4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Worst back-to-school happening at Tech: A carbon monoxide leak sends 19 students to the hospital August 19, and five young women living in a Collegiate Suites apartment are injured, two of them critically.

Worst alumni happening for Tech: Former quarterback Michael Vick agrees to plead guilty to dogfighting charges, and could get up to 18 months in jail.

Latest addition to Charlottesville Transit Service: Bus routes that run every 30 minutes instead of 45 minutes on Sundays– except for September 2 and 3, when CTS employees get two days off for Labor Day, unlike many of their passengers, who'll be looking for other rides to work those days.

Most obvious question: Should Charlottesville and Albemarle join forces in operating a transit system?

Most obvious answer: Duh. The city and county cough up $50K each to match state and federal grants to pay a consultant to look into the matter, Seth Rosen reports in the Daily Progress. The  $100,000-plus report will be out by the end of the year.

 Biggest speed trap: Eleven Albemarle police officers ticket 100 drivers August 13 on the U.S.250/29 bypass, according to a release. Of the 106 summons written, 93 are for speeding.

Fastest: The top speed recorded is 87 mph, which earns the driver a reckless driving charge and– under the new abusive driver fees– will probably cost an extra grand.

Worst time to take a dip: As the official drought warning goes into effect August 16 (the 30th anniversary of Elvis' death), Charlottesville shuts down McIntire and Forest Hills pools and the Belmont Spray Ground. Meade and Washington Park pools will remain open through Labor Day (unless sanitation at the latter is compromised again).  

Grimmest budgeting news: Virginia could be looking at a $641 million shortfall, and Governor Tim Kaine asks state agencies to reduce their operations budgets by five percent.

Grimmest coincidence? Two houses being renovated in the same area catch fire. The first, in the 3500 block of Plank Road, burns August 4, and the second is destroyed August 18 in the 3500 block of Red Hill Road, according to the Progress.

Worst loss for the Daily Progress: Award-winning court reporter Liesel Nowak leaves journalism to take a PR job at Monticello– where former DP editor Wayne Mogielnicki works. 

Worst mail to open: A pre-litigation letter from the Recording Industry Association of America, which arrived for five people accused of illegally sharing music online while at UVA, the Progress reports. Violators could be charged $750 for each copyrighted song illegally shared.

Fourth-best business school: Forbes ranks Darden on its list of B-Schools based on "best return on investment," i.e., salary five years after graduation, and "less tuition."

Best Patricia Kluge coverage in the Washington Post: The lead story in the August 18 Real Estate section features local winemaker Kluge and her luxury subdivision, Vineyard Estates, where each of the 24 $6- to $20-million homes comes with its own grapevines.

Biggest alleged outing: Sam Porpora, 92, claims to be the Poe Toaster, the black-clad man who shows up at Edgar Allan Poe's Baltimore graveside every year on the writer's January 19 birthday. Porpora says he started showing up at the grave in the late '60s with three red roses and a bottle of cognac. The curator of the Poe House and Museum, Jeff Jerome, disputes his mentor's account.

Worst news for Bat Boy: Weekly World News bites the dust and produces its last issue August 3.