- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 14, 2006


New effort aims to save recess

The National Parent Teacher Association is worried that the days on the playground might be coming to an end.

The organization is backing a national initiative called “Rescuing Recess,” which encourages elementary school students to write letters to state and local leaders, asking them to keep recess as part of every school day.

According to the PTA — 40 percent of the elementary schools in the United States have eliminated or are considering doing away with recess.



County flushes water system

Arlington County officials yesterday were working to flush out the water system to clear out any remaining murky water after the water main break Sunday.

They opened fire hydrants as part of the normal process to re-pressurize the system, which caused some low water pressure in upper floors of mid- to high-rise buildings.

Water service was out for several hours Sunday, when a 36-inch pipe burst on the D.C. side of Chain Bridge.

County officials say the water is safe to drink.

But if it has a rust color, they urge residents to run cold water until it runs clear and then about a minute after that.


Police kill man holding clerk hostage

After hours of trying to negotiate with a man who took a female clerk at a suburban D.C.-area gas station hostage Monday, police fired one shot, which killed him.

“A deputy fired one shot, and the suspect is deceased,” said Kraig Troxell, a spokesman for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

After the shot was fired, the hostage fell to the ground, where she remained until authorities came to her rescue. Police said she has some “superficial wounds” and was taken to an area hospital for treatment. She was expected to be fine.

The standoff ended at about 8:45 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office. That is when the suspect dragged the hostage outside the gas station, holding some type of weapon to her head.

“We could only let something like this go so long,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Steve Simpson.

The suspect entered the Exxon gas station store on the Loudoun County Parkway at about 4:40 p.m. Witnesses told police that they think he was trying to rob the gas station, but police still are investigating the motive.

There was no apparent relationship between the suspect and the victim, police said.


Officials urge groups to match arts funding

Members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors are challenging corporate leaders to put more money into cultural arts programs.

The county’s elected leaders have set aside $1 million for arts organizations.

But those groups will be required to raise $2 privately for each $1 they receive from the county.

Officials say the challenge grants will help encourage investments in the arts.

Officials yesterday also passed a motion calling for the creation of a commission to help find a spot for a county-sponsored arts center.


Board backs takeover of Dulles Toll Road

Fairfax County officials are backing efforts by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to take over management of the Dulles Toll Road.

The proposal calls for the authority to assume control of the vital commuter route from the state.

The authority also would plan for expansion of the Metrorail system to Tysons Corner, Dulles Airport and into Loudoun County.

Gerry Connolly, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, said the resolution of support helps ensure that county officials will have a voice in actions taken under an airports authority management plan.

The motion calls for the establishment of a toll road advisory committee that includes the board chairman and top appointed county administrators from Fairfax and Loudoun counties.


Segregated schools on landmarks list

Two remnants of Virginia’s segregated past are among the nearly two dozen additions to the state’s Landmarks Register.

The Sharon Indian School in King William County was attended by children of the Upper Mattaponi and Rappahannock tribes. In King George County, the Ralph Bunche High School was attended by black students.

The 21 other sites included Hebrew Cemetery in Richmond, the Euclid Avenue Historic District in Bristol and the Breneman-Turner Mill in Harrisonburg.

In addition to the state list, the Virginia sites listed by the Department of Historic Resources will be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Sharon Indian School closed its doors in 1965.

The brick school had two classrooms and offered Indian children a primary and limited secondary education.

The school replaced a one-room clapboard school, built in 1919.

The Bunche school replaced a “training school” for blacks that a judge found inferior to the county’s white high school. Black students in King George County attended the school from 1949 until 1967, when the county desegregated its schools.


U.S. lawmaker plans to seek 4th term

U.S. Republican Rep. Jo Ann Davis announced yesterday that she will seek a fourth term.

Mrs. Davis, whose 1st District stretches from the Fredericksburg area to Hampton Roads, made the announcement at the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond, saying she wanted to focus on issues such as transportation, national security, veterans affairs funding, immigration and environment.

The congresswoman announced in September that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer but that doctors have told her that her prognosis for recovery was good.


MSA testsbeg in today

It’s that time of year that Maryland students in grades three through eight usually dread — the return of the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) tests.

The testing begins today and tomorrow with the math section and continues next Tuesday and Wednesday with the reading portion.

The tests measure subject matter that is taught in schools across the state and meet the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The MSA began three years ago and replaced the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program exams.


Man accused of identity theft

A federal grand jury has indicted a Silver Spring man on bank fraud and identity theft charges for using the information of Bank of America customers to withdraw $274,000 from Washington-area banks.

Cleveland Kilgore, 32, is accused of using the personal information of at least five California residents and Bank of America customers to obtain fake identifications between September 2004 and March 2005.

He and several unnamed associates then purportedly used that identification to make withdrawals from banks, one as large as $7,500.

If convicted, Mr. Kilgore could be sentenced to 30 years in prison and pay a $1 million fine.

Authorities also seek the return of the money withdrawn and three cars he purchased.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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