4Better or worse: The week in review
Worst first: Thirty-year-old David Lee Cowan is shot fatally February 3 on Run Street in Westhaven, Charlottesville's first homicide of the year.
Latest reelection bid: Albemarle Commonwealth's Attorney Denise Lunsford seeks to retain her job for another four years, joining Supervisor Ann Mallek, who is also running again.
Biggest infiltration: A man posing as a pimp visits four Virginia Planned Parenthood offices, including Charlottesville, claiming to have a sexually transmitted disease and "workers" as young as 14 who don't speak English. An anti-abortion organization called Live Action publishes the tapes; Planned Parenthood says police and the FBI were contacted after the visits. But Albemarle Police spokesperson Darrell Byers finds no evidence of contact.
Best fugitive sex-crime suspects tip: Nelson deputies find on-the-lam couple Johnny Webb Miller, 33, and Christy Lynn Voneitzen, 32, camping in woods January 31 near Afton, the Nelson County Times reports. The duo is wanted for rape, object sexual penetration, forcible sodomy, abduction, and possession of controlled substances from an "isolated incident" in Nelson County, says Sheriff David Brooks.
Best tip for fugitives: Don't talk to television reporters and appear on camera like Ernestine Rawlings, who is recognized by an Albemarle Sheriff's deputy on the Newsplex February 3 and arrested for failure to appear in court.
Most fugitives rounded up: Over a 60-day period, Albemarle deputies find 26 people wanted by the Albemarle Circuit Court, including seven out of state.
Most speeders rounded up: Albemarle police nab 109 motorists in a February 4 speedtrap on U.S. 29 south near Fontaine Avenue. Of the 132 tickets written, 107 were for speeding. The highest speed was 76mph and the average leadfoot was going 69mph in the 55mph zone.
Most likely to graduate–- or join the Peace Corps:
UVA comes in number two nationally for best graduation rate from a
state university, and also is second among medium-sized colleges for
sending the most student volunteers–- currently 71–- to the Peace
Biggest drunk-driving indictment: A grand jury charges William Thomas Thompson with involuntary manslaughter in the October 4 death of winemaker Daniel Neumeister, 31, who was killed when Thompson allegedly crossed the center line on Earlysville Road.
Biggest pawn: Archaeologists at Montpelier discover portions of two chess pieces in the clay soil of the fourth president's home where James Madison and his buddy, Thomas Jefferson, were avid players.
Biggest Crozet closure: Jarman's Gap Road, the narrow thoroughfare for many of the growth area's subdivisions, such as Old Trail and Grayrock, will be shut down for much of the summer for the installation of a box culvert, according to WINA.
Biggest illicit revenue: Charlottesville has been collecting utility taxes from Albemarle County residents for years, according to Albemarle Truth in Taxation Alliance. One tipoff if you're a county resident–- your utility tax is capped at $4, while the city tax can be double that. Both jurisdictions and Dominion Power are working to fix the problem.
Biggest alleged pyro for second week in a row: Louisa accused arsonist Felicia Armstrong, 51, is out on bail and arrested again when a storage building in her subdivision is torched February 5, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. Armstrong was previously charged with setting a church on fire three times, and also burning a neighbor's shed, a fence, and a woodpile. She's now being held without bond.
Most hellish blaze: A trailer in Augusta County on private property used for the county's controversial weekday education program, which buses youngsters off school property to teach them about the Bible, is torched February 1 in Mount Solon, adjacent to North River Elementary. Cause of the fire had not been determined, according to the News Virginian.