4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Most/least historic preservation in Orange: More than 700 acres at Montpelier, home of fourth President and writer of the Constitution James Madison, are placed in a conservation easement August 24. The same day, Orange County Board of Supervisors okays 4-1 construction of a Wal-Mart on the doorstep of the Civil War's Wilderness battlefield.
Most interesting union: The Daily Progress teams with meeting-going, nonprofit Charlottesville Tomorrow to share news content from government meetings, which the Progress doesn't have enough reporters to cover, and Cville Tom is going to be there anyway.
Most controversial study: Advocates for a Sustainable Population– ASAP– release a report that a population of 217,000 is the tipping point at which ecosystems degrade, Brandon Shulleeta reports in the Progress. Critics decry the use of taxpayer funds for the study by a no-growth group.
Least thirsty: Area residents use the least amount of water in July in at least a decade– 9.64 million gallons, according to the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority.
Worst spate of fatal accidents in Fluvanna: Fourteen-year-old Caitlin M. Conn of Palmyra dies when the car in which she's a passenger crashes August 20. Three other teens suffer life-threatening injuries, and speed is believed to be a factor. And August 21, a man dies after being shot in an ATV.
Most bizarre Gator accident: Joseph Vincent Giebel, 42, of Troy dies when a .22-caliber rifle in the back of the ATV he's driving allegedly discharges after he hits a pothole and fatally wounds him in the head. Giebel's passenger breaks an arm when the driverless Gator crashes into a tree and ejects both men.
Worst fishing story: David Dimmie, 51, drowns August 21 when his boat capsizes in a pond in Buckingham County, the Daily Progress reports. Police believe alcohol may have been a factor.
Second best public university: UVA once again nears the top of the U.S. News & World Report best public schools list, in which it's been number one or two since 1992. This year, UVA ties with UCLA for the number two spot, and ranks 24 among all universities.
Almost as many forums as health care town hall meetings: The university hosts six forums to allow the public to weigh in on President John Casteen's successor.
Fewest revalidations: Seven business days before the September 1 deadline for owners of the 5,000 parcels in Albemarle that get a tax break under land use must revalidate their rural, undeveloped status, only half have done so, Shulleeta reports in the Progress. Owners who don't reaffirm land-use status face having to pay up the taxes they've saved over the past five years.
Biggest loss of a homegrown company: Biotage, founded here in 1989 to make pharmaceutical products, moves its headquarters from UVA Research Park in Charlottesville to Charlotte, taking 65 jobs with it. The company was purchased by a Swedish firm in 2003, and relocated its production to Wales earlier this year. Bryan McKenzie has the story in the Progress.
Biggest alleged puppy mill seizure: Ninety-seven dogs are removed from a breeding kennel in Stuarts Draft August 21 during a routine inspection, the News Virginian reports. Oak Leaf Kennel's permit held by Kyle Brydge allows 106 dogs.
Least likely to fly like an eagle: Buddy, a beak-impaired bald eagle who was hatched in the Norfolk Botanical Gardens in 2008 and bitten by an avian-pox carrying mosquito, will remain in the Wildlife Center in Waynesboro as an ambassador of the once nearly extinct species– especially since his protectors have determined he wouldn't be able to survive in the wild, the News Virginian reports.