4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Biggest change to the Downtown Mall landscape: The massive rebricking that started in January is nearly complete, and the Second Street crossing reopens May 4.
Most unusual: The project comes in between 10 and 15 percent under budget.
Worst dump outbreak: Albemarle County officials investigate two more suspected illegal dump sites in Batesville. Crown Orchards owner Henry Chiles was cited last week for nearly an acre's worth of garbage that was eight-feet high in spots.
Most unusual dump outcome: Chiles cleans up 69 tons of garbage on the major site within two weeks of its discovery, and agrees to remove old equipment from another. Albemarle rules that the third alleged dump site is not a zoning violation.
Largest fine: Arthur J. Fisher earns the biggest Department of Environmental Quality penalty ever– $145,000– for destroying wetlands and the 15,000-year-old Quarles Pond in Stuarts Draft, NBC29 reports.
Latest in last summer's runaway case: Illegal alien Jeremias Chagala-Mil, 32, is sentenced to 30 years in jail April 28 with all but six years suspended for statutory rape by taking off to Chicago with a 12-year-old girl. He contends that sex was consensual and that he wants to marry the Buford Middle Schooler, Tasha Kates reports for the Daily Progress.
Best plea: Truck driver Kenneth Barbour, 55, pleads guilty April 29 to manslaughter and reckless driving in the May 9, 2008, accident that killed 16-year-old Sydney Aichs as she turned left from Forest Lakes onto U.S. 29.
Best news/worst news for moviegoers: Regal Entertainment announces plans for a swank nine-theater complex in Charlottesville, one of the cities in America that doesn't have stadium-seating (since the Jefferson closed in 2006). Unfortunately, the Seminole Square site is smack in the path of the Hillsdale Connector, a road that won't see funding until 2015 at the earliest, according to Charlottesville Tomorrow.
Best sign of Crozet's economic development: Two of Albemarle County's four choices for Business Appreciation Week– Starr Hill Brewery and Musictoday–are located there in the old ConAgra building. The other two local companies recognized May 6 at the Board of Supervisors' meeting for achieving success in a difficult climate are land-mine detector NIITEK and McLean-based government consultant Booz Allen Hamilton, which is expanding here, according to county release.
Best time to chuck your stuff: The "Sofa Shuffle" is from 11am to 3pm May 9, 18 and 30 at various near-Grounds locations for donation of furniture and household goods to Salvation Army and Habitat Store. Information is available at 434-924-1321 or www.virginia.edu/communityrelations/sofashuffle.html. And citizens may dispose of bulky waste at the Ivy Materials Utilization Center: furniture and mattresses May 9, appliances May 16, and tires May 23.
Worst place to need Planned Parenthood services: Lynchburg, where the organization will close its facility June 30 as a result of "the global recession," according to a release.
Foulest mouth: DMV agent Brent Uzdanovics, 36, quits his job at the Waynesboro customer service center May 4 after a profanity-laced tape surfaces of Uzdanovics allegedly threatening Greene County truck driver Dwayne Sims, NBC29 reports. "DMV is appalled," says a spokeswoman. Uzdanovics also faces a $25 million federal lawsuit over an alleged illegally taped confession when he was a Waynesboro police officer.
Cheapest seats: Bruce Springsteen tickets at $20– plus an item of non-perishable food. Organizers released a block of 200 seats to the not-quite-sold-out show on concert day, May 5, with all proceeds going to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.