- The Washington Times - Monday, July 17, 2006



Police stop keeping VIP escort records

Maryland Transportation Authority Police have received some criticism for giving special treatment to celebrities who pass through Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Now, the agency is destroying its records of those VIP escorts.

The Baltimore Sun reported that Capt. Manuel Crew of the Transportation Authority Police wrote an e-mail last month ordering supervisors to stop keeping a daily log of escorts.

The order means lawmakers, the public and news organizations no longer will be able to scrutinize information about police escorts of private citizens.

Officials at other airports have said they do not provide escorts for celebrities.


Boy’s body recovered from Severn River

The body of a teen was recovered from the Severn River near Kyle Point yesterday.

The body of Luis Vargas, 16, of Annapolis, was recovered at 1:18 p.m. and transported to the state medical examiner’s office in Baltimore for an autopsy.

A search for Luis started Saturday evening after he, his father, his uncle and two co-workers of his father’s were returning from an afternoon fishing trip.

The five decided to stop their vessel and go for a swim before returning to the dock. They were about 25 feet offshore.

Luis disappeared from the surface of the water.

Authorities said that rescue operations were suspended about 7:45 p.m. Saturday and that Department of Natural Resources police began a recovery operation that lasted until 11:30 p.m. They resumed their search at 4 a.m. yesterday.

Authorities said alcohol was not a factor in the incident.


Double shooting ends in death

Two men were shot at a party early yesterday.

The shooting occurred at about 3 a.m. at an apartment complex in the 8700 block of Good Luck Road. Prince George’s County police officers found the two men with gunshot wounds in the complex’s parking lot.

Anthony Adams, 28, of the 1700 block of Constitution Avenue Southeast, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other victim, a 29-year-old man, was taken to a hospital.

Investigators said both men were at the party when two persons came to the door and asked for one of the guests. An argument led to a fight involving multiple people in the parking lot.

After the shooting, both gunmen fled.


Boy, 4, injured by van after starting it

A 4-year-old boy who found the keys in the ignition of his father’s work van and put it in gear was seriously injured yesterday.

The vehicle rolled backward down a driveway more than 100 yards into a neighbor’s yard across the street in the 1300 block of Gunston Road, authorities said.

While the vehicle was rolling, the boy apparently jumped out and was hit by the van.

He was flown to the Johns Hopkins Hospital Pediatric Unit in Baltimore.


Man escapes from locked patrol car

Police recaptured a New Windsor man they said escaped Saturday night from a Maryland state trooper while handcuffed in a locked patrol car.

When police caught up with Eric Berger, 26, yesterday at a friend’s home, he did not have the handcuffs on — but police gave him a new set.

Mr. Berger was taken into custody on a drunken-driving charge after a minor car crash near the Carroll-Howard county line.

After putting Mr. Berger in the patrol car, the trooper walked back to the scene of the crash to continue the investigation because he was the only trooper at the scene.

That is when Mr. Berger was able to escape, police said. He was charged with second-degree escape, resisting and interfering with an arrest, theft under $500, driving under the influence and other traffic offenses.


Jellyfish clogging power plant pumps

Large numbers of jellyfish in the Chesapeake Bay are causing trouble not only for swimmers, but also for power plants in Maryland.

Masses of jellyfish have clogged intake pumps at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Calvert County three times this month, according to reports filed with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In one case, the clog significantly hampered the efficiency of a pump that circulates cooling water, forcing the plant to trim power.

The power output of the plant’s Unit 1 was reduced to 41 percent of full capacity.

In the other instances, the last of which occurred Wednesday, the plant’s two units continued to operate at 100 percent capacity despite the clogs, the reports said.

Maryland’s largest power plant, the Chalk Point Generating Station on the Patuxent River in Prince George’s County, also is having trouble, an environmental analyst said.

The plant has a waterman emptying jellyfish from large nets protecting the cooling-water intakes twice a week, then dumping them elsewhere to prevent clogging.

“It’s not a perfect system, but it seems to be doing a good job,” said Pat Langley, an environmental analyst.

He said the jellyfish infestation in the Bay seems worse than in previous years.



Police investigating likely murder-suicide

The sheriff’s office in Spotsylvania County is investigating what appears to be a murder-suicide early yesterday.

Sheriff Howard D. Smith said authorities received a call soon after 3 a.m. from a man who said he had just shot his wife and gave them an address. Sheriff Smith said the man asked police to come to the home and told them he would leave the door unlocked for them.

When they arrived outside his home, the man hung up from a call with 911 operators. Sheriff Smith said repeated phone calls to the man went unanswered. After about two hours, an emergency response team forced its way into the home and found a man and woman who had been shot.

A 4-year-old boy also was in the home, but he was asleep and unharmed.

Authorities did not identify the victims yesterday.


City considers adding wireless Internet

Residents and visitors to Occoquan soon might be able to use a wireless connection to access the Internet.

The Town Council heard a proposal about going wireless last week, and Mayor Earnest W. Porta Jr. called it “a great idea.”

Advocates said it could attract more visitors and spending money to the small Prince William County town on the banks of the Occoquan River.

Alexandria began a wireless Internet access pilot program along the King Street corridor in Old Town last year and is soliciting bids to expand the service.

The City of Fairfax and Arlington County also are at various stages of establishing wireless access programs.


Teacher facing 6 sex-abuse charges

A Twin Valley High School teacher and former coach is facing sexual abuse charges involving four high-school girls.

Prosecutor Dennis Lee said Terry Lee Maxwell, 44, faces six counts of taking indecent liberties with a child with whom he had a supervisory relationship. Five of the charges are for sexual abuse, and one is for a proposition of sex.

The charges cover a period from Dec. 1, 1991, to June 15, 1997. Mr. Lee said four girls were involved, but he declined to say how old the girls were at the time.

He said the investigation began when someone came forward with information.

Mr. Lee said some of the incidents occurred in a school setting, but others occurred outside the school.

Mr. Maxwell is scheduled to be tried in November.


Man drowns in Rappahannock

Authorities pulled the body of a man who was on a boating trip with his 5-year-old son from the Rappahannock River, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office said yesterday.

The victim, who has not been identified, fell from the boat Saturday night after contacting a family member to say that the boat had run out of gas and that he needed help, Stafford County Sheriff Charles Jett said.

An off-duty Department of Game and Inland Fisheries warden found the boat with the 5-year-old on board.

The man’s body was recovered about 12:15 p.m. yesterday near where the boat was found.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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