- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Man aiding driver killed by oncoming truck

A man trying to direct the driver of an overheight tractor-trailer at the entrance to the Third Street Tunnel was struck and killed by a cement truck at about 4:30 p.m. yesterday, police said.

The unidentified man, report-ed to be homeless, apparently misjudged his distance from the oncoming truck while helping the tractor-trailer driver back up. He was hit by the rear of the cement truck.

Police closed off the 400 block of New York Avenue Northwest, including the southbound lanes to Interstate 395, while they investigated.



Caretaker charged with embezzlement

A woman hired four years ago to clean and run errands for an elderly woman has been charged with embezzling nearly $250,000 from the woman’s estate after she died.

Karen Ann Malinowski, 49, surrendered to authorities Tuesday and was released on bail.

Miss Malinowski is charged with 14 counts, including felony theft and embezzlement from the estate of Lois Hundertmark, who died last February.

Miss Malinowski was hired in 2002 to run errands and became a caregiver after Miss Hundert-mark had a stroke. Prosecutors said Miss Malinowski forged several checks from Miss Hundertmark’s account over two years and used her credit card for a month after her death.


House fire linked to kerosene heater

A Colesville man is being treated for burns suffered in a fire at his home early yesterday.

Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the Montgomery County fire department, said the 73-year-old man was outside his burning home when firefighters arrived about 4:30 a.m. The two-story house in the 2400 block of Parallel Lane was badly damaged.

Mr. Piringer said the man was taken to Washington Hospital Center’s burn unit.

Mr. Piringer said the homeowner was attempting to put out a fire that originated near a kerosene heater when the flames spread after he accidentally knocked over the device.

Damage to the home and its contents is estimated at about $1 million.


State intervenes in suit by anti-ICC groups

Maryland backed the federal government yesterday in its defense of a lawsuit by environmentalists that seeks to block the construction of the Intercounty Connector.

The state is not named in the lawsuit that calls for a halt to the $2.4 billion east-west highway that will run 18 miles through northern Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. The long-debated project won federal approval in May.

But the state filed a motion in federal court to join the Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation in their defense of the lawsuit.

The Audubon Naturalist Society, the Maryland Native Plant Society and a family whose property is on the proposed route for the ICC filed the lawsuit in December, saying federal officials failed to adequately weigh the road’s environmental impact and did not consider reasonable alternatives. Another suit filed in Washington by other groups challenged the impact of the road on air quality.

Maryland’s Department of Transportation said yesterday that the environmental review of the highway was “one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted involving a transportation project in Maryland.”


6 officers suspended in overtime-fraud probe

Baltimore police officials said six city police officers were suspended with pay Tuesday as part of an internal affairs investigation into overtime fraud.

The suspended officers work in the Eastern District. They include two sergeants from the detective unit and four officers.

A police spokesman said questions about the officers’ overtime came to light during an internal audit in the summer.

The overtime included money paid out for court and investigative time.

The officers have been assign-ed to administrative positions.


Phone company gives break to upset teens

Verizon Wireless said it has given a break to some Frederick teenagers who exceeded their calling-plan limits after a car crash killed two fellow students.

The company said it made adjustments in the cases of as many as eight customers who sought relief from a spike in their bills caused by teens calling and texting one another about the Dec. 6 deaths of 16-year-old Dustin Muse and his 13-year-old sister Courtney.

Spokesman John Johnson declined to quantify the adjustments.

The company made the offer to students at Governor Thomas Johnson High School and Monocacy Middle School last month. The offer was prompted by one family’s alarm at a fivefold increase in its December wireless bill.



Delegate joins chorus on chapel-cross debate

Virginia Delegate Robert G. Marshall is adopting the “no cross, no cash” policy of some College of William & Mary alumni who are dissatisfied with school President Gene R. Nichol’s decision to remove a cross from the historic Wren Chapel.

