- The Washington Times - Friday, April 13, 2007


World Bank meetings prompt street closures

The following streets in Northwest will be closed because of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank spring meetings beginning at about 12:30 a.m. tomorrow until at about 7 p.m. Sunday:

18th, 19th and 20th streets from Pennsylvania Avenue to G Street; G Street from 17th to 20th streets; H Street from 18th to 21st street; the south curb lane of Pennsylvania Avenue from 18th to 20th streets.

Beginning at 7 p.m. today until 8 p.m. Sunday, parking restrictions will be in effect on the following streets:

18th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to G Street (east side only); 19th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to G Street; 20th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to G Street (west side only); F Street from 18th to 20th street (north side only); G Street from 17th to 20th Street (south side only); H Street from 18th to 21st Street; and Pennsylvania Avenue from 17th to 21st Street.

Elderly sea lion dies at zoo

A California sea lion at the National Zoo died Wednesday after showing signs of fatigue and a loss of appetite, zoo officials said.

The 30-year-old sea lion, known as Maureen, was born in the wild in 1977. She was rescued after becoming tangled in a fishing net and arrived at the National Zoo from California in 1978. The zoo said sea lions typically live fewer than 25 years. The exact cause of Maureen’s death won’t be known for several weeks.

The National Zoo has two young female California sea lions on exhibit.



Alum gives $100 million for leadership school

Retired media executive Frank Batten Sr. has donated $100 million to the University of Virginia — the largest single gift in the university’s history, the school announced yesterday.

Mr. Batten, a UVa. alumnus, was chairman and chief executive of Landmark Communications Inc., whose holdings include the Weather Channel, the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk and the Roanoke Times. He served as chairman of the Associated Press board of directors from 1982 to 1987.

His gift will be used to establish the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the school founded by Thomas Jefferson. University President John T. Casteen III said the goal of the new undergraduate and graduate programs will be to produce visionary leaders.

“This gift, intended to cultivate future generations of leaders dedicated to the common good, will both preserve our democratic traditions and inspire the next generation and those that come after to live up to the vision that gave this place its first breath,” Mr. Casteen said.

The Batten School will be the first new school at the university since the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration was created 53 years ago. Mr. Batten gave $60 million to the Darden School in 1999 to create the Batten Institute, which promotes entrepreneurial leadership in business.

Mr. Batten said he hopes his most recent gift will benefit all aspects of civic life.

“Talented public leaders are needed from a range of professional backgrounds, including law, medicine, business administration and the social sciences. It is critical to get younger people excited about the responsibilities and opportunities of public service in all its manifestations,” he said.

The donation brings the total raised in the $3 billion Campaign for the University of Virginia to $1.29 billion.


Gay man allowed to join church

The new pastor at a Methodist church in Virginia that barred a homosexual man from membership two years ago has reversed that decision.

The Rev. Barry Burkholder, the new leader of South Hill United Methodist Church, told the congregation to accept the man’s transfer from a Baptist church.

In 2005, the Rev. Edward Johnson said that he could not accept the man as a member because he would neither repent nor seek to change. Mr. Johnson has since been appointed pastor at another Virginia church.

The Methodist Book of Discipline declares homosexual relationships “incompatible with Christian teaching” and bars sexually active homosexuals from ordination but has no rules on church membership for openly homosexual congregants.


Widow receives $5 million settlement

A Newport News jury has awarded $5.55 million to the widow of a former shipyard worker who died from exposure to asbestos while building aircraft carriers.

Vaughn Oney, a machinist at Newport News Shipbuilding for 31 years, died last year of a deadly form of cancer that was triggered by breathing asbestos fibers at the yard.

The jury determined yesterday that Kay Oney was entitled to more than $9 million from two suppliers to the shipbuilding industry that made gaskets and sealants made with asbestos. The jury decided that Illinois-based John Crane International should pay 60 percent of the total, or $5.55 million. The jury said that the other 40 percent should be paid by Garlock Sealing Technologies, based in Palmyra, N.Y.

