4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Worst domestic dispute: Madison residents Cynthia D. Nicholson and Manuel Paul Nicholson Jr. are found dead in their home May 2 in an apparent murder-suicide.

Worst OD: Gordonsville mother of five-week-old twins Nichole Brockett, 24, was the area's first fentanyl overdose December 26. The drug is considered stronger than morphine, and police have filed second-degree murder charges against Mathew Glenn Minster, 28, and Randy Eugene Taylor, 34, both of Louisa.

Worst way to get a date: Charlottesvillian James Gardner Dennis, 34, meets a 17-year-old Connecticut teen claiming to be 21 through seekingarrangement.com (where "sugar daddies" meet "sugar babies"), buys her a ticket to come here February 20, and now faces charges of rape, abduction, forcible sodomy, enticement, and 25 unrelated child-porn charges, according to Tasha Kates in the Daily Progress.

Worst women-behind-bars improprieties: Patrick Owen Gee, 45, former head of security at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, is indicted on 30 counts of having carnal knowledge of three inmates between September 2005 and July 2007.

Longest sex offender sentence: Former school-bus mechanic and driver Oscar Robert Lemen is found guilty April 30 of forcible sodomy and object penetration of a 13-year-old girl. An Albemarle Circuit Court jury recommends a total of 35 years in prison.

Most reminiscent of Susan Smith: A Prospect Heights Middle schooler is charged with filing a false police report when the unnamed 13-year-old claims a black male grabbed her April 30, and the Orange County school goes into lock-down. The girl later tells her mother the tale was fabricated. 

Biggest UVA tuition hike: In-state students get socked with a 9.4 percent bigger tuition tab next year– from $8,500 to $9,300– bringing the total with room and board and other expenses to $17,318, while out-of-staters will see a 6.3 percent increase in tuition and their total cost to attend Mr. Jefferson's university climbs to $37,618 a year.

Biggest nurse: Dorrie K. Fontaine, 57, is named to succeed Jeanette Lancaster as dean of UVA's Nursing School. An associate dean at the University of California San Francisco's School of Nursing, Fontaine starts at UVA August 1. 

Biggest grant to entice volunteers: The Department of Homeland Security hands Albemarle Fire Rescue a check for $392,000 to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters, and for the marketing of such efforts.

Biggest grant to entice adoption: The Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA scores a $412,050 grant from Maddie's Fund, a pet rescue foundation, for its efforts to become a totally no-kill shelter.

Best get: Former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers packs the house at the Miller Center May 5.

Best reason to renew online: The DMV plans to charge an additional $5 to citizens who dare to renew vehicle registrations in person, starting July 1.

Best NIMBY story: Residents on Second Street NE grouse that Greene County developers Mark and Barbara Fried's proposed 6,000 square-foot-house is too big for the neighborhood, no matter how neutral its carbon footprint. Seth Rosen has the story in the Progress.

Lamest vote: City Council votes 4-1 at its May 5 meeting to send the Frieds' plans back to the Board of Architectural Review, which had already approved the house 6-1, for another look.

Latest VQR awards: The Virginia Quarterly Review wins its third National Magazine Award May 2, this time in the category of single-topic issues for its fall 2007 offering, "South America in the 21st Century."

Latest UVA art controversy: The University Art Museum nixes a fecal-themed sculpture and animated short from former proctologist Irwin Berman (Class of '62)'s "Sedentary Pleasures: Uncommon Stools" show that opens May 2. 


1 comment

You should do some investigation of your Worst OD story. Nicole Brockett, 26, was a doctor of pharmacology and very knowledgeable about narcotics.