- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Newseum receives gifts from media companies

The Newseum, a museum dedicated to journalism and the First Amendment, announced yesterday it has received $52 million in gifts from eight major news-related companies and families to open a state-of-the-art complex near the Capitol.

The donors include the New York Times Co. and News Corp., which owns Fox News Channel and the New York Post.

The $435 million museum is scheduled to open in the fall of 2007 on Pennsylvania Avenue. The original Newseum was open from 1997-2002 in Arlington.

A 74-foot marble engraving of the First Amendment will be placed at the outside entrance of the glass-covered building.

The $52 million in gifts are part of a $100 million fundraising campaign for the museum, officials said. The Freedom Forum will pay for the rest of the project.



Five boaters rescued by Coast Guard

Five boaters, including two children, were pulled from the water Monday evening, the Coast Guard said yesterday.

Their boat capsized in Whitehall Bay near Annapolis.

A charter boat, Cabaret II, was in the area about 7:50 p.m. Monday when its captain spotted the people in the water. Their 14-foot boat had overturned, partially because of 15-knot winds, the Coast Guard said.

None of the boaters was wearing a life vest when rescued. However, people on the Cabaret II threw flotation devices to them.

A Coast Guard rescue boat took the three adults and two children to the Annapolis City Dock, where they were treated and released.


Perez announces run for attorney general

Montgomery County Council member Tom Perez announced his candidacy yesterday for the Democratic nomination for state attorney general.

Mr. Perez, a University of Maryland law school professor, is a former prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice and former adviser to U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat.

The son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic who went on to earn a law degree at Harvard, Mr. Perez said he hopes to be the people’s lawyer and address the issues that matter most to state residents.

Mr. Perez is the second major Democratic candidate to enter the race after Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. announced he will not seek another term. Mr. Perez will face Montgomery County State’s Attorney Douglas M. Gansler in the September primary. Frederick County State’s Attorney Scott L. Rolle is running for the Republican nomination.


Police seek recruits in Puerto Rico

Police recruiters are heading to Puerto Rico to find bilingual officers.

Department officials said they have placed newspaper advertisements and street banners to attract potential officers, who will be interviewed during a trip to the island next month.

Maj. Edward Schmitt, the department’s personnel director, said police officials are trying to keep pace with the city’s changing demographics. Hispanics are the nation’s fastest-growing demographic group, and government figures show Baltimore’s Hispanic population at more than 11,000.

The police department, like many nationwide, is facing officer shortages because of a strong economy and the military commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere that have drawn many officers away. While authorized to employ 3,200 officers, the department currently has fewer than 3,000.


Former press aide pleads not guilty

A former Department of Homeland Security press aide pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually preying on a Florida detective posing on the Internet as a teenage girl.

Brian J. Doyle, 55, of Silver Spring, submitted his plea in writing and was not required to appear at his scheduled arraignment in Polk County, Fla., yesterday.

Mr. Doyle, who resigned from his job after his May 4 arrest, faces 23 felony charges, including 16 counts of sending pornographic movie clips to a minor.

He was extradited from Montgomery County. After appearing in Polk County Court on May 4, he was freed on $230,000 bail.

Mr. Doyle reportedly provided his government-issued office phone and cell phone numbers, showed off his department ID and may have used his official computer in the communications with the detective posing as a 14-year-old girl.

If convicted of all charges, Mr. Doyle could spend the rest of his life in prison.



Postal workers focus on avoiding dog attacks

Preventing dog bites is taking on new meaning at one post office.

Letter carrier Gloria Johnson is still recovering from a dog bite more than three weeks ago. Now, during National Dog Bite Prevention Week, she wants more people to realize the danger dogs can pose to children, letter carriers and the community.

The 17-year U.S. Postal Service employee was delivering mail door-to-door last month when a pit bull-boxer mix jumped on her, knocked her down, and bit her left hand and leg. She ended up with 14 stitches in her hand, and her leg was severely injured.

Mail carriers report dog attacks every year. Nationally about 5 million people are injured each year by dogs — mostly children and the elderly.

Letter carriers are receiving special training this week on how to protect themselves.


Virginia eases up on rural recycling

Starting July 1, rural localities will have to recycle 15 percent of their waste paper, metal and plastic — ten percentage points less than their urban counterparts.

Many rural areas fall far short of the 25 percent goal and supporters of the change say it may help increase recycling by giving rural areas more realistic targets.

The General Assembly this year set the lower rate for rural localities but retained the 25 percent rate for urban areas.

The state Waste Management Board agreed Monday on tentative regulations to carry out the program. The regulations will be formally adopted later.

Virginia has required localities to recycle 25 percent of their trash since 1995. In urban and suburban areas, where houses are close and curbside pickup is possible, that goal is easier to meet, but many rural counties struggle.

Localities that meet certain criteria, including a population density of fewer than 100 people per square mile, can qualify for the lower target.

Preliminary state figures show 57 qualifying localities, including much of the Northern Neck and far Southwest Virginia.

Localities that don’t comply under the new system could have trouble getting state permits to build or expand landfills, state officials say.

The Richmond-Petersburg area led the state with a 44.6 percent recycling rate in 2004. Northern Virginia managed 32.8 percent.


Fire destroys historic buildings

A fire that broke out in a sign shop early yesterday destroyed several historic downtown buildings, fire officials said.

It took about 75 firefighters from 10 companies five hours to bring the blaze under control, as their effort was hampered by a lack of water, Chief Lester Hensley said.

Crews ran two lines to draw water from the Shenandoah River, nearly a half-mile away.

The fire broke out shortly after 2 a.m. in Letter Perfect on First Street, an area undergoing revitalization. It spread to a hardware store and a building that had several apartments, gutting about half a block between Pennsylvania and Virginia avenues.

One man was injured when he jumped from an upstairs window of the apartment building, Chief Hensley said. The man was taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center, but his condition was not available.

Five other persons were evacuated from the apartment building.

All of the buildings were more than 100 years old.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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