- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 25, 2006

DISTRICT

Martha, the eagle, returns to her mate

After healing from a vicious attack, a female bald eagle flew 90 miles from Delaware to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge to return to her mate and the nest they have shared since the late 1990s.

The eagles, known as George and Martha, made national headlines after Martha was attacked by another female eagle last month, presumably over territorial issues. Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research in Delaware tended to Martha’s injuries, releasing her May 6. While she was away, George tended the nest. Their eggs, however, did not survive.

Bald eagles are known for their loyalty to their mates, and things were no different between Martha and George. This week, Martha was seen with George near their home on the Potomac River’s Maryland shore close to the Wilson Bridge.

Bridge worker Randy Graham first spotted the eagle in the air near the nest on May 18 and told an environmental specialist on the mammoth bridge construction project about the sighting.

Martha can be easily identified because she has a silver band on her leg, and her beak has a stripe from her injury.

The pair of bald eagles will not have chicks this year, but biologists expect them to try again next spring.

MARYLAND

BALTIMORE

Man sentenced in candidate’s stabbing

The former tenant who beat and stabbed social activist and U.S. Senate candidate A. Robert Kaufman at his home last year pleaded guilty yesterday to attempted second-degree murder.

Henry Leon Davis, 42, was sentenced to 30 years in prison, with all but 12 years suspended, and five years of probation.

Mr. Kaufman, 75, has suffered numerous complications since the near-fatal attack last June. He was in a coma and contracted blood poisoning, leading to kidney failure. He gets dialysis three times a week and needs a transplant.

Mr. Kaufman said he is sorry that Davis will go to prison for such a long time and that there was a better way for Davis to demonstrate remorse — by donating one of his kidneys to Mr. Kaufman.

He said poverty and drug addiction motivated Davis to try to kill him, and that Davis represents society’s failure to provide adequate education and jobs for the poor and treatment for addicts.

Mr. Kaufman, a socialist running as a Democrat, said he will continue to make the attack and its implications a centerpiece of his campaign.

RIDGELY

Patrol car hits pedestrian; man dies

State police say a Greensboro man was fatally struck by a marked Caroline County Sheriff’s patrol car early yesterday morning.

Samuel Welsh, 51, was crossing Route 480 near Sunrise Avenue and was hit by a patrol car responding to a nearby shooting, state police said

Mr. Welsh was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the patrol car, Cpl. James Henning, and his passenger, Deputy Daniel Christopher, were treated and released from the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

State troopers said it appeared pedestrian error was a factor in the accident, but the investigation is continuing.

Authorities later arrested four persons in connection with the shooting about a mile from the accident scene.

EASTON

52 videotaped showering at YMCA

Authorities are working to protect identities of men and boys who were videotaped in the locker room of a YMCA by a man now facing criminal charges for the surveillance.

Alan Roger Travers, 43, was being held on a $250,000 bond at the Talbot County Detention Center, charged with 52 counts of video surveillance with prurient intent. He lives on Hoopers Island.

Mr. Travers is accused of hiding a videorecorder in a duffel bag to capture YMCA members changing and showering in the men’s locker room, the Easton Star Democrat reported.

Dorchester County Sheriff James Phillips Jr. said the videotapes have been seized.

The charging documents filed this week say 52 persons were caught on tape dating to November 2002. Mr. Travers also is accused of stealing wallets, cash, credit cards, clothing, a cell phone and a laptop computer belonging to Easton High School from the locker room.

Police Chief Ben Blue said his department will keep private the identity of those taped.

Police likely will not attempt to identify everyone caught on tape, Chief Blue said.

BETHESDA

High school athletes arrested in holdup

Five 17-year-old students at Walt Whitman High School have been charged with robbing a smoothie stand.

Police said Robert Warren robbed the Smoothie King on Wisconsin Avenue on March 30, showing the clerk a gun and demanding money. Investigators said Alexander Krouskas, Thomas Ashley, Patrick Lazear and Justin Schweiger waited in the getaway car. Four are members of the Whitman football team. The Lazear youth had several college scholarship offers.

The Warren youth was arrested April 27 and the other four were arrested at school last Friday. All have been charged with armed robbery and other crimes. They are free on bail and are continuing their schoolwork at home.

