4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Biggest win: Oliver Kuttner's Edison2 Very Light Car takes the $5 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize. [See cover story page XX.]
Biggest lawsuit: Jose Porfirio Martinez-Quinteros, the VDOT worker run down by alleged drunk driver Vitalija Vasciunaite, 22, on I-64 July 17, files a $5.35 million lawsuit against the Miller School graduate, Tasha Kates reports in the Daily Progress.
Biggest resignation: Albemarle human resources director Kimberly Suyes gives notice effective October 13 following a series of pay and retirement snafus that's led to at least one lawsuit against the county. Employees who were enticed to retire and then discovered their payouts were based on faulty calculations filed suit in June and are seeking $158K. County officials refuse to tell Progress reporter Brandon Shulleeta whether Suyes' departure was voluntary.
Biggest execution: Teresa Lewis, 41, is scheduled to become the first woman executed in Virginia in 100 years on September 23. Lewis was convicted in 2003 for the murder-for-hire slayings of her husband and stepson. As the execution date approaches, Lewis supporters, including the Rutherford Institute and John Grisham, who wrote a Washington Post op-ed, argue that her low IQ of 72 could not have made her the ringleader of the plot, and she was the only one who received the death penalty while the gunmen did not. Governor Bob McDonnell rejects a stay of her execution.
Best advocate for the wrongly convicted: Author Grisham takes up the cause of the innocent in prison and extols North Carolina's Innocence Commission to a crowd of 2,000 September 14 at Wake Forest University, the AP reports.
Best returns: Alice Handy, who left her job handling UVA's endowment in 2003 to start her own company, Investiture, posts returns of 15.2 percent to 17.7 percent on the $6.5 billion she manages for Barnard, Smith, Middlebury, Trinity, Dickinson and the University of Tulsa, according to the New York Times.
Best bonus: UVA salaried employees will see an extra three percent of their annual salaries in their paychecks around Thanksgiving, the first raise they've tasted in several years.
Best get: PBS Newshour icon Jim Lehrer is the headliner for the 2011 Festival of the Book luncheon March 17.
Best/worst stats, depending on where you sit: Concealed weapons permits decline to a projected 480 for 2010, down from last year's high of 598 heat-packing wannabes.
Priciest signage: City Hall is set to get $115,000 worth of new signs until Mayor Dave Norris puts the brakes on the proposal he calls "extravagant," according to Rachana Dixit in the DP.
Latest School Board member: Albemarle whittles down the original 15 people who wanted to fill the remainder of Brian Wheeler's at-large term September 14 to longtime educator Harley Miles.
Hottest streak: September 19 is the 65th day this summer with a high of 90 degrees or above in Charlottesville, a new record, according to WCAV meteorologist Travis Koshko.
Most combustible mattress: Flames and smoke clear an apartment at 901 South 1st Street September 20. No one is injured.
Most movies: The Virginia Film Festival receives 322 films in its call for entries from Virginia filmmakers–- triple the number from last year–- for the 23rd annual fest that runs November 4-7.
Biggest hoax: A bogus Craigslist posting says that all city property not sold at a September 16 auction would be given away the next morning. A steady stream of citizens show up at Public Works the next day looking for free merch.
Biggest break for Bambi: Dunlora residents vote 297 to 251 to not bring in bow hunters to decimate the burgeoning deer population, Ted Strong reports in the Progress.