The week in review

Best boost for presidential candidate John Kerry: The Massachusetts senator wins the January 19 Iowa caucuses.

Worst horror on I-95: A fuel truck plunges off a three-story overpass in Maryland, exploding on the interstate below and killing four motorists January 13.

Most shocking death statistics to come out of Iraq: 22 U.S. servicemen committed suicide there last year.

Best sign City Council elections are looming: Less than three weeks before the February 7 Democratic convention, chiropractor David Brown and Rose Hill Neighborhood Association president Kendra Hamilton toss their hats into the race for three open council seats. At press time, incumbents Maurice Cox, Meredith Richards, and Kevin Lynch had not announced their intentions to run or not.

Least welcome paving of a dirt road: Neighbors are grousing about SunCom founder Thomas Sullivan's plans to pave a three-mile section of Blenheim Road at his own expense, David Dadurka reports in the Daily Progress.

Worst hiking story: Delores Kay Reed, 46, of Stuarts Draft is found dead in Shenandoah National Park January 14 by her husband, who reported her missing January 12. Authorities are awaiting an autopsy report to determine the cause of death.

Worst end to a bad story: Convicted pedophile Richard A. Ausley is found dead in his prison cell January 13. Ausley abducted 13-year-old Paul Martin Andrews, buried him in a box and sexually molested him in 1973, leading to a Virginia law last year that can keep serial abusers incarcerated after serving their prison sentences. [See News story, page XX.]

 Best outrage: Valley pilots cry foul after a January 14 CBS News story says little private airports, such as Eagle's Nest in Waynesboro, could pave the way for terrorist attacks. Eagle's Nesters say their planes are tied down, locked up, and safe– according to the Waynesboro News-Virginian.

Most mysterious absence: UVA women's basketball star Brandi Teamer is suspended indefinitely, and Coach Debbie Ryan remains mum on exactly what team rules Teamer broke.

Worst way to get a smoke: Someone tosses a cement block through the window of the Joy Food Store on East High Street early January 12 and makes off with 20 packs of Marlboros and 16 packs of Newports, according to the Progress.

Least successful fencing: Shoplifter Michael Cody, 41, of Culpeper confesses to stealing more than $25,000 worth of merchandise and is discovered when he tries to sell a purloined antique toy train on eBay.

Best idea to come out of the DMV recently: Publishing wait times of offices on its website,

Best media saturation: Soloist Dave Matthews appears on the Today Show January 8, on Jay Leno January 13, and on VH-1's Driven.

Best plug for Charlottesville: Several locals– including John D'earth, Joel Jones, and Chris Tetzeli– appear on the recent Driven episode detailing the early years of Dave Matthews. Photos by Hook staffers Jen Fariello and Hawes Spencer also appear on the show.

Best second act: Virginia Tonight, the 30-minute show that public TV station WVPT airs after The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, picks Crystal Abbe Graham as co-host. Graham was editor of the Observer during the reign of Jeffrey Peyton and now runs an online newspaper with her husband, Chris, in Waynesboro.

Headline most likely to cause a double-take: "Sodomy law under review" tops a photo of two men campaigning for Senator John Edwards in the January 14 Progress.