4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Most suspicious white powder: A substance later determined to be sugar shuts down the main post office on Seminole Trail for several hours early July 2, WINA reports. Hazmat teams remove the sugar and isolate two employees exposed to the glucose-based granules.
Most suspicious timing: Hmmm, Fourth of July week when the holiday falls on a Wednesday, precluding a three-day weekend?
Worst week for traffic fatalities: Pedestrian Esperanza de Jesus Tolentino, 62, is struck and killed June 26 by an SUV driven by Albemarle police Sergeant Pam Greenwood, 35. And RN Jessica Lester, 25, dies June 29, a week after the Honda Accord in which she was a passenger June 21 was run over by a cement truck on Route 53.
Testiest: The Hook catches the fiery end of Coy Barefoot's June 26 WINA show on which developer Wendell Wood accuses Charlottesville Tomorrow's Brian Wheeler of calling him a liar and not knowing where the controversial 30 rezoned acres are that were part of the National Ground Intelligence Center deal. Wheeler points out that Wood hasn't read his website, and Wood agrees, still sounding steamed when Barefoot abruptly ends the show and cuts to CBS news.
Best Spy Center expansion benefit: Albemarle Fire Rescue gets a $401,000 grant to go toward a $1 million ladder truck at its Hollymead fire station– which covers NGIC.
Worst news for living-wage-seeking workers: Hard-to-picket Wal-Mart is likely to become the region's largest employer by 2009 with an average wage of $10.28 per hour, plus benefits, Brian McNeill reports in the Daily Progress.
Worst identity theft: Nurse Gloria Ann Jennings, 47, is arrested for allegedly stealing an elderly home-care patient's identity to obtain a credit card and buying $10,000 worth of jewelry, the DP reports. Jennings faces eight felony charges.
Biggest bite: Pit bull owner Eric F. Johnson gets six months in jail for failing to control his two dogs, which mauled a woman walking in Nelson County in December. Johnson must also pay the woman's $8,400 in medical bills, which include rabies shots because the dogs' shots weren't up to date. The victim is suing him for $1 million, according to the DP.
Most hopeful sign for peace in the Middle East: On June 15, Albemarle teens Paul Michel and Mohammad Rasool each win full rides to Case Western Reserve University for taking the grand prize in a National History Day competition. Their project was on the Arab-Israeli crisis. Michel and Rasool are Jewish and Muslim, respectively.
Leakiest: The recently completed $105-million renovation of the state Capitol in Richmond fails to prevent water damage in the governor's and speaker's offices.
Latest sacrificial lamb: Historian David Shreve, 46, plans to take on incumbent Congressman Virgil Goode for his 5th District seat, a seat Goode has held onto for 10 years by consistently creaming challengers, most recently Al Weed– twice. Bob Gibson has the story in the Daily Progress.
Most surprisingly contested race: The Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors race has three candidates– Rich Collins, who was arrested for trespassing in front of Whole Foods during his House of Delegates run, former City Council candidate John Pfaltz, and former vice-mayor (and married to a former mayor) John Conover– vying for two seats.
Newest collegiate moniker: Randolph-Macon Woman's College officially becomes Randolph College July 1, a move that was controversial, but not as lame as the change three years ago in Fredericksburg when Mary Washington College became "the University of Mary Washington."