The week in review
Best news for North Grounds folk: Closed all summer, Massie Road reopens August 20, and the half-mile North Grounds Connector, which will join the U.S. 29/250 Bypass to Massie Road, is on schedule for completion by next June.
Worst news for Greene County folk: MZM Inc., which was going to buy the Technicolor building and bring jobs to the county before becoming embroiled in political scandal with California Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, will be purchased by Veritas Capital in September, leaving the future of the Technicolor building in doubt, Liesel Nowak reports in the Daily Progress.
Greenest county rides: Albemarle buys two Ford Escape hybrid sport utility vehicles and plans to add two Toyota Priuses to the fleet in the next several months, according to a release.
Worst peeping: A UVA grad student awakes to find a man in her bedroom August 18, the fourth incident of peeping reported in the Cherry Avenue area within eight days. Later that day, police arrest David Lee Long Jr., 26, and charge him with three counts of breaking and entering and one count of peeping.
Largest vigil: An estimated 200 people gather at the Albemarle County Office Building August 17 to show support for Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq and who camped outside President Bush's Crawford ranch for two weeks in an effort to question him about the war.
Weakest turnout: Approximately 15 people show for the NAACP-sponsored education rally August 20, according to David Hendrick in the Progress.
Sweetest deal: UVA football coach Al Groh, 61, signs a five-year contract that boosts his compensation to at least $1.7 million a season, up from his current $765K a year.
Biggest heist: Four "Gypsy-looking" people, including one with a "really bad" purple dye job, distract employees at the Student Book Store on the Corner August 20– first year move-in day– and abscond with about $2,700 from the safe, according to the Progress.
Best conductor: Lightning strikes a flagpole at Agnor-Hurt Elementary August 16. Brady Wolfe photographs the shattered brick base for the Progress.
Most startling connection: Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore tells WINA August 18 that a violent Northern Virginia El Salvadoran gang, MS-13, has ties to Al Qaeda. The FBI says there's no evidence to link the organizations.
Latest Pat Robertson controversy: The Virginia Beach televangelist calls for the assassination of Venezuela President Hugo Chavez August 22 on the Christian Broadcast Network's 700 Club.
Previous Robertson controversy: Robertson hawks his "age-defying" diet shake, now distributed by General Nutrition Corporation, on CBN, causing a watchdog group to complain Roberson has improperly used the network's tax-exempt, nonprofit status.
Second-best public university: UVA follows number one UC-Berkeley in U.S. News & World Report's annual college rankings. William & Mary ranks sixth.
Twenty-third best national university: UVA drops from last year's 22 spot to tie with Georgetown.
Best public liberal-arts college? Virginia Military Institute takes number one place.
Best reason to wait until a donor dies before putting his name on a building: Seton Hall University strips the name of convicted felon/alumnus Dennis Kozlowski, who donated $3 million while CEO of Tyco, from two structures, Inside Higher Ed reports.
Best reason not to wait: Seton Hall keeps the money.
Biggest send-off: The ashes of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson are blasted into the sky on a rocket from his Owl Creek Farm near Aspen, Colorado, August 20. Johnny Depp funds much of the pyrotechnics, in accordance with the wishes of Thompson, 67, who fatally shot himself February 20.