4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Best protest: UVA students hold blank pieces of paper at the September 6 UVA-University of Richmond game to demonstrate their disapproval of the athletic department's ban on signs.
Rowdiest: Football fans who urinated on and trashed the Lawn and Range August 30 at the USC game, leading UVA to ban tailgating in the Academical Village for the September 6 game. Brian McNeill has the story in the Daily Progress.
Least amused: Four Chi Phi pledges– Jordan Vinsant Davis of Midlothian, Gabriel Rust-Tierney of Washington, Joseph Uzcategui of Rye, New York, and Chase Wagner Whitlow of Sterling– are charged with kidnaping a man who was walking along Rugby Road late April 12 or early April 13. The UVA students allegedly threw the man in the back of a car, bound his hands and feet with packing tape, robbed him, and dumped him in Crozet in what Charlottesville Police Captain Bryant Bibb tells the Cavalier Daily that the suspects likely would see as a prank, but that the victim and police see as assault and kidnapping. The four 19-year-olds, who are still enrolled at UVA, go to court October 23.
Worst hack job: Seventeen counts of child porn possession against Walter David Gregory Jr. are dropped after it's revealed that his wife, Lisa Gregory, found the pix on his computer with the help of a sex offender, Eric Gray, according to a Progress report.
Biggest conundrum: Albemarle County high school students ace the SAT state and national averages, according to a release, but four of its five middle schools fail to pass the Adequate Yearly Progress Act numbers– according to another release.
Biggest drop in business: The visitors center on Route 20 has seen 90 percent fewer tourists over the past year, plunging from 10,058 in August 2007 to 998 this past August, according to the Progress, while the new office in the transit center on the Downtown Mall has seen a 74 percent increase in visitors. The Charlottesville-Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau's executive board recommends the the Route 20 facility be closed.
Most energy efficient: Over the past five to eight years, UVA has added 150 students a year and constructed several buildings– without increasing its energy use, UVA architect David J. Neuman tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Most presidential-candidate visits: Senator Barack Obama hits Lebanon in southwest Virginia September 9, and Senator John McGain and Governor Sarah Palin are in Fairfax September 10. And Senator Joe Biden hangs in Virginia Beach September 4.
Highest speed chase: Staunton resident and alleged habitual offender Michael Toney, 37, hits 100 mph on I-64 September 5 before crashing his Ford Explorer into two cars and a bus on Roosevelt Brown Boulevard in Charlottesville, the Progress reports.
Hottest study: UVA's sexpert from psych medicine, Dr. Anita Clayton, is running a study to see whether Libigel boosts women's libido.
Ickiest alleged affair: Staunton school bus driver Paula Tomlin, 37, faces seven charges for having sex with a 16-year-old friend of her son, NBC29 reports.
Best time to dump hazardous waste: September 20 at the Ivy Material Utilization Center. Other upcoming special (free) dump days: Furniture and mattresses September 27, appliances October 4 and tires October 11.
Best déjà vu: The Virginia Film Fest broadcasts Orson Welles' War of the Worlds radio play October 30– the 70th anniversary of it terrorizing the nation– at McCormick Observatory, where locals fled in 1938 to check the skies for invading spacecraft.