- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 1, 2007


Smithsonian gets famous boxing gloves

Joe Louis’ boxing gloves, worn in his first historic fight with German Max Schmeling in 1936, were donated Wednesday to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History by a family that has owned the gloves for 70 years.

Ken Milburn of Windsor, Ontario, donated the gloves and photographs to the museum. He had received the items from his aunt and uncle, who was a business partner of Louis’ lifelong manager, John Roxborough.

The gloves join items in the Smithsonian’s collection related to the June 1938 rematch between Louis and Schmeling, including the towel thrown in to end the fight after two minutes. Louis was declared the decisive victor in that comeback fight, two years after the Detroit-born boxer was knocked out by Schmeling, the Nazis’ star athlete, in the 12th round.

That second meeting is often considered one of the greatest sporting events of the 20th century. Louis held the world heavyweight title from 1937 to 1948.

The gloves and photographs will be displayed in the “Treasures of American History” exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum this summer. The American History museum closed in September for nearly two years of renovations.

Man fatally shot on H Street Northeast

A Temple Hills man was found fatally shot early yesterday morning in the 900 block of H Street Northeast.

Police found the body of Marcell Erwin, 41, when they arrived about 5:30 a.m. at the scene after hearing gunshots. He had been shot repeatedly.

A 31-year-old woman suffered a gunshot wound to her hand. She was taken to a hospital and released after treatment.

Anyone with information should call police at 202/727-9099.



Police arrest suspect after standoff

Fairfax police surrounded a house in the 8600 block of Bent Arrow Court where a man suspected of bank robbery was holed up yesterday evening, according to police.

Police took the suspect into custody about 6:30 p.m. when the man voluntarily gave himself up.

Police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings said the suspect was wanted in connection with attempted robberies at three banks at about 4 p.m.


Democrats pay penalty for filing faulty report

The Democratic Party of Virginia’s federal campaign committee paid a $17,500 penalty for violating federal election laws by omitting several receipts and expenditures from a required report in 2003.

In an agreement with the Federal Election Commission, which was filed in December but only recently made public, the committee called the omission an oversight, saying the errors were due to “a serious illness to its longtime outside accountant and a staff transition just before the report was filed.”

Party Treasurer Abbi Easter also was named in the complaint.

Miss Easter filed the required midyear report in 2003, but left off more than $59,600 in receipts and $111,000 in disbursements. The FEC requested more information when the numbers didn’t add up, and the committee filed an amended report, according to the agreement.

In addition to the $17,500 penalty, Miss Easter has one year to attend training for party committees.

In 2004, the party had to pay $21,000 after failing to report a wire transfer of $710,000 to an ad agency that was made in error and then refunded.



Maryland fire deaths hit all-time low

Sixty Maryland residents died in fires in 2006 — an all-time low — the Maryland Fire Marshal’s Office announced Wednesday.

The new year, however, is off to an alarming start, with 12 fire deaths reported — including five family members who perished in an Abingdon home on Jan. 18.

Careless smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires, Deputy State Fire Marshal W. Faron Taylor said.

There were 73 fire fatalities in 2005 and 88 deaths in 2004.

The previous low was in 1996, when 62 deaths were recorded.

State Fire Marshal William E. Barnard credited smoke alarms, fire escape plans, sprinkler systems and community outreach programs for the decline.

“The steps one must take to increase their chance of surviving a home fire are not difficult, but they require diligence,” Marshal Barnard said.


Three hospitalized after row house fire

Fire officials said three family members were hospitalized after a dramatic blaze yesterday morning at a West Baltimore row house.

The fire was reported about 4:30 a.m. in the 1900 block of North Payson Street. The first units to arrive saw heavy fire and smoke coming from the home and a woman hanging out a second-floor window.

The woman was rescued by ladder, a man jumped from a window, and their 14-year-old son was found by firefighters inside, fire department spokesman Kevin Cartwright said. The boy was unconscious, but rescuers resuscitated him.

Authorities said the boy and his father are in critical condition. The mother’s condition was said to be less serious.


Cheerleader mentor charged with gambling

The head of a private cheerleading group for girls as young as 5 has been charged with running an illegal gambling event so she could repay a woman who bailed her out of jail.

