The week in review

Worst whining: West Virginia Governor Bob Wise demands an apology from UVA for a pep band parody at the Continental Tire Bowl that he says "perpetuates the unfounded stereotypes that we in West Virginia are trying so hard to overcome."

Best response to West Virginia whining: "The pep band is not offensive," UVA rector John P. Ackerly III tells the Daily Progress. "Any insult to West Virginia was delivered gloriously by our football team, not our lampooning pep band."

Worst real insult: West Virginia spends $7,152 per public school student and ranks 18th nationally, compared to Virginia's $6841 per student and 23rd ranking, reports school board member Gary Grant in his constituents' report.

Worst news for long-term Albemarle County property owners: Property taxes spike an average of almost 19 percent, the downside to rising home sales prices.

Best indication cigarette smokers have some societal value: Gordonsville considers taxing cigarettes to upgrade the town's water system, the Progress reports.

Worst news for those who depend on the kindness of strangers: The Thomas Jefferson United Way is "not close" to meeting its $1.9 million goal, according to a story in the Progress.

Worst attack in broad daylight: A woman is assaulted in Greenleaf Park December 30 while walking with her child, and police suspect the assailant may be the still-at-large serial rapist.

Worst crime trend: Murder-suicides. Two women are shot within a week by their significant others, who then turn their weapons on themselves. Twenty-one-year-old Monica Long dies January 6 after her husband fires on her in her Trophy Chase apartment. Crystal Byers survives the stomach wound inflicted by her boyfriend December 29 in her nearby Commonwealth Court apartment.

Worst alleged scientific breakthrough: The birth of the first human clone, claimed by a sect of Raelians, who believe extraterrestrials created human life. The announcement does not include any scientific evidence of the origins of baby "Eve."

Best defense of amphetamine use: The U.S. Air Force explains why combat pilots are given Dexedrine– or "go pills," as they're known in Air Force lingo– when on 12-hour missions, even though the drug's manufacturer warns against operating heavy equipment or engaging in potentially hazardous activities while popping Dexies.

Worst excuse used by hunters for dumping deer carcasses in the Rivanna River: The beavers eat the carcasses, writes an irate Brenda Beazley to the Progress.

Best time to raise Monticello ticket prices: Right before kicking off the Lewis and Clark bicentennial celebration. Adult admission now costs $13, but Albemarle and Charlottesville residents can still get in for $6, and children under 12 who live here get in free.

Worst new appraisal of Sacagewa: As an incompetent slacker who couldn't guide her way out of a paper bag, opines Ben Metcalf in the December Harper's Magazine.

Best maneuvering by a junior senator: Virginia's George Allen is the first in the Senate to tell Trent Lott he needed to step down as majority leader, reports the December 22 Washington Post.

Best cameo by a junior senator: Allen portrays a tobacco-spitting officer on General Robert E. Lee's staff in the soon-to-be released Civil War movie Gods and Generals.

Best sign of a slow news day: Rocky, a cat that hangs out at the Carmike Theaters, is the lead story in the December 27 Daily Progress.

Best press release: The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation warns of the dangers of bacterial infection from tainted pedicures.

Best scene from The Hook  webcam: State Senator Creigh Deeds has an encounter with a constituent January 3 in front of Christian's Pizza that must not have been so cordial, judging from the way Deeds abruptly turns and strides off.