The week in review

Worst desecration: Eight contractors, including four Americans, are killed and two are dragged through the streets of Fallujah, Iraq, March 31.

Worst sticker shock: Gas prices average $1.75 nationally, and are expected to continue to rise as OPEC cuts production.

Most notorious drug trial: Alonzo W. Trice, who kept pit bulls so vicious that SPCA staffers were traumatized when they had to house the beasts before euthanizing them, testifies March 30 against his former protégé, Gregory Antonio Bates "Capone" Felton in the September 14, 2002, shooting of Gerald Andrew Michie, Liesel Nowak reports in the Daily Progress. In April 5 testimony, Felton claims Trice was the triggerman.

Worst repeat offender: Nathaniel Hollis Lamb, 20, is charged with soliciting sex from a minor the same day he receives a suspended sentence for soliciting prostitution, according to a Reed Williams story in the Progress. Lamb was arrested in February after promising a woman $4,000 to have sex with him and arriving at the rendezvous with a stun gun but no money.

Worst botched drug test: William W. Kirk is caught with urine other than his own strapped to his leg when he goes to take a drug test in the probation office on Harris Street and is charged with a misdemeanor, WINA reports.

Most miraculous recovery: The 15-month-old girl shot through the brain during an apparent murder-suicide was released from a Rhode Island hospital Sunday, March 28, and will recover, according to the Willamantic, Connecticut, Chronicle. The toddler's father, Harry Powell II, 25, of Charlottesville, allegedly shot and killed her mother, 23-year-old Shara Bartholomew, before killing himself at the Connecticut home of Bartholomew's parents March 22.

Biggest plans for Scottsville: A 700-home subdivision, which residents of the town, population 555, vow to fight, David Dadurka reports in the Progress.

Worst name for a subdivision: Mink Creek Estates, Republic Land Development's name for the proposed Scottsville development.

Best minimum wage: The City of Charlottesville considers raising its hourly wage from $8.28 to $9.

Best belated recognition: City Council votes to rename the Performing Arts Center in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. [See cover story sidebar on MLK's visit to Charlottesville in 1963.]

Best news for Pete Gillen: He gets to stay in his approximately $900,000 per year coaching job.

Twenty-fifth best medical school: UVA edges up from last year's 27th-place U.S. News and World Report ranking in research, but drops to 31st in patient care.

Best showing by a UVA grad in the Pulitzer Prizes: Edward P. Jones, author of The Known World, takes this year's fiction prize.

Best protest: Students for a Free Tibet greet Chinese ambassador Yang Jiechi at the Rotunda April 5 with Tibetan flags and posters of imprisoned monk Tenzin Delek, while another group displays a Chinese flag in support of Jiechi, the Cav Daily reports.

Worst protest: Two incidents of heckling occur in the Dome Room during Jiechi's speech.

Most historic gym: Memorial Gymnasium is added to the Virginia Landmarks Register, along with two other UVA properties– Monroe Hill and McCormick Observatory.

Biggest winners: Winchester residents J.R. and Peggy Triplett step forward to claim the February 20 Mega-Millions lottery prize of $239 million, the largest jackpot in Virginia history.

Best news for the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in Staunton: The flophouse is getting a $21-million makeover and should reopen in October 2005.

Worst mood breaker: A 21-year-old Newport News woman loses a March 29 motion to drop her felony sodomy charges for receiving oral sex in a parked car. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison.