4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Biggest shortfall: Albemarle County is looking at a $4.9 million deficit, up from $4.1 million in early September, and county teachers may miss raises, Brandon Shulleeta reports in the Daily Progress. 

Biggest speed trap: Albemarle police write 163 tickets– its record for a one-day operation– on the U.S. 29 bypass near Fontaine Avenue October 23. Despite pre-publicity, drivers still whizz by and receive 129 speeding tickets. Three citizens make the reckless driving category going 79, 80, and 82 mph, and the average ticket speed is 70 mph, according to a release. 

Largest lawsuit: The family of 16-yar-old Sydney Aichs, who was killed pulling out onto U.S. 29 from her Forest Lakes neighborhood May 9, files a $15 million suit against truck driver Kenneth Barbour, Don B. Swisher Trucking Corp., and McCann Delivery Service Inc., the Progress reports. Barbour, 55, was indicted in June in Albemarle Circuit Court on charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving. 

Worst crash: A small plane goes down around 7:30pm October 24 near Route 20 south of town and kills pilot Thomas John Mahoney, 47, and passenger Elizabeth Marie Paris, 50, both of Orange.

Worst blow to cockfighting: The Virginia Gamefowl Breeders Association and its head, Chester William Fannon, 49, of Middleburg are indicted October 23 on four counts, including violating federal campaign contribution laws and conspiring to sponsor an animal fighting venture.

Widest cockfighting net: Page County Sheriff Daniel Presgraves is indicted on 22 federal conspiracy charges that include taking bribes from cockfighting company Little Boxwood. He also faces federal civil rights charges for alleged sexual assault and harassment of 12 women employed in the Page County Sheriff's Office.

Why even profitable businesses fail on the Downtown Mall: Sexshuns urban wear owner Reynold George Samuels, 39, pleads guilty to one count of drug distribution and one of felony copyright infringement October 27 in federal court for selling tons of pot and bootleg DVDs. Samuels admits distributing over 3,000 kilograms of marijuana and more than 50 grams of cocaine, according to a release. He faces up to life imprisonment and/or a $4.25 million fine. Six others are charged in the conspiracy.

Least profitable armed robbery: A gun-toting male accosts three men at the Bank of America on University Avenue, scores $12, and runs off, WCAV reports.

Worst beat and run: A man walking on West Main around 2:30am October 19 is punched several times in the face and his iPhone is stolen, according to the Progress.

Best reason to quit smoking: A Martha Jefferson Hospital employee out on a cigarette break around 3:30am October 18 is robbed by two bike-riders described as black males between 19 and 25, the DP reports. 

Most Thomas Jefferson Awards: At the Fall Convocation October 24, two of the university's highest honors are awarded– a first– to retiring Dean of Admission John A. "Jack" Blackburn and Dr. Sharon L. Hostler, interim vice provost for faculty advancement.

Most irate Chambers of Commerce: Danville and Lynchburg call for the heads of the area MPO for lollygagging for 18 years and not building a U.S. 29 bypass around Charlottesville.

Oddest timing: Representative Virgil Goode's press secretary, Linwood Duncan, steps down October 27– one week before the election. It's also two weeks after reports that he'd had a small role in a gay-themed indie film.

Best 36 hours in Charlottesville: Those captured in an October 26 New York Times article, which extols the Hacky Sack and mimes (huh?) on the Downtown Mall, Feast, the Clifton Inn, Palladio, and Bluegrass Grill and Bakery.

Worst dis by the New York Times: Local vineyards are bypassed and readers sent to Culpeper for wine tasting.