4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Most dubious distinction: The Charlottesville area has the highest gas prices in the Old Dominion, an average of $2.77 a gallon compared to a statewide average of $2.59 a gallon for regular, according to AAA.

Lowest life expectancy: A Harvard study ranks Richmond and Petersburg in the bottom 20 for longevity in the U.S. at 71.1 and 69.6 years respectively.

Most surprising statistic: Charlottesville's per capita personal income of $36,213 ranks it in the top 20 percent– 53rd among 361 metropolitan statistical areas, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Progress editor McGregor McCance reports.

Best news for fresh shoppers: Charlottesville's City Market will stay in its same, prime-for-development parking lot between Water and South streets for at least another year.

Biggest dig: "What we have here is a garden variety misconduct and insubordination case, and they are trying to elevate it to a constitutional claim," UVA's Richard Kast tells Judge Norman K. Moon in the opening arguments of former UVA staffer Dena Bowers' $1 million lawsuit against UVA September 6. Aaron Kessler has the story in the DP.

Newest addition to the Albemarle Planning Commission: Supervisor David Wyant names Crozet resident Duane Zobrist to finish the term of Jo Higgins, who moved.

Most disrupted by a big-wig's visit: The funeral procession for long-time Darden staffer Anneliese Tew is split, and half the mourners are prevented from leaving Teague Funeral Home September 7 while former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami's high-security entourage passes, according to an attendee. 

Worst firsts: Fourth-year UVA student Jennifer Leigh Wells dies September 10 from bacterial meningitis, and a fourth-year male is shot in the gut and robbed early that same day while sitting on his Wertland Avenue front porch. 

Hottest water: The Cavalier Daily draws the ire of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights for three cartoons the organization says are offensive to Catholics, Carlos Santos reports in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The Catholic League demands an apology; CD editor Michael Slaven declines.

 Ickiest swim for non-dog lovers: At September 9's Festival of the Dog at Meade Park, pooches are allowed to swim in the city pool with their owners.

Worst hits to future Christmas trees: A hail storm earlier this summer in Augusta County decimates Virginia's entire white pine tree seedling crop, according to a Virginia Department of Forestry release. And a mold is causing root rot in Fraser firs in the New River Valley that ruins the soil for up to 20 years, according to the AP.

Most divine website grant: The National Endowment for the Humanities bestows a $186,000 grant on UVA prof Deborah Parker for her Dante Alighieri website that's a teaching resource for Inferno, part one of the Divine Comedy. Next up: Purgatorio and Paradiso.

Coolest philanthropy: Fortune magazine touts Robin Hood, a "venture philanthropy" founded by John Paul Jones Arena benefactor Paul Tudor Jones that boasts Diane Sawyer, Harvey Weinstein, and Gwyneth Paltrow on its board and has the Rolling Stones perform for its fundraiser. 

Best news for a state monopoly: The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says it's okay for Virginia ABC stores to sell only Virginia wine. 

Best spin for local rockers: Mike Meadows and his band, Moneypenny, make the front page of Spin.com and are on a Spin-released compilation CD.

Best award to a former Hook art director: Chris Conklin will be included in Creativity 35, an annual book touting the best in graphic design, for his website work with Michael D. Moore.