4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Driest: The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority asks residents to voluntarily conserve water July 23. Rainfall is 6 inches below normal, and RWSA executive director Tom Frederick predicts water will stop flowing over the dam at the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir within a few days.
Latest Bad Newz for Michael Vick: The former Virginia Tech quarterback hero is indicted July 17 for operating an illegal dogfighting operation at his Smithfield home. The Atlanta Falcons, for whom Vick now plays, ask him not to show up for training until the NFL evaluates his indictment, amid grisly allegations that losing dogs at Bad Newz Kennels were electrocuted, drowned, shot, or hanged.
Biggest Darden scandal: A July 7 Daily Progress article about student Rafael Diaz-Tushman and his burgeoning PayPal-inspired business for online porn and gambling sends the business school and its alumni into an uproar, and Diaz-Tushman is booted from the Batten Institute's prestigious incubator program, Brian McNeill reports in the DP.
Best way to galvanize Virginia voters: Sock 'em with hefty fees for bad driving. Since an "abusive driver" law went into effect July 1, more than 100,000 citizens have signed an online petition calling for the law's repeal before all members of the General Assembly face voters in November, the Washington Post reports.
Nicest raises: Charlottesville School Board approves a 5.9 percent raise– $9,000– for Superintendent Rosa Atkins, upping her salary to $162,000. In Albemarle, Superintendent Pam Moran gets a 4 percent raise of $6,600, which pulls up her wages from $166,400 to $173,000. The overall national salary for superintendents averages $141,191, according to the Education Research Service.
Biggest JADE arrest of the week: The drug task force takes 11 grams of cocaine valued at $1,100 off the street July 20. Gary Arnold Brookman and Dayle Anne Murphy are charged with conspiracy to distribute, and naturally they have a gun, which earns them another felony charge. Additional charges are pending, according to a release.
Longest pot-growing sentence: Louisa resident Geoffrey Alan Cummings, 53, receives five years in prison for the 352 marijuana plants police found growing on his property last summer. Cummings also forfeits his $250,000 house.
Lightest pot-growing sentence: Gary Peck, who crammed hundreds of plants into a small 7' by 7' fenced space in his Scottsville yard to supply his sick wife, gets a suspended five-year sentence July 18, according to Progress reporter Liesel Nowak.
Better late than never: UVA finally ditches Social Security numbers for student, faculty, and staff IDs, the Cav Daily reports, after a number of breaches, most recently when hackers obtained the personal information of 5,700 faculty.
Most eye-watering: Pepper spray discharged in an elevator evacuates the downtown ACAC July 18 for two hours.
Best fundraisers: The two female Democratic challengers for the Albemarle Board of Supervisors have raised more than the Republicans. Marcia Joseph has accumulated $10,288 to Chairman Ken Boyd's $8,700, and in the White Hall District, Ann Mallek has $15,010 to David Wyant's $10,680, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
Worst blow to Huja-vision: City Council shelves former planning director Satyendra Huja's plans for a $15k statue symbolizing Charlottesville's relationships with its sister cities, according to Seth Rosen in the Progress.
Wiki-est president: Monticello's website now contains more than 300 articles about Thomas Jefferson, although only staff and respected Jefferson scholars can change the content, unlike the inspiration for the feature, Wikipedia.
Worst loss for Maybelline: Former TV evangelist Tammy Faye Bakker Messner dies July 20 at age 65 following a long bout with colon cancer.