4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Biggest mystery: Where's Peter Chang? Mere days after sitting for the interview for last week's Hook cover story, the peripatetic Szechuan chef departs Albemarle Square's Taste of China. In less than a week, a vacation to Atlanta unleashes a rumor frenzy. Dave McNair has the story in this week's Hook.
Worst political vandalism: The severed propane line discovered March 23 at the Ivy home of the brother of Fifth District Congressman Tom Perriello. (Heavier-than-air propane pools in low places and can ignite with devastating results if it reaches an ignition source.)
Second-worst political vandalism: Three days later, the Albemarle GOP discovers that its own bricks– which it stores outdoors to hold down flyers–- were hurled through its HQ's windows.
Most-puzzling political vandalism: A bullet pierces the front window of the Richmond office of House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, but law enforcement claims it was just another one of those random Richmond bullets heading back down to earth.
Worst political deed: An allegedly crazed Philadelphia man threatens on YouTube to kill Cantor and his family. Google, which owns YouTube, serves up the man's IP address, and authorities arrest 33-year-old Norman Leboon.
Paltriest "March Madness" prize: A steak dinner is the grand prize offered by the Network of enlightened Women (NeW), a conservative group founded at UVA, for the most gentlemanly man on campus, according to a March 29 column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Brightest sign of spring: The City Market opens April 3.
Highest standing: The class of 2014 at UVA. Nearly 94 percent of accepted students are in the top 10 percent of their high school class. Of 22,516 applicants (677 more than last year), the school accepted 6,907 and hopes to matriculate 3,240 first-years in the fall, according to the "Notes from Peabody" admissions blog.
Worst month for private planes: March. Just 26 days after a fatal plane crash on a front yard in Louisa, a small plane crashes into a building at the Roanoke airport on March 30.
Biggest fake: Tommaso Debenedetti. Never heard of him? Well, mega-best-selling author and well known Democrat John Grisham has. The New Yorker has the story of the Italian journalist who concocted interviews with famous authors Grisham and Philip Roth–- allegedly to satisfy the journalist's conservative readership. Grisham (who recently announced that he'll be trying his hand at young adult fiction) was surprised to learn he's an Obama basher, and he hasn't ruled out a lawsuit.
Emptiest shell: The 150,000 square-foot Hyosung tire cord plant (best known to old-timers as Uniroyal) saw its last production on March 20, according to NBC29, which filmed Lt. Governor Bill Bolling touring the Scottsville-area factory that recently employed 106 people.
Biggest relief: Families of Albemarle County School students won't have to delay vacations due to snow days, as the division realized that additional hours it has already added and that by holding classes during the June 8 Republican primary, it can let out for the summer on Friday, June 11– instead of nearly a week later, as had been feared.
Longest move-out notice: Martha Jefferson Hospital announces, via a March 29 press release, that it will complete its move from downtown to its new site in Peter Jefferson Place on August 28. That's August 28, 2011.
Best offense: UVA Men's Lacrosse, ranked #1 in America, dispatches perennial powerhouse Johns Hopkins 15-6 before a near-capacity crowd at Klöckner Stadium March 27.
Best defense: Monica Wright. The UVA senior, Virginia's all-time leading women's basketball scorer (with 2,540 points), is named Defensive Player of the Year by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.
Flashiest flashing: Using the camping gear section at Dick's Sporting Goods up at Rio Hill, a man sporting a black "daze" t-shirt unleashes some gear of his own around 4:30pm on March 26, according to a report in the Progress.