+8 After buying AirTran Airways and converting operations, low-cost airline Southwest announces that it will stay put in Richmond. We can't wait — Southwest has such great customer service every pat down comes with a call the next morning.
+5 Richmond breaks ground on a new $134.6 million jail after two years of fits, starts and flubs, paving the way for a modern facility to replace the old, overcrowded one. But you still have to look elsewhere for fur-lined handcuffs.
+3 A few thousand Facebook fans help convince the landlord of Buddy's to negotiate a three-year lease for the longtime Fan bar instead of following through with his plan to let the lease expire at the end of the year. And after this miraculous moment there was much exuberance and great rejoicing throughout the land, followed by voluminous back-alley vomiting.
+1 The Edgar Allan Poe Museum searches for actors to play such authors as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein at a special celebration in April. Yes, back in the days when writers needed only good stories, strong bourbon and a few healthy romps with Hemingway.
-3 Richmond.com reports on a Craigslist ad that asks women to send in photos as part of an interview process for the restaurant chain Twin Peaks, which is followed by an update revealing the ad as a hoax. Don't strippers already have enough shattered dreams?
+1 Gov. Bob McDonnell opens his State of the Commonwealth Address with a joke about Spielberg's Lincoln movie. And roughly an hour later, when it was all over, we only wish he could have employed Lincoln's speechwriter.
+2 Michelle Obama visits Richmond, campaigning for her husband and headlining a fundraiser. And once again, she politely declines our invitation for a quick round of disc golf followed by a nice, refreshing Slurpee.
0 In other political news, the outspoken and sometimes shocking state Sen. Bob Marshall declares that he'll challenge George Allen as the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. Tim Kaine declares it the happiest moment of the campaign thus far.
-2 At Richmond International Airport, security officers stop a man carrying a loaded weapon in his carry-on baggage. He explains that he was just confused, thinking he was walking into a Virginia bar.
+3 Virginia holds its annual weekend commemorating Gens. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson on Friday and Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday. We could weigh in here on the sensitive historical layers, irony and deeply ingrained feelings surrounding this issue, but we have a paid holiday to attend to.
+1 State senators and delegates start trickling into town, revving up for the start of the General Assembly session. Or as Steinbeck might call it, the season when Republican Grapes of Wrath become the Winter of Our Discontent.
-2 After losing his campaign to become Henrico commonwealth's attorney, Bill Janis gets appointed by Gov. Bob McDonnell to be deputy commissioner in the Department of Veterans Services, which pays a $100,000 salary. Well, McDonnell said he wanted to be the jobs governor. You just need good connections.
0 The T-D reports on stats from the state police showing that gun sales in Virginia hit a record high in 2011, reaching a peak in December. Who needs a white Christmas when you can get a nice dusting of gunpowder?
+5 Wine Enthusiast Magazine puts Virginia on its 2012 list of the "10 Best Wine Travel Destinations." In related news, Box Wine Connoisseur names "That Rock Next to Belle Isle, You Know the One," to its list of Premium Spout-Chugging Hideaways.
-3 A man driving a '94 Olds is arrested after allegedly leading police on a high-speed car chase that reaches speeds of 100 mph — from Powhite Parkway into the Museum District and west on Broad Street. But in his defense, Krispy Kreme's "Hot Donuts" sign was on.
+8 It’s out with the old and in with the new as Richmond celebrates the beginning of 2012. It’s a symbolic holiday of renewal and rebirth, like flipping the switch from Twilight to Hunger Games.
+5 New Year’s Eve revelers keep watch over the Byrd Theatre roof, marking the fifth anniversary of the lighted ball rising in Carytown. What followed was another tradition, the drunken, pointless pilgrimage across the city to find a nonexistent White Castle.
-4 In another New Year’s Eve tradition, it’s expected that police will receive reports of some Richmonders shooting guns into the air. Bullets falling back to earth are also known as Newton’s Third Law of Idiocy.
-1 Legal efforts get under way for Republican presidential hopefuls Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich to overcome their failure to secure spots on Virginia’s primary ballot. It’s been a tough season for those guys — first they miss out on Air Jordans, now this.
-5 The price of gas skyrockets overnight, helping close out the year with the average yearly rate hitting a record high in Virginia. Just do what we do: Light up and take a magic carpet ride.