- The Washington Times - Friday, August 10, 2007

DISTRICT

Fenty names new head of AIDS office

A doctor who has worked with HIV-infected people in several countries has been appointed to lead the District’s HIV/AIDS Administration.

Dr. Shannon Hader has directed the U.S. AIDS program in Zimbabwe and worked with HIV-infected children and adults in Africa, South America and the Caribbean.

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has called HIV/AIDS the top public health priority of his administration. The city is urging all residents between 14 and 84 to be tested.

If the D.C. Council confirms her, Dr. Hader will be the third director in as many years for the agency.

The position has been open since January, when Mr. Fenty chose not to keep Marsha Martin.

Zoo holds contest to name baby anteater

The National Zoo is asking for help to name one of its newest additions, a giant anteater born July 24.

The critter is still so young that zookeepers don’t know if it’s a girl or a boy, but they hope to find out soon.

They have already picked out three boy names and three girl names, and visitors to the Web site at www.fonz.org can help make the final selections.

The girl names are: Aurora, Pilar and Isabel. The boy names are Cyrano, Francisco and Ferdinand.

Voting ends Aug. 26, when the animal will get its first exam and zoo veterinarians will hopefully learn its gender.

VIRGINIA

MANASSAS

Bomb explodes in man’s front yard

A Manassas man is in jail after a bomb exploded in his front yard, Prince William County police said.

Authorities said they also found two live improvised explosive devices inside the home of Sean Thomas Peterson, 23.

Police said he is charged with possession and manufacturing of an explosive device.

Neighbors had to be evacuated for about four hours Wednesday afternoon while police were on the scene.

Virginia State Police are assisting in the investigation.

Authorities said the incident is not terrorist related.

VIRGINIA BEACH

Poisoned sandwich called ‘dumb prank’

A Virginia Beach man will serve time for putting rat poison on a sub sandwich and in a fruit drink he gave to his ex-girlfriend.

The woman, who was not fully identified in court Wednesday, became ill.

Michael Hanna, 23, told the judge that it was a “dumb prank.” The judge sentenced Hanna to five years for adulteration of food and drink with the intent to kill or injure, and suspended all but one year of the sentence.

Prosecutors said Hanna’s ex-girlfriend was nursing their infant child when he took the food to her home last September.

The victim has since moved out of state.

TROUTVILLE

Man crashes, dies at rest stop

A Roanoke man was killed in a crash at an Interstate 81 rest stop, Virginia State Police said.

Police said a cargo van driven by Donald Weeks, 60, slid under the back of a tractor-trailer parked at the rest area Wednesday morning.

The truck driver, James Cash of Winston-Salem, N.C., estimated the van was going 70 miles an hour when it slammed into his parked rig. He said he had just climbed out of his truck and jumped out of the way when he saw the van heading for it.

Police said Mr. Weeks died at the scene.

State police said no autopsy would be performed because of the extent of Mr. Weeks’ injuries, but a toxicology test will be conducted to determine if drugs or alcohol were involved.

FOREST

Christ-like smudge fetches $1,500 on EBay

A smudge of driveway sealant resembling Jesus Christ’s face has fetched more than $1,500 for the Forest family that found the holy image on its garage floor.

The Serio family put the slab of concrete up for auction on EBay more than a week ago.

Wednesday, they got a taker at $1,525.69.

“I really never thought I’d get any, to be honest,” said Deb Serio, a high school teacher.

Described as an “uncanny icon of Christ,” the slab doesn’t cry, change appearance or do anything else. It just looks a lot like the son of God.

The family has hired a contractor to remove the marked section of concrete from the garage floor. Later, the chunk will be turned over to the auction winner, identified only as “islandoffthecoast.”

An active Lutheran, Mrs. Serio considers the smudge just an odd occurrence, not a sign or miracle.

“There are some people who need this kind of thing to sort of start them on their faith journey. I don’t,” she said. “That’s why I don’t mind parting with it.”

MARYLAND

ANNAPOLIS

Man rescued after jumping off boat

The Maryland Natural Resources Police rescued a man who jumped off his boat near Thomas Point Lighthouse to relieve himself Wednesday night and was swept away by a current.

Police said the man had a few drinks and needed to go to the bathroom. He decided to throw on a life jacket and jump overboard into the water. It was choppy, however, and the current swept him away.

The boat operator called police after losing sight of his friend.

Police rescued the man about 45 minutes after he jumped in.

He was not injured and was not identified.

No charges were filed.

HOLLYWOOD

Hard plane landing injures grandmother

A small plane crashed during takeoff yesterday morning at the St. Mary’s County Airport, injuring one person.

St. Mary’s County government spokeswoman Delores Lacey said a 19-year-old man ran for help after the plane that he, his father and grandmother were aboard crashed shortly before 8 a.m.

Miss Lacey said the plane crashed in a wooded area just beyond the runway and caught fire. It was not clear what caused the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board was expected to investigate.

Miss Lacey said the grandmother was injured in the crash and flown by helicopter to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore with serious injuries.

