The week in review
Worst raising Kaine: The Democrats decide to have Virginia's newbie Governor Tim Kaine rebut President Bush's State of the Union address January 31, and critic Ariana Huffington asks: "What the hell are they thinking?" (She alleges that Dems simply wanted a blue guv who won a red state.)
Widest margin: If the 2008 Presidential election were held now, former Governor Mark Warner would trounce Senator George Allen by a margin of 49 to 32 percent, according to a Center for Politics poll.
Widest margin, part 2: In the 2006 U.S. Senate race, Allen leads Democrat Harris Miller by 30 points, according to a Rasmussen survey.
Biggest grant: The MacArthur Foundation awards $4.5 million for UVA law prof John T. Monahan to study legally mandated treatments of people with mental disorders.
Second most oscillations: A 1997 paper by UVA researcher Wladek Minor has been declared the second-most-cited scientific opus in the world in the last 10 years, according to The Scientist magazine. Co-written with Zbyszek Otwinowski of the University of Texas, the paper is titled "Processing of X-ray Differentiation Data Collected in Oscillation Mode."
Best workplace for commuters: The City of Charlottesville, according to the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation, for encouraging smart alternative transportation programs like carpools, public transit, walking, biking and telecommuting. Charlottesville is one of 20 employers recognized.
Biggest protection: The owners of Castle Hill donate 345 acres to the Nature Conservancy, at the same time putting 1,203 acres into a conservation easement. The group scores another 33 acres from an adjoining landowner, according to a Jessica Kitchin report in the Progress.
Widest protection: A record 10,500 Albemarle acres go into such easements in 2005.
Latest in the Sampson saga: Sir Ralph, the former 'Hoo basketball standout, is indicted for lying about his finances to get a court-appointed lawyer for his federal child-support case. Sampson will be sentenced February 1 for failure to pay $307,036 for his two daughters by two different women.
Worst invasion: A Charlottesville woman returns to her 15th Street Northwest home January 17 to find two men she didn't know in her living room.
Worst teen spirit: Two young males– one wielding a firearm– and two females rob the Auto Zone January 21. Police describe them as black, wearing dark clothes, and appearing to be between 16 and 21. A similar robbery with similar suspects occurred a week earlier on January 14 at Westpark Market.
Best beneficiary of tobacco: Children, Youth & Family Services, Inc. receives a three-year, $224,700 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation.
Most molestations: Two Augusta County citizens are charged with sex crimes in the past week. Waynesboro resident Joseph Lee Weddle, 42, is indicted January 18 on five felony counts for allegedly molesting a girl, now 17, over the past decade, according to an NBC 29 report. And a Stuarts Draft resident, Jason Edward Fretwell, 27, who used to work for the Nelson County Sheriff's Office, is charged on three counts that involve a 15-year-old female family member, reports the Progress.
Best road map: Charlottesville Today's Brian Wheeler puts together a transportation matrix listing every transportation project, real and proposed, in the area, and what's going on with each.
Greenest gathering: Members of the Sierra Club, People's Alliance for Clean Energy, Center for Peace and Justice, and Alternatives to Paving present 19 environmental imperatives to Charlottesville and Albemarle officials January 19.