4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Worst edu-cruise: Students Allison Routman, 21, and Mark Gruntz, 20, are expelled from UVA's Semester at Sea program for alleged plagiarism, kicked off the ship in Athens, and left to find their own ways home.
Biggest murder trial: Jason Scott Marshman is found guilty of first-degree murder for the 2007 slaying of William Miller Herndon, 28, in a Hardy Drive apartment, and a Charlottesville jury recommends a 122-year sentence, Tasha Kates reports for the Daily Progress.
Biggest hit: Virginia's DNA database makes its 5,000th match between a crime scene and a criminal in an April robbery in Northern Virginia.
Most guests packing heat: Albemarle police respond to a report of a man carrying a gun at the Fairfield Inn August 7. The man claims he had a weapon because a group of other hotel guests had them. Police recover two .45 caliber handguns from two separate rooms, and incidentally arrest Monique Martain, 28, on an outstanding misdemeanor charge, according to a release.
Most unexpected source of eviction advice: Albemarle Sheriff Chip Harding attaches a letter offering sources of assistance when his deputies serve summons after seeing a 40 percent increase in evictions since 2006.
Most openings in Albemarle County schools: The woman who took a lot of heat for issues such as redistricting and religious fliers in backpack mail, Diane Behrens, director of support services, retires July 30 after 33 years. Western Albemarle High principal Chris Dyer resigns to become superintendent of the Blue Ridge School District in New Milford, Pennsylvania.
Worst crop loss: Buckingham County sheriffs seize 235 marijuana plants ranging from 6 to 10 feet tall and arrest Frank Douglas Carter Sr., 44, of Gladstone for 135 of the primo plants, the Progress reports.
Costliest smoke: Scottsvillian Michael Lewis Easton, 49, pleads guilty August 11 to growing more than 50 marijuana plants while owning 10 guns. He has to pay $70,000 to avoid forfeiting his house and is looking at a maximum of 20 years when he's sentenced November 3.
Fishiest: Dozens of gizzard shad show up dead at the base of the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir August 4. Virginia's Department of Game and Inland Fisheries speculates heat is the culprit.
Richest: The Charlottesville metropolitan area is one of the wealthiest in Virginia, and number 54 in the country, according to 2007 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis per capita-income stats, which come in at $40,375. The figures include Fluvanna, Greene, and Nelson, where many of those who work in Charlottesville reside because they can't afford to live here.
Best local alternative to eBay: The City of Charlottesville puts its surplus equipment up for auction at govdeals.com.
Best money management: During a year in which most university endowments lost 3.1 percent and Standard & Poor's 500 Index of stocks fell 15 percent, UVA reports an 11-month gain of 7.8 percent through May 31 on its $5.3 billion fund, according to Bloomberg.
Best way to get to the doctor: JAUNT provides new bus service for people in southern Albemarle, southern Fluvanna, and northern Buckingham counties. A new shopping shuttle drops people off in Scottsville and Dillwyn for $1 each way on Wednesdays.
Best sign realtors are desperate: A Fork Union listing boasts "Dave Matthews Chef Cooks Here"– and is a steal at $228,500.
Most ready for prime time: Hook senior editor Courteney Stuart appears on ABC's July 30 Primetime feature about the murder of kindergarten teacher Justine Abshire, a story that gained national attention after Stuart's coverage.