4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Most "plug the hole" rage: Protesters picket the BP station on Pantops Memorial Day for the Gulf oil spill spewing since April 20.

Most brutal home invasion: Remone Jilantai Houchens, 19, is arrested for the vicious attack on 87-year-old Lois Rosson May 29 in her Louisa home. Houchens was out on bond for a January 6 incident in which he's charged with having carnal knowledge of a 13-year-old, according to a Reed Williams story in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Most egregious embezzling: Former Virginia Neurological Birth Injury Fund claims manager Iris Allen is sentenced to 10 years in prison May 27 for defrauding the fund devoted to helping infants with debilitating birth defects of approximately $750,000. Allen pleaded guilty February 8 to health care fraud and aggravated identity theft stemming from 2006, when she started submitting invoices from two shell companies she created. 

Most accidental: Fifth District Republican candidate Feda Kidd Morton, who had a February 24 op-ed piece in the Rural Virginian containing eight passages with exact or similar phrasing as an essay by syndicated columnist Joe Sobran, says May 27 that she failed to cite the source and did not intentionally lift passages. Earlier, she told the Daily Progress that restating the principles of the Constitution was no different from restating the Ten Commandments.

Most vehicles passing stopped school buses: Albemarle police report 37 incidents from bus drivers who were stopped and passed by impatient motorists during the 2009-10 school year. Brandon Shulleeta has the story in the Progress.

Most unsavory footage: Sewage has overflowed Charlottesville's waste system 40 times since 2008, prompting a warning to the city from the Department of Environmental Quality, reports NBC29. A YouTube video captures raw sewage and tampons spewing into Lodge Creek near Observatory Hill. 

Worst sunshine setback: Albemarle Judge Cheryl Higgins refuses to unseal her secret order sealing the search warrants in the Yeardley Love murder. Higgins dismisses a petition May 26 filed by the Daily Progress, Washington Post, Associated Press and Times-Dispatch. 

Worst alleged arson: Ray A. Eavey, 56, of Stuarts Draft is charged with arson and insurance fraud for the May 5 alleged torching of his recently built residence on Twin Hill Road. Damage to the house and contents is estimated at $300,000. No one was home at the time of the fire and Eavey is being held without bond. 

Biggest local scholarship: The Emily Couric Leadership Forum awards a $20K scholarship to Western Albemarle's Sarah Chacko at its annual luncheon June 3, and finalists receive $2,500. Speaker/author Anna Quindlen gets the group's Woman of the Year award.

Biggest small-biz award: Jack Stoner, co-founder of Alexander/Nicholson construction and Building Goodness Foundation, gets the Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Person of the Year award.

Best astronaut: UVA associate dean Kathryn Thornton will be inducted into NASA's Astronaut Hall of Fame June 5.

Best way to pay court costs and fines: The Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail looks at using inmate   volunteers to work for $8 an hour, which would go toward fines that must be paid before a convict can get his license back and would supplement local governments' dwindling labor force. 

Latest ACLU stand against gender discrimination: The state organization sends letters to every school superintendent in the Commonwealth to advise that graduation dress policies requiring different attire for boys and girls, such as pants for boys and dresses for girls, violate federal law prohibiting gender discrimination in public schools.

Latest Bigfoot sightings: Fourteen in Spotsylvania County around Lake Anna, according to Sasquatch Watch of Virginia leader Billy Willard, the Washington Post reports.


1 comment

In early June, I was driving up Sugar Hollow and saw a deer standing in a creek bed. I stopped the car just past the bridge because there's almost no traffic on that road, and went to my trunk to get my camera. As soon as I got out of the car, I heard a growl so long and deep that I wondered if it could really be a bear. I never saw the animal, all I know is it couldn't have been a dog and I'd even question if it was a bear. The animal never took a breath, never stopped growling. I walked back to the bridge and the deer was gone, took a couple of pictures anyway, got in the car and left. It's lucky that whatever it was didn't attack me -- all I had was some pepper spray and a knife on me, no gun. I wouldn't recommend going "bigfoot sightseeing" back there without a gun, and there are some people back there who are probalby even more dangerous than bigfoot, too. Don't trust man or beast if anyone decides to investigate, be armed.