- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 31, 2007

REGION

School cafeterias lagging in inspections

High school cafeterias are not being inspected as often as required under federal food-safety standards, according to a study.

Cafeterias should be inspected twice a year under the federal standard, according to the study released Tuesday by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer-advocacy group. Among the 20 local and state jurisdictions included in the report were the District, Montgomery County and the state of Virginia.

D.C. school cafeterias ranked among the worst, with a “failing” score and a cafeteria inspection rate averaging 0.56 times a year. Montgomery County was ranked as “barely passing,” with an inspection rate of 1.41 times a year. Virginia schools were ranked as “passing,” with 1.76 inspections a year.

Schools in Fort Worth, Texas, had the highest score.

D.C. Public Schools officials acknowledged that the inspections did not meet federal requirements. Spokesman John White said local health department employees are responsible for the inspections, not school-system staff.

Montgomery County had “the worst, most outdated food code” of any system in the study. The report stated that the county’s cafeteria standards are based on a 1976 federal code, not the most recent code issued in 2005.

Kathy Lazor, director of food and nutrition services for Montgomery schools, disputed the report’s findings and said all high school cafeterias in the county are inspected twice a year.

“I don’t know where they’re getting their data from, but it’s not accurate,” Miss Lazor said.

She also said the school system’s food code is not based on 1976 standards.

Road crews prepare for snow, sleet

A winter storm is expected to hit the region today, bringing up to an inch of snow that likely will turn to freezing rain. The forecast has area road crews prepared to cover streets with salt and sand before the precipitation arrives in the afternoon.

“We’re closely monitoring the weather,” said Eric Linden of the District’s Department of Transportation and Public Works.

The National Weather Service forecast an 80 percent chance of snow today, with a possible accumulation of up to 1 inch by this evening, when there is a 70 percent chance of cold northerly breezes turning the snow into freezing rain and sleet.

By keeping a close eye on the approach of a wintry storm from the Gulf of Mexico, transportation officials across the region were deciding last night whether “there will be a full deployment, or a part deployment” of crews to treat and plow the roads, Mr. Linden said.

The first snowstorm of the winter to hit the area dropped 1.5 inches of snow Jan. 21.

VIRGINIA

FREDERICKSBURG

8 pounds of marijuana found in car on I-95

A state trooper who pulled over to help a motorist stranded on Interstate 95 found 8 pounds of marijuana valued at $20,000, police said.

Authorities charged the driver, Liam Day, 26, of Middletown, R.I., with felony possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, state police Sgt. F.L. Tyler said.

Trooper Freddie Childs stopped on the shoulder at 5 a.m. Monday to check on the disabled car. He was told the car had mechanical problems.

Trooper Childs searched the car after seeing a small amount of marijuana and found the other marijuana in the trunk, Sgt. Tyler said.

Police said Mr. Day’s two passengers were not charged.

The car was impounded, and the marijuana was taken to a state laboratory for analysis.

FREDERICKSBURG

Ex-deputy pleads guilty to robbing Wawa store

A former sheriff’s deputy who lost his job over drugs pleaded guilty to robbing a convenience store in Spotsylvania County.

Brian O’Keith Freeman, 32, faces up to life in prison when sentenced April 23.

Freeman, a former deputy in Stafford and Caroline counties, had been wanted for a May holdup at a Wawa store.

He was arrested in June after he called authorities from South Carolina.

Freeman was fired from the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office in 2001 after being accused of stealing cocaine from evidence. He was convicted of three counts of cocaine possession and served six months in prison.

MARYLAND

BALTIMORE

Police officer shot; vest stops bullet

A police officer was in good condition after being accidentally shot by a fellow officer during a traffic stop yesterday, escaping serious injury when the bullet struck his ballistic vest, police said.

Officer David Hare Jr. was listed in good condition at a university hospital after being shot by Officer Claude Torres, who was assigned to administrative duties pending an internal investigation.

Officer Hare was undergoing tests to determine whether he should remain hospitalized overnight.

Further details about the shooting were not available, said Officer Troy Harris, a police spokesman.

The shooting occurred after Officer Hare attempted to pull over a vehicle occupied by a person suspected to be armed about 8:30 a.m., Detective Donny Moses said.

“The driver started to pull off again, at which point several cars were struck, a brief struggle ensued and at some point the officer was shot,” Detective Moses said.

BALTIMORE

Burglary suspect fatally shot by officer

A burglary suspect was fatally shot yesterday by an officer while fleeing a home, police said.

The suspect, Isaac Pitts, 18, was shot by Officer Ian Cameron after brandishing a weapon outside the rear of the home, said Officer Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman. He died at a hospital.

Police responded to the home after receiving a call from residents that their house was being broken into. Mr. Pitts and another suspect fled once officers arrived at the scene, Officer Monroe said.

ELKTON

Player’s tainted water leads to girl’s arrest

A 15-year-old Elkton girl is facing criminal charges after authorities say she tried to poison a player on the Bohemia Manor High School boys basketball team.

The Cecil County Sheriff’s Office said the girl is the manager of the girls team and fills water bottles for the boys team. She was charged with second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

The 15-year-old player noticed a foul taste in his water during last Thursday night’s game and threw the bottle away. But he made no report until the next day, after rumors spread through the school that the girl had put something in the bottle.

Authorities said the girl admitted putting a chemical disinfectant from the school into the bottle and hoped the boy would die.

The sheriff’s office said the boy is the best friend of the girl’s ex-boyfriend and had feuded with her about personal issues for two years.

HAGERSTOWN

Boy, 8, charged in assault on bus driver

An 8-year-old boy who got into a fight on a school bus has been charged with assaulting the driver and resisting arrest, the Washington County Sheriff’s Department said yesterday.

The unidentified boy also cursed at and struck a sheriff’s deputy and tried to kick out the window of a police cruiser, Deputy 1st Class Jeff Miller said.

After the driver broke up the fight Tuesday afternoon, the boy ran to the front of the moving bus and grabbed the gearshift lever, Deputy Miller said. The boy then hit the driver in the leg, prompting her to call police.

After reviewing the case with the state Department of Juvenile Services, police released the boy to the custody of his mother.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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