4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Biggest sigh of relief: The General Assembly approves a bare-bones $70-billion budget March 14 with $4 billion in cuts, but for local schools and UVA, the knife didn't go as deeply as feared. For example, Albemarle schools were staring at an $8.8 million shortfall, and the new budget sends $5.2 million back to the county, Brandon Shulleeta reports in the Daily Progress.
Biggest change of heart: Supervisor Rodney Thomas questions whether Albemarle's $2.03 million 2008 commitment to the YMCA is set "in stone," Charlottesville Tomorrow reports. Fellow Republicans Ken Boyd and Duane Snow join Thomas in wanting to back out of the deal, citing difficult economic times.
Biggest scolding: VDOT chastises Charlottesville City Council for sending mixed signals that could confuse the Army Corps of Engineers and delay the Meadowcreek Parkway, NBC29 reports.
Latest JADE work: The Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force arrests Keisa Annette Bell, 33, and Leandra Isiah Henderson, 20, in the 800 block of Forest Street March 11, and seizes 20 grams of crack and $1,100. The pair is charged with possession with intent to distribute.
Latest Nelson bust: Also on March 11, Nelson deputies find 5.1 grams of crack, a gun, and $400 and arrest Clarence Edward Tabb III, 35, who picks up four charges. Jeremy Antoine Tabb, 29, and Wanda Faye Wright, 20, are charged with pot possession and released on a summons.
Latest Albemarle police checkpoint: Police stop 473 vehicles March 11 on Gordonsville Road near Klockner Road and issue 19 tickets, the majority for inspection violations.
Most dubious distinction: Jon Stewart targets the gay discrimination policies of Governor Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on "Gaywatch: Virginia Edition" on the Daily Show March 9, one day before McDonnell overrides Cuccinelli's decision that state colleges can't protect sexual orientation in their anti-discriminination policies.
Most tragic tree trimming: A falling 30-foot oak kills a 60-year-old Stuarts Draft woman who was cutting it down with her husband March 9, WHSV reports.
Most tragic chase: Alleged speeder Charles Yacklon Jr., 28, tries to ditch Louisa police March 14 after being clocked going 60 in a 45mph zone, and slams into a utility pole, killing front seat passenger James J. Wolf Jr., 22, from Powhatan, the Newsplex reports. Yacklon and backseat passenger Jason Rhoten are airlifted to UVA hospital and are in stable condition.
Most publicized colon: The Reverend Alvin Edwards, a former city councilor, allowed CBS19 TV cameras in for his colonoscopy at Martha Jefferson Hospital during Colon Cancer Awareness Month.
Biggest rampage: An escaped Black Angus runs for about an hour March 11 in Harrisonburg before getting killed by police. The AP quotes an officer who claims the bull was foaming at the mouth and seemed "deranged."
Best photography: The Daily Progress' Andrew Shurtleff wins the Pictures of the Year International competition in the sports action category for his remote-controlled shot of a Hofstra soccer player slamming into the net. Meanwhile, Gitchell Studios' boss Jim Carpenter returns from the Virginia Professional Photographer's Association with six blue ribbons including honors as "Photographer of the Year"– his fourth time.
Best speller: Waynesboro home-schooled seventh-grader Sarah Anne Allen wins the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee March 13 at Monticello High and heads to the national competition June 2-4 in Washington.
Most debatable: Albemarle High takes the Regional Forensics competition March 13 for the ninth year in a row, according to the Newsplex.
Nuttiest new mascot: Richmond baseball park The Diamond, takes down its Native American warrior sculpture which touted the departed Richmond Braves minor league baseball team and welcome the more-PC Flying Squirrels.