- The Washington Times - Monday, July 10, 2006


Slots group eyes next year’s ballot

A group that has circulated petitions for legalizing slot machine gambling now is aiming to get the initiative on next year’s ballot, not November’s.

Supporters of the Video Lottery Terminal Gambling Initiative of 2006 were supposed to have submitted petition signatures yesterday to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics for certification.

“We didn’t turn in the signatures so that we can have more time to gather more signatures and so that we can focus on working with the community,” an attorney for the slots promoters said. “We wanted to take the focus off just gathering signatures and put more energy into making sure the community is fully on board.”

Slots promoters have until Dec. 11 to turn in the petitions and signatures, election board officials said. If the petitions are submitted by that deadline, the initiative can appear on the ballot for the January presidential primary.

AU starts search for new president

American University will begin its search for a new president in September, a year after Benjamin Ladner was ousted amid a spending scandal.

The university’s board of trustees yesterday voted unanimously to form a 15-person search committee led by board Chairman Gary Abramson, with members nominated by faculty and student groups.

The committee will include eight trustees, three faculty members, two students, a dean and a staff member.

Cornelius Kerwin has been acting president of the 11,000-student private school in Northwest since Mr. Ladner, 64, was suspended in August during an investigation of his spending. Mr. Ladner had led the school for 11 years.

After Mr. Ladner’s dismissal, the board recommended changes in the school’s governance, including improved oversight of the president’s expenses, monthly reports to the university’s audit committee, and additional student and faculty representation on the board.

Anacostia Museum gets new name

The Smithsonian Institution yesterday announced a new name for the Anacostia Museum — the Anacostia Community Museum.

Although the museum has been known as the Anacostia Museum, its full name since 1995 had been the Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture.

Smithsonian officials decided to change the name to distinguish the museum’s mission in the wake of the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.


Rescue drill reveals communication glitch

An emergency drill with a simulated burning ship and rescuers from the District, Virginia and the U.S. Coast Guard revealed a glitch in the region’s emergency response system.

About 200 rescue workers were on the water yesterday morning near Hains Point to rescue 57 persons who were aboard a four-story, 279-foot dinner cruise boat that suffered a simulated explosion and fire.

Rescue boats had to pull some people from the water.

D.C. fire department spokesman Alan Etter said the biggest problem they found was a failed communications patch between Alexandria firefighters and the D.C. fire communications center.

Mr. Etter said they were able to overcome the problem because firefighters from Alexandria and the District who were at the scene could talk directly on the same radio band.

The drill will help eliminate problems before a real disaster hits, Mr. Etter said.


Counties to lose federal funds

Arlington and Fairfax counties are among several Virginia localities that stand to lose millions in federal human- services funding because they misused federal money intended for foster care.

A federal investigation revealed that the local governments used the foster care money for broader programs such as counseling and parent education, officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said.

After months of negotiations, the state and the federal agency agreed May 31 that Virginia will lose $42 million in federal money.

Arlington’s loss will be severe, $5.5 million for the coming year and as much as $15 million overall. Most of the money is targeted for housing for disabled residents.

About 30 county jobs are in jeopardy, county officials said.

Fairfax could lose about $2 million a year. Because most of its federal funding went toward administrative costs instead of other aid programs, officials said they will not have to cut jobs or services to make up the gap.


Charges refiled in induced abortion

A Suffolk woman who shot herself in the stomach to end the life of her unborn daughter has been indicted again.

Tammy Skinner, 22, escaped a charge of inducing an abortion in May. She had told police Feb. 23 — the day the child was due — that a man had picked her up, shot her and pushed her out of the car.

Then she told investigators that the child’s father did it.

Finally, the mother of two admitted that the wound was self-inflicted.

Yesterday, Miss Skinner was transferred from General District to Circuit Court and handed a new indictment for the same felony charge.

The new indictment was sealed from the grand jury, which met June 28.



Inmate arrested after escape

A prisoner was caught just after midnight yesterday, not long after he escaped Sunday night from a pre-release center.

Elwood Martin, 22, fled the center in the 11600 block of Nebel Street in Rockville.

Authorities conducted an extensive search with a Maryland State Police helicopter and a K-9 unit.

Police said Martin was found hiding in a tree at a car dealership about two miles from the detention center.


Man sentenced for child pornography

A man has been sentenced to 19 years in prison for producing child pornography.

The U.S. attorney’s office said Kenneth Barker, 42, of Hollywood, Md., enticed and coerced a teenage girl into sexually explicit conduct while he photographed her.

Barker told police that he also touched the girl during some of the photo sessions.

Prosecutors said more than 600 pornographic images and videos of the girl were found on Barker’s computer.


Trash truck searched for source of fumes

A Prince George’s County hazardous-materials team emptied out a trash truck yesterday to find the source of some fumes.

County fire officials said the driver of the truck noticed a haze and a “chlorine odor” coming from his truck while driving in the 1400 block of Ritchie-Marlboro Road.

The team dumped the contents of the truck onto the road and found several empty containers for residential swimming pool chemicals.

The crew put the trash into another container to be taken away, then scanned each item with a thermal imager to ensure there were no more dangerous items in the trash.

About 20 businesses in two warehouses in the area were evacuated, and Ritchie-Marlboro Road was closed for about a half-mile around the scene in both directions.


Motel deaths blamed on medic confusion

Paramedics called to a motel after guests complained of nausea and headaches never checked a room in which a man and his daughter lay dying of carbon-monoxide poisoning, officials said yesterday.

Ocean City emergency services Director Joe Theobald said two ambulances responded to a room of the Days Inn Oceanfront on June 27 after receiving a 911 call at 9:27 a.m. regarding two persons with nausea, headache and difficulty breathing.

Upon arriving, paramedics were told that two persons in another room also were having problems.

Paramedics from a third ambulance responded to another 911 call made at 9:45 a.m. from a third room regard-ing possible food poisoning involving four members of the Boughter family.

The third unit, however, was directed to assist the four persons from the earlier call.

Mr. Theobald said the room where the Boughters were staying was never checked because paramedics thought they already had the four ill persons in their care.

Patrick Boughter, 40, of Lebanon, Pa., and his daughter, Kelly, 10, were found dead hours later after Mr. Boughter’s wife, Yvonne, 36, made a second 911 call shortly before 2 p.m.

Mrs. Boughter and her younger daughter Morgan, 8, were treated for carbon- monoxide poisoning, which officials traced to a disconnected water heater pipe in the basement.


Remains found near Appalachian Trail

Maryland State Police are investigating human remains found near the Appalachian Trail.

Police said the remains were found Friday in Washington County along Grey Rock Road.

The remains had been there for several years, they said.

Police said that they have several possible identifications but that nothing has been confirmed.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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