4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Latest disappearance of a 40-something male: Lake Monticello man Stuart Mowbray Knapp, 42, hasn't been seen since he set off on his bike July 8. That follows the July 1 disappearance of Glenmore association president Michael Comer, 45, on the same day he was to meet with auditors.
Latest plea in 2008 crime spree: Brian Eugene Brubaker, 42, pleads guilty to robbing Greenberry's at knifepoint in June 2008, when he also made heists at Boot'Vil, Crawford Saddlery and Food Lion in Ruckersville, the Augusta Farm Bureau in Staunton, and attempted to rob a convenience store in Waynesboro and Cracker Barrel in Harrisonburg, according to the Daily Progress. He's already been sentenced to 11 years for the Ruckersville robberies, and will be sentenced for the Barracks Road theft December 7.
Brightest reprieve for 4th of July fireworks: StellarOne Bank and Gray Television announce July 14 they'll bankroll the rockets' red glare at McIntire Park for the next two years, stepping in after the Save the Fireworks committee decides to hang up its hat after seven years of producing the holiday extravaganza.
Gloomiest outlook: UVA prez John Casteen warns tuition hikes are likely and layoffs are possible July 9, Brian McNeill reports in the Progress. And the Board of Visitors talk $3,000 tuition "surcharges" and increased out-of-state enrollment in its July 10-11 retreat at the Boar's Head Inn.
Worst news for speeders: Charlottesville gets a three-man, Harley Davidson-riding squad, courtesy of the Virginia State Police, Jason Bacaj reports in the DP. And they'll be carrying the latest speed trap technology: handheld lasers.
Lowest speed chase: Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement undercover officers follow a car through Belmont July 9 that refuses to stop until it reaches a dead-end street, and they continue the chase on foot. Arrested after police find 45 grams of crack and a loaded 9mm pistol are Jeffery M. Terry and Marchella J. Alexander.
Most riders: Charlottesville Transit Systems reports a record-breaking 2 million-plus bus riders for fiscal year 2009– an 18 percent jump over the previous year.
Most controversial new U.S. Supreme Court ruling to hit close to home: Melendez-Diaz, which the highest court issued June 25 and which says defendants must be allowed to cross-examine lab technicians and forensic scientists who analyzed the evidence against them. The ruling played a role in the trial of Alvin Lee "Butch" Morris for the 1988 murder of Roger Shifflett. And Virginia Republican attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli says prosecutors are suspending drug and DUI prosecutions because evidence in those cases is inadmissible witthout technician testimony, and he urges changing state law.
Saddest judicial opening: Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals chief justice Karen Williams, 57, retires after finding out she is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Saddest loss of a celebrity offspring: Dee Dee Jean Bellson, 49, daughter of Broadway great Pearl Bailey and jazz drummer Louis Bellson, dies July 4 at her Charlottesville residence.
Saddest loss of a UVA athletics department member: Assistant media relations director Michael Colley, 46, dies July 11 while walking on the beach in Virginia Beach.
Latest in the barking dog wars: After a July 8 public hearing, Albemarle supervisors vote 5-1 to not expand the ordinance that exempts rural owners on more than five acres from the county's restrictions on canine noise in more suburban areas.
Latest casualty of zero-tolerance alcohol laws: Austin Creigh Deeds, the 20-year-old son of gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds, is scheduled to appear in court July 15 for misdemeanor alcohol possession charges, the AP reports.
Worst news for Whole Foods and Trader Joe's fans: Construction of the two markets may be delayed until the Meadowcreek sewer interceptor is replaced, Albemarle County Service Authority's Gary Fern announces. Charlottesville Tomorrow has the story.