The week in review
Biggest meetings: An Albemarle Board of Supervisors hearing July 13 on the proposed Western 29 Bypass brings out the citizenry, with 108 signed up to speak. A Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting the next day draws 60 speakers.
Biggest name in opposition camp: Author John Grisham makes an appeal to the supes with his concerns about outside influences on the bypass decision.
Biggest supporters of the bypass: Fourteen Chambers of Commerce signal their approval of the six-mile road.
Biggest surplus: Virginia finds an unexpected $311 million in its coffers at the end of the fiscal year June 30, according to the Associated Press.
Biggest mystery: Will Sherlock Holmes and A Study in Scarlet be booted from sixth grade reading lists in Albemarle because of Sir Conan Doyle's portrayal of Mormons as murderous, violent bigamists? Oh, wait, Doyle didn't refer to them as bigamists. The School Board discusses the issue July 14, and tables a vote.
Grimmest coda: Teacher's aide-killer Austin Griffin, 21, pleads guilty to the May 2009 first-degree murder of Opal Paige, 73, who was stabbed 26 times in her home in Afton, the Nelson County Times reports. He's sentenced July 14 to three consecutive life sentences for the murder, burglary, and robbery. Griffin, represented by Fran Lawrence, had faced the death penalty.
Saddest skateboarding accident: Crozet teen Yunze Sun, 15, is hit by a pizza delivery car on U.S. 250 near Harris Teeter around 9:15pm July 15. He dies the next morning, the county's 11th traffic fatality this year.
Latest motorcycle fatality: Jason D. Thomas, 26, of Schuyler, goes off the Secretary Sands Road late July 17, becoming Albemarle's 12th traffic death.
Latest sentencing for church arson: Felicia Armstrong, 51, gets three-and-a-half years July 18 for torching St. John Baptist Church in Louisa, hoping to spark romance with a member who was a firefighter. She also faces $32,000 in restitution, and has some upcoming forgery and fraud charges.
Most bizarre stabbing: A man is knifed in the arm in his Woodlands Road yard Saturday night, July 16, by a masked man. Police say robbery did not appear to be a motive.
Closest brush with lethal injection: A federal judge throws out a murder conviction and death sentence of Justin Wolfe of Chantilly, who was aided by UVA Law's Innocence Project. Judge Raymond A. Jackson rules July 13 that prosecutors suppressed evidence that could have exonerated Wolfe at his trial.
Worst All Good casualties: A man loses control at a hillside parking area and drives a pickup into a tent where three woman are sleeping July 17 at the West Virginia music festival, killing Nicole Paris Miller, 20, of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and injuring the other two. Clay Harlin Lewin of Cape Charles, Virginia, has not been charged, and the investigation is incomplete, according to the AP.
Worst police shootout: Amherst sheriff's deputies following a drug suspect exchange gunfire July 18 on Davis Creek Road in Nelson County. One person is wounded and flown to UVA Medical Center. According to the Nelson County Times, authorities have not released names of the shooters and victim.
Best news for moviegoers: Plans for a Regal Cinema with stadium seating in the former Albemarle Place finally are okayed by the Albemarle Architectural Review Board, which balked at the developers' initial choice for a heavily stuccoed exterior.
Best free speech decision: Protester Chris Walters is found not guilty of trespassing July 19. He was arrested in May on U.S. 250 in front of the Boar's Head Inn during a Dominion Virginia Power shareholders meeting.
Least popular: Starting Albemarle schools August 8, according to a county schools survey. Of the nearly 2,000 parents who responded, 1,200 thought early August was just too early to launch classes, Aaron Richardson reports in the Progress.