The week in review

Best Nobel connection: UVA research professor Barry J. Marshall is awarded the Nobel in physiology and medicine for discovering that most peptic and gastric cancers are caused by a common bacterium. His research partner at the University of Western Australia, Robin Warren, shares the prize.

Worst felony charge against a UVA prof: Martin Straume, founder of the UVA Center for Biomathematical Technology and its former associate director, is charged with attempted malicious wounding after a female grad student alleges he tried to hit her with his car in front of Gilmer Hall September 13. Straume, who resigned from UVA September 20, is also charged with stalking, making harassing phone calls, and computer invasion of privacy.

Most controversial schedule: UVA President John Casteen receives a petition signed by 346 faculty members September 28 complaining that the new academic schedule starts school early so the football team will be free to accept future Tangerine Bowl invitations instead of being tied down by final exams. UVA denies the charge.

Best news for sellers/worst news for buyers: The median home price in the Charlottesville area shoots up nearly $40,000, from $234,210 in August 2004 to $273,525 a year later, according to the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors.

Best news for shoppers: Kohl's department store may be joining Target at Hollymead Town Center, David Kendrick reports in the Daily Progress.

Best get for the rescuers: Sissy Spacek kicks off 2005 fund drive for the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad September 28, and says she's called the squad to her Cismont farm four or five times, according to James Fernald in the Progress.

Worst traffic accident: Three people are killed and 11 injured in a four-vehicle incident in U.S. 15 in Louisa County October 1.

Worst day for fires: On October 3, hot coals from a cookout start a fire that destroys two units and damages six apartments at Abbington Crossing. That same evening, a home that had been under renovation in Staunton is engulfed in flames, and arson is suspected.

Latest literary loss: Writer and PEN/Faulkner Award founder Mary Lee Settle dies September 28 at age 87.

Latest Supreme Court justice: John Roberts is sworn in September 29 as the 17th chief justice of the United States.

Latest Supreme Court nominee: Harriet Miers, White House counsel and President Bush's personal lawyer, is named October 3 to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Latest gig for O'Connor: Chancellor at the College of William and Mary, succeeding former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Biggest jewel for the Queen City: Staunton's long-awaited Stonewall Jackson Hotel, which opened in 1924, reopens with a convention center September 21 after a two-year, $21 million renovation.

Best attorney general endorsements: Democrat Creigh Deeds, 25th district state senator, picks up an endorsement from the National Rifle Association, while his Republican opponent, Delegate Bob McDonnell, gets the blessing of the Virginia Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Best sheriff v. sheriff story: A New Jersey sheriff blasts the Augusta County Sheriff's Office because one of its deputies pulled a convoy of "speeding and reckless" law enforcement officers from Passaic County, NJ, heading home from Katrina relief efforts September 18 on I-81, according to the AP. State police received complaints that the convoy of 12-plus vehicles were running people off the road. Some of the New Jersey cops would not stop when accosted by their law enforcement brethren, says Augusta Sheriff Randall Fisher.