4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Biggest coup for Monticello: President George Bush decides to speak at the July 4 naturalization ceremony, bumping previously scheduled documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.

Biggest hassle for  Monticello-goers: Locals accustomed to ambling up the mountain for the 10am July 4 ceremony find they must snag one of 1,000 tickets at the Monticello Visitors Center July 2, and park at PVCC, in some cases as early as bloody 6:15am because Route 53 will be closed.

Least satisfied customer: A Battlefield Ford salesman is slashed June 25 by former coworker James T. Jackson, 66, who'd purchased a vehicle from the dealership the week before. Jackson is charged with malicious wounding; his victim has stitches on his head and hand.

Worst preacher: The former minister of Calvary Baptist Church in Culpeper, Charles V. Shifflett, pleads guilty to three felonies for filing false information with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission; five felonies for obtaining money by false pretenses from two different insurance companies; nine felonies involving obtaining money by false pretenses from Calvary Baptist Church; and three felonies and one misdemeanor for making materially false statements on a Virginia tax return. He'll be sentenced October 8. In 2000, Shifflett entered an Alford plea to charges that he abused children at a church-run school in the late 1980s and the early 1990s; he served no jail time in that plea.

Worst motorcycle accident: Mathew Benjamin Thomas, 22, dies early June 28 on Johnsons Road. The 2002 Monticello High graduate grew up at the Thomas Dairy Farm in North Garden. 

Worst ATV accident: DMB saxophonist LeRoi Moore remains in serious condition following a June 30 accident at his farm.

Grimmest milestone: Robert Stacy Yarbrough, 30, becomes Virginia's 100th execution since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Yarbrough brutally murdered 77-year-old Cyril Hugh Hamby in 1997.  

Worst legal advice: Robert Alan Morrison represents himself in the April 1 robbery of the Bank of America on University Ave., reports the Daily Progress' Tasha Kates, and he could face mandatory life imprisonment under the three-strikes law.

Biggest rubble rumble: Albemarle County issues a stop-work order May 22 to prevent developer Charles Hurt from using 800 truckloads of rebar-reinforced concrete as fill on a Garth Road lot, according to John Henderson in the Progress. Hurt hauled in 800 truckloads of debris from the demolished UVA hospital parking garage to level out a hill, and now his employees are digging it up and removing the rebar.

Latest Albemarle police ticket-writing campaign: A red light campaign from June 23-27 results in 227 traffic summons, including 72 for red-light running at intersections on U.S. 29 north. In May, Albemarle took part in a "Click it or ticket" campaign, even though skipping the seatbelt is a secondary offense in Virginia and not grounds in itself to pull an unbuckled motorist.

Newest historical marker: The C.B. Holt Rock House is approved for a sign that notes that Charles B. Holt, the son of former slaves, built the house during segregation when blacks were a quarter of the population but owned less that one-tenth of the private land.

Unlikeliest pairing: Barack Obama plays the race card like Joe McCarthy played the Commie card, Lawrence Eagleburger, Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush, writes in a June 27 letter to the Daily Progress. 

Best bequest: The family of comedian George Carlin, who died June 20 at age 71, names the Charlottesville-based Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression as one of two organizations to receive donations in his name, the DP reports. 


1 comment

Biggest coup for Monticello? Please! I am glad the president came. Ken Burns does make really good documentaries, but is the PRESIDENT! I know in this liberal town is "cool" to dislike him, but have some respect for the office he holds. Its probably the hardest job in the country. Cheers.