4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Latest Meadowcreek Parkway development: City Council approves 3-2 a diamond-shaped grade interchange and temporary construction easements at its August 18 meeting.
Latest shootings: Two men walk into the UVA Medical Center early August 15 with non-life threatening wounds after being shot in the Michie Drive area around 11:30pm August 14.
Latest John Grisham cause: Besides recently stumping southside Virginia with 5th District congressional candidate Tom Perriello, the bestselling author joins the board of the Charlottesville-based Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation, whose chairman is UVA surgeon Neal Kassell.
Biggest NIMBYs: Second Street NE residents grouse about developers Mark and Barbara Fried's proposed 8,500-square-foot house, led by Charlottesville Community Design Center board member Kristen Suokko, who lives across the street from the project– and who's a VP with the Blue Moon Fund, which is demolishing an apartment building on South Street to put up a massive 6,500-square-foot conference center, much to the chagrin of neighbors there. After deferring a vote in May, City Council okays the Fried house 5-0 August 18.
Biggest meth bust: Lovingston resident Charles William Spencer III, 35, is arrested August 8 when police find more than a pound and a half of methamphetamine at his house, the Daily Progress reports.
Worst timing: Four Nelsonites are busted when they drop by Spencer's house while deputies are searching it, and they net possession charges ranging from pot to paraphernalia to Schedule I or II substances, according to the DP.
Most innovative plan to lower gas prices: The Pray at the Pump movement comes to Sam's Club August 15, and six of the faithful, led by Maryland Seventh Day Adventist Rocky Twyman, ask God to drop the price of oil. Stephanie Kassab has the story in the Progress.
Best sentence for would-be mommy killer: Phyllis Spangler, 65, who was convicted of the August 2007 attempted murder of her mother, Pearl Powell, is sentenced to an eight-year sentence, all suspended, and released after serving four months in jail at the request of her family. Prosecutor Jon Zug says he saw no remorse on Spangler's part, the Progress and WINA report.
Best fire chief: Fire Chief magazine names Charlottesville's Charles Werner Fire Chief of the Year.
Best City Council appointment: Woolen Mills resident and gadfly Bill Emory is named to the city Planning Commission, succeeding Hosea Mitchell.
Best work if you can get it, part 1: Because Virginia's insatiable appetite for prisons could mean a possible shortage of jailers, the state Department of Corrections contracts UVA's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service to assess whether there will be enough correctional officer candidates for facilities in Fluvanna, Haynesville, and Greensville, and for under-construction Grayson and a proposed Charlotte County prison.
Best work if you can get it, part 2: Former governor and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Warner will be the keynote speaker August 25 at the Democratic convention in Denver.
Worst basketball injury: A shooting-hoops mishap causes Warner to cancel an August 16 Charlottesville visit to the City Market and city Dems picnic.
Best call for sober debate: Around 100 college presidents of schools like Duke, Dartmouth, and Ohio State urge lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18 because, they say, the laws are routinely evaded and contribute to binge drinking. The movement, called the Amethyst Initiative, was started by former Middlebury College president John McCardle; so far, UVA prez John Casteen has not signed on, according to an AP report in the Progress.
Best pie: Peach pie from Chiles Orchard in Greenwood, baked by Western Albemarle High junior Ally Chiles, according to the Charlottesville Tomorrow pie-tasting team of Brian Wheeler, Sean Tubbs, and intern Ben Doernberg. Vern's Five-Fruit Pie from Crossroads Store in North Garden also rates highly, but loses points for not being baked on premises.