ANNAPOLIS

Underwater grasses continue Bay rebound

Submerged grasses in the Chesapeake Bay increased again last year, when acreage increased 7 percent.

The increase was reported yesterday by the Chesapeake Bay Program. It marks two straight years of gains for the grasses, which help filter the Bay and provide a habitat for fish.

Scientists said Bay grass acreage has doubled since a low point in 1984, but the grasses still are only about half as abundant as they should be.

The Chesapeake Bay Program gauges grass acreage by flying small planes along the entire coast and taking 200,000 pictures of the water.

The grasses now cover more than 78,000 acres. The goal is to have grasses covering 185,000 acres by 2010.

VIRGINIA

RICHMOND

Death row inmate files for clemency

Attorneys for a death row inmate set to be executed for the murder of three neighbors have filed a clemency petition with Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, arguing their client is mentally retarded and insane.

Percy Walton, 27, is scheduled to be put to death June 8 for the 1996 slayings of Jesse Kendrick, Elizabeth Kendrick and Archie Moore in Danville. Police said the victims were robbed and then shot in the head.

The clemency request, filed Tuesday, is being reviewed by Mr. Kaine’s chief legal counsel before it is presented to the governor, spokesman Kevin Hall said yesterday.

He said the request will be handled “with the seriousness and deliberation it deserves.”

Walton’s mental state has been debated since his trial. A government evaluator once described him as “floridly psychotic.”

Three days before Walton was to be put to death in May 2003, defense attorneys won a temporary stay, pointing out that his IQ scores had dropped from 90 in 1996 to 77 the next year to 66 in May 2003. IQ scores below 70 are generally considered in the realm of mental retardation.

In March, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 7-6 to affirm a decision by the U.S. District Court in Roanoke that denied claims that Walton is mentally retarded and insane.

RICHMOND

Bill would honor John Smith’s voyages

Legislation to formally recognize Capt. John Smith’s voyages from Jamestown was proposed yesterday by Rep. Jo Ann Davis.

The voyages produced the first detailed drawings of the Chesapeake Bay.

Mrs. Davis, Virginia Republican, introduced legislation in Congress yesterday to create a National Historic Trail based on Smith’s meanderings.

“The voyages of Captain Smith are a defining moment not only in Virginia’s history, but the history of our nation as a whole,” she said.

Using Jamestown as a base, Smith explored 3,000 miles of the Bay in Virginia, Maryland and beyond. His drawings also documented American Indian settlements.

The founding of America’s first permanent English settlement in 1607 is being marked in Virginia through 2007.

ARLINGTON

Mother of dead infant feared losing boyfriend

An Arlington woman charged with disposing of her newborn daughter apparently was afraid she would lose her boyfriend if he found out about the baby.

Maria Aguirre, 20, appeared yesterday at a preliminary hearing. Detective Rosa Ortiz testified that the mother gave birth secretly in a bathroom.

The infant was found in a trash heap April 1 outside the home Miss Aguirre rented with her boyfriend, Melvin Portillo. Miss Aguirre is charged with first-degree murder.

Mr. Portillo testified that he noticed his girlfriend was gaining weight. But he said she insisted she was not pregnant.

Detective Ortiz said Miss Aguirre confessed that she gave birth and saw the baby gasp for air. Then she said Miss Aguirre put the child in a trash bag and closed it, knowing she would eventually die. An autopsy found tissue paper stuffed down the infant’s throat.

Defense attorneys say they are waiting final results of the autopsy.

WILLIAMSBURG

William & Mary student dies in Africa

A College of William & Mary student spending a year abroad in Africa collapsed and died in Mali.

A school spokesman said Sarah LeCates, 20, of Cherry Hill, N.J., died in the West African nation Saturday.

Spokesman Brian Whitson said Miss LeCates had been traveling in Timbuktu when she became ill and lost consciousness. She died in a hospital, but the cause of her illness was not known.

Mr. Whitson said Miss LeCates’ study-abroad program was not through William & Mary, but she planned to return to Williamsburg for her senior year. She planned to join the Peace Corps after graduation.

Mr. Whitson said Miss LeCates was studying in Senegal through the Council on International Educational Exchange. He said she had finished her studies and was traveling with a friend.

A campus memorial service for Miss LeCates will be scheduled in the fall.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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