4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Most likely to plead guilty: Serial rape suspect Nathan Antonio Washington is indicted by an Albemarle grand jury December 3 and is expected to plead guilty to charges stemming from a 2004 attack on Webland Drive, according to WINA. Washington is scheduled for trial in Charlottesville Circuit Court December 9 for a brutal 2002 rape in Willoughby subdivision.
Worst fire: DMB band member Stefan Lessard's Ivy home is gutted November 29.
Latest eye-in-the-sky resurrection: Police Chief Tim Longo makes a play again for City Council to pony up $300,000 for Downtown Mall surveillance equipment at the December 3 meeting, and Council declines 3-2 to go for the centralized system with 30 cameras, but signals it will consider mobile, stand-alone cameras.
Best Thanksgiving statistics: No fatal accidents occurred in Albemarle County over the five-day holiday period.
Not-so-good Thanksgiving statistics: Thirty accidents were reported, and county police issued 234 tickets under the week-long Click-it-or-Ticket initiative– even though not wearing a seatbelt is a secondary offense in Virginia, meaning the cops can't pull drivers for that. But they can for speeding (139 summonses), reckless driving (5) and driving under the influence (4 arrests), which helped net 11 seatbelt/child restraint violations.
Best citizen: NBC29 general manager Harold Wright receives the Paul Goodloe McIntire Citizenship Award, the Chamber of Commerce's highest, on November 28.
Best additional benefit: ACC Coach of the Year Al Groh pockets a $25K bonus under the terms of the six-year contract he signed with UVA in 2005, according to Sports Illustrated. And UVA opts to extend his contract an additional year through 2011.
Most improved bowl: The Cavaliers get an invite to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville New Year's Day, a step up from the less-prestigious Continental Tire Bowl or MPC Computers Bowl in the recent past.
Best way to profit on big-game tickets: UVA assistant basketball coach Drew Diener sells his tickets to the UVA-Virginia Tech football game over the Internet, the Roanoke Times reports, and is reprimanded by athletic director Craig Littlepage. Diener was in Philadelphia with the basketball team.
Least likely to stop the presses: A Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force press release announces the November 27 seizure of 10 grams of cocaine with a street value of $1,000. Jorge Antonio Lopez Lopez, 24, is charged with possession with intent to distribute.
Biggest personal injury award: Vickie Johnson-Rankin, who was struck head-on by a drunk driver, is awarded $1.5 million November 27 by an Augusta County jury, according to a press release from the Chandler Group.
Worst BB-gun spree: The windows of four cars parked on North Berkshire Road are shot out over the weekend.
Longest on the lam: Dillwyn Correctional Center fugitive Alonzo Logan escapes November 16 and is still missing at press time. Authorities have posted a $10,000 reward.
Biggest grant for sizing: Advocates for a Sustainable Population score a $50,000 grant from the Colcom Foundation to study what an optimal number of people for this area would be. Charlottesville and Albemarle contribute $11,000 and $25,000, respectively, and ASAP members pitch in $25K.
Latest reason to hate kudzu: The fast-growing invasive vine also spews out ozone, believes UVA resesarcher Manuel Lerdau, who studies the verdant alleged polluter at UVA's Blandy Experimental Farm. Brian McNeill has the story in the Progress.
Greatest loss to daredevilry: Evel Knievel, the man who tried to jump Idaho's Snake River Canyon on a motorcycle, dies November 30 at age 69.