The Prince William Republican plans to introduce an amendment to the state budget today withdrawing public funds from Mr. Nichol’s salary. The state contributes about half of Mr. Nichol’s estimated $300,000 salary, Mr. Marshall said.

The Board of Visitors, the governing body of the public college, has slated one hour to hear “comments from invited guests of the rector and board regarding the Wren Chapel,” according to the board’s agenda for its two-day meeting beginning today.

College officials declined to release the speakers’ names.

Mr. Nichol decided in October to remove an 18-inch brass cross from the chapel to make the space open to people of all faiths. Previously, the cross could be removed by request; now it can be restored by request.

Critics have called for the board to overrule Mr. Nichol’s decision, and at least 18 alumni have said they plan to stop financial donations.

Spokesman Mike Connolly said the board isn’t likely to act on the issue because it is not on the agenda as an action item.


Incidents disrupt Orange Line service

A woman was struck by a Metro train at the Rosslyn station yesterday, causing major delays on the Blue and Orange lines during the morning rush hour.

The woman was waiting for a Blue Line train to Franconia-Springfield just after 7 a.m. when she began to feel faint, Metro officials said. She leaned over the edge of the platform and was struck as the six-car train entered the station.

The woman, who suffered minor injuries, was taken to George Washington University Hospital.

Riders on the Orange Line were delayed further when a train traveling toward Vienna developed mechanical problems about 8:30 a.m. near the Rosslyn station.

The train had to be unloaded, causing delays exceeding 15 minutes in both directions, officials said.


Testimony horrifying in death of 4-year-old

Jurors heard gruesome testimony in the capital murder trial of a Hampton man accused of killing a 4-year-old boy.

A forensic scientist with the state crime laboratory testified Tuesday that a steam iron was likely the source of the severe burns found on Davion Mutts’ hands, feet and buttocks when his body was discovered in a shallow grave nearly two years ago.

Davion lived with his aunt and her boyfriend, William Shanklin, 30. Mr. Shanklin was baby-sitting Davion in July 2005 when he called police and reported him missing. Police said Mr. Shanklin led them to the grave the next day.

The boy died from being beaten in the head and his neck was broken, the medical examiner said.

The boy’s aunt and Mr. Shanklin’s mother also were charged with felony child neglect because they didn’t seek medical treatment for his burns.

Davion’s grandmother in New Jersey had custody of him, but took him to live with his aunt that summer.


Airman charged with soliciting minor

An airman stationed at Langley Air Force Base was arrested Tuesday and charged with using a computer to solicit a minor.

Senior Airman Jason Mansell, 29, was in Iraq last month when he first made contact by computer with a Spotsylvania police detective posing as a juvenile female, Capt. William Petry said.

Capt. Petry said Airman Mansell turned the conversation to a sexual nature. Air Force investigators arranged to have Airman Mansell transferred back to Langley, where he was arrested.

Airman Mansell was charged with two counts of using a computer to solicit sexual acts from a minor and two counts of attempted indecent liberties with a child.

He was being held yesterday at the Rappahannock Regional Jail in lieu of $8,000 bail.


College boots fraternity after report of hazing

A Randolph-Macon College fraternity has been shut down after reports of an alcohol-related hazing incident that sent a 19-year-old student to the hospital.

College President Robert R. Lindgren told students, faculty and staff in an e-mail Monday that the Kappa Tau chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha was immediately closed. He warned students against hazing, illegal drinking or “behavior that is harmful to others.”

Lambda Chi Alpha International Fraternity said the organization decided Saturday during a meeting with college officials to inactivate the chapter.

Officials have not identified the 19-year-old student. Ashland police said that he was found unconscious in front of his dormitory about 2 a.m. Dec. 3 and that medical personnel revived him from heart failure on the way to the hospital.

Police determined that the student, who was being initiated into the fraternity, received alcohol during a party at Lambda Chi’s on-campus house.

Aaron Tyler Godwin, 21, a member of the fraternity, was charged with providing alcohol to minors and hazing.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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