BALTIMORE

Former instructor jailed for child porn

A former gymnastics instructor who amassed a huge child pornography collection was sentenced Wednesday to 6½ years in prison.

Patrick D. Bogan, 41, taught for 11 years at Baltimore County Gymnastics near White Marsh, where he worked with girls between 5 and 15 years old. Federal prosecutors have found no evidence that Bogan molested any of the girls.

U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said the case against Bogan was significant because of the sheer volume of child pornography in his possession — hundreds of sexually explicit images of children on his computer and hundreds of pornographic videotapes of minors.

Bogan pleaded guilty in May to one count of receipt of child pornography.

He will be on supervised probation for 10 years after his release and must register as a sex offender.

He was also barred from seeking employment that puts him in regular contact with children under 18.

BALTIMORE

Executive indicted in $32 million scheme

A federal grand jury indicted a corporate executive who ran a scheme to make $32 million in false purchases of computer equipment, spending the money instead on beach real estate and private jet travel, prosecutors said yesterday.

Alan B. Fabian, 43, of Hunt Valley, was charged in a 23-count indictment unsealed yesterday with mail fraud, money laundering, bankruptcy fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice.

Defense attorney David Irwin said Mr. Fabian wanted quick resolution of the case since the investigation “has been hanging over his head for a long time,” but that he was not negotiating a plea deal.

Mr. Irwin said Mr. Fabian has been “appropriately concerned” since the probe began more than a year ago and that the defense has been cooperating with the government.

At a press conference, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein called it one of the largest monetary theft cases ever prosecuted in Maryland.

He said it was exceeded only by the Allfirst case, in which rogue trader John M. Rusnak defrauded the bank of nearly $700 million. Mr. Irwin also represented Rusnak.

Mr. Fabian’s scheme defrauded his employer, Reston-based government consulting company Maximus Inc.; an equipment leasing company called Solarcom, in Norcross, Ga., and financial institutions, according to prosecutors and the indictment.

Maximus spokeswoman Lisa Miles said Mr. Fabian hasn’t been an employee at the company since 2004 when the claims were uncovered.

Sam Ireland, the senior vice president of the Centre for Management and Technology in Baltimore, supported Mr. Fabian and said he will continue to be CMAT’s chairman. A CMAT press release stated the accusations don’t involve CMAT, which assists nonprofit organizations in administering their services.

FREDERICK

Woman found guilty of fatal crime spree

A North Carolina woman was convicted for her role in a Frederick carjacking that was part of a crime spree that left one man dead and one wounded.

Tahishei Harrison, 29, of Hope Mills, N.C., was found guilty Wednesday in Frederick of conspiracy to commit carjacking.

She did not plead guilty but conceded prosecutors had sufficient evidence to convict her.

Harrison will serve five years in prison and has agreed to testify next month against Michael Philon, one of two suspected co-conspirators.

Harrison, Mr. Philon and Mary Ann Webb, all of North Carolina, are accused of stealing a woman’s car in the Francis Scott Key Mall parking lot in 2004 after killing William Dennis of Dunn, N.C., two days earlier and driving his car to Frederick.

The trio is also accused of shooting another North Carolina man, Alton Smith, during a drug-related robbery that started the string of crimes.

The Frederick woman’s car was recovered in Florida, where all three suspects were arrested.

BALTIMORE

Arabber ponies moved from condemned stable

Ponies that pull some of Baltimore’s few remaining arabber fruit and vegetable carts were moved yesterday to a new home after the city condemned their stable.

The horses were moved temporarily to a stable in Bowie and will later be moved to Pimlico Race Course, where their owners will have access to them so they can continue working.

The horses will be stabled at the racetrack temporarily while a permanent replacement is sought for the arabber stable, one of three remaining in the city.

Arabbers have been a part of Baltimore street life for decades, peddling produce and seafood on horse-drawn carriages.

Less than a dozen arabbers work the streets of Baltimore today.

WILLARDS

Teen hospitalized after dog attack

A Willards teenager is recovering after being attacked by two loose dogs.

Jarritt Sybert, 14, said he was riding his bike home Tuesday evening along New Hope Road when the two dogs approached and began biting him.

When his mother arrived minutes later, the dogs were still attacking her son.

She and a neighbor pulled him to safety, then drove him to Atlantic General Hospital.

Authorities said the teen has about 40 puncture marks on his body.

The two dogs, a pit bull mix and a shepherd mix, were seized.

The owner, Joseph Perry, faces four charges including maintaining dangerous dogs and dogs running at large.

BALTIMORE

Men confess to staged shooting

Two Morgan State University students have pleaded guilty in a staged shooting.

Under their plea deals, the students and a third man will each pay city police $7,500 and serve three years probation.

David Briggs and Phillip Anderson were shot in the legs May 17 during what they initially said was a robbery.

They later changed the story, saying Xavier Marshall shot them to avoid a fraternity initiation. Finally, they said the shooting was staged to help Briggs avoid a National Guard deployment to Iraq.

All three claimed to be students at Morgan State, but the school said Briggs was never enrolled there.

The three men pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment, giving a false statement to police and a handgun violation.

From wire dispatches and staff reports