The week in review
Best 100-year anniversary: July 17, the date Willis Carrier invented air conditioning, the device that made summer in the South tolerable and that led to inevitable battles about whether it's too hot or too cold inside.
Worst crime trend: Abduction. Besides the horrific kidnappings of young girls out west, an Augusta County woman, Terry Wooddell, is taken from her home by ex-boyfriend and convicted child rapist Anthony Davis Slaughter and held for four days before Slaughter is arrested, according to the Daily Progress.
Best plea bargain in an alleged abduction: Felony abduction charges against former UVA student Scott Douglas are dropped, and he loses his driver's license for six months for marijuana possession, the Progress' Adrienne Schwisow reports. Douglas had been charged after allegedly holding his ex-girlfriend captive at his Chi Phi fraternity. Were the allegations of putting a knife and sword to her throat, squeezing her toe with pliers or a wrench, and threatening to tear off her ear and cauterize the wound with blazing WD-40 really just part of the couple's mating rituals?
Worst press release involving city personnel: Charlottesville Police Officer Ralph Toliver is charged with felony sexual abuse of a juvenile while acting in a custodial position.
Worst job of crowd predicting: Over 600 postmenopausal women flock to a forum on hormone replacement therapy that organizers had expected 70 to attend, according to a Claudia Pinto story in the Daily Progress.
Worst spoil-sports: Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control officials threaten to pull Foxfield's liquor license, Peter Savodnik reports in the Progress.
Best use of a bully pulpit: Governor Mark Warner calls for conservation of water in the face of the state's three-year drought.
Worst news for 5th District Congressional candidate Meredith Richards: Her opponent, Virgil Goode, has 10 times the $43,000 she's raised.
Worst headline on a Paramount story in the Progress : The July 17 title says a significant feature– the black entrance–was removed, but the story is about a fire escape over the "colored" entrance being torn down. The entrance is still there.
Best appearance on Crossfire by a UVA researcher: Bradley Fellow Charmaine Yoest goes a few rounds with Tucker Carlson and James Carville on new welfare legislation and the importance of mothers staying home with infants.
Worst attempt at a bomb threat: WINA reports that early on July 22, a caller claimed a bomb was strapped to the front of a Crown Victoria parked at the Ramada Inn on West Main. However, there is no Ramada on West Main, and after searching four area hotels, police were unable to find a Crown Victoria or a bomb.
Best showing of local bus transportation at the State Roadeo: University Transit Service comes in 4th place out of 10.
Worst showing at the State Roadeo: Charlottesville Transit Service comes in 9th.
Worst name for a vegan bed and breakfast: The White Pig opens in Schuyler.
Best new technology for most grisly job: A new sonar system will make it easier for Charlottesville Albemarle Rescue Squad divers to find bodies in rivers and lakes, according to a Reed Williams story in the Progress. An anonymous donor ponied up $170,000 for the new system.
Best unexpected shoppers' tip from the Charlottesville Business Journal: Target Stores joined the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce in May. Can the store itself be far behind?
Worst legislation pending for ravers: Congress wants to hold promoters responsible for illegal drug use, such as Ecstasy, at raves. Outraged ravers collect nearly 10,000 signatures opposing the Senate bill Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act of 2002, according to the Washington Post.
Best satirical letter to the editor in the July 21 Progress: Jeffrey Fracher lists seminars for the Republican Party Institute for Advanced Studies in Sleaze and Deception, including "How to Hug without Harassing A Hands-on Approach," Instructor: Vance Wilkins; and "WiretappingWho Cares If It's Unethical? Is It Legal?" Instructor: Ed Matricardi.