The week in review
Worst images, just when you thought they couldn't get any worse: A videotape showing the beheading of American Nick Berg in Iraq is released May 11.
Worst howdy to immigrants: Fifth District Representative Virgil Goode introduces a bill April 29 to amend the Constitution to make English the official language of the United States, Bob Gibson reports in the Daily Progress.
Worst trend: A woman is sexually assaulted in her Wertland Avenue home around 5:30am May 17. Another woman is attacked in her residence off Harris Road May 13, and on April 29, a man strikes a woman who found him in a house on Stribling Avenue when she returned with a friend. Daniel Arnold Hudson is under arrest for the April 29 attack. None of these incidents has been linked to the still-at-large serial rapist.
Best description of a thief: "Yuppie robber" is the how the Progress describes an overweight white man, 45 to 50 years old, wearing an oxford shirt and khakis, fedora-style hat, sunglasses, and "a male purse," who knocked off the BB&T bank on Pantops May 17. WVIR notes the suspect sported a black fanny pack.
Most high-level appointments: Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority/Solid Waste Authority gets a new $103,800-a-year executive director, Thomas L. Frederick Jr., a year after former director Larry Tropea disappeared from the scene. Ronald Matthews is named superintendent of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail at $80K, following John Isom's retirement. And two weeks ago, Charlottesville City Schools got a new $140K-a-year superintendent, Scottie J. Griffin.
Highest court for goat cheese appeal: John Coles and Christine Solem take their 2000 misdemeanor convictions on sanitation violations to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing their farm was improperly searched, Liesel Nowak reports in the Progress.
Worst news for weekend cookouts: Harris Teeter at Barracks Road recalls 54 pounds of ground beef sold Thursday, May 13, between 1 and 9pm, citing the possibility that either yellow plastic or stainless steel fragments may have been ground with the beef.
Worst judicial excess: Newport News General District Court Judge Gary Mills is charged with domestic assault and battery for allegedly grabbing his 14-year-old son by the throat at a NASCAR event in Richmond May 14. Mills declines to comment, other than to say, "I think anybody who's raised an adolescent will know what a parent goes through sometimes with a teenager," according to the Associated Press.
Most anticipated insect: The Brood X cicada, which appears every 17 years. 2004 is its year.
Most dreaded fish: A snakehead, the toothy predator that can walk on land, is discovered in Virginia May 7 near Mount Vernon. Two more had been found by press time.
Best graduation get: The College of William & Mary has the Daily Show's Jon Stewart as its commencement speaker.
Best graduation pols: Governor Mark Warner speaks at the May 14 Piedmont Virginia Community College ceremony, the first time a governor has spoken at its commencement. UVA grads get Senator John Warner.
Better late than never: Olivia Ferguson McQueen, a plaintiff in the lawsuit that allowed blacks to attend Lane High School and Venable Elementary, receives an honorary diploma May 17, the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. McQueen spent much of her senior year in the superintendent's office, and did not receive a high school diploma.
Saddest, sweetest loss: Krispy Kreme doughnut shop on Emmet Street turns off the "hot and fresh" sign May 16.