- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 14, 2006

DISTRICT

Two buses collide in NW, injuring 10

At least 10 persons were taken to a hospital for observation after two Metro buses collided yesterday morning.

A Metro spokeswoman said one bus rear-ended another bus about 6:45 a.m. when a car ran a red light at 16th and Irving streets Northwest. Metro said the buses were heading south on 16th Street, and one bus driver had to slam on the brakes. The second bus was not able to stop in time.

Fire department spokesman Alan Etter said there were no significant injuries. He said 20 persons were examined at the scene, and 10 persons were transported to a hospital for further evaluation.

The buses involved run the S-1 and S-2 routes.

MARYLAND

ELKTON

Teen injured in tubing accident

A 16-year-old boy was in serious condition after his inner tube struck a pier, Maryland Natural Resources Police said yesterday.

Sgt. Ken Turner said the boy was riding the tube Tuesday afternoon behind a personal watercraft on the Elk River when the tube hit a floating pier.

The boy was wearing a life jacket, Sgt. Turner said.

The boy was flown to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

Charges are pending against the operator of the watercraft, Susan Archibald, 49. Sgt. Turner said alcohol was not a factor, and he identified the woman as a friend of the boy’s.

VIRGINIA

VIRGINIA BEACH

ATM alteredto give too much cash

A man reprogrammed an automated teller machine at a gas station to give out four times as much money as it should, Virginia Beach police said.

Surveillance footage shows a man walking into the gas station at 6:17 p.m. on Aug. 19, swiping an ATM card and punching in a series of numbers — breaking the machine’s security code. The ATM was reprogrammed to disburse $20 bills but record it as a $5 debit to his account, Virginia Beach police spokeswoman Rene Ball said.

He returned a short time later and took out more money, but authorities did not say how much. The card was prepaid and can be purchased at several locations, so police are not sure who is behind the theft.

No one noticed until nine days later, when a customer told the clerk that the machine was giving out more money than it should.

RICHMOND

Suspended blogger wins grievance

A state employee who was suspended from his job for making unfavorable comments online about an economically troubled community in rural Virginia has been awarded back pay.

Will Vehrs, who works at the state Department of Business Assistance, was suspended without pay for 10 days in May for “excessive casual use of the Internet” after his comments about the Martinsville area.

The Department of Employment Dispute Resolution said Mr. Vehrs’ bosses did not show that blogging affected his work performance or that he “violated any other policy, regulation law or guideline.”

Mr. Vehrs apologized repeatedly for his comments, insisting he never meant to upset anyone. But several community leaders called for his termination.

State policy generally allows employees incidental and occasional personal use of the Internet, but individual agencies must establish their own guidelines. The Department of Business Assistance did not have such rules, but beginning July 1, it banned blogging on agency time.

ALEXANDRIA

Toddler beaten to death

A 21-month-old boy was beaten to death Tuesday, and his baby sitter’s husband is charged in the death, police said.

Myles Simon, of Alexandria, was in the care of a baby sitter Tuesday morning when the woman left to run errands, Fairfax County police said. The woman left Myles and three other children at home, in the 6400 block of Silver Ridge Circle, with her husband, Mohammad Ahmad, 24.

When the woman returned, she found Myles unresponsive and called police and an ambulance. The boy was taken to Springfield Healthplex, where he died. An autopsy determined that he died of blunt force trauma, and the death was ruled a homicide.

Mr. Ahmad, who was still missing yesterday, was charged in a warrant with murder.

RICHMOND

Legislators want castration study

The State Crime Commission wants more information about castration before considering it as a treatment option for violent sex offenders who have completed their prison sentences.

The panel took no action Tuesday on a bill that would allow a convicted sex offender to request castration as an alternative to confinement in a secure, in-patient treatment program. There are 32 offenders housed in a state facility near Petersburg.

Legislators on the commission said they did not see convincing evidence that castration would reduce repeat offenses by convicted sex offenders.

State Sen. Emmett W. Hanger Jr., Augusta County Republican, proposed the legislation earlier this year. He told the commission that he thinks the treatment can be cost-effective.

Dr. James Reinhard, the commissioner of the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, told the panel that studies suggest castration works, but there are no comprehensive, controlled studies that prove its effectiveness.

He said castration is probably most effective when combined with other forms of therapy for sex offenders.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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