- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 31, 2006


Metro readies extra trains

Metro says it will have additional trains on standby this weekend.

Officials expect a large number of passengers because of former President Gerald R. Ford’s funeral, as well as New Year’s Eve celebrations.

New Year’s Eve passengers can ride Metro until 2 a.m. It will be open from 7 a.m. to midnight on New Year’s Day and on Tuesday from 5 a.m. to midnight.

Some bus routes may be detoured because of street closures connected to Mr. Ford’s funeral.

Delmarva prepares rate increase

The new year means another increase in the electric bill for some Delmarva Power customers.

It’s part of the “phased-in” approach to the electric-rate increase.

Customers will see their electric bills go up by 25 percent tomorrow.

Delmarva Power’s Merrie Street says customers automatically were enrolled in the deferral plan, unless they notified the company that they wanted to opt out, and start paying the full increase all at once earlier this year.

Miss Street says about 113,000 customers didn’t call or go on line to opt out of the program.


Shootings leave 1 dead, 5 wounded

One person was killed and five others wounded in several shootings in the District Friday night.

It was a violent night in parts of the city, starting around 11 p.m.

Police Sgt. Joe Gentile said that Adegoke Adenikinju, 25, was found dead with a gunshot wound outside a home on Pomeroy Road in Southeast.

Around the same time Friday night, five persons were shot and wounded in the Trinidad section of Northeast.

Authorities said that most of the victims were hit in the legs.

Hotel fire forces guests to evacuate

A two-alarm fire early yesterday at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Northwest forced hundreds of guests out into the cold.

The fire started about 4:30 a.m., and as many as 1,000 hotel guests were forced to evacuate.

At least one person was injured.

Authorities said the fire started in a common area of the hotel and no rooms were damaged.

James Talbert of the D.C. fire department said that firefighters who first arrived at the scene were shorthanded but were able to work quickly to get the situation under control.

School security chief to be replaced

The change in leadership of the Metropolitan Police Department could mean changes for security in D.C. schools.

Assistant Police Chief Gerald Wilson, who is in charge of security for the public schools, says he is not being reappointed by the incoming police chief, Cmdr. Cathy L. Lanier.

Chief Wilson is a former police chief in Prince George’s County. He was hired in May 2005 to oversee D.C. school security when that responsibility was assigned to the police department.

Chief Wilson oversees about 100 officers and 330 private security guards in the schools.

He says he is disappointed to be leaving before he was able to fully implement his strategy. He says the number of assaults in schools has decreased by 30 percent since police took over school security.

His last day on the job will be tomorrow.

Cmdr. Lanier did not immediately comment on her school security plan.

Cathy Reilly, the leader of an alliance of high school parents, says she is dismayed that Chief Wilson would be replaced in the middle of the school year.

City to recycle Christmas trees

City residents who want their Christmas trees recycled can leave them and other holiday greenery on the curb from Tuesday to Jan. 13.

The trees will be put through a chipper, then the dry wood chips will be mixed with leaf compost and used for city beautification projects.

The trees must be free of ornaments and put out loose, not in bags.

Trees mixed with trash can’t be recycled.

Residents who want to keep their trees longer can put them on the curb after Jan. 13 for regular trash collection.



Court rejects judgment against cops

Maryland’s second-highest court has dismissed a $500,000 judgment against two Baltimore police officers.

The officers were held liable in the 2000 in-custody death of Joseph Wilbon, 46.

The Court of Special Appeals ruled that Mr. Wilbon’s family did not notify city officials that they intended to sue within the 180 days required by law.

The judges said a Circuit Court judge erred by granting an exception allowing the suit to go forward.

Allen Eaton, an attorney representing Mr. Wilbon’s family, said he plans to appeal to the Maryland Court of Appeals.


Health officials warn of meningitis

Baltimore health officials say that students at a city elementary school should get preventive treatment for meningitis.

That’s after the death of a teacher’s assistant, who appears to have been killed by the illness.

Health Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein says more than 60 kindergarten and pre-kindergarten students at Lockerman Bundy Elementary School might have been exposed and should take antibiotics.

The assistant was admitted to the University of Maryland Medical Center Friday morning after suffering from flulike symptoms for the past week.

Eboni Brooks, 26, died Friday afternoon.

Dr. Sharfstein says people who had prolonged face-to-face contact with Miss Brooks or who might have had contact with her bodily fluids should call 311 and ask for the meningitis staff.


Beach walk set for Assateague

Some people on the Eastern Shore will kick off the new year with a walk on the beach.

The 27th annual New Year’s Day Beach Walk at Assateague is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow.

The beach walk will be guided by Chris Seymour, who is a National Park Service ranger.

Mr. Seymour will take guests on a walking tour down the beach, showing them the sights and explaining how Assateague was saved from development.

The walk usually lasts until about 3 or 4 p.m.

The event is also free, with no park entrance fee on New Year’s Day.

After the walk, hot cocoa and cookies will be provided.



Woman accused of threatening judge

A woman was arrested after police say she tried for months to find someone to kill a New River Valley judge.

Casey Joannah Dunford, 28, of Wytheville, was arrested Thursday and charged with three counts of soliciting to commit murder, said Wythe County Sheriff Doug King.

Miss Dunford tried to get several people to kill Circuit Court Judge Joey Showalter, Sheriff King said.

Authorities had been investigating the case for more than a month.

“We notified the judge, of course, first thing,” Sheriff King said. “We developed enough information to believe there was a credible threat here.”

Sheriff King declined to say whether police believe Miss Dunford offered anyone money or exactly how many people she solicited, citing the ongoing investigation.

He also would not comment on a possible motive.

Miss Dunford has cases pending in both Circuit and General District courts in Wythe County.

She was indicted by a grand jury in January on drug charges and released on $5,000 bond, and was recently charged with failure to appear in General District Court on charges of grand larceny and breaking and entering with the intent to commit a felony.

She is being held without bond in the New River Valley Regional Jail in Dublin.

Judge Showalter couldn’t be reached for comment.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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