The week in review

Greatest disparity in sentencing in Lousia: Remone J. Houchens robs, brutally beats and blinds an 87-year-old woman and is sentenced June 1 to 30 years. That same day, Canadian Alan Sauve, 48, is convicted of 22 counts of soliciting a minor and gets a 110-year prison sentence.

Grimmest mountaintop discovery: A Suzuki hatchback 500 feet below Horsehead Overlook on the Skyline containing the body of a Farmville woman is found June 2, NBC29 reports. Authorities later identified her as Lisa Baughman, 53.

Hottest bus: A Charlottesville Area Transit vehicle bursts into flame June 1 on Water Street when, according to reports, a broken fuel line ignites. Nobody was hurt.

Worst train casualty: A CSX train eastbound in Scottsville strikes a person on the tracks around 2am June 1. Determining it to be a suicide, police release no further information.


Worst dispute between neighbors: Vernon Leroy Shifflett is found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of his neighbor, Gifford "Trix" Crawford, and sentenced to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, the Progress reports. After eight hours of deliberation, the jury decides to reject the prosecution's first-degree murder charge for the August 10 shooting.

Worst friend killing: Richard Allan Smith Jr., 24,  is convicted June 2 of voluntary manslaughter for the beating/choking death of his friend, Pierre-Louis Rigaut, 23, at Graves Mountain Lodge last July. Smith claims self defense in the death of Rigaut, who received at least 30 blows to his body and 13 to his head and face, the Culpeper Star-Exponent reports.

Worst driving: Fisherville resident James Odell Johnson, 41, is charged with a DUI and reckless driving after he shuts down I-64 west June 4 by losing control of his motorcycle, the Newsplex reports. Witnesses say he was driving around 100mph and weaving in and out of traffic before losing control around the Crozet exit. He and his wife, both in serious condition, are thrown from the bike before it bursts into flames.

Biggest national loss: Lawrence Eagleburger, 80, who served as secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush, dies June 4 at the UVA Medical Center.

Biggest local loss: Joseph T. Henley Jr., 82, apple grower and elected official, dies May 27 at his home.

Latest Greene County school bus crash: A driver and six elementary school students are injured when a car hits the bus as it crosses U.S. 29 June 1, according to NBC29. Driver Lori Whittmeyer, 62, is charged with failure to yield the right of way and suspended for the rest of the school year. Another bus hit a guardrail on May 20.

Harshest rebuke: The man who spent 41 years (until a dying woman's deathbed confession) as the key suspect in the horrific 1967 High's Ice Cream double-murders, William W. Thomas Jr. gets a response from the City of Staunton to his $200-million wrongful prosecution lawsuit; and it asserts that Thomas filed too late and asks the federal court to force the seemingly broke 68-year-old Spottswood resident to pay the City's legal expenses.

Biggest dump: Several tons of treated human waste are sprayed May 31 on an 88-acre property owned by Jane C. Williamson In Carrsbrook along the South Fork of the Rivanna River, Charlottesville Tomorrow reports. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality regulates the use of so-called "biosolids," but some neighbors are concerned about health risks.

Biggest pot bust: Staunton man Malik B. Porter, 33, is charged with distribution after he accepts delivery from UPS of two packages containing 50 pounds of marijuana, the News Leader reports.

Most suspicious outage: CenturyLink internet and long-distance services are interrupted for much of Monday, June 6 when two major fiber optic lines– one in Winchester and in Goldsboro, North Carolina, are cut. The downtime lasted from around 8:30am to nearly 3pm.


Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen is taken second overall by the Mariners in the 2011 baseball draft. This earns dedicated stories in the Washington Post and elsewhere but no mention in the Hook?

No surprise that the MSM would fawn all over a lefty baseball player. I myself am pleased that the Hook staff acted as Real Americans ought and showed some restraint in that regard.

It's pretty lame that many of these blurbs are just cut & paste from other news agencies that actually do the research.

@thomask would you suggest The Hook better tackle summarizing what's gone on in a week here in Charlottesville/Albemarle?

What, just because all the local news agencies have covered these stories means The Hook can't summarize what's gone on here this week? What kind of logic is that?

The logic, is laziness you moron. if they're going to cover it then cover it, not copy verbatim from someone who actually did the work. This is typacle charlottesville half-ass-nes.