4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Worst church fire: Piedmont Baptist Church in Yancey Mills near Crozet is reported "burning bad" November 19. Authorities believe the cause is accidental.
Worst traffic-snaring accident: An inexperienced, speeding 17-year-old passes on Route 20 south near Harris Creek Road November 19 around 8:15am, loses control and slams into a tree, shutting down Scottsville Road for an hour and 15 minutes during morning commute time, according to police. The youth, who was not wearing a seatbelt, is airlifted to VA Medial Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
Best sign of a "real problem": When you start getting hundreds of emails, says Albemarle School Board member Pam Moynihan at a public hearing November 16 on 4x4 semesterization–- 90-minute classes every day for a semester that a coalition of parents says doesn't give high school students enough time to process the information. "We handled this one badly," says Moynihan. "We did not allow for community input. We did not see where there was a problem." Brandon Shulleeta has the story in the Daily Progress.
Best news for pilots: The Transportation Security Agency exempts them from the controversial full-body scans and enhanced pat downs November 19, three days after the Rutherford Institute files suit on behalf of two pilots, according to a release. Pilots can get on their planes now with airline-issued ID and one other form of identification.
Earliest action: UVA adopts "early action" for the fall of 2011, which means high school seniors can find out whether they're accepted by January 31 but don't have take the offer until the rest of the pack (admitted or rejected on April 1) decides on May 1. In 2007, the university killed off its prior binding acceptance program–- because of the belief "early decision" kept economically disadvantaged students from applying, according to a release.
Most stalled: The long-awaited Hillsdale Connector, a one-mile parallel road that would take traffic off U.S. 29 between Greenbrier Drive and Hydraulic Road, will depend on donations or cheapo deals on rights-of-way because Charlottesville can't afford to buy up chunks of Seminole Square and other terrain, city urban construction manager Jeanette Janiczek says at a November 16 public hearing. Charlottesville Tomorrow has the story.
Latest on Gregory Briehl: The former pastor jailed for surreptitiously videotaping females and who later married evangelist Ruth Graham and then had a near-fatal motor vehicle accident in September in Chesterfield County has recently moved to UVA Medical Center, according to the Bristol Herald Courier. (Briehl reportedly suffered a cracked skull, broken neck, severed arm, numerous broken bones and ribs, punctured lungs, massive blood loss and possible brain damage.)
Biggest burglary bust: Police catch Elijah Grooms, 43, leaving Montvue after a residential alarm went off November 21, and discover another house in that neighborhood had been robbed. According to a release, Grooms is linked to multiple burglaries in Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, and Louisa, and the investigation is ongoing.
Biggest "big house" operation: Fluvanna's Board of Supervisors okays a 30,000-square-foot state of the art training center for the U.S. Corrections Special Operations Group November 17 , Bryan McKenzie reports in the DP.
Biggest irony: Governor Bob McDonnell may close as many as eight correctional facilities because continuing budget shortfalls.
Biggest segment of job growth in Albemarle: More than 800 Defense Intelligence Agency employees are relocating here, and once that's complete, the DIA will be the seventh largest employer, Charlottesville Tomorrow reports on a November 18 briefing of city, county and UVA officials. When combined with the National Ground Intelligence Center, spying will be the community's fourth-largest occupation.