4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Most gaping maw of a deficit: Albemarle's fiscal year shortfall grows from $4.9 million to $7.2 million. Brandon Shulleeta reports on the supes December 3 meeting for the Daily Progress. 

Worst news for county residents: A real estate tax hike looks likely.

Best news for county residents: Decals are history, and that should save the county $15K, but the press release failed to suggest how you get those things off your windshield.

Latest guy to try to pick up a cop pretending to be a child: UVA Law School employee Douglas Emory Loyd, 61, is arrested December 3 in Stafford County and charged with three counts of attempted indecent liberties with a child and three counts of use of electronic communications device to solicit a juvenile. The Cav Daily has the story.

Most B&E arrests: Four teens are arrested December 3, and Albemarle police say they're connected to numerous residential larcenies over the past few weeks. Charged are Barracks Road resident Martin Becerra, 18, with two counts breaking and entering and two counts grand larceny; Alison Moss, 18, of Glen Allen, and Orangedale Avenue resident Dzulzada Anita Fific, 19, both charged with one B&E and one grand larceny, and a 17-year-old male also has been arrested. Authorities say there could be more charges.

Worst driving: Nelson resident Helen J. Ward, 47, allegedly sideswipes a car and then crashes head-on into a Mitsubishi on Route 53 around 5:30pm December 5, sending a woman and a 9-year-old to the hospital with internal injuries, according to police. Ward was driving on a revoked license and is charged with a DUI.

Worst shooting: Kenneth Wayne Haney, 41, is fatally shot in the chest by another hunter December 6 in Greene County. 

Worst place to cop a smoke: UVA Medical Center announces it will be smoke-free, even outdoors, by October 1, 2009.

Best manhole fire: Flames erupt in the eastbound lane of McCormick Road December 3 from a cover near Clark Hall, the Cav Daily reports. Authorities speculate someone may have dropped something though the grate to the tunnel below.

Best UVA panel discussion: "What's Wrong with the War on Drugs?" is sponsored by civil libertarians December 2 and includes UVA Law Professor Richard Bonnie, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws attorney David Downes, and Region Ten executive director Robert Johnson, according to WINA. 

Best news for lesbian moms: The U.S. Supreme Court lets stand a Virginia decision that gives civil-union haven Vermont jurisdiction in a long-running child custody case between Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller. Miller gave birth to the couple's child, but moved to Virginia and refused to allow Jenkins visitation after it was ordered by Vermont. 

Least surprising stats: New U.S. Census numbers show that almost half of Charlottesville renters pay 35 percent or more of their household income on rent, Rachana Dixit reports in the DP. The recommended rule of thumb is 30 percent.

Biggest tag game: Alpha Tau Omega fraternity tries to break the Guinness world record and raise money for the UVA children's hospital. The December 5 game falls short of the 250 people needed for record breaking, but draws 140 people and raises around $700, according to Aaron Lee in the DP. 

Warmest, cuddliest story: Three-year-old Jaylynn Thorpe wanders away from his babysitter's house December 5 in Halifax County and is missing one night as temperatures drop to 17 degrees, the New York Daily News reports. The next afternoon, Jaylynn is found– alive and well thanks to the two family puppies snuggled against him.