- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 15, 2006


Mayor pushes for new library

Mayor Anthony A. Williams says building a new central library for the city is an investment in the future.

Mr. Williams yesterday renewed his support for a new building to replace the aging Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library during his weekly press briefing.

The mayor said renovating the library would cost about $50 million more than building a new facility.

He said failing to move ahead with construction plans could jeopardize millions of dollars in federal aid for library upgrades included in President Bush’s 2007 proposed budget.

Mr. Williams has said he wants to build a new central library on the site of the former Convention Center, two blocks north of the current location.

Worker trapped under 1,000-pound glass

A worker was critically injured yesterday when a window weighing about a half-ton fell on him at a construction site.

Fire department spokesman Alan Etter said the man became trapped between the huge window and the forklift on which he was standing just before 7 a.m. Mr. Etter said the man was hospitalized with critical injuries.

Workers were installing the 1,000-pound windows in a building slated to house the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives near the intersection of New York and Florida avenues Northeast.



Stabbing near school leaves two wounded

Two men were stabbed near Lake Braddock High School yesterday afternoon. Neither was a student, investigators said.

One man was stabbed in the abdomen and the other in the upper body. Neither was seriously injured.

A student at the school was detained and questioned by authorities.

School was not in session at the time, but some students who were in the building for after-school activities were locked down for a short time after the attack, Fairfax County school officials said. Those students were escorted to safety by police, Officer Beth Underhill said.

The names of the victims were not released.


Burglar gets 10 years in killing of police dog

A man who fatally injured a police dog during a burglary was sentenced to 10 years in prison after a judge heard testimony from the German shepherd’s handler.

Robert Lee Cooke was shot during an October 2004 exchange of gunfire with Ingo’s handler, leaving Cooke paralyzed from the waist down. The dog had to be put down because of his injuries.

“I do feel like I’ve been punished already,” Cooke said Tuesday during his sentencing. “I lost half my body. My life and attitude is forever changed.”

Albemarle Circuit Judge James A. Luke reduced a jury’s recommended sentence of seven years to five. Cooke, of Chesterfield, also was sentenced to five years in prison for a firearms violation.

Officer Andy Gluba told the court that he, his wife and two children had to undergo counseling after Ingo’s death.

“We were a well-known, intimate team, and he was taken away from me that night,” Officer Gluba said. “It basically turned my world upside down.”

In April, jurors found Cooke guilty of maliciously wounding a police dog.

Judge Luke also ordered Cooke to pay $5,000 in restitution to cover the cost of the dog.



Schools won’t close for Islamic holy days

The Baltimore County school board has handed another defeat to members of the Muslim community who want the schools to close on two Islamic holy days.

The board approved a school calendar Tuesday night for the 2007-08 school year that does not include the closings — even though it includes a day off for a Jewish holiday.

The Baltimore County Muslim Council said the schools should either cancel classes on the Islamic holy days or remain open on all days that are not public holidays.

County school officials said they began closing school on Jewish holidays because there were high rates of absenteeism among students and staff at some schools on those days.


Drug raid nets 400 pounds of pot

Baltimore police seized about 400 pounds of marijuana during a raid Tuesday night in the Patterson Park neighborhood.

The drugs, worth about $1.5 million on the street, were found inside a three-story row house on East Pratt Street. Police said the house had an elaborate system for growing marijuana on the second and third floors.

The owner of the property, John Arbuckle, 33, was arrested and will be charged with drug possession with intent to distribute.

Police found 11 4-foot-tall marijuana trees and an array of plants hanging over garden hoses strung through the house like clotheslines.


Lawyer sentenced for immigration fraud

A McLean lawyer who submitted more than 100 false documents on behalf of illegal alien workers was sentenced to 46 months in prison for immigration fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland said yesterday.

Sergei Danilov, 46, admitted to submitting fraudulent immigration documents to the U.S. Department of Labor and to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from March 2002 to May 2005 to help illegal aliens obtain green cards through an employment-based visa program, according to court documents.

Danilov filed dozens of fake employment certification applications and work petitions.

Danilov, a Russian national, charged the aliens $3,000 to $6,000 to file the forms and used the names of 12 businesses without their permission. He also admitted to bribing a D.C. labor economist to expedite filing the fraudulent applications.

Danilov will serve two years of probation upon his release from prison and could be deported. He also surrendered his law license, and his law firm, Sergei Danilov and Associates LLC of Falls Church, was ordered to forfeit $200,000 and was placed on a year of probation.

One of Danilov’s former law partners, Irwin Jay Fredman, 73, of Bethesda, also was indicted in the case, as were his law firm and two legal assistants. Fredman has pleaded guilty, but no sentencing date has been set.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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