4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Worst place to be sentenced: The 16th Circuit, which includes Charlottesville and Albemarle, where the judges exceed sentencing guidelines 13.7 percent of the time, according to a Tasha Kates at the Daily Progress.
Worst jail: Piedmont Regional Jail in Farmville, where Guido R. Newbrough, 48, a German who lived in the U.S. for 42 years, is denied medical care for 10 days and dies in immigration custody November 28 from an infection of his heart valves after being dragged by the leg to solitary, according to a New York Times article. In 2006, Abdoulai Sall, 50, dies of kidney failure at the same jail, also while in immigration custody.
Worst news for realtors: The county will start enforcing the ban against signs in the right of way, and offenders will be fined $100.
Worst/best news for property owners: Despite the glut of unsold houses, residential property assessments go up an average 1.02 percent in Charlottesville, while in Albemarle, residential assessments drop an average of 2.59 percent in 2008.
Best potential windfall for local schools: Albemarle schools could end up with $5.6 million and Charlottesville with $4.8 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed January 28 in the House of Representatives, according to a release from Congressman Tom Perriello– if the Senate passes the bill.
Best newspaper readership: UVA Student Council votes to continue the popular free giveaway of the New York Times in Newcomb Hall without raising student fees, but will drop the costlier USA Today, the Cav Daily reports.
Most sexual assaults: Andrew Reid Bechtle, 20, is sentenced to four years in prison January 28 for two separate assaults in a plea agreement, according to the Progress. Bechtle pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual battery and carnal knowledge for incidents in June and December 2007, although other women allegedly told prosecutor Darby Lowe that Bechtle had assaulted them as well.
Most protected: Albemarle County added almost 3,000 acres to its Acquisition of Conservation Easements program in 2008, which puts 16 percent of the county's rural areas under permanent protection from development.
Most depressed: Medical students, 21 percent of whom suffer depression, compared to eight to 15 percent of the general young adult population, according to Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Long hours and lack of experience with being ranked below average could be contributing factors, the CD reports.
First dean: Harry Harding is named founding dean of the Frank Batten Sr. School of Leadership and Public Policy, UVA's newest school, thanks to a $100 million gift from Batten. Harding comes from George Washington University and is a preeminent China scholar, according to a release.
Second-highest ranking Homeland Security lawyer: UVA law prof David Martin is named principal deputy general counsel January 29. His boss, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, is a former student and 1983 UVA law grad.
Biggest loss: Media General, parent company of the Daily Progress, loses $85.5 million in the fourth quarter and $631.9 million for the year.
Smallest loss: UVA's endowment decreases a more modest $30.5 million in December, compared to the $1.3 billion it lost between July and November, bringing the pot down from $5.1 billion June 30 to $3.88 billion at the end of 2008.
Biggest piece of the bailout pie: Charlottesville-based StellarOne (a 63-branch bank HQ'd at Peter Jefferson Place) gets $30 million from the U.S. Treasury despite being considered financially healthy, Neil H. Simon reports for Media General.
Best Charlottesville Super Bowl connection: UVA alums Heath Miller and James Farrior each win their second Super Bowl rings as part of the Pittsburgh Steelers team that beat the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII on February 1.