The week in review
Best evidence that this drought is nothing compared to the summer of 1930: While one 100-degree day per year is average, 1930 recorded 21 days over 100, including Virginia's high of 109 degrees, according to state climatologist Pat Michaels in the September 1 Washington Post. It was so dry then that "thirst-crazed" snakes attacked a turkey farm to drink the turkeys' blood.
Most blatant violation of city water restrictions: A guy is spotted on August 27 hosing off the sidewalk on the Downtown Mall in front of a store that's part of a national chain.
Best result of last week's rains: Orange County eases its stringent water restrictions of 35 gallons per person, and residents flush their toilets again.
Worst example of police brutality: Albemarle County Detective K.W. Robinson is sentenced to 90 days in jail for using suspect Corey Faison as a "human punching bag."
Best news for nonviolent felons in Virginia: Governor Mark Warner announces a new plan that will allow restoration of voting rights in three years rather than five, using a one-page form instead of a 13-page application.
Best sigh of relief by young women in UVA neighborhoods: Accused panties-snatcher Lawrence Irving Roundtree is arrested and charged with three felony counts of breaking and entering, Reed Williams reports in the Daily Progress.
Worst choice of a place to pull over and park at 10:30pm on a Friday night: Ninth Street Southwest, where Donny Troy Cimburke decides to sit in his pickup truck and is punched in the face and shot in the arm by two armed men. Cimburke refuses to give them money and drives himself to UVA Medical Center, according to the Progress.
Worst results of the spring 2002 Albemarle County SOLs: The gap between white and black achievement in the past five years is in many cases unchanged– or worse. Third grade history scores show a 43-point gap between whites and blacks– and that's widened five points over the past five years, according to Gary Grant's constituent report.
Best press release focusing on happier Albemarle County school news: The county's SAT scores rise 20 points to an average of 1093.
Best account of a cooking lesson that turns into a eulogy: Matt McMillen writes about his lesson with 89-year-old cooking doyenne Helen Worth for the Post and becomes her last student when she dies August 11.
Worst party out of bounds: Three Albemarle County adults are charged with 44 counts of contributing to the delinquency of minors following an August 16 party in which alcohol was served to teens.
Best Labor Day celebration: The Virginia Organizing Project's march in support of an $8.65 an hour living wage parades from the Jefferson School to the Courtyard by Marriott on West Main Street.
Best unexpected fallout from Sept. 11-generated fear of flying: A record number of visitors drive to see Virginia's historical attractions or stay at its campgrounds.
Best performance in the Post 's Style Invitational: James Pierce, assistant principal at Buford Middle School, wins by coining "testimo-stitute"– an expert witness who will say anything if the fee is high enough.