4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Biggest setback in Adderall defense: Lawyers for accused murderer George Huguely will not able to examine slain UVA fourth-yearYeardley Love's medical records except for those portions dealing with her prescription for Adderall, Judge Bob Downer rules December 22.
Biggest bummer for state employees: Governor Bob McDonnell voices support for a 3 percent raise, but wants to require employees, who haven't seen a pay increase in four years, to contribute 5 percent of their salaries to the state's retirement system, leaving take-home pay down another 2 percent.
Biggest fundraising gap: Charlottesville Albemarle Rescue Squad is barely halfway to its goal of $350,000 days before the end of the year. The 40-year-old volunteer organization extends its drive through January, and notes it does not charge for its services. (Albemarle, by contrast, began charging for ambulance rides in 2010.)
Longest child porn sentence: Three years and 11 months for Christopher Michael Watson, 20, who is sentenced on eight counts of possession December 28 in Albemarle Circuit Court, Tasha Kates reports in the Daily Progress.
Saddest times on Black Cat Road: Richard Gibson Jr., 48, dies on the Keswick road December 29 when his car goes off a bridge and lands on train tracks 28 feet below. Police believe speed and alcohol are factors in the crash, and they say Gibson wasn't wearing a seatbelt. Shortly after noon on New Year's Day, 19-year-old Stephen Hughes Heim loses control and hits a tree. Gibson was County's 12th traffic death in 2010, and Heim was the first of 2011.
Latest Wachovia building evacuation: The Downtown Mall bank building is emptied December 21 when a sewage backup in the basement at an air intake stinks up the place. The Fire Department determines that the sulfurous odor is not a hazard, and people are allowed back into the building.
Most closed streets: Park Street detours traffic for 24 hours starting December 29 when a water main breaks between Cutler Lane and North Avenue. And both lanes of U.S. 29 are shut down December 30 when a southbound car hits a log truck crossing the four-lane highway in Greene County south of Route 33, NBC29 reports.
Most unusual gender suit: Deerfield Correctional inmate Deena Kaye Myers, a.k.a. Scott Myers, files suit against the state for $25 million and demands to be transferred from the male prison to a female one. Myers was born a boy on Christmas Eve 1981 with a birth defect so severe that she was surgically altered to a female, which is how she's identified on her birth certificate. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Myers was convicted of 11 felonies as a male.
Scariest place for a fire: Finley's Barracks Road Exxon, where a car smashes into and knocks over a gas pump and catches on fire December 31. Fortunately, it's quickly extinguished, and Finley's– a rare breed of fuel station that also offers auto service– reopens for business.
Stupidest accident: A UVA student's leg is run over after he tries to kick a passing taxi on the Corner early December 18.
Least surprising detail: Alcohol was involved.
Fattest: Thirty-five percent of area fifth graders are obese, compared to 26 to 28 percent of the general population, according to a study from Commission on Children and Families.
Newest historic districts: Greenwood in western Albemarle and Afton in Nelson and Augusta counties join the Virginia Historic Register for their 18th-century settlement by Scots-Irish immigrants from the Shenandoah Valley, as well as for the Claudius Crozet-built railroad tunnels through the Blue Ridge Mountains, the early 20th-century African American communities of New Town and Free Town, and the country estates that were turn-of-the-century seasonal playgrounds for the wealthy.