The week in review

Hottest neighborhoods: Venable, Maury Hills, and Azalea see the biggest increase in property assessments, bumping Belmont from last year's number-one position. Notices advising Charlottesville property owners of the 13.3 percent increase in property values are mailed January 27.

Worst week for homicide: Artis Wayne Keyton, 48, becomes Charlottesville's first murder victim of the year when he's stabbed outside the B&R Market on Avon Street January 24 and dies early the next day at UVA Medical Center. Joshua Lee Zimmerman, 25, is charged in the killing. And Ashley Lanette Toney, 19, is shot in the parking lot of the Trophy Chase Apartments early January 27, Albemarle County's first homicide. Phillip Jamar Green, 21, is charged with first-degree murder.

Biggest brawl: Approximately 15 people are involved in the Trophy Chase disturbance.

Most people arrested in a brawl: Seven people are charged in a fight at El Rey Del Taco on Greenbrier Drive early January 31 that sends three to UVA Medical Center for treatment.

Best lawsuit finding for Charlottesville police: Judge Bob Downer rejects Larry Monroe's $15,000 suit that claims he was harassed when Detective James Mooney asked him for a DNA sample to rule him out as a serial rapist suspect, Olympia Meola reports in the Daily Progress.

Worst nursing home scandal: Trinity Mission faces three wrongful death lawsuits seeking almost $6 million in damages, according to a story by Progress reporter Claudia Pinto.

Biggest academic scandal: Former Echols program dean James Sofka denies that he acted inappropriately with female students, the reason cited for his removal from that position by Arts and Sciences Dean Edward Ayers in a January 14 letter published in the Cavalier Daily.

Juiciest Jenna Bush dish: Is the President's daughter dating Henry Hager, son of former Lt. Governor John Hager? Official sources won't comment, but friends' of Henry are talking about the romance, according to Style Weekly.

Best book bill: The General Assembly considers a bill that requires college bookstores to publish the list of course textbooks as soon as they get them and forbids publishers from offering kickbacks to professors for assigning certain books.

Wisest new law: Wells must be drilled before Albemarle County issues building permits under its new Groundwater Ordinance that goes into effect February 8.

Worst loss of a public servant: Mortimer Yates Sutherland, former principal, member of the Albemarle School Board and Board of Supervisors, and inspiration for a middle school, dies January 24 at 92.

Worst day for soldiers from Virginia: Four Marines from the Lynchburg-based C Company are killed in Iraq January 26, the deadliest day (37 troops died) so far in the war.

Most anticipated vote: Iraqis go to the polls January 31.

Worst omission from last week's 4Better– and worst loss of a cultural icon: Late Night's Johnny Carson, who retired in 1992 while remaining the gold standard to a generation of comedians, dies at age 79 January 23.

Worst loss for glass and steel: Architectural giant Philip Johnson, 98, dies January 25.

Best buzz for Mallard Fillmore : The nationally syndicated comic strip founded at the Daily Progress (and ousted for being too conservative) beats out liberal Doonesbury in a Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram readers poll.

Worst buzz-kill: Both Fillmore and Doonesbury– bested by the likes of Family Circus and Garfield– find themselves near the bottom of the rankings.

Least obvious way to celebrate February: As Abstinence Promotion Month, so deemed by the Virginia Department of Health.