4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Biggest spenders: Charlottesville and Albemarle, according to a Free Enterprise Forum and Decker Economics study. Between fiscal years 1990 and 2005, the city had the greatest increase in spending– 61 percent per capita– despite declining population and school enrollment.
Newest BOS chair: Ken Boyd takes the helm of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors at the January 3 meeting, succeeding Dennis Rooker. David Wyant is selected vice-chairman.
Worst collapse: Four people are injured at a strip mall construction site in Fishersville January 9 when high winds cause wood frames to come down as workers set roof trusses, the News Leader reports.
Worst muggings: A woman is beat over the head and robbed December 31 as she leaves her Harris Road apartment. A man walking near Scott Stadium around 9pm January 5 is tackled and held with a plastic bag over his head while a second man takes his wallet, according to the Daily Progress. And a woman refuses to give her purse to the driver of a red car in the metered parking lot on Water Street early January 6.
Worst rash of burglaries: Three Woodbrook Shopping Center stores are hit early December 31, with burglars going in the front door.
Less likely to be murdered, more likely to be robbed: Crime statistics for Charlottesville and Albemarle in 2006 show a decrease in violent crimes, but a spike in burglaries. In Albemarle, there were 86 more burglaries than in 2005, a 30 percent increase, Rob Seal reports in the Progress. Charlottesville saw an 18 percent increase in burglaries, and a 52 percent increase in thefts from vehicles, with 482 car break-ins reported.
Longest B&E sentence: Waynesboro teen Damian Wood, 17, is sentenced to 13 years in prison for breaking into a home and forcing a mother and daughter into a back room at gunpoint during an April home invasion, from which he absconded with $40, the News Virginian reports.
Longest child porn sentence: Former youth basketball coach and referee and Keswick resident Richard Bonnie Lakes, 62, gets 18 months January 3 after pleading guilty to 12 counts of child porn possession, Liesel Nowak reports in the Progress.
Worst driving: Casey Keenan, 49, is charged with failure to yield the right of way January 4 after pulling out in front of an Acura in Greene County, according to NBC29. Passenger Tanyah Wood, 19, dies at the scene.
Highest profile DUI: Former UVA football coach George Welsh, 73, is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol January 5 after police pull him in the 2400 block of Ivy Road, the DP reports.
Worst use of Shenandoah National Park resources: Charges may be filed against Leo Leger, 35, reported missing January 1 and the subject of a three-day search, who admits he traveled at night and took cover during the day to avoid searchers, according to the AP.
Worst antics in the Big Apple: Three Roanoke teens plead guilty January 8 to reckless endangerment after throwing seven 1-gallon paint cans off the roof of their 20-story hotel, which was across the street from a Manhattan police precinct, May 7, the Roanoke Times reports.
Best time to be on the city payroll: City Hall closes Friday, January 12, for a holiday called Lewis and Clark Day, and Monday, January 15, for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Meanwhile, DMV employees celebrate Lee-Jackson Day on the 12th.
Best vocab word: "Flagellar," as in "sperm flagellar energy carrier," a protein researchers at UVA discovered that could open the door to a male contraceptive.