- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 14, 2007

DISTRICT

Wasps invade State Department

State Department officials say wasps have invaded their headquarters on C Street Northwest.

A large number of the stinging insects, which can grow to about 2 inches long, are congregating around the agency’s Harry S. Truman building, bothering employees, according to an internal memorandum obtained by the Associated Press.

The notice, distributed Thursday, states the cicada killer wasps are generally not aggressive and do not pose a threat to humans, despite their alarming appearance and name.

MARYLAND

KNOXVILLE

Woman’s body found in Potomac River

Police found the body of an 18-year-old Knoxville woman in the Potomac River early yesterday morning, about 40 minutes after a friend reported her missing, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said.

The remains of Jessica Rene Wilson were sent to the state medical examiner’s office in Baltimore, Cpl. Jennifer Bailey said. She said there were no apparent signs of foul play.

“We’re just trying to figure out what happened, who was out there and what was going on,” Cpl. Bailey said.

The unidentified female friend reported Miss Wilson missing at about 5:30 a.m., Cpl. Bailey said. They apparently had been in a wooded area near the river on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park towpath when Miss Wilson disappeared, Cpl. Bailey said.

UPPER MARLBORO

Man gets 23 years for burning girlfriend

A Landover man has been ordered to serve 23 years in prison for setting his girlfriend on fire.

Anthony Willoughby, 42, was sentenced yesterday. He entered an Alford plea in May to the assault on Fredia Edwards, 39, last July. Under the plea, he did not admit guilt but conceded prosecutors had sufficient evidence for a conviction.

Prosecutors say Willoughby attacked his girlfriend during an argument.

They say he splashed gasoline on her upper body and set her ablaze with a lighter.

The woman had second- and third-degree burns on her torso, arms and face.

ELLICOTT CITY

Five teenagers hurt in crash

Five teenagers were sent to area hospitals after a single-vehicle accident in Ellicott City, authorities said.

It happened early yesterday morning when a speeding car hit a tree along Gray Rock Drive and two of the teens were ejected, police said.

The driver and two passengers were flown to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. The driver is in stable condition and the other patients are in critical condition.

A fourth patient was flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital in stable condition. The fifth teen was taken to Howard County General with minor injuries.

No names have been released.

BALTIMORE

Church members to meet at Meyerhoff

The congregation at Baltimore’s First Mount Olive Free Will Baptist Church will meet for services 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

The church on West Saratoga Street was ruined by Tuesday’s five-alarm fire, which began when lightning struck the steeple.

Church members met Wednesday to discuss what’s ahead.

Bishop Oscar Brown said the congregation must decide whether to rebuild the church on the same grounds or move to a new location.

Despite heavy damage, firefighters were able to save the stained glass windows.

Neighboring and affiliated churches have been reaching out to the destroyed church and its members.

VIRGINIA

RICHMOND

Four men killed in one-car crash

Four men were killed in a single-vehicle crash in south Richmond.

Richmond police spokeswoman Mary-Hope Gangwer said five men were in the vehicle that crashed Thursday just after 11 p.m.

All five were thrown from the car when it struck a utility pole. Four were pronounced dead at the scene and the fifth man was critically injured.

FREDERICKSBURG

Woman finds intruder sitting on her toilet

Police in Fredericksburg say an elderly woman who went out to buy a newspaper Thursday returned home to find an intruder was in her home — and on her toilet.

Police said the man apparently cut a screen and unlocked a door while the woman was out. The woman, who is in her 80s, had noticed the man outside when she was leaving.

When she returned, she also noticed the bathroom door was closed.

Opening the door, she was surprised to see the stranger perched on the toilet.

Police said she asked him several questions, including “How long are you going to be?”

He answered in Spanish and she told him she was going to call police. He left quickly, and police are investigating.

REGION

Metro to upgrade fare machines

Metro is considering a roughly $25 million project to upgrade fare machines in 86 stations over four years. Customers would be able to use their debit and credit cards instead of cash to buy fare cards.

The project will also include adding more machines in stations and a test program for touch-screen machines.

In addition, the agency will test paper-based SmarTrip cards that will be less durable and cheaper for people who don’t want to buy the longer-use, $5 plastic card.

Final approval is scheduled for the end of July. But even after approval, may of these programs may not be available for two or three years as Metro tests the technology.

From wire dispatches and staff reports