- The Washington Times - Monday, June 26, 2006



Construction begins on biodefense center

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will break ground today at its National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center.

The center, which has drawn criticism from arms control specialists and local activists, will be the first department lab to focus strictly on biodefense.

The laboratory will be one of a handful of national biosafety Level 4 laboratories, which are designed to handle biological agents that are deadly and have no known prevention or cure.

The $128 million center will be part of Fort Detrick’s planned National Interagency Biodefense Campus. It is scheduled to begin operating in 2008.



Arlington woman is Miss Virginia

Adrianna Sgarlata, Miss Arlington, was named Miss Virginia 2006 on Saturday night.

The George Mason University graduate student from Fairfax County beat out 19 contestants.

Miss Sgarlata’s prizes include a $16,000 scholarship, an apartment and use of a new car. She is former Miss Hampton-Newport News 2005 and former Miss Chesterfield 2004. Her platform for the pageant was behaving respectfully and valuing others.

Miss Sgarlata, who made her third appearance in the state pageant, is pursuing a master’s degree in music with a concentration in vocal performance.


‘Crying Tree’ among state nominations

A project to locate and showcase Virginia’s most interesting trees has drawn about 300 nominations.

But Sallie’s Crying Tree was the first that the organizer of the project felt compelled to visit.

The town of Marion placed a stone marker beneath the tall white oak in 2000, formally giving it the name Sallie’s Crying Tree. The marker says a young slave girl cried while her arms were wrapped around the tree when her family was sold to a Lynchburg slave master in the 1840s.

When he heard the story, Jeffrey Kirwan said, he wanted to see the tree. He is seeking the state’s 100 most interesting trees as part of the Remarkable Trees of Virginia Project. It will lead to a coffee-table book of photographed trees.

Mr. Kirwan said he is looking for trees not only of stunning height and beauty, but also of historic significance and local importance.


Man dies in fire at NW row house

One man died and another suffered minor injuries in a row-house fire in Northwest yesterday morning.

The blaze broke out about 4:30 a.m. in a two-story row house in the 7100 block of Ninth Street.

Donald Hinton, 56, was pronounced dead at Washington Hospital Center at 8:42 a.m., D.C. police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Arson-Explosives Task Force.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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