4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Best reason to look before crossing Fourth Street East: City Council votes 4-1 to open a temporary, long-requested-by-business-owners Downtown Mall crossing there, John Yellig reports in the Daily Progress. Data will be collected, and Council will decide in January whether to continue with a crossing there.

Most DOA road project: The Ruckersville Parkway bites the dust after the Albemarle Board of Supervisors unanimously votes to remove the proposal by Congressional candidate Bern Ewert, former Delegate Mitch Van Yahres and architect Gary Okerlund from the "Places 29" transportation plan, saying the parkway was unlikely to ever get funding and was "muddying the waters," Charlottesville Tomorrow reports.

Most like 29 North: VDOT approves a traffic light on Route 250 in front of Western Albemarle High School, according to Jessica Kitchen in the Progress. VDOT also plans a light at Henley Middle School, just a hair down the road from Western; a signal has been installed on Ivy Road at the 250 bypass; and the Ivy Community Association has been lobbying for a light on 250 at Tilman Road.

Nastiest bite: The Thomas Jefferson Health District confirms that an Albemarle County dog that bit its owner had rabies, WINA reports. Charlottesville had a rabid cat in January.

Biggest blaze: A fire in the Shenandoah National Park starts April 3 and rages through the weekend, consuming 1,100 acres and coming close to the town of Grottoes.

Blackest hole: UVA astronomers are part of a study that discovers a pair of super-massive black holes spiraling toward a merger that would be capable of sucking up billions of stars. The study, conducted with astronomers from Bonn University and the US. Naval Research Laboratory, appears in the April 6 Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Best sign college rankings are taken seriously: UVA's Board of Visitors sets a goal of number 15 on the U.S. News and World Report's annual ranking of best colleges and universities, the Cav Daily reports.

Worst alleged assault: Joseph E. Osborne of Buck Island Road is held without bond and charged with forcible sodomy, assault and battery, and breaking and entering with intent to commit assault in an alleged April 7 attack on a 13-year-old girl in her Ashcroft home.

Most horrific: Jermaine Leon Franklin, 25, is sentenced to 30 years in prison April 6 for the 2003 rape of a two-year-old Charlottesville girl who underwent surgery for more than two hours, Kitchen reports for the DP.

Most controversial photo: Former Governor Mark Warner's mug on the cover of the March 12 New York Times Magazine with dark hair, a maroon smoking jacket, and lavender shirt leads to a March 15 editor's note explaining that the colors were unintentionally altered.

Most revelatory: The Virginia Film Festival announces its theme– "Revelations: Finding God at the Movies"– for this year's October 26-29 fest.

Best intro-to-poli-sci gets: Governor Tim Kaine talks to Larry Sabato's class April 5; Senator John Warner shows up April 10.

Best moonlighting: Jennifer Elvgren, Delegate Rob Bell's press secretary, publishes a children's book, Josias, Hold the Book.

Best sign TJ's birthday is here: City and county offices shut down April 13, and the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression releases its annual Muzzle awards. This year, President Bush tops the list of free speech offenders for wiretapping phone conversations without warrants.

Most kosher: UVA now offers kosher meals in all dining spots on Grounds. So far, more than 100 students have chowed down on the meals, which come in "airplane-like" cardboard trays, according to a release.