The week in review

Worst looting: First the theft of priceless artifacts in Baghdad's National Museum of Antiquities and then the burning of the National Library leave Iraq's cultural heritage decimated.

Best response: The FBI has sent over its top art theft expert, none other than Central Virginian Lynne Chaffinch.

Worst Councilmanic sniping: After Charlottesville City Council approves a $93.6 million budget April 15, lone Republican Rob Schilling holds a press conference to explain why he voted against the budget, only to be heckled by co-councilor Kevin Lynch. [See related news story.]

 Best news for Republicans: Delegate Rob Bell announces he'll run for reelection to his 58th District General Assembly seat, and no challengers have yet stepped forth.

Best chance for Democrats: Democrat Eric Strucko was defeated four years ago by incumbent Albemarle Supervisor Walter Perkins, but Perkins isn't running this year, and Strucko is the only announced candidate for the White Hall seat.

Best indication the Clean Air Act still has teeth: On April 18, Dominion Power reaches a $1.2 billion agreement with the EPA the largest ever– to reduce air emissions by cleaning up its coal-burning power plants.

Worst news for basketball fans: Michael Jordan retires again.

Worst audience for estate jokes: Folks at the annual Shad Planking. Millionaire Governor Mark Warner's joke about how bummed his daughters were that he didn't get rid of the "dead millionaires tax" falls painfully flat, according to various accounts.

Best unemployment numbers: At 2.7 percent, Charlottesville's jobless rate is the lowest in the state, where the average is 4.3 percent.

Worst ongoing saga: On top of the $2.4 million civil suit he's already filed, Corey Faison, acquitted of abduction and wanking, sues four Albemarle County police officers for $1 million for allegedly violating his constitutional rights.

Worst news for randy JMU students: The campus student health center has stopped dispensing the "morning after" pill because Delegate Robert Marshall claims the drug is abortive rather than contraceptive.

Worst name for an illness: "Winter vomiting disease."

Worst fake robbery: Police determine that a January 9 Water Street Subway robbery was a fraud, and charge employee Douglas Wayne Meadows with felony embezzlement and filing a false police report.

Worst vandalism: Mailboxes, signs, and vehicles are smashed or spray painted in a western Albemarle crime spree.

Best quote from the alleged vandals: "They said they were under the influence. They were drinking and high and out being stupid. That's what they told us," Officer Todd Lytton is quoted in the Daily Progress.

Worst omen for U.S. 29 traffic: A proposal to charge a toll on I-81 could shift truckers eastward, further clogging traffic in Charlottesville.

Best news for aging Boomers: Virginia's population is getting younger, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, thus providing a steady stream of whipper-snappers to continue paying into Social Security.

Best budget news for bookworms: Albemarle County adds $35,000 so that the book mobile can continue to roll.

Worst news for rare burger aficionados: The Virginia Department of Health urges backyard chefs to overcook their burgers to an unappetizing gray because nine E.coli cases have been reported so far this year.

Best Wal-Mart attempt at beautification: The retailing behemoth presents $500 to Agnor-Hurt Elementary School to plant flowers and develop a butterfly garden.

Worst headline/photo juxtaposition in the Progress : "Saddam's half brother captured" appears over a photo of a man wearing a U.S. uniform, who is in fact an Army chaplain and no relation to Hussein.

Second worst headline/photo combo: "Louisa, Fluvanna look at pipeline" is illustrated by a man bowed in prayer who turns out to be another Army chaplain with soldiers in the background at an Easter service in Iraq.