4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Biggest slap on the face of a world class city: Frommer's, which ranked Charlottesville the number-one place to live three years ago, downgrades the city to number 17, citing the high cost of living and real estate. Falling even further is Roanoke, which plummets from number 11 to 60.
Biggest revisionists: After Charlottesville City Council passed 5-0 a highly touted new zoning ordinance in 2003 that encouraged higher density with mixed-use, nine-story buildings, the city freaks out when people actually try to build nine-story buildings on the Downtown Mall and now looks to scale back those once-giddy heights.
Biggest revisionists, part 2: Charlottesville's highly touted electronic voting machines unveiled in 2002 may be outlawed by state and federal laws and voters sent back to paper ballots, according to a Whitney Holmes story at WCAV.
Biggest counterfeiting ring: Six locals are arrested for making and passing fake twenties, Rob Seal reports in the Daily Progress. Police use a Burger King surveillance camera to identify five suspects. Charged are Joy Michelle Gibson, Christopher Sysling, Bradley Clay Elliott, William Carl Shifflett, and Ashley Nicole Deavers, a Best Western Cavalier Inn employee where eight bogus $20 bills were found, and an unidentified 17-year-old boy.
Worst scalding: A teenage girl in a group home throws scalding oil on another girl May 4, and is charged with assault. According to Lisa Ferrari at WCAV, that call marks the 318th time police have been called to one of the three STARS group homes in the city since January 2006.
Longest wife-killing sentence: Approving the jury's recommendation, judge Ted Hogshire on May 3 approves the two life sentences plus 67 years handed down to Anthony Dale Crawford, who was convicted February 9 of abducting and murdering his estranged wife, 33-year-old Sarah Louise Crawford. The woman's nude body was discovered November 22, 2004, in the Quality Inn on Emmet Street.
Lightest manslaughter sentence: Jermaine Leon Thurston, 22, gets two years for the June 18, 2006, voluntary manslaughter of former CHS classmate Lamont Antonio Reaves, 21, who allegedly gave Thurston "the finger" at Wolfie's and then tried to fight him at South First Street after which Thurston shot him once.
Longest child porn sentence: Former Albemarle High soccer coach Raja Charles Jabbour, 40, gets nine years May 1 for possessing child pornography and using the Internet to entice a minor for sex and faces deportation when he gets out.
Harshest pot-growing penalty: Louisa resident Geoffrey Alan Cummings, 53, pleads guilty to growing over 300 gigantic, 10 to 12-foot marijuana plants. Because he has a previous drug trafficking felony, Cummings faces a minimum 10 years when he's sentenced July 23– more time than the guy who likes to look at child porn or the kid who killed a former CHS classmate.
Worst vandalism spree: A 13-year-old allegedly slashes 46 tires on 28 cars on Cling Lane in Crozet early May 6, and police estimate damages exceed $5,000.
Least successful hide and seek: Two men are discovered hiding in the attic of Toddsbury of Ivy early May 3 when an alarm goes off. Police find one man sitting outside in a car and two others in the attic of the convenience store. Charged are Donnell M. Green, 26, of Baltimore, and Farmville residents Billie A. Spencer, 21, and Elijah D. Austin.
Less cachet than cruising the world during Semester at Sea: UVA's Learning Barge wins $75,000 for its sustainable design.
Grandest opening: Just in time for Queen Elizabeth's May 3 visit, the state's Jefferson-designed Capitol reopens May 1 after a two-year, $104.5 million overhaul.