- The Washington Times - Friday, December 1, 2006



Mother denies role in son’s slaying

Baltimore prosecutors say the mother of a boy found dead on a golf course in July has pleaded not guilty to allowing the registered child sex offender accused in the boy’s slaying near her child.

Prosecutors said Shanda Harris, 41, allowed Melvin Jones to baby-sit her children even though she knew of his criminal history. Her 11-year-old son, Irvin, disappeared July 28 and his body was found three days later in a wooded area at a golf course near his home.

Jones, 52, is charged with first-degree murder in the boy’s death. Miss Harris is charged with reckless endangerment and “contributing to the condition of a child.”


Man gets 18 months for chaining girl to bed

A man accused of chaining a teenager to her bed and leaving her for more than two days in June was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in prison.

Samuel David Pounds Jr., 30, pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment. He is to serve the sentence concurrently with a two-year term for violating probation on an unrelated marijuana distribution charge.

Kenya Lincoln, 15, was found chained to a bed after a boy passing the teenager’s house heard her screams for help.

Kenya was freed by police who were called by the 10-year-old boy, Deon Graham, who ran to a neighbor’s house after hearing the girl scream from a bedroom window.

Pound’s decision to chain the girl, who is his girlfriend’s daughter, to the bed “was unacceptable and excessive,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Ernest Reitz. “But not as malicious as initially thought.”

Police reported in June that the girl was chained as punishment for a bad report card. But, Mr. Reitz said, the girl was chained to punish her for inviting into the home teenage boys who later stole property from her mother.

The girl’s mother, Tia Whitehead, 34, pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment in October and will be sentenced this month.

Kenya and her 8-year-old brother are now staying with the father of the 8-year-old, authorities said.


Toddler dragged in hit-and-run dies

A toddler died yesterday after he was dragged for blocks in a stroller when he and his grandmother were hit by a pickup truck in Towson, Baltimore County police said.

The incident happened at about 4 p.m. at Goucher Boulevard behind Loch Raven Plaza.

Police said the two were crossing the street from a shopping mall to an apartment complex when they were hit.

Police said the boy’s stroller was lodged underneath the vehicle and the driver kept going for about half a mile before the stroller dislodged in the 1500 block of Register Avenue.

Officers found the truck and driver and arrested her.

Police said alcohol was not thought to have been a factor in the incident.

They said the child was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The grandmother was flown to Shock Trauma with non-life-threatening injuries.

The identities of those involved were not immediately released.


Town completes beach restoration

Nearly a million cubic yards of sand have been added to Ocean City’s beach.

The town reported yesterday that its $7.5 million beach replenishment project was complete.

Town engineer Terry McGean said the replenishments are usually done in the spring or summer, but this year officials tried the fall.

Mr. McGean said new technology makes it easier to work in the fall, and the town may plan future replenishments for after the tourist season.

Dredged sand has been added to Ocean City’s beach for about four years because of erosion that threatens dunes and buildings.

This year’s replenishment totaled 930,000 cubic yards of sand.


College won’t require SATs for applicants

Salisbury University will allow some students to forgo submitting standardized test scores with their applications under a pilot project approved yesterday by the Maryland university system.

Applicants for the fall of 2007 with a high school grade point average of 3.5 or higher will not have to send along results for the SAT or ACT, tests that are widely-used measures for college admissions.

The change is part of a five-year pilot program approved by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s public institutions, including Salisbury. Salisbury is the only school taking part in the program.

The test-optional approach has already been adopted by some other regional schools, such as George Mason University in Fairfax and Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.



Homemade meal ban for homeless lifted

After receiving criticism, Fairfax County has decided it won’t bar residents from cooking food at home or in church kitchens and donating it to homeless shelters.

Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the county’s Board of Supervisors, blamed overzealous employees for the policy and said he was not aware that county health officials were targeting home-cooked meals prepared in uncertified kitchens.

The crackdown began after the county’s health department got a complaint about home-cooked food being served to the homeless.

Health officials told homeless programs and a coalition of nonprofit groups and churches that runs a winter-shelter program that food had to be prepared in county-approved commercial kitchens.

Officials cited the state’s food code as explanation for their actions.


$82.6 million budget set for snow removal

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has budgeted $82.6 million statewide for snow removal.

The state spent $55 million on snow removal last winter and $79 million the winter before that.

The agency has more than 3,500 pieces of snow-removal equipment and 3,900 people prepared to remove snow this year. Private contractors are also hired when needed.

The state said it has 302,000 tons of salt on hand and 171,000 tons of sand.

VDOT is responsible for clearing snow and ice from just under 58,000 miles of roads across the state. That does not include roads in most cities and towns; and Henrico and Arlington counties clear their own.

VDOT plows interstate highways and major primary routes first, then crews work to clear secondary roads and subdivision streets.


Guard members will be called to active duty

About 175 members of the Virginia Army National Guard will be mobilized for active federal duty at the beginning of 2007, officials said yesterday.

The 177 soldiers from units based in Fredericksburg and Leesburg will enter 18 months of active service Jan. 4 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom after a short period of duty at their home armories, Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman Jr., the adjutant general of Virginia, said.

The Army may extend the period of service up to a total of 24 months, officials said.

About 1,240 of the Guard’s total of about 8,600 members, including the Air National Guard, are serving in active federal service.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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