4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Worst weekend for traffic fatalities: North Garden resident Mitchell Clark, 20, dies July 13 in a single-car accident when his car runs off Taylor's Gap Road and strikes a tree some time before 6:26pm. The next morning at 7:35am, rescuers find a 1992 Isuzu Amigo SUV against a tree on Gordonsville Road. Driver Courtney Lee Lindsay, 46, of Shipman is pronounced dead at the scene, as is a nine-year-old passenger. A 13-year-old is airlifted to UVA in critical condition.

Closest call: Lillian Marsden is in her Shamrock Road bedroom trying to nap when a tree rips through the wall during a July 16 storm, the Daily Progress reports.

Most perplexing population: Once again, numbers for Charlottesville are in dispute, with the U.S. Census estimating 40,315 as of July 1 and the Weldon Cooper Center countering with 39,758. City planning chief Jim Tolbert pooh-poohs both institutions' figures in a Jacob Geiger story in the Progress. In 2000, the Census mistakenly added 5,000 Albemarleans to the city's numbers. 

Second best state for business/worst for plaintiffs: Virginia's pro-business liability policies make it a dream for companies hoping to avoid pesky lawsuits, according to a Directorship magazine survey.

Most defensive: UVA professor James G. Clawson is sued after putting a self-defense move called the "pretzel" on Thomas Krappweis at a seminar in New Hampshire that the Darden prof was hired to teach, Liesel Nowak reports in the Progress.

Most dubious distinction: Charlottesville leads the nation in mortgage-rate disparities between blacks and whites, Waldo Jaquith notes on cvillenews.com, citing a Raleigh News and Observer article.

Best finger-pointing: After reports of at least eight random attacks in the past few months by white t-shirted teens, Downtown Business Association co-chairman Bob Stroh tells the Progress' Rob Seal, "I believe the media has blown the attacks completely out of proportion." Stroh encourages Association members to support a $300,000 array of surveillance cameras on the Mall.

Latest Wendell Woods contretemps: The Albemarle Planning Commission votes 4-3 to approve Wood's plans for two office buildings and a 120-unit residential building for National Ground Intelligence Center use July 10, but requires that Wood proffer $1.4 million up front, causing planning chair Marcia Joseph to gavel the upset developer, Jeremy Borden reports in the Progress.

Most vindicated: Former county animal control officer William D. Maiden, who was convicted of impersonating an officer in February, is found not guilty on appeal July 10, the DP reports. Maiden was fired and has filed a grievance.

Most downplayed: In an otherwise sympathetic July 15 piece on a recovering victim of a car-bike collision, Progress reporter Sean McLernon declares that such wrecks occur "fairly infrequently," even though nine of them have been reported in Albemarle since 2005.

Best debut book review: Former Hook fiction winner Sarah Honenberger gets raves from Copley News Service, which calls her book White Lies, "modern literature, not mere pop fiction," and predicts readers will be proud they discovered Honenberger before her second and third novels make her famous.

Pettiest cash: Former Virginia State Police secretary Teresa Cheshire, 42, is charged with embezzling from the Louisa office's petty cash, taking less than $1,000 between 2002 and 2006, the DP reports. Cheshire worked at the headquarters for 11 years.

Best why bother? See above.