But Garlock had already settled with Mrs. Oney for an undisclosed amount before the case went to trial. Lawyers declined to discuss the amount of Garlock’s settlement.


Injured bald eagle euthanized

An injured bald eagle was euthanized yesterday in Stafford County after veterinarians said it probably would never fly again.

Two animal-control officers picked up the eagle Wednesday from the side of a road. A wildlife official said he thought the bird had been hit by a car.

The Wildlife Center of Virginia veterinary staff determined it would be best to euthanize the eagle. X-rays showed the bird had a broken wing, a gaping wound along its groin and a torn ligament in a wing joint.

The eagle was a small male, and officials said its white head and tail suggested it was about 5 years old.



Surplus may cancel water bill increase

A proposed 30 percent increase in water and sewer bills for nearly 2 million people in the Baltimore area was postponed Wednesday when auditors said Baltimore is collecting much more money than it needs to upgrade its decaying underground infrastructure.

Comptroller Joan Pratt has long opposed sewer rate increases. She said that Baltimore has amassed a $40 million surplus over the past three years that should be used to offset the new fees.

The rate increases could also affect residents in Baltimore, Howard, Anne Arundel and Carroll counties. The fees would pay for a federally mandated $1 billion improvement of the system.

The proposed increases would be phased in so that the rate would rise by 9 percent a year for three years. The board delayed the vote a week to deal with Miss Pratt’s questions.


Resort considers fine for noisy guests

Officials are considering tougher noise regulations aimed at seasonal renters who keep their neighbors awake.

The resort’s Noise Control Board is due to get more power to enforce regulations under proposals to be considered by the Town Council.

Among the ideas being considered is a plan to better hold accountable repeat offenders of the noise ordinance, the Salisbury Daily Times reported yesterday.

Currently, the noise limit is 65 decibels during the day and 55 decibels at night. The distance noise can be heard from is capped at 50 feet away.

Local officials may require landlords of repeat violators of the 50-foot noise rule to appear before the board, instead of just getting a written citation, the newspaper reported.


School bus crash injures 3 on I-270

Three persons were injured yesterday in a crash on Interstate 270 that closed down all southbound lanes near Montrose Road.

Montgomery County Fire Department spokesman Pete Piringer said a school bus and three cars were involved in the crash about 2 p.m. No children were on the bus.

Mr. Piringer said the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. Maryland State Police are investigating the cause of the crash.


Relatives offer reward for crash information

Relatives of a woman killed in a road-rage crash on Interstate 270 on Wednesday morning are offering a cash reward for information that helps identify the other driver.

Lindsay L. Bender, 25, and her boyfriend, Christian M. Luciano, 28, both of Harrisburg, Pa., were killed on I-270 near Urbana. Police said they were exchanging obscene gestures with the driver of a pickup truck. The truck pulled in front of their car and hit its brakes, causing Mr. Luciano to lose control and flip over a guardrail.

Miss Bender’s family members are offering $5,000 to the person who provides information that helps police identify the truck driver. Police say they have gotten lots of calls from people who were in the area, but so far, the truck driver remains at large.


Court says police were not negligent

Maryland’s highest court upheld a lower-court ruling yesterday that state and local officials were not legally negligent by failing to protect a Baltimore family of seven that was murdered by a drug dealer after repeatedly calling police about drug crime.

The Court of Appeals ruling upheld a Baltimore Circuit Court decision that threw out a $14 million lawsuit filed by relatives of the Dawson family.

The lawsuit contended that the family’s numerous police calls, which prompted the drug dealer’s retaliatory attack, were encouraged by a city campaign to fight drug crime.

Angela and Carnell Dawson and five children died in October 2002 after a small-time drug dealer named Darrell Brooks firebombed their Baltimore home in retaliation for more than 100 phone calls to the city, calls made mostly to report drug activity in their neighborhood.

Earlier that year, the city announced its “Believe Campaign to Combat Drug Trafficking,” which plaintiffs said encouraged city residents to report illegal drug activities.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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