- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 30, 2006



Bus driver hits head on bridge pillar, dies

A bus driver died behind the wheel yesterday after he apparently suffered a medical emergency and his head hit a bridge support, state police said.

David A. Audet, 49, of Laurel, Md., was reportedly hanging out the driver’s side window when his bus veered onto the shoulder of Interstate 395 at the Shirlington overpass and his head hit a jersey barrier and a bridge column, said Sgt. Terry Licklider, a state police spokesman.

There were no passengers on the bus, owned by Gunther Charters of Hanover, Md. Officials with the bus line were not available for comment, said George Smith, a dispatcher.

The bus continued down the road for more than a half mile, traveling about 5 mph, before Officer Michael Watson and firefighter-paramedic Kyle Wright, who had been running alongside, got inside and applied the brakes.

Traffic on southbound Interstate 395 was delayed from 7 a.m. until about 2 p.m.

Initial reports said that the driver had been shot, but police do not suspect foul play. Mr. Audet’s body was sent to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.


YWCA votes to allow men

The YWCA changed its bylaws yesterday to eliminate a policy of women-only leadership for its nearly 300 local affiliates. Seventy percent of the group’s voting membership approved the change.

The vote marks a dramatic change for the 148-year-old organization. It was as a compromise five years after an unofficial vote against allowing men to serve in leadership positions. The amendment will allow local chapters to decide for themselves whether to keep the women-only policy or allow men through a proposal to the national board.

About 20 local affiliates have already started the process of including men on their governing boards, a YWCA official said.

Some changed their bylaws in defiance of the national organization’s policy.

Men had been previously allowed as volunteers, staff or associate members but could not serve as voting members or directors.



Commission approves BGE rate increase

The Public Service Commission issued an order late Friday giving Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. permission to implement its proposed 72 percent increase in electricity rates this summer, including a plan that would allow consumers to defer part of the additional cost.

The commission action will give the utility company’s 1.1 million residential customers two choices. They can begin paying 72 percent more for electricity starting July 1, or phase in the higher rates over 18 months, beginning with a 19 percent increase on July 1.

The vote was 4-1 with Harold Williams, the only commission member not appointed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, casting the dissenting vote.

The commission made one change in the plan, which had been the subject of a public hearing Thursday: BGE cannot charge interest on the amount of payments that will be deferred for customers who choose the phase-in option.

BGE will review the order to determine the effect of not allowing the company to charge interest on the deferred payments.


County police probe double homicide

Anne Arundel County police were investigating a double homicide yesterday near a business complex.

Police responded to the 5100 block of Raynor Avenue after a shooting was reported at 2:26 p.m. Police found two adult males who had been shot in the upper body. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

One victim was found in a white sedan. The other was found next to the car.

A motive for the shooting had not been established, and police said yesterday afternoon they didn’t have any suspects.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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