4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Most rapidly appreciating Albemarle real estate: White Hall, which shot up an average 16.72 percent in the past year, according to the latest county assessments, followed by the Town of Scottsville (15.92 percent), and the Samuel Miller (15.64 percent) and Scottsville (15.54 percent) magisterial districts.
Latest growth figures: Albemarle gains 706 new residents between July 1, 2005 and 2006, growing to an estimated 90,806 inhabitants, according to the Weldon Cooper Center, while Charlottesville loses 340 citizens, dropping to 39,610.
Worst weather casualties: Two mothers taking their sons on a college recruiting trip die in a January 21 crash on I-81 near Winchester. Odessa Smith, 47, dies at the scene, and Charlottesville city employee Thomasina Bryant, 36, who was driving, dies around 9am January 22, the Daily Progress reports. The women were returning from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, with their sons, Rod Jackson, a football and basketball star at Monticello High, and Jerrod Smith, an Albemarle High football player. The two teens suffer minor injuries in the wreck.
Worst news for public housing: Charlottesville loses 24 percent of its federal funding– $318,000– from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to Brian McNeill in the DP.
Best spin: Delegate Frank Hargrove, who ignited a firestorm last week when he said Virginia's black residents should "get over" slavery, proposes a resolution to celebrate the end of slavery, Bob Gibson reports in the Progress. Gibson broke the story of Hargrove's opposition to a state apology for slavery and his remarks questioning whether Jews should "apologize for killing Christ."
Longest rape sentence: 40 years for John Henry Agee, 38, who was convicted of raping a 23-year-old UVA law student he dragged into the woods off Sunset Avenue September 3, 2005. Christopher Matthew, who was wrongly arrested for the attack, is suing the victim for $750,000.
Most high-speed chases on I-64: A driver speeds past radar on Fifth Street Extended around 1:40am January 16, reaches 100mph going east on 64, then is spotted going west by a state trooper and followed into Crozet, where he ditches the car and flees on foot with one or two other passengers. Later that day, four men are arrested in a shorter chase around 4pm that ends with a crash on the northbound U.S. 29 ramp off I-64 east.
Most dramatic crash: An airborne Ford Focus crashes through the bedroom wall of two Fishersville children around 2am January 15, sending five-year-old Garrett Smith into the next room. The driver, Leodegario Rodriguez, who allegedly fell asleep at the wheel, is charged with reckless driving and driving without a license. Smith required nine staples to close the gash on his head, the AP reports.
Best survival rate: The Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA saves 92 percent of all dogs and cats brought in, according to the No Kill Advocacy Center, which names SPCA director Susanne Kogut animal shelter director of the year.
Worst hair police: The Kokoamos Island Bar, Grill and Yacht Club in Virginia Beach prohibits persons wearing braids, twists, cornrows, or dreadlocks from entering the nightclub, and its owner, Barry Davis, is now the target of an ACLU lawsuit that charges racial discrimination because the hairstyles are predominately worn by African-Americans.
Biggest mystery: Author of a widely circulated email, "Charlottesville/Albemarle Barbies,"which perfectly nails local lifestyles with offerings such as the "Glenmore Barbie," "Forest Lakes Barbie," and "Woolen Mills Barbie."
Best oxymoron: "Poverty at Darden." The business school's student committee on corporate responsibility hosts a symposium on poverty January 31.