4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Most expensive defense: Virginia has paid the McGuire Woods law firm more than $500,000 to defend the estate of a former state police investigator who a jury said fabricated the evidence that sent Earl Washington Jr. to death row– later proven innocent. The Charlottesville jury awarded Washington $2.25 million May 5. Payments to McGuire Woods do not include the cost of the the two-week trial, nor the cost of the Commonwealth's appeal.

Best high school: Newsweek puts Charlottesville High on its list of top 1,139 schools in the country, at number 741.

Newest hot spot: Charlottesville introduces wireless access in Lee Park May 30, courtesy of the library, the city, and ADI Engineering.

Best way to get no kick from cocaine: UVA doc Bankole Johnson comes up with a drug that kills the thrill of Big C, according to a Sarah Barry article in the Daily Progress.

Latest chapter in the Swiss Way Market fire: A jury finds Barbara Corby Martin guilty June 2 of torching the Scottsville store in October 2003, Liesel Nowak reports in the DP. Martin was convicted of five counts, including arson and insurance fraud, and faces a minimum mandatory 15 years when she's sentenced in August.

Latest woes for Western Albemarle Warriors: The boys' soccer team is trounced in the regionals after six starters are booted from the team following the school's post-prom demand that athletes sign a statement that their lips never touched alcohol or drugs.

Most splainin' to do: A nine-year-old Waynesboro boy brings a rock of cocaine to show off to his third grade pals, the News Virginian reports. 

Longest protest: A march for Tibetan independence begins on the Downtown Mall June 2 and will conclude 115 miles later on June 11 in Washington.

Best fundraising buddies: Bill Cosby and Ben Vereen headline a June 3 gala in Washington for former Governor/current Richmond Mayor Doug Wilder's slavery museum in Fredericksburg.

Best new ride: Women United in Philanthropy present a $15,000 grant for a new van to haul children and families to medical– and social– appointments as part of the Jefferson Comprehensive Health Improvement Project, according to a news release.

Most women: For the fist time in its history, Washington and Lee University graduates more women than men– 211 to 206.

Biggest flush: Nearly 60 volunteers simultaneously flush all 361 toilets at the John Paul Jones Arena every minute for 10 minutes May 31. The "super flush" is to make sure the facility can handle the intermission rush– and it passed with flushing colors, according to a UVA release.

Best tout from Richmond: The June 2 Times-Dispatch has a special section on Charlottesville that lists Timberlake's Drugstore and the White Spot among our many charms.

Best indicator of neighborhood decline: House size, according to UVA profs Bill Lucy and David Phillips, who noticed that the 1,100-square-foot houses from the 1950s and '60s were more likely to be in economically challenged areas because of Americans' appetite for more space, currently averaging around 2,100 square feet. The story is in the June issue of Governing.

Harshest punishment for a purloined cookie: Richmond eighth-grader Jeremy Maitland is suspended from school for a day and kicked off the baseball team for eating a cookie from the school cafeteria that belonged to a staff member May 18. Former DP reporter Olympia Meola has the story in the Times- Dispatch.