The week in review

Worst weather forecast: Hurricane Isabel

Best chad-related twist: A federal appeals court rules punch-card ballots in six California counties are unacceptable, potentially delaying the October 7 gubernatorial recall election. Chances of an appeal by recall proponents: guaranteed.

Worst attack on Iraqi police: U.S. forces mistakenly kill eight officers and a Jordanian soldier September 12.

Worst loss for country music fans: The Man in Black, singer Johnny Cash, 71, dies September 12.

Worst loss for sitcom fans: John Ritter, 54, the star of the '70s comedy Three's Company and current ABC hit 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, dies September 11.

Worst loss for tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams: Their older sister, Yetunde Price, is shot and killed September 14 in Compton, California.

Worst week for celebrity deaths: Other deaths include musician Warren Zevon (September 7), former Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl (September 8), and father of the H-bomb Edward Teller (September 9). [See essay on Teller, page 63. –editor]

Best magnet for angry Dear Abby letters: UVA's Dr. Gene Barrett, president of the American Diabetes Association, draws ire when he writes that "Wants a Life in Virginia" really shouldn't blame her husband's irresponsible and violent behavior on diabetes, according to Kate Andrews in the Daily Progress.

Best break for a UVA prof in an involuntary manslaughter case: Charges are dropped against Michael D. Atchison in the death of Yu Ching Yeh when Albemarle Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Camblos neglects to subpoena a medical witness. Atchison maintains he has a sleeping disorder that caused him to plow into Yeh's car April 9, 2002, Liesel Nowak reports in the Progress.

Worst family indictments: Raymond Phillips is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the August 26 shotgun death of his granddaughter, five-year-old Breanna Phaup. Breanna's mother, Elizabeth Phaup, is charged with misdemeanor distribution of Darvocet, according to the Progress' Austin Graham.

Best fundraising: UVA sets a money-raising record– again– raking in $261 million, $6.9 million more than in 2001-2002.

Worst Coors accident: An explosion at the Coors Brewing plant in Elkton September 9 kills two employees.

Best news for Charlottesville's neighborhood development services: City Council finally approves its new zoning ordinance September 15.

Best national appearance by a local musician: Corey Harris performs in the Martin Scorsese-directed first segment of a new PBS seven-part series called The Blues that airs 9pm September 28.

Worst UVA crackdown: Curtains, halogen lamps, and posters on more than 10 percent of wall space in dorm rooms are verboten because of stricter fire codes, Kate Andrews reports.

Best news for students caught with unloaded shotguns or rifles locked in their trucks: A General Assembly amendment exempts them from facing criminal charges– but schools can still suspend them for a year.

Best landing: Pilot Brian Conway lands his landing-gear-impaired twin-engine Beechcraft on its belly at Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Airport September 14 and walks away from the crash, reports WINA.

Best news for Bloom County fans: Berkeley Breathed resurrects his popular '80s strip. The reincarnation is called Opus, after Bloom County's lead penguin, and it'll appear starting in November in the Sunday funny pages.

Best green accolade: Organic Style magazine names Charlottesville the healthiest city in Virginia.

Best way to get a taste of Foxfield between the fall and spring runnings: The $700-dollar Foxfield cruise February 9-15, 2004, on the luxurious Celebrity Millennium, which sails from Fort Lauderdale to San Juan, the Dominican Republic, St. Thomas, and Nassau.