- The Washington Times - Friday, May 5, 2006

DISTRICT

Gallaudet urged to resolve unrest

The National Association of the Deaf has sent a letter urging Gallaudet University’s board of trustees to quickly resolve unrest over the appointment of a new president.

Students have mounted protests since Monday, following the selection of Jane K. Fernandes, the university provost who grew up speaking rather than using sign language.

Some faculty and staff have supported the students’ actions, including a demand to reopen the selection process.

“We stand with these concerned stakeholders, who sincerely believe that they are not being respected nor heard,” wrote Andrew J. Lange, president of the National Association of the Deaf, in an open letter posted Wednesday.

The group has posted three letters since October when I. King Jordan, announced plans to step down as president of the nation’s only liberal-arts college for the deaf and hearing-impaired at the end of this year.

Mr. Jordan became the first deaf president to lead the school in 1988 after student protesters demanded a “Deaf President Now.”

Smithsonian faces budget cut

The Smithsonian Institution stands to lose millions of dollars from its proposed budget because of a production contract with Showtime Networks.

A House panel that approves Smithsonian funding cut $5.3 million from the proposed budget Thursday. The president’s proposal this year was for $644.3 million.

Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence M. Small recently was sent a letter by Reps. Norm Dicks, Washington Democrat, and Charles H. Taylor, North Carolina Republican, who do not support a deal that would require any commercial documentaries that rely heavily on Smithsonian collections to first be offered to Smithsonian on Demand, a service that would produce 100 programs a year.

Filmmakers or producers who do not want to do business with the new network could be denied access to Smithsonian materials.

VIRGINIA

STAFFORD

County considers school bus fees

Stafford County residents soon may have to pay for a ride on a public school bus.

The county’s school board is considering a plan where it would charge a fee for bus rides, student parking permits, athletics and extracurricular clubs.

Stafford County is trying to raise money because it will be getting $14.2 million less next year than the school board had budgeted.

School board members say that many parents and teachers support the idea of paying fees if it means not increasing class size.

Among the proposed fees is a $100 fee per student or $200 per family for regular bus service. Also being considered is a $50 fee for high school athletics and $75 per-car charge for parking permits.

Exceptions would be made for children of school system employees and for students who get free or reduced lunches.

The school board has not decided when the proposals will come up for a final vote.

FREDERICKSBURG

Student drowns in quarry

A University of Mary Washington sophomore drowned while swimming with friends in a Fredericksburg quarry.

City fire department spokesman Reggie Phillips said Cary Noyes, 19, of Salon, Maine, was underwater for more than an hour before rescue workers recovered his body Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Noyes was pronounced dead a short time later at Mary Washington Hospital.

The quarry used to have “No Trespassing” signs, but officials at the scene said they didn’t notice if the signs were still there.

Witnesses said Mr. Noyes’ friends had swum out about 50 feet when one of them noticed Mr. Noyes was struggling. He quickly went under in about 30 feet of water.

MARYLAND

BETHESDA

Scaffolding collapse injures three

Three workers were injured yesterday when scaffolding collapsed at a medical school building on the campus of the National Naval Medical Center.

The scaffolding was about five stories high when it crumpled into a twisted pile of metal about 10:30 a.m. outside the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, said Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the Montgomery County fire department.

Mr. Piringer said the workers were quickly pulled out of the debris and taken to a nearby trauma center. None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, he said.

ROCKVILLE

Muhammad questions witness accounts

Convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad’s apparent strategy in his second murder trial is to argue that nobody actually saw him shoot anyone.

Prosecutors in Montgomery County called their first 15 witnesses yesterday and built a case against Muhammad, 45, involving the first two of what eventually totaled 13 shootings that terrorized the D.C. area for three weeks in October 2002.

Muhammad, who is representing himself, asked most witnesses a few similar questions.

“So you didn’t actually see the person get shot?” Muhammad asked Montgomery County police Sgt. Alan Felsen, the first officer on the scene of the Oct. 2, 2002, shooting.

Sgt. Felsen said he did not.

“You have no personal knowledge of who shot the person?” Muhammad asked. “No,” Sgt. Felsen responded.

Muhammad is charged with six murders in this case. The trial is expected to last about six weeks.

Muhammad was convicted in 2003 in Virginia and was sentenced to death. His accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, now 21, was convicted in Virginia and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Authorities said they brought Muhammad to Maryland in the off chance something goes wrong on appeal in Virginia, and to deliver justice to the families of victims at the epicenter of the shooting spree.

BALTIMORE

Mayor: City will try to keep NAACP

Mayor Martin O’Malley said Baltimore plans to offer the NAACP an “aggressive retention package” to keep the venerable civil rights group in the city.

Mr. O’Malley responded yesterday to a report quoting NAACP Chairman Julian Bond saying the group might move its headquarters to be closer to Congress and the many regulatory agencies and news media outlets in the District.

But Mr. Bond told the Associated Press that although a move was not imminent, it is unlikely the group could be persuaded to stay. He said the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s board of directors approved the move a year ago. And its staff was informed about plans several months ago.

“We’ll certainly listen to what [the mayor] has to say, but I can’t imagine any package that could cause us not to go to Washington,” Mr. Bond said, adding that the group thinks it is important that it move closer to its center of operations in the District.

MOUNT AIRY

Police ID woman found along highway

Police have identified the woman whose body was found on the side of Interstate 70 early Thursday.

Troopers identified the woman as Dusty Shuck, 24, of Silver City, N.M.

Authorities confirmed Miss Shuck’s identity through fingerprint analysis and determined a cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head and a slit throat.

Passers-by found Miss Shuck’s body along the shoulder of eastbound I-70 near Bill Moxley Road at about 6 a.m.

Investigators said Miss Shuck was last seen in New Mexico about 10 days ago.

BALTIMORE

Girl fatally shocked before game

A 14-year-old girl was fatally shocked yesterday in Druid Hill Park after she leaned on a fence to stretch before a baseball game, fire officials said.

Teammates saw the girl put her foot on the fence and then fall to the ground about 8 p.m., said Kevin Cartwright, a spokesman for the Baltimore Fire Department. The girl was not breathing, and paramedics were summoned.

She was taken to Sinai Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Mr. Cartwright said firefighters reported that a power line above the fence was sagging and touched the fence that the girl leaned on. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. officials were notified, he said.

SNOW HILL

Va. murder suspect to stay in Maryland

A judge yesterday granted a prosecutor’s request to continue for 60 days the case of a man suspected of killing four of his relatives in the Virginia part of the Eastern Shore.

The decision means Ronald L. Shrieves will remain on the Maryland side of the border for now.

Mr. Shrieves, 32, of Modest Town, Va., is accused of killing his parents and a young niece and nephew last month in Accomack County, Va., and fleeing to Maryland.

He was captured the next day near Girdletree and is charged with four counts of homicide.

At an April 21 hearing, public defender W. Burton Anderson said he would seek a governor’s warrant from Virginia authorities before his client is extradited.

Under such a warrant, the governor of Virginia will formally ask the governor of Maryland to return Mr. Shrieves to Virginia.

Worcester County District Judge Gerald V. Purnell granted the request of Assistant State’s Attorney Michael W. Farlow for a 60-day continuance of the case.

Mr. Shrieves will remain in the Worcester County Detention Center until his next court date, which is June 30.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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