The week in review

Most likely to please UVA Rector Helen Dragas: The university enters an agreement to provide four classes online at no cost through a partnership with Coursera. A dearth of online classes was one of the reasons cited by Dragas when she attempted to scuttle UVA President Teresa Sullivan.

Latest setback for Jens Soering: The convicted double murderer's lawsuit against Governor Bob McDonnell is dismissed, the Roanoke Times reports. Soering, who attended UVA as an Echols and Jefferson scholar, challenged McDonnell's authority to rescind Soering's transfer to his native Germany that was authorized just before leaving office by then-Governor Tim Kaine. Soering was convicted of the 1985 murders of his girlfriend's parents, Nancy and Derek Haysom, and is serving two life sentences. He's since said he didn't do it.

Saddest loss of a student: UVA second-year Julia Green, 19, dies July 7 on U.S. 29 in a single-car accident on her way home to northern Virginia, according to a University release.

Newest city flack: Miriam Dickler comes from Harrisonburg, where she's been the public information officer since 2005, succeeding Ric Barrick, who resigned in March following an investigation into questionable procurement practices.

Biggest minimum wage: City Council votes 4-1 to set $13 an hour as the lowest pay for city employees, up from the current $11.67. The new "living wage" will affect 52 employees and is retroactive to July 1. Graham Moomaw has the story in the Progress.

Not quite the best state in which to do business: Number-1-in-2011 Virginia falls to number 3 in CNBC's listing, behind Texas and Utah, with infrastructure and transportation dinging the Old Dominion's rating, according to the Times-Dispatch.

Worst time to pick a fight with your S.O.: Police responding to a domestic dispute July 10 in Culpeper find a suspected meth lab, according to a release. Crystal Deavers, 26, and Robert Hawthorne Jr., 23, each pick up a handful of felonies, including child endangerment and manufacturing meth with a child present, as well as misdemeanor domestic assault charges. Hawthorne may face additional charges for resisting arrest.

Smarmiest crime: Ashley Michelle Sweeney, 23, a nurse's aide at the Virginia Veterans Care Center in Roanoke, pleads guilty to four counts of receiving and selling stolen goods– wedding bands taken from elderly vets, the News Leader reports.

Less stinky? The Moores Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, which has long plagued the Woolen Mills neighborhood with its malodorous sewage treatment, is unveiled July 11 after $48 million in capital improvements, including covers on structures to contain the plant's aroma.

Most 'Hoos in London: Six Cavaliers will participate in the 2012 Olympics– Becky Sauerbrunn in soccer, Lauren Perdue and Matt McLean in swimming, Michelle Vittese and Paige Selenski in field hockey, and Will Coleman in equestrian. (Former Cav tennis star Somdev Devvarman will compete in the Games for his native India.)

Most Londons in football: With two uncles who played collegiate, two brothers either coaching or playing the game, and with UVA coach Mike London as her father, it's only natural that 25-year-old Kristen London would turn up in a women’s professional football team, the Atlanta Xplosion, the DP reports.


Most superstition-stoking marketing plan: The DMV pushes multi-year registration to avoid the number 13 on next year's license plates.

Most likely to be elected governor: Senator Mark Warner would crush the two Republican candidates– Ken Cuccinelli and Bill Bolling– if he decided to run in 2013, according to Public Policy Polling. Democrat Warner, who served as governor from 2002-2006, has given no indication he's interested in reclaiming the job.

Most grabbing business name: The Master Bait Shop– "We have the fattest worm in town"– has irked some neighbors in Orange, NBC29 reports. The topic came up July 16 at Town Council, where the mayor said that while little could be done about the name he was happy to see the business and its tax revenue. Owner Michael DeClue says he wanted a memorable moniker– and that someone who doesn't appreciate it unplugged a cooler of live bait, a loss of $1,300.


The step UVa took this week in partnering with Coursera I believe will result in taking UVa to a new level. MIT president Susan Hockfield said: “You can choose to view this era as one of threatening change and unsettling volatility, or you can see it as a moment charged with the most exciting possibilities presented to educators in our lifetimes.’’
The UVa community has shown honor is not taken lightly here. Combine that tradition with a willingness to change where change is an improvement and UVa will reach new heights. Those of you who worked to make this happen, thank you. The future of UVa is feeling bright.

Experience needed: For the first time ever, the Hook seeks an Art Director that "Must have previous experience as an Art Director"... bout time.