The week in review
Worst week for clubbing: Twenty-one people are killed when club-goers stampede to the exits in a Chicago nightclub February 17. And at least 97 people die in a Rhode Island nightclub on February 20 when pyrotechnics from a heavy metal band ignite.
Worst murder: A Crozet woman is stabbed to death and her house is set on fire February 19 with her three children inside; her three-year-old son also dies. Four teens from her neighborhood are arrested February 22.
Worst medical screw-up: Duke University Hospital transplants a heart and lung of the wrong blood type into a 17-year-old girl who later dies.
Best two weeks for hardware stores: First a run on duct tape and plastic sheeting and then on shovels suggests that Lowe's and Home Depot may be the best investments in a pre-apocalyptic America.
Worst local hits in the Virginia state budget: Pat Michaels' state climatologist office loses $10,170, Larry Sabato's Center for Politics is shorted $47,600, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities loses $103,480 and UVA's O'Brien Center for Excellence in Urology sees $270,000 dribble away, reports Bob Gibson in the Daily Progress.
Worst state in which to be innocent and convicted of a crime: Virginia, which limits the introduction of new evidence to 21 days after conviction, has extended it to a whopping 90 days.
Best show of appreciation: Five General Assembly leaders receive tins of caviar from the "Grateful Millionaires of Virginia" for repealing the estate tax that will cost the state around $78 million while it benefits one percent of the population, according to a Virginia Organizing Project press release.
Best news for Virginia citizens: The General Assembly adjourns before it can do any more damage.
Worst wrong turn: A truck driving the wrong way on U.S. 29 in Madison County kills a woman in a head-on crash.
Worst road rage: Angry motorists beat a VDOT snowplow operator in Stafford County, and hurl ice at a VDOT supervisor in Spotsylvania County on February 18.
Best perp walk photo: Donna Somerville, the Orange County woman accused of murdering her husband, is captured by Progress photog Andrew Shurtleff in a striped jailhouse ensemble and cuffs but not shackled, as the Albemarle couple sentenced to eight years for 16 misdemeanor counts were recently.
Best outlook for the Brown Schools: Its purchase by Psychiatric Solutions of Franklin, Tennessee, promises to put the chronic human rights violator out of its misery.
Worst view in Lee Park: James H. Snow, 51, is arrested for indecent exposure February 19 after whipping it out in front of a woman around 8:45pm, the Progress reports.
Best obituary: Ninety-one-year-old UVA archivist and professor emeritus Francis Berkeley's, which notes, among many accomplishments, that Berkeley was responsible for restoration of the Rotunda to its Jeffersonian origins with the Dome Room and oval rooms.
Best school board decision for swimmers: Albemarle County makes competitive swimming a permanent high school sport.
Worst fraternity on PETA's cruelty-to-animals list: Charlottesville-based Kappa Sigma, already in trouble with PETA for the 1999 bashing of an opossum by the Middle Tennessee State chapter and the 2002 strapping of fireworks onto the back of a turtle by the University of Missouri-Rolla chapter, draws its third strike February 7 when seven members of the Davidson College chapter lure a mother goose from her family with bread crumbs and beat her to death with a golf club. PETA wants the chapter disbanded.
Worst sign of impending doom: Ntelos, the Waynesboro-based telecommunications company, misses $24.6 million in interest payments that were due February 18.
Worst flashback to the Artist Formerly Known as Prince: The Virginia Film Festival announces "$"is its theme this year.
Worst snow legacy: Potholes everywhere.