- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 8, 2006


Officer shoots man during attack

A Metropolitan Police Department officer has been placed on routine administrative duties while the agency investigates the shooting of a man in the leg Friday.

Police say 10-year veteran Mary Matthews shot Charles Taitano, 43, after he attacked officers with a club. She and other officers were responding to a domestic violence incident in the 300 block of V Street Northwest, where they found a woman who had been beaten in the face. Mr. Taitano has been charged with assaulting a police officer and aggravated assault on the woman.



Relative arrested after 4 found dead

A couple and two of their grandchildren were found dead in a home on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, and a relative surrendered yesterday after a manhunt and car chase, authorities said.

Officers chased Ronald Shrieves, 32, and he was forced to stop the pickup truck he was driving near Girdletree, Md., and give himself up, said Worcester County Sheriff Chuck Martin. The pickup was owned by one of the people found slain on Friday night.

Accomack County, Va., Sheriff Robert Crockett said authorities were investigating the killings of Harry L. Shrieves Sr., 68; his 58-year-old wife, Edna, and two of their grandchildren, 14-year-old grandson Deonte and 4-year-old granddaughter DeNyia.

Ronald Shrieves is related to the victims, but it was unclear how, Sheriff Martin said.

Authorities said the children’s mother dropped them off Friday morning at their grandparents’ home, where they were expected to board a school bus. When the mother returned to the home Friday evening after work to pick up the children, she found the four bodies.

They did not say how the victims were killed.

Ronald Shrieves, who has been arrested before in Worcester County, was being held at the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Martin said Worcester County authorities were not seeking any other suspects in the killings.


Nonprofit groups facing eviction

The state is threatening to evict several nonprofit organizations from the grounds of the former Crownsville state psychiatric hospital. The groups include a regional food bank and a nursing home.

The potential eviction is the result of a dispute between the groups and Anne Arundel County about who will pay $25 million for an environmental cleanup.

A letter from the administration of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, relating to the matter was obtained by the Baltimore Sun and states the impasse will force the state to clear the land for possible sale.

The letter put the responsibility for relocating the nonprofit groups on the county as the state prepares for a “final sale or transfer of the property.”

Van Mitchell, deputy secretary for the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, set a June 2007 deadline for the community groups to leave.


Dorm costs to rise at state schools

The university system’s Board of Regents approved increases Friday for room, board, parking and other services.

The costs will vary at different campuses. Only Bowie State University will not have an increase.

Prices will increase 8 percent for all housing at Towson University. Meal-plan increases will range from 2 percent at Towson to as much as 4.5 percent for a plan at Frostburg State University.

Parking rates will increase at Towson, Salisbury University and the University of Maryland at College Park.

In-state undergraduate tuition will stay at its current rates for the next school year, after increasing an average of 5.8 percent this year and by nearly 30 percent during the previous two years.


Faster Internet on tap for Eastern Shore

State lawmakers agreed yesterday on a plan to spend millions on better Internet connections on the Eastern Shore.

Lawmakers from the area have long been pushing for the state to invest in spreading broadband, or high-speed Internet connections, to rural parts of the region. Residents and businesses outside cities sometimes pay much more than people in urban areas for speedy Internet access.

The final bill sets aside $10 million over three years to spread broadband lines across the shore. The money is in addition to $2 million the federal government approved this year.

The measure also opens the door for future spending on broadband in rural parts of southern and western Maryland.



Brush fire consumes at least 1,100 acres

Firefighters managed to contain most of a blaze at Shenandoah National Park by yesterday morning, after they increased efforts and got some help from the rain.

A National Park Service official said the fire was about 70 percent contained, compared to 30 percent Thursday.

Authorities think the fire, which has been described as mostly slow-burning and not very hot, began Monday night with a lightning strike. It has not threatened homes or other buildings.

Yesterday, the blaze was fought by more than 120 firefighters, including crews from the Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Virginia Department of Forestry, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local departments.

Much of Virginia has been extremely dry, but some relief came Friday night and yesterday with widespread rain.

The most active part of the fire is in the park’s northwestern corner.


Man survives plane crash

State police said a New Mexico man survived the crash of his plane Friday night in the Hampton Roads area.

Authorities said pilot Courtney Kinnan was on approach to the Hampton Roads Executive Airport at about 7 p.m. when the airplane lost power. The small aircraft broke into two pieces after crashing into some trees.

Mr. Kinnan was not injured, but could not immediately help police find the plane in the fog.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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