The week in review


Worst natural disaster: A 9.0 earthquake in the Indian Ocean December 26 unleashes tsunamis in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and eight other countries, leaving at least 139,000 dead– a number that could rise to 150,000– and more than one million homeless, according to United Nations estimates.

Saddest local loss: Nine-year-old Tekeyah Williams dies January 3 after being struck December 31 at Carlton Avenue and Carlton Road while crossing on the electric scooter she got for Christmas. Derrick Tim Coger is arrested and charged with felony hit-and-run.

Rarest bust: For dogfighting. Davey Mundie is arrested January 1 at Pea Ridge Road off Garth Road when police investigate a complaint about a pit bull fight. Five dogs are seized, and Mundie is charged with organized fighting of dogs, a Class 6 felony, and misdemeanor neglect of an animal.

Worst love gone awry: Former boyfriend Dwayne Scott Wyland is charged with the first-degree murder of rival Timothy Wayne Wilkerson December 28 at the Schuyler home of the woman both were romantically involved with, John Yellig reports in the Daily Progress.

Worst parking lot fire: Seven cars are damaged or destroyed in the Norcross Station Apartments lot at Fourth and Garrett streets December 29, and police are looking at the possibility of arson, according to WVIR.

Worst excuse for a catalyst: In an unsigned report on the December 29 robbery of a 17-year-old girl on 15th Street in which three men knocked her down and stole her wallet, the Progress writes that the girl "walked by and said 'hi,' sparking the attack."

Worst Christmas present for Albemarle First Bank: Two board members– Richard Spurzem and Chuck Dean– propose putting a for-sale sign up at the struggling locally owned bank, which lost more than $2 million in the Ivy Industries check kiting scandal in 2003.

Biggest Freedom of Information Act flouting: Waynesboro revises its charter, but City Council votes to keep a pre-FOIA clause that allows it to hold secret meetings without public notification, the News Virginian reports.

Worst holiday travel: Struggling US Airways has to cancel hundreds of flights over Christmas when employees call in sick and thousands of passengers lose their luggage.

Best news for Motor City travelers: Northwest Airlines will begin two nonstop daily flights from Charlottesville to Detroit in April.

Most disappointing trip to Boise: The Fresno State Bulldogs bite UVA 37-34 in the MPC Computers Bowl December 27.

Most yards: UVA grad Tiki Barber sets two New York Giants records January 2 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Oldest mom: Tina Cade, 55, gives birth to her daughter's triplets December 28 in Richmond after undergoing in vitro fertilization last spring.

Best gift for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts: An artists' retreat in France, courtesy of the Donnell-Kay Foundation in Denver.

Best Dan Rather replacement: Katie Couric, says Broadcasting & Cable columnist J. Max Robins, who calls the telegenic UVA grad "the most incandescent of all the stars in the news constellation."

Best reason for CBS to name an interim anchor: Couric still has 18 months to run on her $15-million-a-year NBC Today contract.

Best Oprah cameo: The photos of J. Tayloe Emery, occasional Hook and former C-ville contributor whose 1995 cover photo of the DMB in Vegas launched his career into stints with Rolling Stone and MTV, appear on Oprah Winfrey's show December 23 behind an interview with actor Brad Pitt about the pair's recent trip to African AIDS clinics, hospitals, and orphanages.