The week in review

Worst blackout: A power outage shuts down New York, Toronto, Cleveland, and points in between August 14, the worst in U.S. (and Canadian) history.

Worst worm: Blaster wreaks havoc in 500,000 computers.

Worst shooting: Raimond Riviere is shot four times by Albemarle County Police Officer J.M. Fields after a car chase and Riviere allegedly grabs Fields' Taser early August 16.

Worst way to find out your 30-year-old nephew visiting from France has been shot by police: From your ex-husband who read about it in the paper, which is what happened to Georgia Barbour after Riviere was shot, even though he was driving a car registered to her, the Daily Progress reports. Initially police and hospital staff refuse to provide family members information about the seriously wounded man.

Worst ruling for the devout at Virginia Military Institute: An evenly split federal appeals court lets stand a ruling that group prayers before supper at VMI are unconstitutional.

Worst reaction to the election of a gay Episcopal bishop: Two Virginia bishops get hate mail.

Worst Republican hit: Virginia state party chair Gary Thomson resigns August 12 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge for his role in last year's eavesdropping scandal where party leaders listened in on a Democrat conference call.

Best visit by a Democratic presidential candidate: Senator John Kerry skates in for a fundraiser at the Charlottesville Ice Park August 16, raising $25,000 for state Senator Creigh Deeds' Rough Mountain Leadership PAC, reports the Progress' Bob Gibson.

Best allies in the war against domestic violence: Hair stylists and nail technicians, who have been enlisted by Attorney General Jerry Kilgore to reach out to suspected battered clients.

Worst statistic: One in 37 adults– 5.6 million people– have done time, according to the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Best sign the power plant won: Old Dominion Electric Cooperative dedicates its 510-megawatt Louisa Power Station August 11, despite protests and a lawsuit by Louisa residents.

Worst hit to a city agency: The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority will lay off three administrators to make up a $280,000 deficit, Elizabeth Nelson reports in the Progress.

Worst parental dilemma: Deciding whether 26-year-old Jason Childress should remain on life support divides his parents, leaving it to a court appointed guardian to decide the comatose young man's fate. Claudia Pinto tells the story in the Progress.

Worst dog murder: Staunton downtown mascot and pet-therapy dog Mosby is shot in the face. James C. Coleman, 67, has been charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor of shooting another person's companion dog.

Best chase: An employee and the owner of Woodbrook Sports and Pro Shop chase down two moped-riding teens on foot and by pickup on U.S. 29 north and Berkmar Drive after a handgun is discovered missing from the store, according to a Reed Williams Progress article.

Best advice for people running for Albemarle County School Board: In an August 15 letter to the Progress outgoing school board member Gary Grant advises candidates to skip Coalition for a Responsible School Board forums and filling out its lengthy questionnaires and instead spend more time going door-to-door.

Best cloning: Arborists will attempt to propagate some aging trees at Monticello, reports James Fernald in the Progress.

Worst lightning strike: Nine Amherst cattle are killed during an August 10 storm when lightning strikes the tree they're under.

Best way to get a new refrigerator: Scottsville resident Sue Patterson wins a new Maytag from a Coca-Cola contest promoting the soft drink giant's new Fridge Pack.