- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 5, 2006

DISTRICT

Man killed in bus accident

A man died after being hit by a Metrobus in Northwest last night.

A Metro spokeswoman said the man was running to catch the No. 70 bus at Seventh and P streets, when he slipped and fell under the right front wheel.

Paramedics performed CPR at the scene, and the man was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Metropolitan police officers interviewed the driver and the passengers.

History museum undergoes renovation

Yesterday was the last chance to see the Star-Spangled Banner and other favorites at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History before it closes for a renovation.

The museum is getting an $85 million makeover and is scheduled to reopen in the summer of 2008.

Curators have been busy behind the scenes for weeks. They have been moving many of the museum’s 3 million objects into storage areas, where they will be protected from construction dust.

Workers will cut through the five floors of the building to create a skylight and atrium — as well as a new gallery for the flag.

Designers also are aiming to make the museum easier to navigate.

In 2008, visitors will see the Star-Spangled Banner in a new setting, with large glass windows designed to evoke the “dawn’s early light” in which Francis Scott Key saw the flag and penned the words to the national anthem.

REGION

Officials warn of bad water

Health officials in Virginia and Maryland are warning residents in tidal areas that flooding from Tropical Storm Ernesto might have contaminated water supplies drawn from private wells.

The Virginia Department of Health has reminded people that wells need to be tested and disinfected if flooded to prevent infection by bacteria and parasites. Counties in the Northern Neck might have been especially affected.

In St. Mary’s County, Md., officials recommended that residents boil their water at least 20 minutes before drinking until county officials can determine whether their wells were submerged by flooding — especially residents on St. George’s Island.

Signs of a contaminated well are low or no water pressure, or evidence of cloudy water.

MARYLAND

PALMER PARK

Officers suspended after shootings

Two Prince George’s County police officers shot and killed a shoplifting suspect, a third officer accidentally shot his own mother and a fourth shot a man in a grocery store — all within a few hours Sunday and yesterday, police officials said.

The first shooting involving a police officer occurred at about 3 p.m. Sunday, when Officer David Cheatham shot a person he thought was an intruder at his Kentland home, police said.

It turned out to be his mother. She was not seriously wounded and is expected to recover.

Another officer-involved shooting happened just before midnight Sunday at a Shopper’s Food Warehouse in Clinton.

An officer patrolling the store was told that there had been a shooting in the parking lot. A man, who witnesses said was involved in the shooting, began running toward the officer, ignoring orders to stop and show his hands, police said.

The officer shot the man in the wrist, and the man was treated at a hospital. Neither the officer’s name nor the suspect’s was immediately released.

Police also did not immediately release the names of the officers who shot the shoplifting suspect yesterday morning in Capitol Heights or the name of the man who was shot.

After responding to a report that the man was shoplifting and carrying a gun at a Shopper’s Food Warehouse in Capitol Heights, the officers chased the man and shot him after he pulled a gun on them, police said.

All four officers were removed from street duty pending investigations.

“We know it’s unusual that we’ve had three shootings in the past two days,” police spokeswoman Cpl. Diane Richardson said yesterday. “These officers were in fear. Each case is different. And in each case that happened over this weekend, the officers were in fear for their own safety.”

GREENBELT

Bomb squad probes suitcase at station

The Greenbelt Metro station was closed yesterday while police and the bomb squad checked out a suspicious suitcase.

Metro officials said that a man carrying the suitcase outside the station told police there were explosives inside.

Police examined the suitcase with a robot and said that it did not contain anything suspicious.

Metro officials said that another passenger tipped off police after he questioned the suspect about the suitcase on a Green Line train between College Park and Greenbelt at about 4 p.m.

The man and a woman who was with him were detained, Metro officials said. Both likely will face charges.

SILVER SPRING

Man found dead at Fairland park

Investigators are seeking information on a man found dead Sunday near Fairland Recreational Park, Maryland-National Capital Park Police said.

At about 8 a.m., police found the 28-year-old man dressed in running clothes in the parking lot of 3928 Greencastle Road.

He was transported to Greater Laurel Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The cause and manner of death had not yet been determined.

DISTRICT HEIGHTS

Four sought in robbery attempt

Four men who tried to rob an armored car are still on the loose, Prince George’s County Police said yesterday.

The men approached an employee of Loomis Armored Car Service on Friday at 4:23 p.m. in the 5200 block of Silver Hill Road and asked for her money bag.

When she said that she did not have a money bag, the men tried to break into the armored car but found the truck was locked.

They then took the woman’s service revolver and fled in a white, extended-cab four-door pickup truck.

The men were wearing dark clothing. Three of the men had handguns, and the fourth had a rifle.

VIRGINIA

GRETNA

Two killed in plane crash

Two persons were killed yesterday when their single-engine plane crashed in a wooded area of Pittsylvania County near Smith Mountain Lake, state police said.

The two-seat Cessna 150G carrying a man and a woman crashed about 11:30 a.m., said Sgt. Robert Carpentieri.

The victims were identified as Ira Nash, 34, and Erika Nash, 28, of Fork, S.C.

They had been at a family reunion at Smith Mountain Lake and were en route to Florence, S.C., when they ran into heavy fog and attempted to turn around.

The flight took off from Smith Mountain Lake Airport in Moneta and was bound for Florence Regional Airport, said Alison Duquette, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

FAIRFAX

Motorcycle crash kills 1, injures 2

A motorcycle crash left one man dead and two persons injured, Fairfax County police said yesterday.

Two motorcycles were traveling westbound on Hunter Mill Road 10:54 p.m. Saturday when they took a turn too fast, passed over the double yellow lines and crashed head-on into a Ford Crown Victoria traveling east.

Colin Lai, 48, of 11430 Fogarty Court in Fairfax, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other two drivers — an Oakton-area man and a South Riding man — were transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Investigators said that speed was a factor and that charges might be filed.

NEWPORT NEWS

Grasses recovering;sanctuary to expand

Beds of underwater grasses in the Chesapeake Bay that died en masse last summer are recovering.

Still, some biologists say global warming could threaten the environmentally important grasses in the future.

Beds of eelgrass provide habitat for blue crabs, rockfish and other dominant species in the Bay. They also filter harmful nitrogen out of the water.

Governments and states working to clean up the Chesapeake Bay have set a goal of restoring 185,000 acres of underwater grasses by 2010.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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