The week in review
Worst dog abuse: Binding the front paws of a boxer and dumping her off a 27-foot Albemarle County bridge. Despite her two broken legs and head injuries, the dog is doing well. [See story, page 6.]
Worst flooding: Downtown Staunton is submerged after an August 8 storm.
Worst ongoing mystery: Why Albemarle County police think former deputy Stephen Shiflett was lying when he claimed he was shot by a "suspicious" black man, yet Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Camblos says there's not enough evidence to charge him with filing a false police report. Reed Williams follows the continuing controversy in the Daily Progress.
Best pairing at a press conference on the alleged Shiflett shooting: Camblos and NAACP rep Cindy Stratton. She announces she's satisfied thus far after meeting with Camblos; he refuses to even hint at what evidence cast doubt on Shiflett's story because of the ongoing investigation.
Worst jailhouse suicide: Shawn T. Roach, charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Greene County resident Carlton A. Williams, hangs himself with shoelaces July 28 in the Central Virginia Regional Jail.
Best resurrection: Owen Young, who disappeared in January and whose friends held a memorial service for him June 14, turns up in Tampa, Florida, at the end of July, the Progress reports.
Best circus: California's recall election of Governor Gray Davis, starring Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hustler founder Larry Flynt, pundit Arianna Huffington, and former child star Gary Coleman.
Best news for gay Episcopalians: Besides a new gay bishop, the church will allow the blessing of same-sex unions.
Worst threat to federal judicial independence: Attorney General John Ashcroft orders reporting of judges who impose sentences lighter than that called for by sentencing guidelines.
Best sign the American textile industry is still in big trouble: Pillowtex files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and lays off around 1,000 people in already hard-hit Henry County in southern Virginia.
Best West Nile story: The August 6 Observer says the Health Department has quit "counting crows" because plenty of area dead birds have already tested positive for the virus.
Best rabid cat story: A housecat in Buckingham County bites a woman, becoming the fifth rabid pet in that county in as many months, Austin Graham reports in the Progress.
Worst punctured bowel: Brandy E. Abbott is awarded a $950,000 malpractice judgment against Charlottesville gynecologist Ted Harris when a laparoscopic surgery goes awry, according to a Liesel Nowak story in the Progress.
Best week for attorney Deborah Wyatt's clients who sued Albemarle County: Corey Faison, who was acquitted of abduction last summer, settles his civil lawsuits against two Albemarle police detectives. Another Wyatt client, Albemarle police officer Karl Mansoor, who won a lawsuit alleging county officials violated his freedom of speech, also reaches a settlement. The amount the county pays Faison and Mansoor was not disclosed.
Best reason to hire a signer: When both the stabbing victim and the alleged perp are deaf. According to WINA, a city police officer who uses sign language had to sort out the details after Vernon Lydell Buggs of Fluvanna allegedly broke into the Camelia Drive residence of his friend Rodney Williams and stabbed him.
Worst loss for WVIR Channel 29: Beloved weather guy Robert Van Winkle will depart for an undisclosed location August 15 after 17 years with the station, according to Bob Gibson in the Progress.
Second worst loss for NBC 29: Weekend anchor Brooke Baldwin also leaves.
Best peek inside Patricia Kluge's abode: Albemarle House is featured August 3 on the Home and Garden channel's Top 10 Most Amazing Houses.