4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Biggest, loudest closing: The Downtown Mall crossings at 2nd and 4th streets shut down to traffic March 29 through April 30 for the mall rebricking.

Biggest withdrawal: UVA law prof and former Albemarle planning commissioner Jon Cannon removes himself from consideration for the number two slot at the EPA, saying scrutiny of  use of federal funds by the nonprofit America's Clean Water Foundation, for which he once worked, would be a distraction, according to an AP story. 

Biggest fish kill: Hundreds of dead gizzard shad cover the banks of Totier Creek near Scottsville, WCAV reports. The Department of Environmental Quality believes a drastic change in temperature, to which the shad are susceptible, is the culprit.

Latest for Jayne McGowan's murderers: William Douglas Gentry Jr., 23, one of the two men charged with killing the young woman November 8, 2007, in her St. Clair Avenue residence, is sentenced to two life terms in prison without the possibility of parole March 30 in the capital case. His cousin and alleged co-killer, Michael Stuart Pritchett, goes to trial in June. 

Latest slap to the UVA Pep Band: The Cavalier Marching Band gets a swank, $10.7 million rehearsal hall, courtesy of marching-band lovin' Hunter Smith, who, with her late husband Carl, funded the marching band in 2004, providing the death knell for the Pep Band's participation in football games. Construction on the facility is expected to begin January 2010.

Latest layoffs: The Daily Progress cuts six employees; Klockner Pentaplast in Louisa adds 38 to the unemployment rolls.

Worst place to tie one on: Louisa Middle School teacher Kathleen Bernard pleads guilty to drunk in public after she's arrested at school in January for being under the influence, according to WCAV. Her alcohol possession on school property charge is dropped.

Most independent: State Farm employee/PVCC student Andrew Williams, 22, tells the Progress he's decided to run for City Council as an independent in the Dem-dominated town.

Most pornographic: Scott Ernest Forrester, 40, of Stuarts Draft, gets 100 years March 26 after he pleads guilty to 98 charges involving videos of a three-year-old relative and a 15-year-old girl. 

Worst gaffe: A UVA Sikh student allegedly is denied entrance to an Indian Student Association party at X-Lounge early March 27 because he wouldn't remove his religiously mandated turban, according to the Cavalier Daily. The restaurant bans headwear after 9pm, and a manager reportedly told the student he couldn't tell whether the turban was for "religious or gang use."

Best get: Former Black Panthers poster girl/current University of California-Santa Cruz professor Angela Davis headlines an April 16-17 symposium, "The Problem of Punishment: Race, Inequality and Justice," and spends a week in residence the Carter G. Woodson Institute. 

Best news for voters: On the heels of the General Assembly passing legislation to protect free speech at the polls, Madison County drops charges against Leigh Purdum, the only person criminally charged following last November's election when she wore a John McCain t-shirt to vote.

Biggest meat heist: Two men are arrested March 30 when they're stopped for speeding in Staunton and $1,500 worth of steak, pork, seafood, and beer is found in the back seat still bearing Rowe's Family Restaurant on its packaging, the News-Virginian reports. James E. Blakey, 52, and Ronald Hobson, 38, are charged with burglary and grand larceny, and Blakey picks up a possession-of-burglary-tools charge.

Most overused lyric in UVA's future: "I left my heart in..." after Washington State's Tony Bennett is hired to lead the men's basketball team.