The week in review
Best new episode in Louisa's continuing police soap opera: The town's police chief and another officer are arrested for assault and battery, according to a Braxton Williams story in the Daily Progress. Sergeant Robert Rigsby, who was suspended by a previous chief in 2002 for wearing gold chains and showing too much chest hair, accuses current Chief John Wilson of striking him in the groin. Wilson denies that happened, and contends the alleged incident was merely "joking and horseplay."
Best way to outrage PETA: UVA maintains a lab where med students operate on dogs to learn procedures, and the canines are then put to death, reports Claudia Pinto in the Progress. A group called Citizens for Humane Medicine has formed to stop the elective course.
Biggest bust: The Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force arrests three men January 21, seizing an estimated $140,000 in drugs and $70,000 in cash, dwarfing last year's "Operation Spring Breakdown," which indicted 33 people, many of them UVA students, but confiscated only a paltry $20,000 worth of drugs.
Biggest buy: The Thomas Jefferson Foundation plans to lay out $15 million to protect Monticello's views by purchasing 300-plus-acre Brown's Mountain.
Best budget news for Albemarle County teachers: Superintendent Kevin Castner requests an additional $3.2 million in funding to boost teacher pay scale between 5.8 percent and 8.7 percent.
Worst way to express disapproval of Culpeper County government: A disgruntled citizen leaves a dead cow in the county administrative parking lot January 19, the Progress reports.
Best endorsement of Governor Mark Warner's tax reform plan: The Virginia Chamber of Commerce backs Warner's plan, including the one-cent sales tax increase and the proposed 25 cents-a-pack cigarette tax.
Most redundant resolution: A Virginia House of Delegates committee passes a resolution urging a national Constitutional amendment against gay marriage.
Best way to draw the wrath of Microsoft: Delegate Mitch Van Yahres finds out when he introduces HB 842, which would allow state agencies to use open-source software, he reports in his weekly newsletter from Richmond.
Largest jump in murder statistics: Five killings last year push Albemarle County's rate up 400 percent. Overall, the county's crime rate decreased eight percent in 2003.
Worst local literary loss: Alexandra Ripley, 70, author of Gone With Wind-sequel Scarlett, dies January 10.
Best addition to the circus of CEOs on trial: Martha Stewart heads to court January 20.
Best salvation for the Salvation Army: McDonald's billionaire Joan Kroc leaves the bell-ringing organization $1.5 billion.
Worst flashback to Alabama's former chief justice Roy Moore: Greensboro city councilor Vernon Robinson installs a four-foot tall granite block inscribed with the Ten Commandments and the Bill of Rights in City Hall January 19. The monument is removed the next day.
Biggest sigh of relief from the Staff Union of UVA: William and Mary, Virginia Tech, and UVA postpone a bill to become chartered state universities, autonomy that the SUUVA believes will not benefit workers.
Best example of getting away with urine dousing: Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman determines that an October incident in which Delta Sigma Phi pledges were soaked with urine and vinegar does not constitute hazing because there was no serious bodily harm, Kate Andrews reports in the Progress.