The week in review

Best arrest for the spam-weary: Two North Carolina men are indicted on four felony counts of transmission of unsolicited bulk electronic mail following an investigation by Attorney General Jerry Kilgore's office.

Best arrest for the war-weary: Saddam Hussein is found hiding in a hole in the ground near his hometown of Tikrit, Iraq, December 13.

Worst look at a deposed leader: A doctor shining a light into Hussein's mouth and checking his hair for lice.

Worst censorship: France, which already frowns on foreign words invading the language, considers banning religious attire such as Islamic headscarves and Jewish yarmulkes in public buildings, including schools.

Wettest record: Area rainfall tops the 1937 high of 72.88 inches. [See contest, page XX.]

Best reason to not raise stamp prices: The U.S. Postal Service reports a $3.9 billion surplus for 2003.

Worst finale for Monticello High: Its seemingly unstoppable football team gets trounced 48-18 by Gretna in the state championship game December 13.

Worst month for "Robos": November, as three teens admitted to emergency room after swilling too much cough syrup to get a hallucinogenic buzz, according to Claudia Pinto in the Daily Progress.

Best decision for gay teens: The Albemarle County School Board at its December 11 meeting lets stand the posting of controversial rainbow triangle stickers, which indicate a safe haven, on the doors of guidance counselors at Western Albemarle.

Least likely to win Father of the Year award: Charles E. McCauley, already convicted of assaulting his adult daughter, pleads guilty to abducting her and conspiring to have her killed December 9, Liesel Nowak reports in the Progress.

Worst charge on McCauley's lengthy rap sheet: Having carnal knowledge of a brute animal.

Worst mauling: An Electrolux rep, Kate Leary, is bitten 26 times by two dogs in Louisa December 10, according to the Progress.

Best news for traffic-plagued Locust Grove residents: The Park Street bridge reopens December 10.

Best action photo of a mayor: The Progress' Rachel Zahumensky catches Maurice Cox directing traffic as cars flow onto the newly reopened bridge.

Best retention: UVA tops the list of African-American students at public universities for the 10th year in a row, with 85 percent graduating, compared to a national average of 39 percent.

Worst day in court for a Greene County official: Nick Hahn, director of planning, pleads guilty December 11 to driving under the influence on September 27, the Progress reports. Hahn still faces a felony hit-and-run charge for driving his SUV into a police officer, breaking his leg, and then leaving the scene.

Worst loss for Broadway: UVA grad Lewis Allen, 81, producer of Annie, winner of three Tony awards, and Virginia Film Festival supporter, dies of pancreatic cancer December 8.

Worst loss for Beach Music: Portsmouth, Virginia-native Bill Deal, whose beach music hits with the Rhondels include "What kind of fool do you think I am?" and "I've Been Hurt" dies December 10 at age 59.

Best anniversary: December 17– 100 years after Orville Wright first soared.

Worst photo/headline juxtaposition: "UVA leads in black graduates," on page one December 11 Progress, is over a picture of a white woman behind bars wearing black-and-white stripes.

Second worst photo/headline: "Quake rattles Central Va." tops a photo of Santa-capped Messiah singers and an open-mouthed choral director December 10.

Third worst: "Tougher DUI laws proposed" caps a shot of kid dressed as Zacharia in a medieval weapons shop.