- The Washington Times - Monday, May 15, 2006


Metro worker killed by subway train

A Metro worker was killed yesterdaymorning while working inside the southern tunnel to the Dupont Circle Metro station.

Jong Won Lee, 49, a technician from Springfield, was one of three employees on a work site at the station when Mr. Lee was hit by a Red Line train headed for the Glenmont station. Mr. Lee had been a Metro employee since 1999.

The accident occurred at about 10:15 a.m. when emergency crews responded to a report of smoke, fire department spokesman Alan Etter.

“It never was certain what the cause of all the smoke was,” he said.

The other two workers were uninjured, though one was taken to the hospital for examination.

“He was badly shaken,” Mr. Etter said.

Candace Smith, a spokeswoman for the Metro Transit Police, said the cause of the accident had not been determined.

Investigators said the three men were doing “routine maintenance” at an interlocking location, where trains are switched from track to track. Mr. Lee had walked farther into the tunnel when he was hit by the train.

Shuttle buses were used to transport passengers until the station reopened yesterday evening.

The last Metro worker killed by a train was Michael Waldron, 47, of Riverdale, who was sideswiped Oct. 1 while bending down to pick up a piece of equipment along the Yellow Line tracks near the Braddock Road Station in Virginia. He died 10 days later.

District to announce school-closing plan

D.C. public schools Superintendent Clifford B. Janey is scheduled to announce today which schools he wants to close or consolidate next year.

The closings or mergers that Mr. Janey will recommend are the first phase of a plan to close as many as 30 schools by the fall of 2008 and shrink the system’s inventory of buildings by 20 percent.

The District is trying to pare down 1 million feet of unused space to save money, but many parents, teachers and independent analysts say school officials are rushing the process.

The critics say school officials need to allow more time to reassign staff, move records, present parents with transfer options and refurbish the schools that will take in more students. They also think residents should have a greater role in the process.

Mr. Janey acknowledged that the first phase is rushed, but said he will hire temporary employees to help with the closings and work to assure parents of a smooth transition.



National Guard unit honored for service

An Olney-based Maryland National Guard unit is back home after its first combat deployment since World War II.

Nine Purple Hearts were awarded yesterday at welcome-home ceremonies for the Bravo Company, First Battalion, 114th Infantry Regiment.

The unit returned to Maryland on Thursday after a year of combat operations near Baghdad and in western Iraq.

Despite frequent engagements with insurgents, no soldiers from the company were killed in combat. The nine who suffered combat-related injuries have recovered.

One member of the unit, Pfc. Carlton Newman of Landover, was killed in March 2005 when his Humvee overturned during training.

Capt. Brian Borakove, the unit’s commanding officer, praised his troops for transforming from “weekend status” to professional soldiers.


Man, 41, killed in ATV accident

A 41-year-old man died Saturday when his all-terrain vehicle flipped on top of him.

The Harford County Sheriff’s Office said Thomas Johnson was trying to climb a 200-foot hill in a quarry when his ATV flipped.

Family members went to look for Mr. Johnson Saturday night after he didn’t come home. They found him shortly before 11 p.m. and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation but were unable to revive him.


Two charged in bank robbery

Two men have been charged in a bank robbery and an attempted holdup in Montgomery County.

Police said James Crown, 24, of Westminster, and Gerald Wilson, 31, of Gaithersburg, held up a BB&T; Bank in Damascus on May 5. Investigators think one man held up the bank, and the other drove the getaway car.

Police also think the two tried to hold up a Provident Bank in Gaithersburg. In that case, tellers refused to give a masked robber any money.

Both men are being held without bail.



Tutu, O’Connor speak at William & Mary

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor spoke to graduates at William & Mary yesterday in the school’s 313th year.

Archbishop Tutu, the retired Anglican archbishop from South Africa, pleaded with them to spend their lives fighting injustice and working for peace.

“Please help me so that we can turn this world into a more compassionate and caring world,” he said. “Please. I have no one except yourselves.”

Archbishop Tutu, 74, received an honorary doctor of public service degree from the school along with the nearly 1,270 undergraduates and 665 graduate students.

“You are in the forefront of the campaign to make poverty history,” he said. “You are part of the exhilarating movement for peace.”

In a separate ceremony, Mrs. O’Connor, the school’s chancellor, spoke to about 200 law-school graduates, telling them to protect the liberty of federal judges to make decisions without fearing the consequences.

“Judges cannot play their role if they have to worry about retaliation,” she said, adding that such liberties are under attack.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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