- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 30, 2006

MARYLAND

CAPITOL HEIGHTS

Police shoot suspect in attempted theft

A Prince George’s County police officer yesterday shot an 18-year-old suspect in the attempted theft of a go-cart.

Police said the owner of a shop on Marlboro Pike flagged down a police officer and said two persons were trying to steal a go-cart from his lot.

The two suspects fled and got into a car with two other persons on a side street. The officer, joined by two other officers, approached the car and saw one of the suspects get out.

One of the officers caught him, and during the struggle, police said the 18-year-old reached for a handgun in his waistband.

The officer fired, hitting the suspect in the hip. The injury is not thought to be life threatening.

The names of the suspects and the officers were not immediately released.

County police have been involved in 15 shootings this year, four of them fatal. Of the five persons shot in September, two were killed.

UPPER MARLBORO

Man charged in raping girl, 8

Prince George’s County police have charged a Maryland man with raping an 8-year-old girl on her way home from school.

Andre Christopher King, 35, is charged with first- and second-degree rape. He is being held without bond at the county’s Department of Corrections.

Authorities said Mr. King grabbed the girl from behind Thursday in Upper Marlboro as she was walking through a neighbor’s yard, then sexually assaulted her.

The girl got away and ran home, telling her mother what happened.

Police said a neighbor drove through the area Thursday after hearing about the assault and spotted a man who appeared to fit the description of the attacker.

The suspect, who lives in the neighborhood, was taken into police custody Thursday night.

UPPER MARLBORO

Man convicted in bus shooting

A man was convicted yesterday on charges stemming from a February school bus shooting in Prince George’s County.

A Prince George’s Circuit Court jury found Phillip Daniel Swann, 19, of Suitland, guilty on five counts of assault and handgun charges and other crimes in the Feb. 1 shooting.

Police said shots were fired at the bus after it dropped off some passengers following a fight. The bus was traveling from Crossland High School when it stopped in a neighborhood near the Capital Beltway.

No one was injured, but bullets pierced a side panel of the bus and a window.

An investigation revealed that Swann had been involved in a fight on the bus shortly before the shots were fired, prosecutors said.

Swann will be sentenced Oct. 27.

ANNAPOLIS

Underage-driver laws effective tomorrow

Tougher penalties for underage drivers caught drunk behind the wheel take effect tomorrow.

People under 21 convicted of drunken driving will lose their licenses for a year, up from the maximum penalty of six months.

The change was approved by the General Assembly in April.

In 2003, there were 9,089 accidents caused by impaired drivers, according to a study published by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Almost 12 percent of those accidents involved teens.

BALTIMORE

Museums eliminate entrance fees

The Cone Collection of early-20th Century French masterpieces at the Baltimore Museum of Art and the treasures of antiquity at the Walters Art Museum have long been indelible parts of the city’s cultural fabric.

Now, cost will not be a barrier to seeing them.

The museums will begin offering free admission to everyone tomorrow, and they hope never again to charge entrance fees.

Directors of both museums said they are following the lead of museums nationwide that have gone free, even as some prominent museums have raised their prices.

The Baltimore museums are not affiliated but made the switch to free admission together, aided by local government grants to help offset the cost.

VIRGINIA

VIENNA

Remains found in car identified

Human remains found in the trunk of a car have been identified as those of a missing marine biologist, and his son was considered a person of interest in the investigation, Fairfax County police said yesterday.

An autopsy determined that the dismembered body was that of Dail W. Brown, 64, a former top official with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The death was caused by traumatic injuries, police said.

Details about the injuries were not immediately available.

Detectives found the remains Thursday after prying open the trunk of one of the family’s vehicles at the Brown home in Vienna.

Earlier Thursday, police declared Mr. Brown and his son, Dail W. Brown Jr., 35, missing under suspicious circumstances after Patti R. Brown discovered that her husband and son were gone from the house Wednesday afternoon. The family’s 2002 Ford Escape also was missing.

Large amounts of blood and signs of a struggle led her to summon police, though the locations of these discoveries were not disclosed, police said.

The elder Mr. Brown is a widely respected marine biologist who retired last month as head of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s ecosystem assistance division, part of NOAA.

RICHMOND

Webb receives more endorsements

Democrat James H. Webb Jr., who is trying to unseat Sen. George Allen, picked up the endorsements of five military women yesterday and the endorsement of the General Assembly’s black legislators.

The endorsement from military women included one who had criticized him earlier this month at an event staged by Mr. Allen, a Republican.

The endorsement came days after Mr. Allen’s campaign began a massive statewide television ad campaign in which three female alumni of the U.S. Naval Academy denounce Mr. Webb for a 1979 magazine article critical of women in the military.

Mr. Webb’s endorsement by the all-Democratic Legislative Black Caucus came more than two weeks after one of its members, state Sen. Benjamin J. Lambert III, shocked and angered the rest of the caucus by endorsing Mr. Allen.

Mr. Allen yesterday picked up the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The conservative, pro-business group represents more than 3 million businesses and organizations nationwide.

RICHMOND

Higher bar sought for school standards

Hundreds of parents and advocates are seeking to set the bar higher on the state’s Standards of Quality.

Those standards are the minimum educational objectives mandated by the state constitution and which drive about 85 percent of the state’s funding for public kindergarten through 12th-grade education.

The measures include school staffing, accreditation and testing and graduation requirements and are up for revision every two years.

The Board of Education is set to review comments before proposing changes to the standards. The General Assembly will act on the board’s recommendations in its upcoming session.

Some are urging the state to enhance services for students with disabilities and update school specialists to help students get up to speed on math. They also suggest providing more services for students who are nonnative English speakers.

Guidance counselors have asked the state to require hiring testing coordinators to alleviate the burden of administering standardized tests. They said that takes time away from advising students.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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