4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Most explosive situation: Two suspicious packages at Brownsville Elementary and Henley Middle School create havoc March 27.
Worst trend: A bomb threat evacuates Henley Middle School March 20 around 2:50pm, and the next day, a handwritten "bomb threat"is discovered at Western Albemarle right before school ends, trapping students in buses for over an hour while others participating in after-school activities are rounded up. A handwritten note discovered March 22 at Western is not enough to send students home because the school had just been checked out the day before.
Best news for Pavilion concert goers– and the homeless: The new Transit Center opens March 26, complete with gleaming public bathrooms.
Biggest damages: A judge orders five correctional officers to pay $250,000 in compensation and $100,000 in punitive damages to the estate of Eduardo Calzada, the homeless man who died in Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail October 25, 1998, Liesel Nowak reports in the Daily Progress.
Most expensive Biscuit: Biscuit Run. A county memo spotted by Charlottesville Tomorrow suggests that even after developer donations, or proffers, the massive development will cost Albemarle about $3.4 million a year.
Most aggressive tax-rate slashers: While Albemarle considers dropping its tax rate from 74 cents per $100 to 70 cents, Orange County proposes a cut from 87 cents per $100 to 42 cents.
Worst first: Lewis Mountain Road fire victim Richard Brett Quarterman, 25, of Crozet dies March 20, Charlottesville's first fire death in a decade, according to Rob Seal in the Progress.
Worst girl trouble: Joseph Ray Wells, 20, is arrested for the March 10 stabbing of a 32-year-old Gum Springs man at the Water Street parking lot, following an exchange of words between the victim and Wells over a women they'd met earlier in a bar in Albemarle County. Police are looking for three other baggy clothes-wearing assailants in their mid to late 20s driving a small black car.
Best reason to reevaluate drug enforcement costs: The Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Agency announces the March 20 bust of Garnett Bryant Poole and the seizure of six grams of cocaine with a street value of $600. JADE did not include estimates for the cost of making the arrest, prosecuting such a small drug deal, or issuing a press release, but did note that it also arrested Robin Denise Wear for felonious possession of cocaine, a seizure the Hook estimates could be worth up to $100.
Worst beeswax: State honey bees are disappearing without their honey, victims of Colony Collapse Disorder, according to state ag officials, who say Virginia's hives have declined to 25,000 from 98,000 in 1985.
Biggest oops: June Fitzgerald hits the gas instead of the brakes March 21 and crashes into Parkway Pharmacy in Crozet, breaking glass and damaging bricks, the DP reports. Fitzgerald is charged with reckless driving.
Best way to beat the heat in Iraq: Wintergreen Real Estate donates money to buy 40 water guns for troops in Iraq after administrative assistant Kim Smith sends one to her son stationed there, and he requests more for his buddies.
Best reason to expect a new influx of retirees: A book called America's 100 Best Places to Retire puts Charlottesville in its top 10.
Happiest ending: The Charlottesville High School orchestra snags superior ratings in the March 17 district festival, and will perform a free concert for the community March 30 before jetting off to London the next day, having raised $320,000 to allow all 120 members of the orchestra to perform at the April 5 Heritage Festival at the Royal Academy of Music.