The week in review
Best reason for joy in Hooville: UVA gets its biggest donation ever– $45 million from the Ivy Foundation, a remnant of the W. Alton Jones Foundation– and Governor Mark Warner proposes a $554 million research initiative in his budget to benefit UVA's new cancer center.
Latest setback for Greene County: Scandal-plagued MZM, now known as Athena Innovative Solutions, is dumping its plans to buy the Technicolor plant in Ruckersville, according to Bob Gibson in the Daily Progress.
Best news for Albemarle County, we guess: Scandal-plagued MZM may add 50 jobs to its facility here near its major client, the National Ground Intelligence Center.
Best Christmas present for the Crozet VFD: A $58,900 grant from the Department of Homeland Security. Fifth District Congressman Virgil Goode, who received almost $90,000 in contributions from scandal-plagued MZM, announces the grant.
Best damage control for Goode: He announces December 12 the donation of $88,000 in MZM contributions to charities across the 5th District.
Most sordid case: Former UVA employee Edward Reese Brown, 58, is convicted on 25 child pornography counts December 6 and sentenced to at least 12 years in jail, Amanda Lawrence reports for NBC29. Police found over 2,700 porn images on Brown's computer in February, including some with infants. Brown goes to court on additional charges– aggravated sexual battery, indecent liberties with a minor, and four counts of producing child pornography– later this month.
Worst shooting: Hunter Reggie Gough is shot three times December 3 in Augusta when hunters mistake him for a deer. Another man shoots himself when his gun goes off the same day, NBC29 reports.
Worst intersection: U.S. 29 and Rio Road leads with the most accidents this year– 55– followed by U.S. 29 intersections at Hydraulic (26), Airport/Proffit Roads (19) and Woodbrook Drive (18), Jessica Kitchin at the DP reports.
Saddest loss of a former Albemarle School Board chair: John Baker, the Baker in Baker-Butler Elementary, dies December 7.
Saddest loss of a major UVA booster and donor: Amvest founder Carl Smith, whose name adorns Scott Stadium, dies December 8.
Worst day for deaths of landmark figures: December 10, when comedian Richard Pryor, 65, and former Senator Eugene McCarthy, 89, die.
Best move for the Jefferson School: It's added to the Virginia Landmarks Register, which could provide tax advantages for refurbishing the historic black school.
Latest Albemarle school superintendent: Acting Superintendent Pam Moran is named December 9 to succeed retiring supe Kevin Castner.
Biggest sticker shock: City Council votes to assess car taxes at the trade-in value rather than at the lower loan value December 5, on average an 11 percent increase, WCAV reports.
Biggest sticker lock: Albemarle supervisors vote to go from an annual car decal to a permanent one.
Biggest ecoterrorist bust: Six people are arrested December 7, including PVCC student Stanislas "Jack" Gregory Meyerhoff, 28, who's accused of setting fires at a lumber yard and tree farm in Oregon in 2001, for which the Earth Liberation Front– the same organization that torched a bulldozer at Hollymead Town Center in early 2004– claimed credit.
Nearest Extreme Makeover : The popular ABC show films in Blacksburg through December 11 and will air the "Crawford-Smith Family" in winter 2006.
Worst way to hire a hit man: By asking undercover cops to do the deed, as two Northern Virginia women, both named April Dawn, did in unrelated searches for someone to off their boyfriends.