The week in review

Worst loss for Albemarle: Charlotte Humphris, who served on the Board of Supervisors from 1989 to 2001 and was its first female chair, dies October 24 at age 73.

Worst loss for Albemarle police: Crime-fighting canine Ingo is fatally shot while responding to a burglary on Reservoir Road October 24. K-9 Officer Andy Gluba shoots robbery suspect Robert Lee Cooke, who is hospitalized in critical condition at press time.

Biggest teen death plot: Three youths are arrested in Madison County October 12 for allegedly plotting to poison several people, according to a Reed Williams story in the Daily Progress. One of the three also is charged October 21 with making a bomb threat to his school.

Worst setback for developer Richard Spurzem: The Albemarle Planning Commission shoots down his plans for a Pantops shopping center October 19, Julie Stavitski reports in the Progress.

Worst connection to Abu Ghraib: Staff Sargeant Ivan "Chip" Frederick from Buckingham is sentenced to eight years in prison October 21 for his role in abusing Iraqi prisoners, the longest sentence so far in the scandal. Frederick's relatives say he took the fall for superiors.

Worst fire week: Following the October 18 fire that destroys the Earlysville home of Lisa Robinson, afternoon fires break out October 20 in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and in a home on Stribling Avenue. A car crash early that morning starts several fires on West Rio Road.

Worst chain reaction: A BMW driven by Jensen Schmunk, 20, hits and splits a utility pole early October 20, which falls on a Dodge van, which catches fire. The fire damages a nearby Chevrolet and spreads to the basement of a residence on 580 West Rio Road. Electricity is out in the area for an hour, and the road closed because of downed lines for four hours. Damages are estimated at $28,000, and Schmunk is charged with operating a vehicle after illegal alcohol consumption.

Best time to check your smoke alarms: Now– or by October 31 when the time changes.

Worst Bus Safety Week: An overturned school bus adorns the front page of the October 23 Progress, the same day many parents get a letter from Albemarle County Schools announcing it's National School Bus Safety Week. None of the 42 Jouett Middle and Albemarle High students are seriously injured in the October 22 spill on Earlysville Road.

Oddest UVA/Miss America connection: The just- crowned Deidre Downs attended UVA for two years before transferring to Samford University in Alabama.

Most unusual poll watchers: Six hundred volunteer lawyers plan to be on hand Election Day for the state Dems' 2004 Voter Protection Program.

Best fugitive financier story: The Virginian-Pilot's October 5 account of former Charlottesvillian Richard M. Hirschfeld, who is captured hiding in the closet of a Fort Lauderdale manse October 1 after nearly nine years on the lam. Hirschfeld, known for his celebrity associations with Fernando Marcos, Kenny Rogers, Senator Orrin Hatch, and Robert Bork and business plans involving Muhammad Ali, was convicted of tax evasion and securities fraud in 1991, and was wanted on federal conspiracy charges.

Best quote from a Hirschfeld acquaintance: "The question in most people's minds is: How did he make contact with these people?" says Frank J. Quayle, owner of Roy Wheeler Real Estate. "How did he charm all these famous people?"

Worst Milli Vanilli flashback: Singer Ashlee Simpson is caught lip-synching on Saturday Night Live October 23, and flees the stage, later claiming (via daddy) she'd lost her voice from acid reflux and that she's very anti-lip synching.