4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Biggest deadbeat: The city of Charlottesville has refused since 2001 to pay the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority a portion of fees that would go to administrative costs until the city reaches an agreement with Albemarle County about how much each should pay, Jeremy Borden reports in the Daily Progress. The "Green City" has put the disputed fees in an escrow account that has allegedly reached $2 million. Meanwhile, RSWA is looking at a $400,000 shortfall and cutting programs in the next fiscal year.
Worst sticker shock: Local gas prices skyrocket from $2.89 to $3.07 over the weekend.
Latest Elvis sighting: Elvis Shifflett, who eluded police for a week last fall before being shot, enters an Alford plea on charges related to the manhunt in Albemarle Circuit Court, and could be looking at a five-year sentence.
Latest shooting arrest: New Yorker Javier Garcia, 19, is charged in a March 2 Prospect Avenue shooting in which a 16-year-old male was wounded in the back. Already in custody are Pee Wee Martinez, 18, and Indio Martinez, 17, brothers police suspect are Bloods gang members.
Hottest race: While Albemarle Dems thought they had broken records handing out 395 ballots at their May 14 caucus, tiny Buckingham County's Dem event the next night brought out 556 people to choose a candidate for sheriff. Incumbent Danny Williams, who's faced heat because of his office's roadside strip-search policy and a lawsuit against a deputy for allegedly forcing a woman to perform oral sex when he came to serve a warrant, prevailed with 305 votes over challenger William "Billy" Kidd's 251 votes, the Progress reports.
Worst-timed computer glitch: In the middle of SOL testing May 15, nearly 3,000 students throughout the state faced blank computer screens, Matt Deegan reports in the Progress. Students in Charlottesville and at Monticello High, Burley, and Henley Middle schools get to retake the test. This was the second time software from Pearson Educational Management has failed during online testing this month, and it failed a third time May 17.
ACE-est: Albemarle County acquires four properties with 31 division rights under its Acquisition of Conservation Easements program, foreclosing future development on 330 acres.
Biggest scam: Paula Jean Hufner, 27, pleads guilty May 16 in U.S. District Court to opening credit cards in her lawyer boss's name and going on a $145,000 spending spree– and then dipping into his personal bank account and withdrawing $80K to pay down the bills, according to Liesel Nowak in the DP. Hufner will spend two years in prison for identity fraud, and faces up 30 years and a $1 million fine for bank fraud.
Smaller scam: Local residents receive notices saying they've won the lottery and fake checks purportedly from the Daily Progress.
Most profitable mail route: Former postman Eric Scott Frazier, 42, pleads guilty to drug and gun charges May 16 after a home invasion and his girlfriend's blabby son lead police to a duffel bag stuffed with an ounce of crack, 38 grams of coke, a pound of pot, and several hits of ecstasy. Frazier, who allegedly sometimes delivered drugs along with the mail, faces up to 50 years in prison.
Best R.I.P.: UVA is ahead of the trend of laying one's ashes to rest on college campuses, having built a columbarium in 1991. Leigh B. Middleditch Jr., who wants to be buried in the university's memorial wall, pushed the project, the New York Times reports, noting that Phase 2 niches are available for $2,500.