- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 11, 2007


2 firefighters hurt battling blaze

Two D.C. firefighters were injured in a row house fire in Northwest early yesterday morning.

The fire in the vacant home in the 400 block of Newton Place Northwest was reported shortly after 3:15 a.m.

Fire department spokesman Alan Etter said the two firefighters have first- and second-degree burns. Their injuries are serious but do not appear life threatening. No one else was injured.

A family next door got out of their home after their smoke alarm sounded.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.



County joins others against illegal aliens

Spotsylvania County will join the growing number of Virginia localities trying to crack down on illegal aliens.

County Board of Supervisors Chairman Chris Yakabouski plans to have staff next week look at how to deny services to illegal aliens in Spotsylvania County.

Culpeper County supervisors voted this week to affirm English as the county’s official language, and Chesterfield County officials plan in the coming weeks to issue a report on which services can be denied to illegal aliens.

Spotsylvania officials are considering tightening housing measures because of some residents’ complaints about overcrowding in homes and too many cars parked on lawns and narrow streets.

Last month, Prince William County supervisors ordered police to check the status of people they think are in the country illegally. County officials also directed staff to find ways to deny public services to illegal aliens.

Loudoun County supervisors followed suit.


Former teacher sentenced in sex case

A former high school science teacher in Henrico County will spend two years in prison for having sex last fall with a 15-year-old student.

James Meunier, 51, was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison. The judge suspended eight years.

The former Highland Springs High School teacher pleaded guilty in May to five counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor by a person in a custodial or supervisory relationship.

Meunier will be required to register as a sex offender.


Man accused of selling stolen books on EBay

A Roanoke man faces grand larceny charges after police say he nabbed a load of Harry Potter books a few days before their release last month.

Botetourt Sheriff’s Department Maj. Delbert Dudding said Edward Stewart Pratt, 37, worked at a Botetourt County warehouse where he is accused of stealing more than $200 worth of the enormously popular “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” books.

The novel is the seventh and final installment in the series by J.K. Rowling and was hotly anticipated by fans worldwide.

Police think Mr. Pratt sold the books on EBay.

Before the book’s July 21 release date, some sellers on EBay had already listed “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” for auction at higher-than-retail prices.

But police are not sure how much Mr. Pratt made on the books.



Truck crash closes most of Outer Loop

A tractor-trailer accident shut down all but one lane of the Capital Beltway’s Outer Loop, causing a traffic backup that lasted several hours last night.

The tractor-trailer crashed into the median wall and overturned. The driver was ejected from the vehicle, Maryland State Police said.

The crash occurred at around 7:30 p.m. on the Outer Loop, between Connecticut Avenue and Rockville Pike. No other vehicles were involved.

Capt. Oscar Garcia, a spokesman for the Montgomery County fire department, said the driver was taken to a nearby trauma center with life threatening injuries.

He said the cleanup would take three to four hours because the truck was carrying about 1,000 gallons of tar and 1,000 gallons of water.

The spill from the tar was minor, but fuel from the vehicle also was spilled, which required more cleanup.


Officials set to begin bridge inspections

The Maryland Transportation Authority will start the first re-inspections of seven bridges on Monday.

An agency spokeswoman said the agency is adding three more to a previous list for extra inspections after last week’s bridge collapse in Minnesota.

At first, MdTA planned to re-inspect four bridges, including the Bay Bridge. It has two spans and is counted as two of the initial four to be inspected.

Plans also called for reinspections of the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge crossing the Susquehanna River on Route 40 and the Millard E. Tydings Memorial Bridge on Interstate 95 over the Susquehanna River.

The three other bridges added include: the Key Bridge near Baltimore, the Harry W. Nice Bridge in Southern Maryland and the K-Truss Bridge south of the Harbor Tunnel Plaza in Baltimore.

Maryland girl, woman killed in Florida crash

Police in Gainesville, Fla., said two persons from a Maryland family were killed and six others injured when their vehicle overturned while they were heading home from Disney World.

A 4-year-old girl and a 72-year-old woman were pronounced dead at the scene Thursday.

The driver, Vanessa Harrison, 38, of Baltimore, told police she heard a noise that sounded like a tire separating before the crash on Interstate 75 in Alachua County. A trooper told the Gainesville Sun it appeared the right, rear tire on the sport utility vehicle had blown.

Miss Harrison’s 4-year-old daughter and Miss Harrison’s grandmother, Mirna Williams, died in the crash.

A total of eight persons were in the vehicle.

Three other children ranging in age from 3 to 10 were thrown from the vehicle, and one was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Miss Harrison and two other adults received minor injuries.

Troopers think only two of the vehicle’s occupants were wearing seat belts.


Insane killer gets less confinement

A judge has reduced the level of confinement for Charles A. Hopkins, who killed a city council member and wounded several other people three decades ago in a shooting at a temporary City Hall.

Hopkins, 66, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1976 shootings. He has spent most of his life since at mental health facilities.

Baltimore Circuit Judge John M. Glynn on Thursday decided to allow Hopkins to move from the locked Spring Grove hospital to a less-secure residential program on the hospital grounds in Catonsville.

Judge Glynn granted a city prosecutor’s request to have Hopkins electronically monitored. He said he would hold a hearing in March to see how Hopkins was doing.

Angered that his restaurant was being shut down, Hopkins stormed a temporary City Hall office on April 13, 1976. He killed City Council member Dominic M. Leone Sr. and wounded another council member, a mayoral aide and a city police officer.


House from movie sold to publisher

A Talbot County house used for scenes in the 2005 comedy “The Wedding Crashers” was sold to publisher David Bradley and his wife, Katherine.

Mr. Bradley is the owner of the Atlantic Media Company, the publisher of the Atlantic, National Journal, Congress Daily, Government Executive and the Hotline.

Records show the 23-acre estate, named Ellenborough, sold last week for $13.6 million.

The nine-bedroom house was built in 1900.


Ex-firefighter guilty of distributing child porn

A former Baltimore firefighter has pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography.

The firefighter, Angelo Sudano of Joppa, has resigned.

He pleaded guilty Thursday to possessing as many as 600 images of child pornography and distributing images from his home computer.

His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 29.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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