- The Washington Times - Monday, July 31, 2006


Body found on Benning Road

The body of a D.C. man was found early yesterday morning on the sidewalk in the 1700 block of Benning Road Southeast, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

A department spokesman identified the victim as John E. Stapleton, 25, of the 600 block of 14th Street Northeast. He was found at 1:20 a.m. with stab wounds to his chest. The stabbing marks the 21st slaying in the District this month and the eighth since police Chief Charles H. Ramsey instituted a crime emergency on July 11. The incident remains under investigation, the spokesman said.


D.C., Maryland troops head to Iraq

Members of the Army Reserve and the D.C. National Guard are making preparations for deployment to Iraq.

Ten members of a reservist detachment from Rockville left yesterday for stateside training before being sent to the war zone. The troops are part of the 790th Medical Detachment, based in Rockville.

Tomorrow, 35 members of the D.C. National Guard’s 547th Transportation Company will prepare for duty in Iraq. Some members of the unit are beginning their second rotation to the area.



Water-main break leaves thousands dry

A large water-main break in northern Anne Arundel County has left residents in the Glen Burnie area without service.

The 42-inch break — about 15 feet beneath the roadway — depleted an already strained water supply, causing county officials to impose mandatory water restrictions in the northern part of the county.

The break happened on Marley Neck Boulevard at about 6:30 p.m.

It is not clear how many people are affected, but authorities said contractors isolated the break and were still repairing it last night.

Officials sent a water tanker to the Baltimore Washington Medical Center to help run chillers on air-conditioning units. The hospital was on alert as a result of low water pressure.

The break and high temperatures prompted County Executive Janet S. Owens to impose mandatory water restrictions in the northern part of the county.

Residents of three ZIP codes — including parts of Glen Burnie, Curtis Bay and Pasadena — are affected by the restrictions. They will be barred until further notice from watering lawns or plants with hoses or sprinklers, washing vehicles, washing decks or filling swimming pools or fountains.

Officials are also urging residents to limit indoor water use.

The county Department of Public Works has redirected water flow to the affected areas, and the county Fire Department has increased tankers in the area.


Colleagues extol slain officer

Cpl. David McGuinn, the correctional officer who was stabbed to death last week by inmates at the Maryland House of Correction, was a by-the-book officer who did no favors for inmates, current and former colleagues say, and that made him a target in a prison where contraband flows freely and officers frequently cut corners.

Former correctional officers decried a culture of laxness at the aging prison, and leaders of the prison system say efforts to change that culture are partly to blame for a recent surge in violence.

“McGuinn was straight up and down,” Erika Ballard, a former correctional dietary officer who went through a training academy program with Officer McGuinn, told the Baltimore Sun. She said Officer McGuinn wasn’t the sort who would beat inmates but that he didn’t cut them any breaks when it came to enforcing rules.

“They [inmates] said last summer they were going to kill him before the summer was over,” Miss Ballard said. “It was like a joke.”

Corrections officials have acknowledged that Officer McGuinn was reassigned to outside duties for a time to get him away from inmates. But his supervisor recently reassigned him to work back inside the housing units, a decision that has not been explained publicly.

Timothy Smith, a correctional officer at the Jessup prison for three years, said inmates took note of officers who did the job properly.

“If you are a by-the-book officer, you are basically ridiculed,” said Mr. Smith, who quit the job in March 2005 for other employment and to go back to school. He described a lax attitude among some officers who would do favors for inmates.


Heat sickens 50 at Scout jamboree

About 50 people were treated for heat-related illnesses at an international scout jamboree yesterday in Harford County.

County officials said none of the illnesses were considered serious.

A Harford County fire department spokesman said about 40 people were treated at the jamboree, which was held at Camp Spencer, near Darlington. About 1,500 people attended the jamboree. Twelve persons were taken to two area hospitals.

Temperatures in the county were in the mid 90s with high humidity. The first call about an illness came in at about 4 p.m.

A county spokeswoman said the county sent several vehicles, including a transit bus, to the camp to enable people to cool off.



Police seek man who abducted two

Police are looking for a man accused of abducting two Russian women early Saturday morning, seriously injuring one of them.

The women — who police are not identifying — have been in the country on work visas since April.

A spokeswoman for the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Department said the women were walking home from a Williamsburg bar about 2 a.m. when the driver of a dark-green, four-door Chevrolet pickup gave them a ride.

Instead of taking them home, the man got on Interstate 64. One woman persuaded the driver to slow down, and she jumped out and hid, and the man drove away with the other woman still inside, the spokeswoman said.

The other woman showed up at a home in James City County about 3:40 a.m. asking for help. She was flown to Norfolk General Hospital with extensive injuries and was in stable condition yesterday.

The driver is described as a black man in his early 30s, about 5 feet 11 inches tall, with a medium build. He is clean-shaven with short hair and was wearing a striped shirt and dark pants. He speaks slowly and repeats himself, police said.


Historic church fights utility company

A nearly century-old church in a historic farming community is battling a Virginia utility company over a natural-gas pipeline.

Columbia Gas wants a 30-foot easement between Saint Mary’s Catholic Church and Homestead Road. The utility began contacting residents and property owners in November about easements for the Bowers Hill loop pipeline project.

The parish of 117 families is fearful that the pipeline might damage church buildings during construction. The church is concerned that an easement might impede future building plans for the six-acre property.

The church was founded in 1916 by Polish immigrants and has been the heart of the community, the church’s buildings and grounds administrator said.

The utility wants the land to expand its network of distribution pipes to meet demand for services in Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Suffolk.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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