- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 23, 2007

REGION

Bill would give Metro $1.5 billion

Maryland’s senators have introduced legislation that would provide money to help maintain the Metro transit system.

The bill introduced by Sens. Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, both Democrats, would provide Metro with $1.5 billion over the next 10 years. A similar bill is making its way through the House.

The legislation requires that Maryland, Virginia and the District match the federal money over the next decade.

Virginia and the District have approved the funding. Maryland lawmakers have not acted, though Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, contends the state’s transportation trust fund already is a dedicated source of revenue for Metro.

VIRGINIA

FREDERICKSBURG

‘Clown’ steals drugs, money from CVS

A man dressed as a clown robbed a pharmacy Sunday night, Fredericksburg police said.

Police said the man came into a CVS store wearing a black top hat, fake hair and face paint, walked to the pharmacy counter and gave the clerk a note demanding prescription narcotics from the safe.

The robber told the clerk that he had a gun, but no gun was visible.

Police said the man took money from the register and the drugs.

VIRGINIA BEACH

32 ill in hospital norovirus outbreak

Officials at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital said an outbreak of norovirus in the past week or so has made 32 persons sick.

Hospital administrators said Friday that 23 patients, staff members and visitors in one unit of the hospital had gotten the stomach virus. On Monday, the hospital noted nine more cases, and officials said the affected unit was isolated to contain the virus.

Sentara Healthcare spokesman Dale Gauding said the outbreak appears to be “turning the corner.” He said staff members who got the virus will not return to work until they are no longer contagious.

The highly contagious illness has flulike symptoms and occasionally brings a low-grade fever, muscle aches and fatigue.

FAIRFAX

Big-box stores must have plans approved

Developers of big-box retail stores such as Target and Wal-Mart will have to seek permission to build in Fairfax County.

The Board of Supervisors passed a bill yesterday that requires developers to get approval for the locations and plans of stores of 80,000 square feet or more. The goal is to lessen problems such as noise, traffic and esthetic blight that come with the stores, especially in residential neighborhoods.

The heated testimony included voices from environmentalists and smart-growth activists. A union representative for grocery workers also supported the bill because big-box stores can put grocery stores out of business.

But some in the business community worried that the bill would discourage development. The board did agree to revisit the size guidelines in 18 months to see whether any development slowdown actually happens.

Prince William County has similar legislation in place.

WILLIAMSBURG

Judge postpones case for deaf, mute man

A Williamsburg judge will wait another six months before setting a trial date for a deaf and mute illegal alien charged with raping and killing a teenager.

The judge ruled Monday that attorneys for Oswaldo Martinez, 35, can travel to Western State Hospital to begin working with him on his defense.

Mr. Martinez has been at the state hospital in Staunton since September 2005, when he was found incompetent to stand trial for the slaying of 16-year-old Brittany Binger because he was unable to communicate with his attorneys.

Mr. Martinez is charged with rape, murder, sodomy and robbery in Brittany’s death near her home in James City County in January 2005.

Mr. Martinez has been receiving intensive sign-language therapy and has made enough progress to communicate with doctors and staff at the hospital.

MARYLAND

OAKLAND

Pharmacist sentenced in drugs-for-sex sting

A Western Maryland pharmacist who was caught in a drugs-for-sex sting has been sentenced to 18 months behind bars and a year of probation.

Thomas G. Bolt, 54, of LaVale, was sentenced Monday for his April guilty plea to illegally possessing the prescription painkiller Oxycodone. In return for the plea, prosecutors dropped charges of possessing narcotics with intent to deliver, and manufacturing or delivering narcotics.

Bolt is the former owner of the Medicine Shoppe in Frostburg. He was arrested in July at a Grantsville hotel for giving prescription painkillers to an undercover female state police trooper and a female informant.

Bolt faces a trial May 31 on charges of illegally possessing and falsely labeling prescription drugs.

BALTIMORE

Police charge students who asked to be shot

Baltimore police released the names of the two Morgan State University students accused last week of arranging for a friend to shoot them and then lying about it.

David Briggs, 21, and Phillip Anderson, 22, told police Thursday that they had been shot during a robbery of a gas station.

But police said Mr. Briggs later told police they had a friend shoot them so they could avoid a fraternity initiation ritual. The gun was found in Mr. Briggs’ car.

Mr. Briggs was arrested and charged with making a false police report, illegal possession of a handgun and ammunition, and obliterating the weapon’s serial number.

Mr. Anderson and Xavier Marshall, 24, are charged in warrants but have not been arrested.

FREDERICK

Bomb-threat teacher must avoid victims

A former sixth-grade teacher convicted of making false bomb threats against five students agreed yesterday not to contact the victims after prosecutors said she approached one of the boys at a sporting event.

Michelle J. Dohm, 42, is free on $200,000 bond while awaiting sentencing for writing messages such as, “Tick Tock Tick Tock. Is it a bomb or is it a clock?”

Frederick County Assistant State’s Attorney Lindell K. Angel said in a petition that Dohm had spoken to one of the boys at a sporting event April 25, 13 days after her conviction. The episode “frightened and visibly upset” the boy, Mr. Angel wrote.

The petition also said Dohm had had “repeated contact” with the boy and his siblings.

Dohm denies having contacted any of the victims, her attorney, Thomas C. Morrow, said. She signed a consent order yesterday agreeing to avoid contact with any of the victims and their immediate family members. Dohm also agreed not to attend any organized athletic events involving teams from Thurmont, her hometown.

Prosecutors have said they will seek an 18-month jail term for Dohm at her sentencing June 26.

Dohm was a social studies teacher at Thurmont Middle School when she made the threats from September 2005 to April 2006. The notes were found in the boys’ lockers, a school bathroom and in envelopes mailed to two of the victims’ homes.

OWINGS MILLS

SUV crashes into coffee shop

A sport utility vehicle crashed into a coffee shop yesterday and seriously injured two customers.

Baltimore County fire department spokeswoman Elise Armacost said the Starbucks in the 9900 block of Reisterstown Road is now closed.

The SUV crashed through the window about 1 p.m., striking an outdoor table.

Miss Armacost said a woman was severely injured and was taken to Sinai Hospital. A man was taken to Northwest Hospital with minor injuries. The driver refused treatment.

Miss Armacost said county building inspectors will examine the building’s structural integrity and determine when it can reopen.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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