The Feb. 17 event at the Boonsboro Fire Co. was billed as a bingo fundraiser for the Hagerstown Heat All-Stars. But club founder Anna L. Miles, 33, wasn’t licensed to hold such an event, Washington County Sheriff’s Department investigator Chris Weaver said in charging documents made public Wednesday after Miss Miles was served with a summons.

Miss Miles used $2,000 in proceeds to reimburse a parent who had paid her bail in December 2005 after Miss Miles was jailed for a probation violation, according to the Washington County District Court records. Miss Miles had been on probation after serving a six-month jail term for writing $24,000 worth of bad checks on the cheerleading club’s account in 2004. A hearing on the probation violation is set for Feb. 12.

Miss Miles declined to comment on the charges when contacted yesterday by the Associated Press.

Miss Miles and two of her coaches, who are accused of helping run, the gambling event have trials set for April 17.


Inmate gets life in fatal prison stabbing

A state prison inmate convicted of killing another prisoner was sentenced Wednesday to life without parole.

Kenneth Higgins, 37, was convicted in December of first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of Brian Wilson, 21.

The stabbing happened in January 2005 at the Maryland House of Correction Annex in Jessup.

Wilson was stabbed 17 times with a homemade knife. Higgins said he thought Wilson was about to harm him.

Higgins already was serving 35 years for rape and arson.


Former prosecutor defends murder suspect

Scott L. Rolle, former Frederick County state’s attorney and unsuccessful Republican candidate for state attorney general, came to the defense yesterday of a Hagerstown man accused of beating and shaking his girlfriend’s baby to death.

Mr. Rolle, now in private practice, entered his appearance in Washington County District Court on behalf of Floyd E. Bingaman, 20, who is charged with first-degree murder, child abuse and other offenses in the Jan. 6 death of 4-month-old Justice Stotler.

“We’re just going to make sure Mr. Bingaman gets a fair trial, and we’re going to get started on that immediately,” Mr. Rolle told reporters after announcing during a brief hearing that Mr. Bingaman was waiving his right to a preliminary hearing.

Mr. Bingaman, who was not the baby’s father, didn’t appear in court yesterday. His case will be forwarded to Washington County Circuit Court.

Mr. Rolle served three four-year terms as state’s attorney before winning the Republican nomination for attorney general last year. He lost in the general election to former Montgomery County State’s Attorney Douglas F. Gansler, who got 61 percent of the vote to Mr. Rolle’s 39 percent.


Group envisions ferries across Bay

An ad hoc committee thinks it has found a solution to relieve increasing traffic on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.


The group of Annapolis business owners and residents envisions one commuter ferry that would link Kent Island with Annapolis and a second ferry that would link the so-called gateway to Maryland’s Eastern Shore with Baltimore. They are encouraged by the success of similar systems in Seattle and Rhode Island, said Craig Purcell, chairman of the group.

The plan is still being developed, but the ferries would be launched with a nine-month trial. They expect about 25,000 drivers during that period to take the boat to Baltimore and 40,000 on the Annapolis run.

State transportation planners predict massive traffic jams on the Bay Bridge by 2015 and state officials have been weighing the pros and cons of building another span.

Supporters of the ferry as one source of traffic relief say it could be relatively easy to get started and involve little or no capital expenditures. The only real question, they say, is whether sufficient numbers of commuters will use it.

“We’ve got to test it,” Chuck Weikel of the transportation board told the Annapolis Capital. “Can you fill seats with people going to and from work? You’ve got to have people willing to get on a ferry and use it as a primary resource for getting to and from jobs.”


Metro debuts emergency phones

Metro’s new telephone service for emergency information on service issues is operational.

Riders can call 202/637-7000 for information on Metrorail and Metrobus disruptions and delays.

The service was not supposed to be available until mid-February, but Metro said the equipment was ready and available Wednesday.

Metro said information about the delayed opening of the Braddock Road station and a track fire that temporarily closed the Farragut North station was provided that day.

The automated telephone messages are offered in English and Spanish. Metro also offers a text message emergency alert system accessible by certain cell phones and through e-mail systems.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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