- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Janey orders report on lead testing

D.C. schools Superintendent Clifford B. Janey has ordered his top aides to find out about lead testing conducted at the city’s schools.

Mr. Janey’s actions are in response to stepped-up testing programs. He wants to know which schools have been tested most recently and when those tests were conducted. He also wants to look at the results and whether parents have been informed.

School facilities crews have been repairing water fountains found to have elevated lead levels or shutting off those fountains that continue to show high levels in repeated tests.

School system officials say no school has registered elevated levels of lead in all of its water sources. Bottled water is being supplied at schools where problems have been found.

Woman dies in row house fire

Fire officials have determined that an early morning row house fire yesterday that killed an elderly woman started from smoking-related causes. The flames were then fueled by large amounts of paper and other materials inside the house.

The damage is estimated at $230,000, fire department spokesman Alan Etter said.

The fire was reported about 3:30 a.m. in the house in the 1200 block of Florida Avenue Northeast.

Firefighters were able to rescue an elderly man found inside the home, Mr. Etter said. They found the woman dead in a second-floor bedroom.

The man was treated at a hospital, Mr. Etter said. He did not identify the woman who died, pending notification of her family.



Foot found in landfill belongs to a bear

A foot fished from a landfill, once thought to be human but later described as “apelike,” came from a bear, officials said yesterday.

The appendage discovered Feb. 10 prompted a search through 127 tons of garbage, which ended with the medical analysis of the foot at the state forensics lab in Richmond.

The lab and an anthropologist concluded that the foot, which appeared to have been cleanly sawed off above the ankle, was the rear foot of a bear, Spotsylvania Sheriff Howard Smith said.


Teen to appear on ‘Jeopardy!’

A Virginia teen will appear on the national quiz show, “Jeopardy!”

Lindsey Nicolai, 17, is a high school junior from Hampton. She’s wanted to be on the show “since I could walk,” she said.

She’ll participate in one of two teen tournaments the nationally televised show is producing this year. One just aired. Hers will air in July.

The show requires contestants to respond to answers with the appropriate question. Lindsey qualified through online tests and a live audition.

She will fly to California to tape her appearances next month.

She learned she qualified for the show in December and said appearing on the show has “always been a dream of mine.”


Black WWII sailors honored this week

An event in Bedford this week will honor sailors who served on the USS Mason, the only Navy destroyer manned by a predominantly black crew during World War II.

The Navy placed 160 black sailors on the Mason in 1943. Previously, most had served as cooks or stewards on ships. The Mason was instrumental in escorting ships across the dangerous North Atlantic to British harbors in 1944 at the time of the Normandy invasion.

The sailors’ story was the backdrop for “Proud,” a 2004 film starring Ossie Davis and Aidan Quinn.

Leonard Coleman, a veteran who served on board the Mason, will be at the event tomorrow at the Bedford Welcome Center. The gathering is sponsored by the National D-Day Memorial.


Man hunted down Republicans, police say

A Fredericksburg man is facing several assault charges after police say he hunted down a group of Republicans and confronted them in their home because of their beliefs.

Police said Andrew Stone, 23, went to a house about 5:30 p.m. Saturday after he saw a name and nearby address on a Republican Web site.

He confronted three residents about their political viewpoints. When he found out they supported the war effort in Iraq, he became enraged, police said.

Mr. Stone then hit the homeowner and his roommates several times as they tried to force him out of the door, police said.

Mr. Stone faces three counts of assault and battery. His political affiliation is not known.



Officer charged with assault, sex offense

Anne Arundel County police charged one of its own officers with assault yesterday after an 18-year-old woman said he touched her and photographed her during a traffic stop.

Officer Joseph Mosmiller, 22, also faces charges of sex offense, false imprisonment and misconduct in office. He had been on administrative duties since Jan. 20, when the woman reported an assault.

Three other officers were reassigned to administrative duties as a result of the internal investigation, although there are no indications that they engaged in similar behavior, Anne Arundel police spokesman Lt. David Waltemeyer said. Police didn’t release their names or say why they were reassigned.

Officer Mosmiller pulled over a car with two women inside Jan. 20 in Riviera Beach, according to charging documents. During the stop, police said Officer Mosmiller told the driver to follow him to his home but detoured into the Community United Methodist Church. In the parking lot, he administered field sobriety tests.

According to charging documents, he then said they wouldn’t go to jail if both women lifted their shirts. The passenger refused but the driver agreed; she said Officer Mosmiller touched her and took a picture with his camera phone.

The women drove to the nearest police station and reported the incident.

Officer Mosmiller was being held on a $250,000 bail yesterday the county jail.


Body found in ruins of shopping center

Fire investigators found a body in the wreckage of a strip mall that was destroyed Monday afternoon after an armed man holed up in a liquor store and set it on fire, Frederick police said yesterday.

Lt. Tom Chase said he could not confirm whether the body was the man who had barricaded himself inside Jim’s Liquors before flames engulfed the building. The body was taken to the chief medical examiner’s office for identification.

Police identified the man who negotiated with police while in the store as James Douglas, 29, of Frederick, who went by the alias “Menace.”

The fire destroyed the Antietam Village Shopping Center on Opossumtown Pike.

Lt. Chase said Mr. Douglas apparently ignited boxes of liquor, which quickly fueled the blaze that sent dark clouds of billowing smoke over the city.

Gricelda Morales said she was working at the Quizno’s restaurant in the lower level of the shopping center when a police officer told everyone to stay inside and keep the door closed. Later, police told them to leave.

She stood in disbelief as firefighters sprayed down the building.

“I worked there for four years,” she said. “It’s terrible.”


Police impersonators sought in cab thefts

Montgomery County police are looking for two men and a car that resembles an unmarked police cruiser in the robberies of two taxicab drivers Monday night.

The victims said the men who robbed them were in a gold late-1990s model Ford Crown Victoria that had flashing red and blue lights. One of the drivers said the vehicle also has a siren.

In one of the incidents, both the driver and a passenger in his cab were robbed at gunpoint, police said.

One of the men was wearing ski mask when he approached the taxicabs and demanded money, witnesses said.

A car matching the description of the vehicle used by the impersonators was stolen from the front of a deputy U.S. marshal’s home in Alexandria. Police have not been able to confirm whether the stolen car was the one used in the robberies.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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