4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Biggest snowfall: Four inches fall at McCormick Observatory March 2, according to the Daily Progress, the area's greatest snowfall of the season. Typically winter snowfalls for this area average almost 18 inches; up until the latest accumulation, the area had gotten about 3.8 inches.
Worst week for Charlottesville legally: Two lawsuits are filed against the city. The Coalition to Preserve McIntire files motions to stop the Meadowcreek Parkway February 24 and city employee Roscoe Gilmore, a maintenance crew supervisor in public works, files a federal suit February 19 alleging discrimination.
Closest call: After two cars collide on East Jefferson Street March 3, one of them runs down an embankment and into the side of First Step Infant Development Center, the Progress reports. No child was injured, although a few bricks came loose and a plate glass window shattered.
Best plea for worst driving: Nelsonite Helen Jewel Ward pleads guilty February 24 to maiming, driving under the influence for the third time, and driving with a suspended license, Tasha Kates reports in the DP. Ward plowed her Ford Explorer into a 2003 Mitsubishi Galant driven by Annie Reed and carrying her nine-year-old son December 5, seriously injuring Reed. Ward, who blew a .20 blood alcohol level, faces up to 11 years in jail and will be sentenced May 20.
Biggest good news/bad news scenario: Charlottesville School Board votes for a $66.3 million budget that approves up to 2.5 percent pay raises– but cuts 22 positions, according to Rachana Dixit at the Progress.
Biggest competition for the unemployed: An efficiency study suggests that Charlottesville use more nonviolent jail inmates to save money on public works projects, Henry Graff reports for NBC29.
Most litigious: Halsey Minor, owner of the skeletal Landmark Hotel on the Downtown Mall, files another lawsuit, this one against developer Lee Danielson. Minor is also suing (and being sued by) auction houses Christie's and Sotheby's.
Latest teacher to hit on a student: Nelson County High track coach Richard Seely Noles, 22, resigns February 23 and is arrested the next day for computer solicitation of a juvenile, according to the Nelson County Times. The investigation began when the student's father complained about the alleged offense, which took place February 19.
Latest high-end retailer to open in defiance of economic downturn: Anthropologie plans to open a store at Barracks Road Shopping Center in August.
Latest cartoon brouhaha: Locals weigh in on the New York Post editorial cartoon of a chimpanzee shot by two police officers with the caption, "We will have to get someone else to write the next stimulus check." Local NAACP prez Rick Turner sends out a press release from the state NAACP denouncing the cartoon as an "abomination." Rutherford Foundation head John Whitehead calls the uproar "intellectual book burning."
Most local pundits quoted in one Washington Post article: Bob Gibson, head of the Sorenson Institute for Political Leadership and former Progress political reporter, and Waldo Jaquith, blogger/RichmondSunlight.com founder, both lament the shrinking press corps covering the General Assembly in a March 1 Marc Fisher column.
Most likely to fail: Cvillain.com hosts a media death watch in which you can weigh in on who will go first.
Best growth industry: DoodyCalls, a Charlottesville/Northern Virginia company that cleans up pet excrement, saw 21 percent growth last year, according to owner Jacob D'Aniello in a Washington Post article about people doing more tasks themselves to save money. "The only time I really felt we'd be in trouble," says D'Aniello, "is if everybody woke up one morning and decided they liked picking up dog poop."