- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 13, 2006

MARYLAND

GRASONVILLE

Nevada lawyer buys lighthouse in Bay

A tilted lighthouse south of Kent Island now belongs to a lawyer from Nevada.

Michael Gabriel of Carson City, Nev., will pay $100,000 cash for the 125-year-old Bloody Point Bar Lighthouse and says he hopes to restore it for public visits. Mr. Gabriel was the highest bidder in a government auction.

“Unless someone stepped forward to preserve it, it would just slip under the waves,” Mr. Gabriel told the Easton Star Democrat.

“My intent is to restore it over the next few years and offer it to the lighthouse society or the Maryland Historical Trust so the public can see it,” he said.

The lighthouse is the third in Chesapeake Bay to be sold by the Coast Guard in recent months. It will remain a navigation aid, with its light maintained by the Coast Guard.

Mr. Gabriel said he learned of Bloody Point on the Internet when he bid unsuccessfully on a lighthouse in Rhode Island. Bloody Point’s interior was gutted by a 1960 fire. Mr. Gabriel’s plans call for restoring the lighthouse, including fully outfitted living quarters on several floors.

“I won’t start until next year because the plans have to go through several federal agencies,” he said.

OCEAN CITY

Carbon monoxide detectors on agenda

Ocean City officials are headed toward requiring carbon monoxide detectors in hotel rooms after the deaths last summer of a vacationing father and daughter.

Pennsylvania vacationer Patrick Boughter, 40, and his daughter, Kelly, 10, died at a Days Inn in June after carbon monoxide leaked from a water heater in the basement below their room. His wife, Yvonne, and another daughter were sickened. The hotel did not have carbon monoxide detectors in the room or by the water heater.

Ocean City Fire Marshal Sam Villani has proposed making the detectors mandatory in hotels, motels and new homes and duplexes. Town officials discussed the plan in a work session Tuesday, and voted unanimously to proceed with a proposed ordinance.

Ocean City currently has no legislation addressing carbon monoxide monitoring.

BALTIMORE

Homicide rate nears last year’s number

Baltimore is getting close to last year’s 269 homicides, with a little more than two weeks left in the year.

With eight homicides this month, including two this week, 255 persons have been killed this year.

The police department has moved officers from administrative duties to the streets in recent months in an attempt to reduce robberies and shootings, but those numbers are up 9 percent and 18 percent, respectively, over last year.

Despite those grim statistics, the rate of total violent crime is down 5 percent this year. Total violent crime includes homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Property crime is also down by 3 percent.

Shootings continue to be a problem this year, police department spokesman Matt Jablow said, but other crime trends have taken a turn for the better in the past month.

“Again, we’ll be looking at our lowest violent crime number in 30 years,” Mr. Jablow said.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Monday, Theodore D. Caldwell, 29, was fatally shot on a West Baltimore sidewalk.

About 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Steven Richey, 41, was shot outside his home in East Baltimore.

Police have made no arrests.

ELLICOTT CITY

Husband gets life in machete attack

A Columbia man has been sentenced to life in prison for attacking his estranged wife with a machete earlier this year.

Frederick Jones, 54, was convicted in October of first-degree attempted murder and assault. He will be eligible for parole in 2021.

On May 1, Jones camped out in a wooded area near the Columbia home of his wife, Natalyn Tart-Jones. He confronted her in the parking lot and slashed at her repeatedly with a machete, causing deep lacerations to her face, fracturing her skull and severing some fingers.

Mrs. Tart-Jones broke down in tears in court yesterday and asked that her husband receive the maximum sentence.

VIRGINIA

GLASGOW

Forest fire close to being contained

Crews yesterday were close to containing a 2,870-acre fire in the George Washington National Forest.

The estimated extent of the fire nearly tripled from Tuesday, a reflection of more precise mapping, Donna Wilson of the U.S. Forest Service said.

No homes are threatened by the fire and no one has been injured fighting it, she said.

A squad of smoke jumpers from Montana joined 150 Forest Service contract crews and others battling the fire.

The cause of the fire, which spread from 10 separate weekend fires, is “human-caused” and under investigation, Miss Wilson said.

Yesterday, crews were back-burning and using other methods to stall the fire’s progress. The flames were 90 percent contained.

The fire has closed all national forest service roads in the Peavine Mountain area along with the section of the Blue Ridge Parkway between Otter Creek Campground and U.S. 60.

RICHMOND

Kaine seeks bonds to help clean Bay

Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said yesterday that he wants to introduce legislation authorizing $250 million in bonds to upgrade sewage treatment plants in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The legislation would allow the Virginia Public Building Authority to issue bonds, which would provide money to help localities install technology upgrades at 89 municipal plants to reduce nutrient-pollution discharges.

“Through this partnership with our local governments, we will be able to accomplish with this $250 million bond package what few have thought possible: We will have the resources to meet the sewage treatment-plant discharge requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement,” said Mr. Kaine, a Democrat.

Under the agreement, Virginia, Maryland and other states have committed to significantly reduce, by 2010, nutrient pollution in the Bay and rivers that feed it. The proposed plant upgrades to be funded by the bonds will prevent an estimated 4 million pounds of nitrogen pollution from entering Virginia’s rivers that flow into the Bay, Mr. Kaine’s office said.

ATLANTIC

Rocket launch delayed again

The first attempt to launch a rocket from the Mid-Atlantic region’s commercial spaceport has been postponed again, this time until at least Saturday, as testing continues on a satellite that is the main payload.

A glitch with software for the Air Force’s TacSat-2 experimental satellite surfaced Sunday night, forcing Monday’s scheduled launch to be scrubbed. Since then, launch opportunities have been halted several times.

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s launch pad is on land leased from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

The launch window runs through Dec. 22, with the launch time from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. each day.

The TacSat-2 satellite will test the military’s ability to quickly transmit images of enemy targets to battlefield commanders.

Also aboard the Minotaur I rocket is NASA’s GeneSat-1 satellite, which carries a harmless strain of E. coli bacteria as part of an experiment to study the long-term effects of space on living organisms.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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