4BETTER OR WORSE: The week in review
Biggest book ban story: Bryan McKenzie's tale of the Virginia Department of Corrections shutting down the 20-year-old Books Behind Bars program run by Quest Bookshop's Kay Allison is picked up by the Washington Post September 10. The volunteer-run program filled individual inmate requests for books, typically dictionaries, until a contraband paperclip and CD slipped through (and were found by prison officials before they reached prisoners), prompting the corrections authority to pull the plug on the program.
Biggest Constitutional case? The Rutherford Institute joins the fray and declares the decision to ban the books a violation of both inmate and the nonprofit book distributors' First Amendment rights. The civil liberties org sends a letter September 14 to the head of Virginia prisons, Gene M. Johnson, demanding a response by September 17.
Biggest trespassing trial: Virginia Organizing Project sends out a press release announcing the September 22 trial of its executive director Joe Szakos, who vows to fight his July 24 arrest at Anthem when he attempted to meet with insurance company representatives about the 14 percent premium increase with which VOP was socked. A press conference– "Big Insurance: Sick of It"– precedes the trial in Henrico General District Court.
Saddest loss of UVA's largest donor: Frank Batten Sr., retired chairman of Landmark Communications and contributor of $100 million to UVA to create the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and $60 million to Darden, dies September 10.
Biggest bucks: UVA hits the $2 billion, two-thirds mark in its $3 billion fundraising campaign, it announces September 13, just after Governor Tim Kaine announces another hit to funding the state's universities.
Best reopenings: The University of Virginia Art Museum opens its doors September 12 with the installation of an Alexander Calder sculpture, "Untitled 1976." The museum closed for five months for a $2-million renovation that added climate control, lighting, and classrooms. And the Charlottesville Free Clinic cuts the ribbon September 14 on its expansion that gives the clinic 12,000 square feet at its Rose Hill Drive facility.
Latest Republican 5th District candidate: Albemarle supe Ken Boyd joins the field September 14 of three other Republicans who want to unseat Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010, including last week's addition, Ivy real estate investor Laurence Verga.
Latest horror from obesity: Infertility and male-pattern hair growth in girls. UVA scores a $7 million grant from the National Institute of Health to study polycystic ovary syndrome in testosterone-laden girls, who face an increased risk of diabetes and coronary artery disease in mid-life.
Grisliest suicide: A man reportedly visiting Charlottesville gets in front of a train sometime between 8:30pm September 7 and 7:15am September 8, when an Amtrak crew reports finding his body near Shamrock Road the UVA Medical Center.
Most fatal bank robbery: Former Charlottesville resident Richard Allen Morrison, 58, dies September 14, three days after he was shot while allegedly robbing a bank in Eugene, Oregon, according to the Associated Press.
Most ironic Constitution Day speaker: Montpelier invites to James Madison's house September 17 Lynne Cheney, wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose interpretations of the Constitution have been skewered by critics.
Most prestigious numismatic recognition: The Shenandoah National Park will be featured on a quarter along with 56 other parks starting April 2010, which isn't quite as exclusive as 2005's privately produced "Shen" coin.
Most shrinkage: The Daily Progress trims an inch off the width of each page September 14 to save on paper costs and redesigns for the narrower format.