4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Biggest turnaround: The previously doomed wading pool at McIntire Park gets a reprieve from City Council April 6.
Latest hit to UVA's endowment: The money pool loses nearly $100 million in February, bringing the total shrinkage since July 1 from $5.1 billion to $3.76 billion, a 26 percent drop, McGregor McCance reports in the Daily Progress.
Least contested: Charlottesville's incumbents in its constitutional offices– Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman, Commissioner of Revenue Lee Richards and Treasurer Jennifer Brown face no opposition in the May 9 Democratic caucus.
Latest layoffs: Staunton's News Leader cuts eight full-time employees and 15 part-timers when it decides to outsource its printing. The March 31 announcement comes one day after the Daily Progress slices six employees from its payroll. And at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, 59 staffers get the boot, including veteran local Carlos Santos.
Most unemployment: Waynesboro claims the region's high at 10.3 percent, while the rest of the state and region hover around 7 percent, according to the News Virginian. Over the past year, the Charlottesville area's unemployment has doubled from 2.8 percent in February 2008 to 5.6 percent in February 2009, the Virginia Employment Commission reports.
Most dropouts: Charlottesville's 13.2 percent dropout rate is more than double Albemarle County's 6.5 percent and tops the state's 8.7 percent average, the Progress reports. In Central Virginia, Buckingham County has the most dropout students at 18.1 percent, while Nelson County boasts the fewest at 4.3 percent.
Most overzealous prosecution? Albemarle delays the child porn trial of former pastor Gregory M. Briehl again even though it still hasn't obtained proof that the images Briehl downloaded from an Australian website are actually of underage models, according to a Tasha Kates story in the Progress. Briehl was arrested in 2006 and sentenced to 60 days for unlawfully filming women in his bathroom.
Most ambitious: UVA business school students come with a plan to clean India's polluted waters. Baijnath Ramraika, Ravi Yekula, and Chip Ransler win two business plan competitions at Wake Forest and Darden for their Clean India business that would harness India's cheap labor to clean and recycle water.
Most unfortunate name for a child porn aficionado: William M. Dollman, 64, pleads guilty to two counts of child porn possession April 7 in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville. The Culpeper resident faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and up to a $500,000 fine.
Most disturbing trend in this year's Jefferson Muzzles: The use of "free speech zones" to contain and isolate protesters at the Republican and Democratic conventions last year earn both parties a top-spot 2009 Muzzle from the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. And Cypress College in California files charges against pro-life protesters who ignore that college's remote "free speech zone."
Best protest: A sign prohibiting photography of the long-term Alexander Calder installation, "Tripes," outside Peabody Hall prompts UVA student defiance April 1, with dozens of students snapping away until the university releases a statement that photography on public property really can't be prohibited, although it still prohibits commercial photography of the sculpture.
Best contribution to the field of belly-fat loss: The research of UVA prof Arthur Weltman that speed walking takes off more belly fat than strolling is cited in Prevention magazine.
Wettest rescue: An April 1 report that a man had fallen into the Rivanna River at U.S. 250 at Free Bridge brings, among a phlanx of responders, including a dive-rescue crew from Lake Monticello, according to the Daily Progress. The man is found in two feet of water and a rescue worker notes that the victim may have been drinking.