top 10 of public universities.

Biggest benchmark: Waynesboro tops the 20,000 mark in population for the first time ever, according to the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

Most softball-playing law students: 112 teams from 50 schools flock to UVA Law School's annual tournament April 7-9 to raise $10,000 for Children, Youth and Family Services.

Best chance to see the Godfather of Soul: James Brown will perform at the Charlottesville Pavilion May 25. Also announced: Merle Haggard May 3, Wynton Marsalis, the Neville Brothers, and Dr. John June 11, and Willie Nelson July 16.

Best fest: The Virginia Festival of the Book claims a record crowd of between 23,500 and 25,000 during the March 22-26 event, Melanie Mayhew reports in the Progress.

Best 15 minutes: 1998 Fluvanna High graduate Chris Daughtry, a finalist in the American Idol televised singing competition, gets wall-to-wall coverage in the Progress– and even his own Wikipedia entry. The 26-year-old Daughtry now lives in McLeansville, North Carolina and works as a service advisor with an auto dealer.

Best knees: White-short-wearing Albemarle Supervisor and NFL ref David Wyant is captured officiating a UVA lacrosse game in an April 3 Andrew Shurtleff photo on the cover of the DP.