4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Biggest primary: For the first time in decades, Virginia becomes a player in national presidential politics when citizens go to the polls for the February 12 primary. Results aren't available at press time, but record turnout is predicted, and polls show Dem Barack Obama and Republican John McCain leading. 

Best logrolling: In a February 11 Richmond radio interview, Obama says Governor Tim Kaine is on a short list to have a role in an Obama administration. Kaine has endorsed Obama but maintains he intends to serve out his term as governor.

Windiest: Governor Kaine declares a state of emergency February 10 after high winds down power lines that ignite brush fires, and by February 11, Louisa declares its own state of emergency. 

Most powerless: Around 14,000 Dominion Power customers locally are without electricity at the peak of the wind storm, and 190,000 are throughout the state, according to WINA.

Best reason to not swerve: A tractor trailer on eastbound I-64 creates an eight-mile back up February 8 when driver Anthony Von Stewart of Owings Mills, Maryland, swerves to avoid hitting a deer (yes, this is what he allegedly said) and overturns at 5:30am. Stewart was trapped in his truck for two hours, and is charged with reckless driving, WINA reports. The two eastbound lanes near the Ivy exit weren't cleared until 4pm. 

Best money management: UVA's $5.1 billion endowment grows by an eye-popping 25.2 percent in fiscal year 2007, UVA President John Casteen notes in his February 6 State of the University address. 

Worst call to the principal's office: Four appointees to William & Mary's Board of Visitors are called to Richmond February 7 and grilled by the House of Delegates' Privileges and Elections Committee about the removal of a cross from Wren Chapel and the recent sex workers' art show, according to various accounts.

Worst caving to political pressure by a top educational institution: The "resignation" of W&M President Gene Nichol is announced February 12 by Rector Michael K. Powell, former controversial head of the FCC and son of American icon Colin Powell.

State Senate bill most jarring Albemarle's supes: SB 768 eliminates locally-negotiated cash proffers in favor of uniform impact fees, what opponents like Albemarle Supervisor Sally Thomas– who urges a fight– brand a taxpayer subsidy for developers.

Least surprising vote: February 7 the BOS approves 4-2 three controversial rural ordinances that mandate 100-foot stream buffers, emergency vehicle-accessible driveways, and that those planning family subdivisions hold onto the property eight years rather than the current two.  

Most vigilant about future sex shops: Greene County, which has no adult-themed businesses, holds a pre-emptive public hearing February 12 to consider detailing in county code where such businesses could be located. Tasha Kates has the story in the Progress.

Biggest recovery: Four vehicles missing from Joe Bowman's Auto Plaza in Harrisonburg– three late-model Silverado trucks and a Cadillac Escalade– and seven trailers stolen from Blue Ridge Trailer in Ruckersville, totaling $158,000, are recovered by Albemarle police. Jerry Lucas, 54, of Staunton is arrested for obtaining merchandise under false pretenses. 

Biggest blast: A butane torch explodes February 7 at the Forest Lakes Food Lion and closes the store. Contractor J. L. Maintenance of Harrisonburg is cited for fire code violations.

Worst loss to Jaws fans: Actor Roy Scheider, 75, dies February 10. The Oscar-nominated actor is best known for his role in the 1975 shark thriller as the police chief who not just uttered but probably ad-libbed the immortal line, "You're gonna need a bigger boat."