4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Most bleeding: Albemarle schools proposed $145.2 million budget comes up $8.8 million short in revenue and could cut 40 positions; Charlottesville is short $2.1 million and could cut 22 positions.
More bleeding: Albemarle County presents its budget February 25, followed by Charlottesville the next day.
Latest edu-lingo to enter public discourse: "Block scheduling." Some Albemarle County parents get riled when the School Board votes to switch high schools from the current seven-class line up to a four-class per semester schedule. School officials say students will be able to take more electives– and the block schedules save $820,000; teachers fume they'll have to teach more classes. Brandon Shuleeta explains more than you ever thought you'd learn about block scheduling in the Daily Progress.
Latest volley in Albemarle v. Charlottesville revenue sharing: Delegate Rob Bell's bill to amend the state's school funding formula makes it into the House's budget. The move could cost Charlottesville $2.8 million.
Most surprising General Assembly move: A Senate committee kills a bill to expand the death penalty to include accomplices February 16 after the state's chief executioner testifies against it, the Washington Post reports.
Most transparent: Albemarle County ranks 15th in Virginia in government transparency out of 134 jurisdictions in Virginia, according to the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy.
Most flammable: A house in White Hall on Brown's Gap Road catches fire around 2am February 22. The family living there escapes safely and fire crews extinguish the blaze, NBC29 reports. At 6am, smoke is reported in the roof of the same house.
Longest sentence for child porn possession: Charlottesville resident Ian Andrew Zearley, 28, is sentenced to 76 months in federal prison February 22. He pleaded guilty to two counts in November.
Scariest black widow: Louisa woman Ulisa Mary Chavers, 61, gets five years– more than sentencing guidelines– for disposing of boyfriend Reginal Cody Bowles in a well and collecting his Social Security. Although Chavers hasn't been charged with Bowles' death, he becomes the second man living with Chavers to end up dead and hidden away on one of her properties.
Latest alleged non-Glenmore HOA swindle: Mill Creek's longtime treasurer Kevin Thomas O'Connor, arrested in November for pilfering $10,000 from the homeowners association coffers, is now accused of taking $93,000 while in the office he's held since 1999. Tasha Kates has the story in the Progress.
Last in, first out: Scott Schultz joins for a week the seven Republicans challenging U.S. Representative Tom Perriello for his Fifth District seat before dropping out of the race.
Queenliest: UVA student and New Orleans native Katherine Saer Duncan, 21, is queen of the Carnival at this year's Mardi Gras, the Times-Picayune reports.
Most disturbing déjà vu: A woman is missing. Sweet Briar English prof Eleanor Elizabeth Salotto is last seen walking in Lynchburg February 11. According to the News & Advance, authorities do not suspect foul play, and classify her as a "missing/endangered person."
Best way to find out how dangerous your 'hood is: Charlottesville Police Department unveils CrimeView , which allows citizens to report incidents online and to map out where the crimes are happening throughout the city.
Latest from Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Manass): Children born with disabilities are God's way of punishing women who abort their first child, the Virginia legislator says at a February 18 press conference to oppose state funding of Planned Parenthood. After igniting a firestorm, Marshall now says he regrets his "poorly chosen words."