4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Worst trend of 2011: Area gas prices average $3.02 a gallon, up 32 cents from a year ago, according to AAA .
Worst car crash: A southbound car on U.S. 29 plunges into a gully January 14 near the Nelson County line, killing 21-year-old Jesse Clark. Three others in the car are seriously injured.
Worst armed robbery: A gun-wielding man takes a Volkswagon Jetta early January 15 after pointing his piece at the victim and demanding, "Give me what you got," according to the Daily Progress. The Jetta is found on its side around 7:30am that day at Carters Mountain Trail.
Worst vehicle to crash into: A Saab in the January 11 light snow and ice slides in the 1700 block of Yorktown Drive into a Charlottesville police van. Both drivers are taken to UVA Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries, and no charges are filed against the sliding Saab driver.
Worst color coordination: University of North Carolina fan Greg Demery is ousted from his seat two rows behind the Virginia bench at the January 8 basketball game at JPJ Arena because he was wearing Carolina blue, the Raleigh News and Observer reports. Fans in opposing team apparel are not allowed to sit behind the home team at JPJ, nor at the Dean Dome either, according to the report. UNC won 62-56.
Latest Richard Spurzem plan: The developer who sued Albemarle County in 2005 to build a by-right shopping center on Pantops and Hansen Mountain Road won that battle, but never built the center. Spurzem's new plan to put 562-residences on the 37.5-acre property is rejected by the Planning Commission January 11 because of its density, according to Charlottsville Tomorrow.
Coldest hit: Greenwood resident Linwood Roosevelt Johnson, 53 is arrested January 12 for the 1991 beating death of Arvetta June Davis in Waynesboro after DNA allegedly connects him to the crime, according to the News Virginian.
Most chicken casualties: An electrical short causes a blaze late January 11 at a Harrisonburg poultry farm, killing 17,000 four-week-old chicks, most of which die from smoke inhalation, NBC29 reports.
Most shocking study: College students don't necessarily learn a whole lot, according to a new book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, co-authored by UVA sociologist Josipa Roksa.
Most forgetful: No one can remember the location of a time capsule buried 50 years ago, which is wanted for Charlottesville's upcoming 250th birthday in 2012, Rachana Dixit reports in the Progress.
Best get for Drug Court: The program that tries to keep those convicted on drug charges out of jail hires Captain Mike Baird from the Charlottesville Sheriff's Office as the first officer in its 14-year history. Baird, who ran for sheriff in 2009, will work 20 hours a week.
Biggest reaction to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli: Three legislators in the General Assembly, including Charlottesville's Delegate David Toscano, are carrying a bill that limits the authority of the AG to issue civil investigative demands, which are like subpoenas. Cuccinelli ignited a firestorm last year when he issued one to UVA for documents pertaining to scientist Michael Mann's global warming research.
Biggest revision: A Mark Twain scholar excises the n-word from Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer in a new version of the classics coming out in February from New South. UVA English prof Stephen Railton decries the substitution of "slave" in the text, while NAACP president Rick Turner commends the elimination of "this awful, dreadful, despicable word that had no business in the dictionary in the first place," according to an NBC29 report by Derek Waller.