4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Latest pedestrian casualties on Rio Road: Melissa A. Marsh, 36, and Robert N. Jones, 19, are seriously injured around 6:40pm February 14 near Berkmar Crossing.  Since June, at least four people have been struck on Rio, one fatally.

Latest Shifflett on the run apprehended: Timothy Ray, 46, is arrested February 12 for two felony counts of forcible sodomy in Albemarle and grand larceny in Charlottesville. His brother, Elvis Gene Shifflett, was shot by police while on the lam October 20, 2006, and another brother, Jeffrey Wayne Shifflett, was arrested after a high-speed chase on Route 20 south one week later. 

Least effective plea bargain: Judge Paul Peatross rejects an agreement February 12 that would drop some charges against Indio Martinez, 18, in the brutal April 22, 2006, beating of a teenage boy who refused to join the Bloods, and in a March 2 shooting of a 16-year-old in which prosecutors believe Martinez brandished a handgun and handed an assault rifle to alleged shooter Javier Garcia, according to a Rob Seal story in the Progress. Martinez was released in the beating because a juvenile judge deemed him mentally unfit to stand trial.

Worst string of family court appearances: Martinez's older brother, Carmello "Pee Wee" Martinez, 19, is sentenced to four years in jail February 13 in the shooting of the 16-year-old. 

Worst barbecue hit: During a break-in at Buck Island Barbecue on February 11, thieves make off with cash, beer and cigarettes, with losses totaling $10,000, NBC29 reports.

Worst purse snatchings: Two elderly women are mugged February 12 by a suspect described as a black male, age 35-40, about 5'6" tall, with a shaved head or short hair, according to WCAV. The thefts took place at West and 10 and 1/2 streets, and on the 900 block of Henry Avenue.

Worst bill for drunk drivers: The House of Delegates passes 80-18 a bill to add an ignition interlock device to the cars of first time offenders February 13. The bill goes to the Senate.

Worst time to burn: Between now and April 30, outside burning is prohibited before 4pm. 

Worst cannonball explosion: Chesterfield relics seller Sam White is killed February 18 when munitions believed to be a cannonball, possibly from the Civil War, explode at his home, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. A 14-to-15-pound chunk of ordnance smashes through the porch roof of a house a quarter mile away.

Worst collapse: A falling wall in a Wertland Avenue apartment project injures two construction workers February 18, WINA reports.

Costliest bus news: Albemarle considers charging school children to ride the bus, while the city and county plan a regional transit authority that's looking at a $138 million bus rapid transit system, according to a Seth Rosen article in the Progress. 

Highest turnout: Nearly 36 percent of registered voters make an appearance at their local polls February 12 in Charlottesville, and 36.7 percent vote in Albemarle, a primary turnout more typical of November elections. 

Oldest mystery writer: Phyllis A. Whitney, 104, dies February 8 in Charlottesville. The Nelson County resident and "Queen of the American Gothics" had written more than 70 novels.

Best nod from Mississippi: Its governor and the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service present an award to the Charlottesville-based Building Goodness Foundation, whose hands-on members have been traveling to Pearlington, Mississippi, since immediately after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and are currently working on a community center.

Best nod to oft-overlooked James Monroe: The fifth president and Ash Lawn-Highland resident gets his face on a $1 dollar coin that goes into circulation Valentine's Day.