4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Latest dam proposal: An earthen dam at Ragged Mountain Reservoir could be built for an estimated $29 million to $37 million, according to Schnabel Engineering, about $50 million less than a 2006 estimate by Gannett Fleming for a concrete dam.

Latest on the Amtrack parking lot: Plans to pave the pothole-riddled lot have been pushed back to make the lot greener, with no ETA on when the dust will settle, Rachana Dixit reports in the Daily Progress.

Most heinous home invasion: An 87-year-old Louisa County woman is attacked in her bedroom late May 21 or early May 22 and suffers broken facial bones. The attacker steals two handguns.

Most tragic trampoline accident: Eight-year-old Tristen Roach dies May 18 at his Stanardsville home.

Best news for felons: Governor Bob McDonnell announces procedures for restoration of voting rights in Virginia, the only state, along with Kentucky, to leave restoration up to the governor. The waiting period for non-violent offenders to have their rights restored will be reduced from three to two years, and all applications for restoration will be processed within 60 days.

Best turnaround: Earlier this year, the Governor's staff required letters from the wannabe-voting felons describing their community service, church activities and reasons why their voting right should be restored.

Best plan to save the city $50K-plus: City Council shelves an idea to hire a neighborhood advocate to act as a liaison between city staff and residents, the Progress reports.

Biggest birthday: Charlottesville turns 250 years old in 2012, and the city and nonprofits are already planning the party, according to Charlottesville Tomorrow.

Biggest culprit in ozone pollution: Kudzu, according to UVA enviro/biology prof Manuel Lerdau. The invasive vine that has eaten the South not only strangles trees, but releases ozone, which is good high in the atmosphere and bad when it's on the earth's surface, where it's a threat to human health and to crop growth.

Biggest culprit in stifling academic freedom: The Union of Concerned Scientists send a letter with 800 signatures, including 296 from UVA, to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli asking that he back off in his demand that the university produce documents relating to climatologist Michael Mann, the Washington Post reports.

Biggest recall: Massaponax High administrators are scrambling to reprint the school's yearbook and recall copies already distributed because of sexual innuendo in quotes and anonymous confessions, such as, "I have sex with people just to feel wanted," the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star reports.

Biggest repaint: In more Fredericksburg maybe-that-wasn't-such-a-good-idea news, a new movie theater, Muvico, goes with a Civil War-themed bar and receives complaints about a Confederate flag in a mural, prompting a reworking of the controversial banner into the Virginia state flag.

Most turkey fatalities: An estimated 11,500 birds are incinerated in a blaze at a McGaheysville farm early May 21.

Least ringing endorsement: At least 80 percent of Darden students who took part in a highly touted Amazon program to test the Kindle DX say they don't recommend the e-reader for the classroom, but do like it for pleasure reading, according to the Seattle Times.

Luckiest to be alive: Burglary suspects believed to be responsible for a rash of commercial robberies and spotted at a storage unit flee Fluvanna cops in a Cadillac sedan at speeds up to 100 mph.

Worst place to store your pot: A Rosetta Stone employee in Harrisonburg is busted when 15 jelly jars filled with marijuana are found in a work file cabinet, the Daily News Record reports. Jonas Diener, 33, of Broadway, is charged with felony distribution.


1 comment

So now it's "academic freedom" versus "academic rigor."