4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Most momentous middle of a Tuesday: Charlottesville stops to watch Barack Obama sworn in as the United States' 44th president January 20.

Most swearings-in: U.S. Representative Tom Perriello schedules six ceremonies throughout the 5th District January 17 and 18, on top of his official D.C. swearing-in January 6.

Most vulnerable: Perriello makes The Hill's  top 10 of House freshmen who should watch their backs and expect a difficult re-election in two years when he won't benefit from the large Obama turnout. 

Biggest layoff: Third-largest local employer GE Fanuc cans about 50 employees, the Daily Progress reports. 

Biggest jump in spending: Albemarle County goes from $1,660 per capita spending in 1990 to $2,673 in 2007, a 121 percent increase, according to the Free Enterprise Forum. County officials attribute the jump to urbanization and the county's 1980 ironclad revenue-sharing agreement with Charlottesville to keep it from annexing, signed shortly before the General Assembly nixed annexation.

Biggest shoe to drop: Charlottesville should close one of its six elementary schools, an efficiency study suggests. Also listed among the ways to save $16.8 million: lose six assistant principals, 13 teachers, 62 teaching aides and increase class size– but no recommendation to slice the central office staff, notes cvillenews.com.

Worst loss of a historic landmark: Mount Calvary Baptist Church, built in the late 1800s for an African-American congregation on Morgantown Road in Ivy, is razed for a new and improved facility, Scott Shenk reports in the Daily Progress.

Worst caregiver story: Cynthia S. Kuykendall gets 24 months in prison January 12 for stealing a six-year-old girl's fentanyl and replacing it with water, leaving the girl in pain and with a bacterial infection. Kuykendall, 55, who was employed by Albemarle County schools, is also fined $2,000, and had already pleaded guilty to intentionally obtaining fentanyl by deception, the Progress reports.

Least smart move: Firing a gun out the window of a car with a cop right behind you. Glenn Randall Haines, 21, is arrested early January 17 at Fourth Street and Preston Avenue for allegedly firing 10 rounds in the air, WINA reports.

Best break for a criminally charged UVA football player:  Rashawn Lamont Jackson, 21, who was charged October 29 with stealing an Xbox from a dorm room, has charges dropped January 15 in Albemarle General District Court, according to the Progress.

Best way to ditch your old analog TV: At Crutchfield, which joins other local organizations for free electronics recycling January 31 from 9am to 3pm in front of the Rio Hill Shopping Center store.

Best news for subprime mortgage holders: Borrowers are eligible for relief from Countrywide Financial Services, the largest mortgage company in the U.S., under a nationwide settlement. Approximately 8,900 Virginians could be have their loans modified, according to a release from Attorney General Bob McDonnell. 

Best news for churches: They can offer free screenings of the Super Bowl without the NFL on their backs, according to a release from the Rutherford Institute.

Most promising programmer: The Corner's Brad Savage gets the nod from the industry trade publication FMQB in the Triple A category– adult album alternative– for 2008, even though his market– Charlottesville– is the smallest included among players from San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia. 

Coldest: Around 400 customers in the neighborhoods around the Boars Head Inn on U.S. 250 west lose heat when a contractor cuts the gas line January 19.

Luckiest: Charlottesvillian Kennon Ibbeken pulls a $100,000 Virginia Lottery Scratcher ticket out of her Christmas stocking. Jax in Arvonia is where Barbara Swanson buys a scratch-off ticket worth $830K, and Bumpass man Preston Wheeler picks up $50,000 in the New Year's Millionaire Raffle.



1 comment

Albemarle has gone on a spending spree in the last few years as revenue increased to the high side. Did anyone expect them to actually give money back to the taxpayer? To funny! One would question why we now need 5 County attorneys. Albemarle can now start its own law office!