- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 21, 2007


School board holds special election

Voters in Wards 1 and 2 will head to the polls today to select a new member of the State Board of Education.

The special election is being held so voters can choose a replacement for Jeff Smith, a former school board member representing District 1 who resigned in protest of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s takeover of the public school system.

The only candidate listed on the ballot for Mr. Smith’s spot is education writer and school volunteer Mary Lord, although Georgetown University graduate and first-year public school teacher Jason Crawford has mounted a write-in campaign.

Polls in the two wards will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters who do not know their assigned polling place can visit the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics Web site at www.dcboee.org or call 202/727-2525.



Police locate relative of abandoned child

Prince William County police said they have located a relative of a 4-year-old girl who was abandoned Sunday night at a Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant, although the girl remains in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Witnesses said the girl entered the restaurant some time after 6 p.m. with a woman who was about 25 years old. Police said the girl was left at about 9 p.m. and gave her name as “Taji.”


Congressman charged with assault, battery

Rep. Bob Filner, California Democrat, has been charged with assault and battery in an incident Sunday night at Washington Dulles International Airport, the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority said.

The misdemeanor charge stems from an incident at about 6 p.m. Authority police were called to the United Airlines baggage-claim office for a report of an incident involving a man and his baggage.

Witnesses said Mr. Filner attempted to enter an employee-only area, pushed aside an employee”s arm and refused to leave. Police said that when they arrived, Mr. Filner was outside the office and waiting near a bag carousel. The charges were filed before a Loudoun County magistrate.

Mr. Filner, 54, is scheduled to appear Oct. 2 in Loudoun County General District Court, authority spokeswoman Courtney Prebich said yesterday. He was elected to Congress in 1992 and represents the southern region of San Diego.

Mr. Filner disputed the account in a brief statement issued by his office that said he was “on his way to Iraq, visiting our troops, and will have a full statement when he returns. Suffice it to say now, that the story that has appeared in the press is factually incorrect — and the charges are ridiculous.”


Judge delays ruling on abusive-driver fees

An Arlington County judge yesterday refused to determine whether singling out Virginia drivers in the state’s new “abusive driver” program is unconstitutional.

An attorney representing state Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell argued that it was premature to debate constitutionality of the fees, and the judge agreed.

The argument came in the case of Charles Mason, a Navy veteran who faces a $1,050 civil remedial fee after he was cited for driving 20 mph over the speed limit in Arlington.

Mr. Mason’s traffic court trial will be held Aug. 30.

The constitutionality of the law will be argued only if he is convicted.

State lawmakers predict Mr. Mason’s relatively clean driving record would persuade a judge to charge him with a less-serious offense than reckless driving.

If so, he would not face the $1,050 abuser fee, and the constitutionality challenge would have no legs.



Records mistakenly dumped in trash

Boxes of documents containing personal information from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research were supposed to be shredded but instead turned up last week in an off-base trash bin, police said.

A resident of the neighborhood near the Army campus found “numerous boxes” in the trash receptacle Friday and alerted Montgomery County police. Officers eventually returned the boxes to the research center.

The files were research-study records, said Cynthia Vaughn, a public affairs officer for the Army Medical Command. An investigation is under way to determine precisely what information they held and why they appeared off base. Police said most were from the late 1990s.

No foul play is suspected, and no charges were filed. Police do not think anyone had access to the information other than the person who found the records and called authorities.


Brothers accused of double stabbing

Ocean City police arrested two brothers yesterday who are accused of stabbing two men near the Princess Bayside Hotel.

Christopher Hill, 29, of Jessup, and Joseph Hill, 26, of Laurel, are charged with attempted first-degree murder, police said. Police said they are not sure which of the two committed the stabbings. They have also charged the men with first- and second-degree assault.

Police said hotel security flagged down two officers at about 2 a.m. The officers found Walter Ostrowski, 21, of Baltimore, and Steven Hutchins, 26, of Dundalk, Md., with stab wounds.

Mr. Ostrowski was released from a hospital, and Mr. Hutchins, who was stabbed three times in the chest, was in serious but stable condition.

Police said the two brothers and a woman approached a group of people that included the two victims. After getting a cigarette, police said the two brothers challenged the men to a fistfight.

There was a brief fight before the men were stabbed. Police have not found a knife, but witnesses said they saw Joseph Hill put a knife in his pocket.


Lawmaker challenges executive orders

Delegate Richard K. Impallaria, Baltimore County Republican, yesterday asked the state’s attorney general to review the constitutionality of two executive orders by Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Mr. O’Malley, a Democrat, signed the orders this month allowing in-home health care workers and child care workers to form unions.

The General Assembly had rejected both proposals.

The orders are similar to one Gov. Parris N. Glendening, a Democrat, signed in 1996 allowing state workers to unionize, and Maryland’s high court upheld the order. However, it is not clear whether the ruling applies to child care providers and in-home health care providers.

“I think the law is on our side here, given the court’s ruling in the Glendening case,” said Mr. O’Malley’s spokesman Rick Abbruzzese.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, a Democrat, said they had received Mr. Impallaria’s request and were reviewing it.



Police identify body on beach

The body that washed up on Conquest Beach in June has been identified as that of a 62-year-old man from Minnesota, Delaware State Police said.

Police said fingerprints led them to Robert Michaels, 62, of Minneapolis, but they have not been able to contact his next of kin.

On June 19, police said Mr. Michaels’ naked body was found face down at about 8 a.m. He had a long white beard and long hair.

The police investigation found that he had criminal records in New Hampshire, California and Idaho. Police said he was listed as a transient in the arrest records.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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