The week in review

Biggest school board shaker: The job could become elected, after a citizen petition wins certification on the November 8 ballot, according to an August 9 release from City Councilor Rob Schilling.

Biggest debunking: A UVA School of Medicine study demolishes the popular theory that echinacea prevents or treats colds. Dr. Ronald Turner led the study, which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Best biotech job maker: Princeton's BioMeditech Corporation will build a $7 million facility at UVA Research Park and bring 115 jobs in the quest to test male fertility.

Best truck-driving job maker: Wisconsin-based Schneider National plans to hire 100 drivers in Central Virginia and offers signing bonuses and salaries starting at $34,500 up to $115K for owner-operators.

Biggest benefactor for Meadowcreek Parkway: Senator John Warner snags the $27 million needed to pay for the grade-separated interchange at the U.S. 250 bypass and McIntire Road. [See Hotseat on page xx.]

Best news for leadfoots: VDOT raises the speed limit to 60 mph on parts of U.S. 29, including strips in speed-trap-infested Greene and Madison counties.

Worst news for leadfoots: The Albemarle Supervisors ask VDOT return the limit on U.S. 29 south of I-64 to the Nelson County line to 55 mph, WINA reports.

Most dramatic change of heart: Vampire mask-wearing Kurt Kroboth, who pleaded guilty in May to the attempted murder of his wife, asks to change his plea, citing a misunderstanding, Liesel Nowak reports in the DP. His lawyers, Fran Lawrence and Rhonda Quagliana, have asked to be taken off the case because they'll be called to testify.

Most intriguing quote: "The desire to withdraw the guilty plea... has caused some stress in the relationship," Lawrence tells Nowak. Kroboth wants the attorneys to continue to represent him.

Most grown up: Fifteen-year-old Kevon Jackson will be tried as an adult for stabbing a 14-year-old boy in Friendship Court June 19 over a girl.

Latest in the Covenant hit-list story: The 16-year-old boy charged with threatening to "Columbine" fellow students pleads guilty to two felony counts of conspiring to communicate a threat and one misdemeanor assault charge July 27, according to another Nowak article in the Progress. A 15-year-old girl was also charged after telling five students, "You can die."

Biggest scam: Shady contractors fleece an unnamed 76-year-old retired UVA prof out of $65,000 through nonexistent or shoddy repairs.

Longest days: Congress extends daylight savings time. Beginning in 2007, citizens will spring back the second Sunday in March and fall forward the first Sunday in November.

Most perplexing story: The headline in the July 27 Progress– "80 Hikers lose way in heat"– details how middle school students ages nine to 13 were lost for hours on Observatory Hill in the scorching heat without food or water and 30 were taken to the emergency room.

Biggest relief: The students weren't hiking, and they weren't lost. Two had asthma, and a couple felt ill in front of the water tower on their way up O-Hill, so as a safety precaution, rescue workers whisked the whole group to the ER.

Best taste of home: The 60 Saudis studying at Virginia Tech this summer are learning in classrooms separated by gender, according to the AP.

Worst television appearance by a former Virginia congressional candidate: Faux-newsman Stephen Colbert runs comedic circles around one-time 7th District congressional hopeful Ben "Cooter" Jones August 3 on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, mocking Jones' boycott of the The Dukes of Hazzard movie and his contention that it abandons the "good clean fun" spirit of the original television series in which he starred.