4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Stormiest weather: Three tornadoes cut a 25-mile path of destruction through southeast Virginia April 28, so far killing one and injuring more than 200. Governor Tim Kaine declares an emergency.
Worst week for fires in Crozet: A forklift electrical failure starts a blaze April 25 in a building full of dry lumber used by J. Bruce Barnes Inc. in the Square, and on April 26 lightning strikes a volunteer firefighter's home in the Crozet Mobile Park, the Daily Progress reports. The 1969 trailer is uninhabitable, but none of its six residents were injured.
Worst Social Security fraud: Greene County resident Irven Jones, 65, pleads guilty to wrongfully receiving $97,000 in Social Security disability benefits. Jones continued to work in a Bealton nursing home despite receiving the payments and tried to conceal his employment. According to a release from the U.S. Attorney's office, the salary of Jones' wife, who also worked at the nursing home, doubled after he was taken off the payroll. Jones is looking at up to 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Most matricidal: Phyllis Powell Spangler is convicted of attempted murder April 23 for trying to smother her 94-year-old mother, Pearl Powell, August 28 at the Laurels, where Powell, who had Alzheimer's and whose Medicaid was running out, lived.
Biggest bust: Three Charlottesville men are indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. Charged April 28 are Arturo Miron Garcia, 24, Renaldo Garcia Juarez, 27, and Julio Cesar Ruiz Ayala, 33.
Longest burglary sentence: William Francis Breckenridge, dubbed "the Ghost" by local authorities for his skill at B&Es, gets 22 years in jail April 23 for a series of burglaries in the Hessian Hills and Canterbury Hills neighborhoods in late 2006 and early 2007. Believed responsible for dozens of break-ins and hitting some homes twice, 42-year-old Breckenridge's criminal record dates back to 1981, when he slashed the throat of a UVA student who caught him breaking into a car.
Latest in cement truck tragedy: William Sprouse, driver of the truck that plowed into the Honda Accord carrying Jessica Lester, 25, June 21 on Route 53, pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Sprouse is sentenced April 22 to two years in jail, with all but 30 days suspended, and permanently loses his commercial driving license.
Newest dean: UVA hires Meredith Woo from the University of Michigan to head its largest school, the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She takes the seat vacated by Ed Ayers, tapped in 2007 as president of the University of Richmond.
Most Ivy League: Albemarle Fire Rescue Chief Dan Eggleston is among eight fire officials from across the country chosen to attend Harvard's 19-day Senior Executives in State and Local Government program.
Most stupid: Theft and fraud charges against Lester Guy Spellman III, 18, and J'Courtney Rydell Williams, 19, are almost too dumb to believe. Testimony indicates 19 transactions totaling $22 were were racked up on a debit card the UVA students are charged with stealing, according to an April 24 Progress story.
Most amazing good-news statistic: All 150 members of Charlottesville's A Company return from Iraq unharmed to their National Guard armory April 24.
Best gig for cabbies: The Chandler Law Group picks up the tab for 622 lifts from Foxfield April 26 under its Safe Ride Home program, bringing the law firm's total rides to over 32,000.
Latest insult to pep band injury: The ousted UVA pep band plays a fifth anniversary concert April 24 at McIntire Amphitheater to mark their ban from UVA football games– until an unidentified UVA official tells them they have to stop because of noise, Brian McNeill reports in the Progress.