4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Biggest alleged meth lab: Reports of a strange smell lead police to the GrandMarc on 15th Street, where they recover chemicals that could be used to manufacture methamphetamine and evacuate the building around 3am March 18, according to NBC29.
Biggest fire: A blaze at Boyd Tavern Market closes Route 250. A cashier smelled smoke and called 911 at 7:40am March 23, according to a release, and heavy smoke poured out of the attic, where the fire is believed to have begun.
Worst recidivist: Timothy Ray Shifflett, 46, enters an Alford plea March 23 and gets a 17-year sentence for sexually assaulting a nine-year-old boy. Shifflett served nine years for a 1994 forcible sodomy conviction.
Most layoffs: MeadWestvaco in Louisa will close its packaging plant that has 171 employees May 17, the Progress reports.
Biggest horse seizure: Authorities remove 34 horses and ponies from a Waynesboro pasture and charge Tori Allen Garrett, 53, with one count of cruelty to animals, the News Virginian reports.
Most challenging: Democrat Cynthia Neff takes on four-term incumbent Rob Bell for the 58th District delegate seat in the General Assembly. Neff is the former IBM HR exec who ran Marcia Joseph's unsuccessful campaign to unseat Ken Boyd from the Albemarle Board of Supervisors in 2007.
Latest UVA law prof to allegedly traumatize students: Doug Leslie is accused of using offensive language and offering preferential treatment by some first-year students, the CD reports. In 2002, a first-year sued a professor for assault when he tapped or squeezed her shoulder to demonstrate the "egg-shell skull rule" in class.
Latest UVA football players in court: Charges are dropped March 20 against Corey Anthony Mosley for disorderly conduct, and Ausar Amad Walcott is found not guilty of obstruction of justice in Charlottesville General District Court. Their charges stemmed from a February 22 party at the Student Activities Building. Tasha Kates has the story in the Progress.
Best free-room-and-board gig: R.A.– resident advisor– in dorms is suddenly popular. In the past year, UVA received 390 student applications for those jobs, almost 100 more than usual, according to the New York Times.
Closest to the edge of extinction: UVA plans to close its computer labs by summer 2011 to reduce costs and because 99 percent of students have laptops, Aaron Lee reports in the DP.
Least gracious: Some UVA students have started a petition after Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson, a UVA alum who was shortlisted for the U.S. Supreme Court, was invited to be 2010 commencement speaker, the Cav Daily reports. The students demand more transparency in how the speaker is chosen and have a hard time understanding that the university president picks the commencement speaker and students pick the one for the valediction. Last fall, 2,000 petition signers chose comedian Stephen Colbert for commencement speaker.
Worst week for high-end resorts: The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, files for bankruptcy March 19, and at the Homestead in Hot Springs, employee Beacher Ferrel Hackney is suspected of fatally shooting two supervisors March 21.
Darkest hour: Lights of the Rotunda will be off from 8:30 to 9:30pm March 28 for Earth Hour, and citizens are encouraged to cut off unnecessary lights and electronics for the global conservation initiative.
Best chance to be a girl of the ACC: Playboy, which found an eventual centerfold last time, will be back in town March 30 and 31 looking for that perfect UVA female to be in the October issue.