The week in review
Worst big cat maulings since a white tiger attacked magician Roy Horn October 3: A bicyclist is in serious condition after she's attacked January 8 in California by a mountain lion that attempts to drag her away by the head. The same mountain lion is believed to have killed and partially eaten another biker that same day.
Worst tell-all from a former Bush Cabinet member: Former Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill, in a new book by journalist Ron Suskind, describes President Bush's detached policy-making style as "like a blind man in a room full of deaf people" and claims Bush wanted to go after Saddam Hussein as soon as he took office.
Least surprising response from the Bush administration: The Treasury Department is looking into whether O'Neill improperly released classified information.
Best second coming for Redskins fans: Revered Coach Joe Gibbs returns to save the losing 'Skins.
Most desperate escape: Once-convicted rapist Anthony Davis Slaughter makes a break for it January 7 as a Madison County jury deliberates his latest case. Slaughter is found two hours later hiding in a nearby barn. He was convicted again.
Best news for sexually active JMU students: The James Madison University Board of Visitors votes to resume supplying the morning after pill, which it stopped last spring after Delegate Robert Marshall complained.
Worst case of missing smoke alarms: A January 7 blaze on Lexington Avenue in a house owned by Martha Jefferson Hospital seriously injures 75-year-old Claudine Swift, Elizabeth Nelson reports in the Daily Progress.
Best fire news for North Garden residents: The North Garden fire station earns a dramatically improved rating that will lower insurance premiums for the community, according to a county release.
More expensive than cocaine: Bile from bear gallbladder, the sale of which, along with wild ginseng illegally harvested from the Shenandoah National Park, has made Virginia a hotbed in international black markets, according to the Associated Press. Thirty-eight people have been indicted on state charges and eight on federal charges.
Best sign Virginians think their electric bills are too high: 77,000 Dominion Virginia Power customers sign up to be part of a pilot program seeking an alternate supplier at competitive rates.
Best angel for the Paramount Theater: Upscale fundraiser Party Parade makes the Paramount the beneficiary of its partying efforts, which are expected to raise between $50,000 and $60,000.
Worst setback for Albemarle schools' dress code policy: An appeals court rejects the county's petition for a new hearing, upholding a December 1 ruling that its school dress code may be unconstitutional. Jouett Middle School student Alan Newsom, who was forced to wear his NRA t-shirt inside out, is now suing the county for $150,000 with the help of the NRA.
Best throwing down the gauntlet in the Fifth District: Congressional candidate Al Weed and Lieutenant Governor Tim Kaine propose a state university in hard-hit Southside Virginia, where incumbent Virgil Goode is firmly entrenched. Because the state is strapped, Weed and Kaine are trying to wrangle federal funds for the project.
Juiciest portrayal of the Bush twins: An excerpt in the Washington Post from Ann Gerhardt's new book, The Perfect Wife: The Life and Choices of Laura Bush, includes tidbits about how a sloppily dressed Jenna Bush dodged photographers on a state visit to France by having a valet hold garment bags to hide her, and how she screamed at her Secret Service agents, "You know if anything happens to me, my dad would have your ass," after a bar refused to serve her.