4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Highest profile marriage amendment opponents: Governor Tim Kaine, first lady Anne Holton, former Governor Linwood Holton and NAACP chairman/UVA prof Julian Bond urge voters to just say no.

Best bump for Allen– or Webb: Independent candidate Gail "for Rail" Parker threatens to withdraw from the Senate race and throw her estimated two percent of the vote to whichever candidate backs high-speed rail in Virginia.

Least surprising October surprise: George Allen pulls out steamy excerpts from Jim Webb's novels and accuses his opponent of being sexist and racist. Webb defender John Grisham calls the ploy "a clear sign of a desperate campaign." 

Worst military-school sex scandal: An expelled 17-year-old Fishburne Military School cadet is charged October 26 with the rape of a 14-year-old boy and attempted object penetration of another, the News Virginian reports.

Worst year for the Cook(e) cousins: 2004, when Robert Lee Cooke and Kerry Von Reese Cook were both shot by police. Both are now suing, Liesel Nowak reports in the Daily Progress. Cook, 35, was shot during a domestic disturbance at Friendship Court, wears a colostomy bag, and wants $10 million from Charlottesville police. Cooke, 33, is paralyzed from the waist down and is serving 10 years for shooting police dog Ingo. He's suing Albemarle police officer Andy Gluba for $2 million in compensation and $350,000 in punitive damages.

Best break for Dena Bowers: The former UVA worker can proceed with her $1 million lawsuit against the university on her claims that her due process rights and her First Amendment rights were violated when she was fired for an e-mail she sent, according to an Aaron Kessler article in the Progress. Federal Judge Norman Moon dismisses her claims that there was a conspiracy to harm her business and that UVA breached her contract October 24. The trial will proceed in March.  

Most ill-behaved law student: The one who threw a beer at and verbally harassed gay fellow law students at the fall Foxfield races, prompting a diversity pledge campaign at the law school, the Cav Daily reports.

Biggest meat theft ring: The Fluvanna sheriff's office arrests four suspects in meat heists from Food Lion October 21 during a traffic stop, according to a release. Some of the meat was returned to Food Lion.

Least cattle-prodded beef: Whole Foods now sells "animal compassionate" meat, which means farmers can use electric prods in emergencies only, according to an NPR report.

Least desirable UVA housing: The Mumps House on Brandon Avenue, where students suspected of infection are isolated during the current outbreak.

Rarest research: UVA and the University of Arizona are the only two American universities still doing psychic research, Spook author Mary Roach tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Third best personal essayist: Never-before-published UVA student Jessica Kirzner comes in third in this year's Los Angeles-based Memoirs Ink essay contest and will get a cut of the $1,750 prize money.

Best chance for local shutterbugs to pull down 1,200 bucks: Win the Charlottesville Albemarle Conventon and Visitors Bureau contest, "Show Us YOUR Charlottesville." Twelve photos will be winners and the 10 runners up collect $250.

Most like "London Bridge is Falling Down:" City officials prohibit parking beneath Belmont Bridge because chunks of dropping concrete present a safety hazard, NBC29 reports.

Worst upcoming downtown traffic nightmare: The $9 million replacement of Belmont Bridge, which should make it into next year's capital improvement budget, will take several years. 


1 comment

They shouldn't ban cars from under the Belmont Bridge. That is an efficient use of otherwise wasted urban space. Why not just tell people to park at their own risk?