4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Biggest plunge: Gas prices drop an average of 27 cents over the weekend, from $3.26 October 17 to $2.99 October 20, Brian McNeill reports in the Daily Progress. Despite plummeting prices all over the state, Charlottesville still retains its dubious distinction of most expensive gas in Virginia. Hmmmm.

 Most honors: Best-selling author John Grisham is in line for the 2009 Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts from Mississippi, where he used to reside. And former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning UVA English prof Rita Dove picks up the 2008 Library of Virginia Achievement Award October 18. 

Least likely to be confused with that Dove: Louisa resident Daniel Lee Dove, 28, is on the lam for a September 30 homicide on Commonwealth Drive that fatally injured Emilio Morales and wounded two others until he's arrested October 21 in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Longest streak: UVA continues its Scott Stadium dominance over UNC, which loses its 14th football game in a row 16-13 October 18 in overtime and last tasted victory in Charlottesville in 1981.

Most reassuring: Darden Dean Bob Bruner tells a Miller Center crowd that the worst of the financial collapse may be behind us, the Daily Progress reports. 

Biggest throwing down of the glove: Mayor Dave Norris takes on Falls Church's voter turnout, the highest in the state in 2004 at 81 percent, and bets a bust of Thomas Jefferson that Charlottesville can top that. 

Worst fashion sense: The State Board of Elections institutes a dress code October 14 banning political apparel and candidate buttons at the polls, raising the ire of both the ACLU and the Rutherford Institute, which claim the ban on Obama t-shirts or McCain-Palin buttons violates free speech.

Worst week for highway fatalities: North Garden resident Larry Dean Hollen, 60, crashes into a tree October 19 around 7:45pm on U.S. 29 near Poorhouse Road. Another car hits a tree at 11:20pm October 17 on U.S. 250 near Burnley Station Road. Driver Andre Ort Jr., 22, of Stanardsville, is seriously injured, and passenger Timothy Kuper, 22, dies at the scene. Police say speed may have been a factor, and neither of the younger men were wearing seatbelts.

Most disorderly: A Monticello High male student is arrested October 16 in what started as a girl fight after school on a bus at Oak Hill Drive and Stagecoach Road, the Progress reports. The girls are released to their parents.

Worst place to start a school-bus brawl: Oak Hill Drive and Stagecoach Road, which are behind the Albemarle police department on Fifth Street Extended.

Best opportunity to be the decider: Charlottesville is taking applications for City Council-appointed boards, including hot-spots like the Board of Architectural Review and a joint city/county appointment to serve on both the       Rivanna Solid Waste Authority and Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority.

Best renovation: Southwood Mobile Home Park unveils its new and improved community center October 19. The $400K expansion comes courtesy of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville and the Boys and Girls Club of Charlottesville/Albemarle. 

Worst renovation: A rental truck knocks down the nine-foot-clearance canopy at Hunt Country Market on Garth Road, racking up between $50,000 and $60,000 in damages. Andrew Shurtleff has the photo in the DP. 

Best press release of the week: The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries spins the current economic downturn to extol the virtues of hunting, including stretching the food budget, relieving stress, fighting obesity and reducing our footprint on the planet.