The week in review
Worst triple-slaying connection: The suspect in the murder of the Madison County family found dead over the weekend–- James Clark Jackson, 55, Karen Lee Jackson, 53, and Chante Latrice Davis, 26–- is a nephew recently released from maximum-security prison. Rashad Matthew Riddick, 23, faces three counts of capital murder.
Latest in the Lithuainian hit and run: Miller School grad Vitalija Vasciunaite, 22, pleads guilty to maiming while drunk driving and felony hit and run for slamming into a VDOT worker on Afton Mountain July 17 after consuming 17 beers, Tasha Kates reports in the Progress. She faces up to 15 years in prison plus deportation, and she'll be sentenced May 31.
Latest UVA football felonies: Three players–- Ausar Walcott, Devin Wallace, and Mike Price–- turn themselves in to Harrisonburg police February 8 and are charged with burglary with intent to commit assault and assault and battery by mob, stemming from a January 30 incident, according to the DP. The players are suspended, and Wallace neglects to tell UVA he has a prior arrest.
Biggest car fire: A Yellow Cab is engulfed in flames February 10 at Region 10 on Preston Avenue. The cause of the latest flaming vehicle is unknown at press time.
Most mysterious mop fire: A blazing mop propped against the side of a house on Harris Street ignites the vinyl siding February 9, but the residents are able to extinguish it before firefighters arrive. The cause is under investigation.
Most shocking sale: Tiger Fuel is dumping two of its gourmet gas stations–- at Forest Lakes and Hydraulic Road–- and selling out to 7-11, Jim Duncan alleges on RealCentralVa.com.
Most retro–- in a bad way: White Hall and Browns Gap residents complain at a townhall meeting that they're still using dial-up with CenturyLink February 10, the same day President Obama promotes high-speed wireless for most Americans. One far-western Albemarlean compares their service to being in Cairo, the Progress reports. The phone company says it's pumping $250K into fiber optics that should be in place by October.
Most generous: Albemarle County. It pays non-school employees an average of $52,098 along with an average benefits package of $20,252, for a total of $72,350, according to Albemarle Truth in Taxation Alliance.
Most startling growth: Between fiscal years 2003-04 and 2010-11, county staff grew 8.5 percent to 576 employees. During that same period, their benefits grew 114 percent, from $5.95 million to $12.75 million, according to ATTA.
Swankiest getaway: Senate Democrats took time to caucus February 8-10 at the Boar's Head Inn, Fox News reports. The senators did not have time to play tennis, golf, or hit the spa, says a caucus spokesman.
Newest School Board member: Jason Buyaki is picked February 9 to finish the term of Albemarle chair Ron Price, who split for an out-of-state job offer earlier this year, NBC29 reports.
Cheeriest-sounding weather alert: Albemarle gets a "red flag" warning on Valentine's Day, but it's not in honor of the holiday. Red flag means high winds and low humidity create a situation with explosive fire potential, which means you'd be an idiot to start an outdoors blaze.
Worst red flag casualty: A tree crunches a car on Mulberry Avenue.
Worst time to plan a bonfire: The spring fire season ignites February 15, and the 4pm burning law goes into effect, which means big trouble for anyone burning before 4pm and for those whose fire gets out of control.
Best news for the Crozet Tunnel: Nelson County officials want to open up tours through the Claudius Crozet-built tunnel, also known as the Blue Ridge Tunnel, in time for the 150th anniversary of General Stonewall Jackson's Shenandoah Valley campaign, the News Virginian reports.
Biggest panty raid: Victoria's Secret is robbed of around $1,000 of merch, mostly bras and t-shirts emptied out of two drawers February 12, according to the Progress.