4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Saddest shooting debacle: Allen Cochran, 16, whose family says he struggled with mental illness, is shot and killed by Game Warden Robert O. Ham III in Greene County January 24 after police receive a report that he had abducted his girlfriend. Cochran's family tells NBC29 that there was no abduction, and that they didn't know their son was killed until they saw it on TV the next day. UVA Medical Center locks down January 24 because of a report from Greene that the armed and dangerous father of a shooting victim was headed that way, reports the Daily Progress.
Closest brush with execution: Double killer Berman Justus gets life in prison instead of the death penalty for the 2003 Greene County murder of his wife, Amanda Justus, 24– who was shot on her birthday in her car with their four-year-old son in a car seat– and her boyfriend, Joseph White, 37, according to Liesel Nowak in the Progress.
Most likely cause of violent death: Suicide tops the list in Virginia, according the National Violent Death Reporting System. Of 1,303 violent deaths in 2004, 63 percent were suicide and 29 percent homicide. Whites are more likely to off themselves; blacks are more at risk for homicide.
Lengthiest pot-growing sentence: Ten years, which Judge Norman Moon hands down January 29 to Aaron Scott Mayhew, 30, who had more than 100 marijuana plants– half of them less than six inches tall– in what authorities are calling the largest indoor-growing operation in the Lynchburg area, according to the News Advance. Mayhew gets five years for the pot and five years for having a gun while drug trafficking.
Best news for travelers: U.S. Airways announces fare cuts by as much as 65 percent on flights out of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport.
Worst setback for Randolph-Macon Woman's College alums: Two lawsuits seeking to stop the Lynchburg college from going coed are tossed out of court January 23.
Latest to jump on the logo-ization trend: Hot on the heels of Charlottesville and Nelson obtaining logos, the Friends of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library seek one. The winner gets an hour of free shopping at the Gordon Avenue Book Sale before it opens in March.
Best chance to pick a moniker: Charlottesville sponsors a contest to name its newest park along McIntire Road and Schenck's Branch creek near the Recycling Center. The park features a walking/biking trail and art sculptures. Send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Least open to artistic expression: The Chesterfield County School Board fires art teacher Steve Murmer January 9 because of a YouTube video demonstrating his off-hours technique of using his buttocks and other body parts to apply paint to canvas. The ACLU is representing Murmer.
Latest Tommy Garrett exploit: The Buckingham native and publicist extraordinaire, who once sent out press releases announcing that he was attending the funerals of Aaron Spelling and Patsy Ramsey, debuts on HGTV at 10pm Sunday in "Living with Ed," a show about enviro Ed Begley.
Latest Watkins Abbitt challenger: The 11-term delegate from the rural hinterlands that include southern Albemarle, Buckingham, and Nelson faces Nelson County supe Constance Brennan, whose ex, Allen Hale, Abbitt handily defeated in 2003, Bob Gibson reports in the Progress.
Bitterest fruit: The bill to make the Ginger Gold apple the state fruit dies in committee January 24.
Raciest language in a House bill: Delegate Bob Marshall's HB1661 expands the definition of adultery beyond sexual intercourse to include "acts of... cunnilingus, fellatio, anilingus, and anal intercourse."