- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 16, 2006


Huge exhibit needs extra space

Major signs of progress are emerging at the future home of the Newseum.

The reopening of the museum near the U.S. Capitol is more than a year away, but the first artifact was installed yesterday.

Conus One, the world’s first satellite news truck, was lowered by a crane into its exhibit space. The truck is so large that the museum will have to be built around it.

The $400 million Newseum complex on Pennsylvania Avenue will include 135 apartment units and a restaurant. The project is slated for completion in 2007.

4 students treated for pepper spray

Four students had to be treated at the Ideal Charter School on 45th Street in Northeast yesterday morning after they were hit with pepper spray, authorities said.

D.C. fire department spokesman Alan Etter said all four students were treated at the scene, and that no one had to be hospitalized.

Students were allowed back into the school after the building was ventilated.



Kenilworth Avenue to expand

The State Highway Administration will next week begin an $812,000 project to add a second northbound lane to Kenilworth Avenue between Ivy Lane and Cherrywood Lane in Greenbelt.

The addition is to reduce congestion and improve safety along northbound Kenilworth Avenue, officials said. More than 24,000 vehicles a day travel the section of the road.

Crews also will modify traffic signals and replace traffic loop detectors with video detection units, which will improve signal timing at Kenilworth Avenue and Cherrywood Lane.

Motorists can expect single-lane closures along Kenilworth Avenue during construction between 9 p.m. and 5:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.


Murder charge nixed in starvation case

The most serious charge against John Joseph Dougherty in the starvation death of the woman who shared his home was dismissed yesterday.

A second-degree murder charge was dismissed after attorneys for Mr. Dougherty moved for acquittal when the prosecution wrapped up its case.

Judge Thomas Ross agreed that the state failed to provide enough evidence for the murder charge, though Mr. Dougherty still faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and abuse and neglect.

The woman, Mary Kilrain, was found dead Feb. 25, 2005, weighing 81 pounds.

An autopsy showed she died of starvation and dehydration. Miss Kilrain had been an invalid since suffering an aneurysm in 1999.

The judge questioned whether the state would get a murder conviction, the Cecil Whig newspaper reported.


Crash kills journalist, injures trooper

Maryland State Police are investigating a crash late Monday near Centreville that killed a Delaware journalist and seriously injured a Maryland trooper.

Police spotted James Cresson, 60, of Milford, Del., driving the wrong way on Route 301 before his car collided head-on with a 10-wheel delivery truck.

The truck then hit the car driven by police Cpl. Arthur Lowman, 40, who had tried to stop Mr. Cresson.

The trooper was hospitalized in serious condition at University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

Mr. Cresson was a reporter for the Cape Gazette in Lewes, Del.


Wind-fanned fire destroys restaurants

High winds fanned a fire that destroyed two restaurants and two boats, and sparked a brush fire in downtown Solomons yesterday. Damage was estimated at $5 million.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office said the fire started about 12:30 p.m. near a dock connected to Bowen’s Inn and spread to the Lighthouse Inn. Both buildings, including several apartments on the second floors, were destroyed. No injuries were reported.

More than 70 firefighters from four counties and the U.S. Coast Guard took about two hours to control the fire.


Abu Ghraib dog rules not clear, chief testifies

The Army lacked clear rules for using dogs in interrogations at Abu Ghraib, the prison’s former military intelligence chief acknowledged during a court-martial yesterday.

Col. Thomas M. Pappas, commander of military intelligence at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 and early 2004, was the highest-ranking witness scheduled to testify at the trial of Sgt. Michael J. Smith, an Army dog handler charged with abusing detainees at the prison in Iraq.

Col. Pappas, testifying for the defense under a grant of immunity, said he regretted having failed to set “appropriate controls” at the prison, where detainees were bitten by dogs and assaulted and sexually humiliated by guards.

But Col. Pappas said under cross-examination that a photograph showing Sgt. Smith’s unmuzzled dog straining at its leash just inches from the face of a terrified prisoner wasn’t consistent with any policy or guidance.

The colonel, speaking publicly for the first time about the scandal, testified for nearly two hours before a jury of seven members in the courtroom at Fort George G. Meade.



Brazen thieves plague construction sites

For construction workers in Prince William County, the question these days is not whether anything will be stolen overnight, but what will be taken.

County police say they are trying to keep an eye on construction sites, but the thieves are still helping themselves.

Investigators say a favorite target is homes nearing completion, where appliances have been stolen.

Even tools of the trade are not safe. The Potomac News reported yesterday that a mason at a Dale City construction site removed a wheel from his cement mixer, hoping the machine would be there the next morning.

But thieves came equipped with a spare wheel and even used nearby lumber to make a ramp to wheel it out.


Matchmaking agency appeals verdict

An international matchmaking agency’s attorney told a federal appeals court yesterday that the company should not be held responsible for a client’s abuse of his Ukranian mail-order bride.

Nataliya Fox claimed that Encounters International failed to screen its male clients and neglected to tell her about a law allowing foreign nationals to escape abusive marriages without fear of automatic deportation.

A federal jury in Baltimore agreed and awarded Mrs. Fox $434,000 in damages.


Student recites 8,784 digits of pi

A high school student recited 8,784 digits of pi, likely placing him among the top pi-reciters in the world.

Gaurav Rajav had hoped to recite 10,790 digits and set a record in the United States and North America.

But he remembered enough to potentially place third in national and North American pi recitation and 12th in the world.

His ranking should be verified by the Pi World Ranking List within two months.

The 15-year-old junior from Salem High School said he was disappointed but felt he did “OK.”

Teacher Linda Gooding says she was stunned by the teen’s recitation.

Pi is a non-repeating and non-terminating decimal that denotes the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

Gaurav began memorizing pi while a student in Miss Gooding’s math and computer science class.

Miss Gooding holds the competition every year and expects students to learn about 40 digits.


Air turbulence sends passengers to hospital

A Northwest Airlines flight aborted a landing attempt at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport yesterday because of severe turbulence, and three persons from the plane were hospitalized, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Flight 230 from Detroit landed instead at Washington Dulles International Airport, where three passengers aboard were suffering from air sickness, said Laura Brown, an FAA spokeswoman.


Ringling circus owner cleared in PETA trial

The president of the company that owns the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was cleared yesterday of accusations he ran a spy campaign against animal rights groups.

The decision by a Fairfax County Circuit Court jury is a blow to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which brought the civil lawsuit against Kenneth Feld. Mr. Feld is the president of Vienna-based Feld Entertainment, which owns the legendary circus and numerous other high-profile entertainment acts, including “Disney on Ice.”

The verdict was reached after about nine hours of deliberations over two days. It concludes a more than two-week trial in which PETA said Mr. Feld and other company executives stole sensitive documents and wiretapped the activities of Norfolk-based PETA and other groups.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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