- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 5, 2006


Two firefighters hurt in Northwest blaze

Two District firefighters were injured in an early morning fire yesterday in a single-family home in the 200 block of Van Buren Street Northwest. Investigators say faulty wiring in the attic sparked the fire, which started just before 2 a.m. A fire department spokesman said the injuries were minor and occurred when the firefighters fell down steps. They were treated at a hospital and released.

An elderly woman escaped unharmed from the home, which has damage estimated at $250,000.



Lawmaker returns contributions

Delegate Adrienne Jones, Baltimore County Democrat and House speaker pro tem, is returning more than $2,000 in campaign contributions made by churches.

Mrs. Jones said she wants to “do the right thing” and protect the tax-exempt status of the congregations.

The Baltimore Sun recently reported that more than 100 churches in Maryland have made campaign contributions since 2000. Nonprofit organizations are prohibited by the IRS from contributing to campaigns. Mrs. Jones said the churches should not be punished for participating in the political process and that they were not aware of the tax law.


Gas leak missed by detection system

A Maryland Department of the Environment official said an electronic leak-detection system apparently failed when a Baltimore County service station lost 25,000 gallons of gasoline.

Herbert Meade, chief of the agency’s oil control program, said the system of sensors on the underground fuel tanks and lines at the Jacksonville Exxon station failed to react when tested about the time the leak was reported.

The Exxon-Mobil Corporation disputes the suggestion that the sensors failed, saying the system passed inspection when tested by company contractors.



Service held for teens hot by police officer

More than 800 persons attended a memorial service yesterday for Aaron Brown, the teenager shot and killed by an off-duty Alexandria Police Department officer.

A live video of the funeral was displayed on big screens at a church next to where the service was held, to accommodate the large crowds.

Mr. Brown, 18, was shot Feb. 25, after he and a group of friends left an IHOP restaurant on Duke Street at about 3:40 a.m. without paying their bill, Alexandria police said.

Officer Carl Stowe, who was working off-duty as a security guard, followed the group and attempted to stop them from leaving. When the driver of a sport utility vehicle failed to stop, he fired at the vehicle.

Officer Stowe told investigators he fired the shots because he feared for his safety when the vehicle headed toward him. The shooting remains under investigation.

Steven J. Smith, 19, the driver of the vehicle, was been charged with drunken driving and marijuana possession. A court date has been set for June.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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