- The Washington Times - Friday, January 26, 2007


Inbound lanes closed on Douglass bridge

The D.C. Department of Transportation temporarily closed the northbound lanes of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge yesterday in preparation for a two-month closure scheduled for this summer.

Temporary barriers were put in place following morning rush hour yesterday.

Plans call for DDOT crews to work on the bridge throughout the weekend so it can be reopened before Monday-morning rush hour.

Inbound bridge drivers are being directed to follow detour signs on Interstate 295 north to the District’s 11th Street Bridge as an alternative route.

Officials ID woman killed in row house fire

D.C. police have released the name of a woman who was killed last week in a fire at her Northeast row house.

Police said Bessie DuVall Sanders, 65, was killed in the Jan. 17 blaze in the 900 block of Delafield Place.

Investigators think the fire was accidental, caused by an unattended candle.



Teen found guilty in runaway death

A Severn teenager faces 15 years in prison under a plea agreement in the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old runaway girl.

Deante Littlejohn, 17, entered an Alford plea to second-degree murder Thursday before Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Philip T. Caroom.

In an Alford plea, Littlejohn did not admit guilt but conceded that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him of shooting Keisha Lane in August 2005. After the plea, Judge Caroom found Littlejohn guilty.

The girl had run away from foster care in Hagerstown to the home of a friend near Severn.

Littlejohn, then 15, was one of two passengers in a friend’s car when he fired a rifle repeatedly at four youths on a Severn street corner, Assistant State’s Attorney Kelly Poma said.

Keisha was shot in the chest, and another teenager was grazed by a bullet.

Theodis Curry, then 18, was the driver of the car and the owner of the rifle. He pleaded guilty last year to being an accessory to the crime.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 12.


Judge tosses NSA protester charges

A federal judge dropped charges against 13 peace activists arrested for protesting outside the headquarters of the National Security Agency.

An NSA security officer lacked the legal authority to charge the protesters and did not provide a statement of probable cause, U.S. District Court Judge Susan K. Gauvey ruled Thursday.

The law only prohibits illegal entry, not remaining on NSA property, and the protesters were never told the NSA objected to their presence, the judge said.

“There was no guard. There was no checkpoint. There was no sign warning them of anything,” Judge Gauvey said.

The activists were charged with entering a military installation for illegal purposes, which carries a maximum six-month sentence and a $5,000 fine.


Election unexpectedly cost $900,000

Maryland election officials said last year’s election resulted in $900,000 worth of unexpected expenses.

Officials said they had to hire temporary workers to handle a flood of requests for absentee ballots for the November election.

That followed an appeal to voters by former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and some Democrats to vote by absentee ballot rather than use the state’s electronic machines.

Election officials also required that Baltimore retrain its election workers after many did not show up for the September primary.



Teacher charged in hitting 14-year-old

Alexandria police have charged a middle school teacher with assault and battery after reports that she struck a 14-year-old boy in the face at the school Jan. 3.

Dollie Adams, 56, a teacher at George Washington Middle School, at 1005 Mount Vernon Ave., was charged late Thursday and released on a summons, police said.

Amy Bertsch, a police spokeswoman, described the incident as “rare” and that it was reported by a staff member.

Amy Carlini, a spokeswoman for Alexandria schools, said Mrs. Adams has been a teacher at the school system for 15 years.

She said Mrs. Adams was an eighth grade special-education teacher and that she has been put on paid leave until the incident is resolved.

A phone message left at Mrs. Adams’ home was not returned yesterday.


Teen to receive more cancer treatment

An Eastern Shore teenager who battled in court to choose his own cancer treatment headed back to Mississippi yesterday for more radiation treatment.

Abraham Cherrix, 16, was diagnosed in 2005 with Hodgkin’s disease. After chemotherapy at a Norfolk hospital made him sick, he refused a second round when the lymphatic cancer returned.

Accomack County officials tried to force Abraham to get more chemotherapy and tried to get custody of him from his parents, who thought he should be allowed to pursue less conventional cancer treatments.

A Circuit Court judge agreed last year to allow Abraham to undergo treatment from a Mississippi oncologist who combines conventional treatment with a more unconventional “immunotherapy” approach.

Abraham received radiation treatment there last fall. Tests show his tumors have shrunk, but his lymph nodes are swollen, which could indicate active cancer cells.

He is expected to undergo several weeks of treatment in Mississippi.

The Virginia General Assembly is considering bills that would give parents more leeway to try different medical treatments without being charged with medical neglect.

A bill that would allow parents to refuse a certain medical treatment for a child and not face charges of neglect on four conditions cleared a Senate committee yesterday.

The bill will go before the full Senate.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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