4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Highest profile marriage amendment opponents: Governor Tim Kaine, first lady Anne Holton, former Governor Linwood Holton and NAACP chairman/UVA prof Julian Bond urge voters to just say no.
Best bump for Allen– or Webb: Independent candidate Gail "for Rail" Parker threatens to withdraw from the Senate race and throw her estimated two percent of the vote to whichever candidate backs high-speed rail in Virginia.
Least surprising October surprise: George Allen pulls out steamy excerpts from Jim Webb's novels and accuses his opponent of being sexist and racist. Webb defender John Grisham calls the ploy "a clear sign of a desperate campaign."
Worst military-school sex scandal: An expelled 17-year-old Fishburne Military School cadet is charged October 26 with the rape of a 14-year-old boy and attempted object penetration of another, the News Virginian reports.
Worst year for the Cook(e) cousins: 2004, when Robert Lee Cooke and Kerry Von Reese Cook were both shot by police. Both are now suing, Liesel Nowak reports in the Daily Progress. Cook, 35, was shot during a domestic disturbance at Friendship Court, wears a colostomy bag, and wants $10 million from Charlottesville police. Cooke, 33, is paralyzed from the waist down and is serving 10 years for shooting police dog Ingo. He's suing Albemarle police officer Andy Gluba for $2 million in compensation and $350,000 in punitive damages.
Best break for Dena Bowers: The former UVA worker can proceed with her $1 million lawsuit against the university on her claims that her due process rights and her First Amendment rights were violated when she was fired for an e-mail she sent, according to an Aaron Kessler article in the Progress. Federal Judge Norman Moon dismisses her claims that there was a conspiracy to harm her business and that UVA breached her contract October 24. The trial will proceed in March.
Most ill-behaved law student: The one who threw a beer at and verbally harassed gay fellow law students at the fall Foxfield races, prompting a diversity pledge campaign at the law school, the Cav Daily reports.
Biggest meat theft ring: The Fluvanna sheriff's office arrests four suspects in meat heists from Food Lion October 21 during a traffic stop, according to a release. Some of the meat was returned to Food Lion.
Least cattle-prodded beef: Whole Foods now sells "animal compassionate" meat, which means farmers can use electric prods in emergencies only, according to an NPR report.
Least desirable UVA housing: The Mumps House on Brandon Avenue, where students suspected of infection are isolated during the current outbreak.
Rarest research: UVA and the University of Arizona are the only two American universities still doing psychic research, Spook author Mary Roach tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Third best personal essayist: Never-before-published UVA student Jessica Kirzner comes in third in this year's Los Angeles-based Memoirs Ink essay contest and will get a cut of the $1,750 prize money.
Best chance for local shutterbugs to pull down 1,200 bucks: Win the Charlottesville Albemarle Conventon and Visitors Bureau contest, "Show Us YOUR Charlottesville." Twelve photos will be winners and the 10 runners up collect $250.
Most like "London Bridge is Falling Down:" City officials prohibit parking beneath Belmont Bridge because chunks of dropping concrete present a safety hazard, NBC29 reports.
Worst upcoming downtown traffic nightmare: The $9 million replacement of Belmont Bridge, which should make it into next year's capital improvement budget, will take several years.