4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Biggest change of signal: Local TV stations NBC29 and the Newsplex make the jump from analog to digital broadcasting by February 17 as originally scheduled, despite Congress postponing the deadline until June 12.
Biggest bull's eye: A group called Americans United for Change is targeting Republicans who opposed President Barack Obama's stimulus legislation, such as Republican Whip Eric Cantor (Virginia's 7th District rep covering Orange, Madison and Louisa) with TV and radio ads called "No is Not an Option." Meanwhile, the New York Times calls Cantor the new voice for the Republican party, much as Newt Gingrich was in the early 1990s.
Biggest change of heart: After heralding its new home in the Coran Capshaw-owned Jefferson Theater last summer, Ash Lawn Opera announces it's pulling out of the deal February 12 because the old theater could not be adapted to meet the opera company's needs without costing a lot more than it wanted to pay.
Biggest non-change of heart: Six same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses at the Charlottesville clerk's office are shut out February 12, Brian McNeill reports in the Progress. Because Virginia so opposes the notion, citizens passed a constitutional amendment in 2006 that banned the practice
Most alleged bicycle thefts: University police arrest Charles John Neil Jr., 27, after a student who reported a stolen bicycle located it for sale on eBay. Inside Neil's abode, police find $4,000 worth of stolen bicycles and parts. Neil is charged with two counts of grand larceny and one count of possession of burglary tools, according to a release.
Most larcenous week at UVA: After 10 alleged incidents of swiping computers, cameras, purses, wallets and credit cards valued at $10,000 from buildings on Grounds between November and January, Joshua Alan Lafferty, 25, is charged with six counts of B&E, six of grand larceny, four counts of credit card theft and one of credit card fraud. And UVA student Taylor Cavanaugh Critz, 19, is charged with petit larceny when she's found with an iPod reported stolen from Clemons Library February 10.
Latest Jefferson ranking: According to a new survey of American academics from C-SPAN, Mr. Jefferson comes in at #7, just ahead of Dwight D. Eisenhower and behind John F. Kennedy.
Most bogus report: An unidentified Buckingham woman files a false home-invasion/stabbing report with police February 5, and later admits to stabbing herself, according to a Progress account. The 41-year-old woman who lives in the 4000 block of Warminster Church Road faces charges for the fabricated claim.
Lengthiest absence of an elected official: The Reverend Alvin Edwards will be AWOL from Charlottesville School Board meetings for two months, during which it will debate and vote on a budget while he's on sabbatical, according to a Rachana Dixit story in the Progress.
Worst news about a former resident: Fool for Love playwright Sam Shepard pleads guilty to driving under the influence and speeding February 11 after being pulled for going 16mph over the speed limit and blowing double the legal alcohol limit January 3 in Illinois, according to a wire report. Shepard, who used to reside in Scottsville with actress Jessica Lange, apologized to the judge and vowed to never drive under the influence again. He was fined $600, placed on 24 months supervision, must finish an alcohol treatment program, and perform 100 hours of community service.
Most controversial quilt: Mary Beth Bellah's "Helping Hand" quilt, which uses fabric with tiny male genitalia and Viagra-blue rectangles, is featured in the March issue of Mark Lipinski's Quilter's Home magazine. National chain Jo-Ann Fabric bans the issue, Bryan McKenzie reports in the DP.