The week in review


Best reckless, multiple-life-endangering police chase in a 30-foot motor home: Michael David Keys, accompanied by a seven-year-old child, flees from Augusta and Albemarle County police on July 23, using such tactics as going the wrong way on I-64 in his attempt to elude capture. Keys is finally stopped after police use "stingers" to flatten his tires; he faces 12 felony charges.

Worst evidence in an abduction case: A jury acquits accused abductor/wanker Corey Faison July 26 when a pair of blue and green plaid boxer shorts are not enough to tie him to the crime, reports Adrienne Schwisow in the Daily Progress.

Best ending to an abduction case: After abducting an ex-girlfriend at gunpoint from her Augusta County home four days earlier, convicted child rapist Anthony Slaughter of Stanardsville is arrested July 21 in Madison. The woman was not physically injured.

Best plea bargains in capital murder cases: Former preacher Billy Dean Martin, confessed killer of 79-year-old Prince Michel Vineyards security chief Harold Edward Tuel, and Robert Preston Taylor, who shot 81-year-old Albert Fulton Scruggs after accepting a ride in Scruggs' car, are sentenced to life in prison. Family members of both victims had called for the death penalty.

Worst breach of a fiduciary position: A Nelson County court convicts James Holden of embezzling nearly $18,000 in donations to his deceased granddaughter's memorial fund, according to Austin Graham in the Progress.

Worst thing about having two hospitals in town: A Dartmouth College study shows that in areas with a glut of doctors and hospitals, supply seems to drive demand. The New York Times' Gina Kolata reports that more hospitals mean longer hospital stays, more doctors, and more visits– with no discernible health improvement.

Worst news for sinners: Governor Mark Warner is open to levying "sin taxes" on cigarettes and alcohol to ease the state's record budget shortfall.

Best sigh of relief by shoe store employees: Earl B. Thomas III is arrested for the robberies of Payless Shoesource on April 4 and Super Shoes on April 19, according to the Progress.

Worst crime to be convicted of: A crime that doesn't exist. The appeal of Randolph Taylor, who was convicted of driving a moped with a suspended license, which is not illegal in Virginia, will be heard by the Supreme Court of Virginia, reports Peter Savodnik in the Daily Progress.

Best win-one, lose-one (or vice versa) for power plants in Louisa: Old Dominion Electric Cooperative receives state approval to build a natural gas-burning power plant, while Entergy abandons its plans to fire one up, according to Progress reports.

Best reprieve for the Oxford American : The John Grisham-backed literary magazine, recently on the verge of extinction, has found a new backer from Arkansas who is taking it from Mississippi to Little Rock, the AP reports.

Worst results in a Verizon survey, highlighting the inherent rudeness of multitasking: Eighty percent of the women surveyed want to be able to send short text messages on their cell phones while they're talking to someone else.

Best Jefferson defender in Congress: Rep. Eric Cantor, who has rammed a bill through the House of Representatives to keep Monticello on the nickel, upsetting U.S. Mint officials' plans to commemorate the Lewis and Clark bicentennial by temporarily replacing our local icon with an American Indian and eagle facing westward.

Best letter to the Progress  editor: Foxfield neighbor Roscoe Phillips writes that he's never had problems with the races and reminds complainers who think Garth Road traffic is bad on race day what it would be like if Foxfield were a subdivision.

Best party publicity: Both George Loper's website and carry announcements about a July 25 farewell party for Daily Progress reporter Jake Mooney. Some Democrats had accused Mooney of throwing the City Council election to Rob Schilling with an election-day article detailing "single-shot" voting. Mooney is off to Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.