4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Most Jeffersonian: The long-awaited First Amendment Monument is unveiled April 20, and local notables John Grisham, Boyd Tinsley, and Mayor David Brown chalk their thoughts on the slate.
Best sniping: Fifth District congressional candidate Bern Ewert fires back at fellow Dem Al Weed for a mailing in which Weed claims Ewert violated Federal Elections Commission filing rules, was fired from a job at Explore Park in Roanoke, and two civil rights groups in Galveston opposed his permanent hiring as city manager. Ewert attacks the "distortions and lies in Weed's flyer and on blogs," Bob Gibson reports in the Daily Progress.
Latest in the Earl Washington Jr. story: The man who was wrongly convicted of the rape and murder of Rebecca Lynn Williams in 1982 and spent 18 years in jail before being cleared by DNA evidence files suit against the estate of Curtis Lee Wilmore, the police investigator who interrogated him, claiming Wilmore fabricated the "confession" that convicted Washington, Carlos Santos reports in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The trial began in federal court in Charlottesville April 24.
Best 4/20: Citing fears the schools will blow up, absenteeism soars when county high school students stay home April 20– the seventh anniversary of Columbine, the 117th birthday of Hitler, and the date four convicted county students allegedly were going to blow up Albemarle and Western Albemarle highs.
Most watchful eye: An anonymous donor gives $40K to fund surveillance cameras at Buford Middle School, which joins the $70,000 appropriated by the Charlottesville School Board to install 40 cameras at Charlottesville High.
Worst Waynesboro rampage: Former city employee Tina Bickley is charged with assaulting City Manager Doug Walker and a News Virginian reporter, NBC29 reports.
Worst PTO scandal: Madison Primary School's Parent-Teacher organization president, Jill Rowe, is charged with embezzling $200 or more, according to NBC29.
Worst news for the UVA- and William & Mary-bound: Both schools announce tuition increases for next year. UVA hikes its in-state tuition 9.3 percent, an increase of $665 to $7,845. Out-of-state tuition jumps 7.7 percent, to $25,945. William & Mary ups in-state tuition 9 percent, to $15,422.
Worst loss of a Charlottesville institution: Gene Worrell, 86, founder of the Daily Progress and other newspapers, and developer of Peter Jefferson Place, dies April 20.
Darkest side of Easter buffet? More than 40 people who dine at Farmington Country Club April 16 call to report upset stomachs, according to a Sarah Barry story in the DP. The Charlottesville Albemarle Health Department is investigating whether bad food or too many chocolates factored in the distress. Farmington comps all the meals.
Priciest drink of water: The Albemarle County Service Authority votes to hike water rates 10 percent.
Most rabid behavior: A tourist staying at Hampton Inn is attacked behind Kmart April 19 by a masked man who jumps, hits, and bites the 39-year-old man on the chest before fleeing without taking anything, the DP reports.
Smallest fry: School children dump 400,000 baby shad into the Rivanna April 19 in hopes they'll return to spawn in five years.
Best playing possum: The Wildlife Center of Virginia, treating critters since 1982, admits patients number 45,000 to 45,008– an orphaned opossum and eight of its siblings– April 23.
Best birthday: Bellair Market celebrates 15 years of gourmet gas station-dom during the rest of April.
Best scantily clad protester: PETA's yellow-bikini-wearing Lindsay Rajt holds a matching "KFC tortures chicks" sign on Emmet Street April 20.
Latest Coran Capshaw acquisition: The Dave Matthews Band manager/local real estate mogul adds the historic Jefferson Theater to his property portfolio, buying the second-run movie house from Hook editor Hawes Spencer for an undisclosed sum.