4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Worst legal loophole: A 17-year-old gang member with an increasingly violent rap sheet is repeatedly released because he's deemed incompetent to stand trial, according to Charlottesville police Captain Chip Harding. The teen wielded an AK-47 and encouraged the March 2 shooting of a youth on Prospect Avenue, and last April was involved in beating a juvenile who had bones broken in his face after he declined to join the Bloods.

Latest suspect in a 23-year-old rape: Former Charlottesville police informant Michael Andrew Nicholaou, who operated "The Pleasure Chest" porn shop in the 1980s and killed himself in 2005 after killing his wife and stepdaughter in Tampa, is being investigated by Nelson County authorities for a 1984 rape on the Blue Ridge Parkway that sent look-alike Edward Honaker to jail for 10 years before DNA tests cleared him, Carlos Santos reports in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Most eye-catching photo: Longwood fire hero Tim Cocrane, 21, who rescued three classmates from a March 3 Farmville fire and suffered burns on his hands, face and ears, as well as a scorched throat and lungs, is captured by Alexa Welch Edlund on the cover of the March 8 Times-Dispatch.

Least sugar-coated Richmond bashing: "The real way to solve this is to get the idiots in Richmond to give the county the ability to charge the newcomers," Supervisor David Slutzky remarks about growth, according to Jeremy Borden in the Daily Progress. 

Largest exodus of moderate Republicans: Highest-ranking state Senator John Chichester, chairman of the finance committee, announces he will not be a candidate for the General Assembly seat he's held since 1978. House of Delegates appropriations committee chair Vince Callahan and fellow senator Russ "I ran for governor" Potts join him in bowing out.

Biggest demands: A consortium of area churches called Impact will demand transit and housing commitments from local officials March 15 at the MLK center.

Biggest school departure: Former CHS principal Bobby Thompson announces he's retiring from city school administration after 38 years as an educator, Matt Deegan reports in the DP.

Biggest school climb: The female Black Knights advance to the Region III state finals but fall 63-53 to Hidden Valley March 10.

Best ACC coach: UVA's Dave Leitao is named ACC coach of the year with a 20-9 regular season record.

Best builder: Gaffney Homes, according to Builder magazine, which awarded the local company one of its top four best-builder awards for 2007.

Latest Doubletree owner: The hotel formerly known as Hilton, then Sheraton and now Doubletree across from Sam's Club has been acquired by Long and Cox Properties, according to a release, and the 235-room hotel will undergo a multi-million-dollar makeover.

Largest layoffs: Avionics Specialties, which for 50 years has manufactured aviation equipment, is closing its Earlysville plant that employs 100 people, Brian McNeill reports in the Progress. Forty marketing and engineering staff will remain in the area, but manufacturing operations will move to Clearwater, Florida.

Saddest recovery: The body of Eric Gordon Murphy, 17, missing since February 13, is found in a lake near his Lakeside Apartments home March 10. Authorities haven't revealed what happened to the boy.

Biggest FOIA violation: The Culpeper Board of Supervisors will pay $96,000 for illegally closing a meeting to discuss a school construction project after the Virginia Supreme Court rules the board ran afoul of the state's Freedom of Information Act, according to the AP.

Second best undergraduate business school: UVA's McIntire School of Commerce has been named number 2 by BusinessWeek magazine.

Greenest place to live: Country Home magazine ranks Charlottesville among the top-10 green spots in its April issue.