The week in review

Best balance for Yankee John Kerry's presidential ticket: He adds Southerner John Edwards to the VP slot July 6.

Best news for Guantanamo Bay prisoners: The U.S. Supreme Court rules the nearly 600 accused terrorists from Afghanistan, who've been held over two years, must get their day in court.

Most bungled legislation: A law attempting to repeal "blue laws" mistakenly gives workers the option of taking Sundays off as a "day of rest," leaving employers scrambling. A court issues a stay, and yet another special session of the General Assembly may be called to repair the law, which took effect July 1.

Biggest acquittal: An Orange County judge finds Donna Somerville, the so-called "Black Widow," not guilty June 29 of poisoning her rich husband, Hamilton "Ham" Somerville.

Biggest trial surprise: Not a shred of direct evidence tying her to the alleged crime.

Biggest batch of destroyed DNA: More than 160 DNA samples collected in the search for the City's serial rapist have been destroyed, and another 50 are headed for the incinerator this week, according to Reed Williams in the Daily Progress.

Biggest dismissal: Rape charges against "DJ Twist" Jefferson Ward, a former WNRN disc jockey, are dropped July 1, Liesel Nowak reports in the Progress. Ward was accused of drugging a woman who said she awoke to find him having sex with her. Prosecutors announce that physical evidence failed to support the allegations.

Latest suspension: George Albert Bates' license to practice law is suspended– again– after a felony conviction for bashing his brother over the head with a bat. Bates, who's been reprimanded by the Virginia State Bar four times, is serving a 20-month sentence at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Jail.

Worst report card: Clark Elementary doesn't have enough students passing the SOLs, so parents can choose to send their children to another school under the No Child Left Behind Act.

Best hospital: UVA Medical Center– at least for nine specialties, according to U.S. News & World Report's July 12 issue.

Newest historic marker: The Inge Family Store, now the site of West Main restaurant, at the corner of Fourth Street NW, is honored as a center for commercial and social life in the Vinegar Hill neighborhood during the days of segregation. George P. Inge founded Inge's Grocery in 1891.

Hottest hunk: Actor and UVA grad Shawn Patrick Thomas is on the cover of Ebony's "Hottest TV Hunks" issue.

Biggest Wimbledon upset: 17-year-old Russian babe Maria Sharapova snatches the title from the formidable Williams sisters.

Best choice for a New York Times  guest columnist: Award-winning writer and Charlottesville resident Barbara Ehrenreich appears on the op-ed page on Thursdays and Sundays in July.

Greatest loss of an acting icon: Marlon Brando, 80, dies July 1.

Worst whitewater rafting accident: Staunton resident Morgan Funk, 15, dies in a class-5 rapid June 29 after capsizing in the New River on a guided expedition with her father.

Worst post-tubing accident: Jennifer Taborga, 27, dies July 5 driving back from a day on the James River. Four passengers survive.

Worst public shooting: Thomas Brown is charged June 29 after allegedly chasing his wife, Wendy Brown, out of B&B Cleaners in Crozet and shooting her in the hip.

Worst driving: A Ford Bronco backs between 100 and 150 feet into a house in the Woodbrook subdivision early July 1, according to the Progress. Joshua Torbick is charged with driving under the influence and felony hit-and-run on the same day Virginia's tough new DUI laws go into effect.