- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Norton introduces budget autonomy bill

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton yesterday introduced House legislation that would give the District full control of its local budget, a step she said would advance the city’s statehood efforts.

Next to voting rights, “this bill is the most important to the District of Columbia that will come before Congress this session,” Mrs. Norton said.

The Democrat introduced the budget autonomy measure with Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, Virginia Republican.

If approved, the measure would allow the District to enact its local budget without annual congressional oversight, a process Mrs. Norton said would eliminate delays caused by partisan fights not related to the District but often attached to its budget approval.

Six arrested outside Clinton’s Senate office

U.S. Capitol Police arrested six persons yesterday outside the offices of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said the six were demonstrating outside the New York Democrat’s suite of offices in the Russell Senate Office Building about 11 a.m. Senate rules prohibit such demonstrations inside buildings in the U.S. Capitol complex.

Sgt. Schneider said they were charged with disorderly conduct.

Smoke disrupts Red Line service

Metrorail’s Red Line service was delayed yesterday after a report of smoke in the Farragut North station.

A Metro spokeswoman said the problem was caused by an insulator joint on the electrified third rail. The problem temporarily caused Metro to operate trains on a single track between Farragut North and Judiciary Square stations.

D.C. fire department personnel investigated the problem along tracks running toward Shady Grove. The problem was reported about 9:10 a.m. Metro said it was resolved within an hour.

Passengers experienced delays last week when debris on a track at the same station caught fire.



Police investigate pair of attacks on students

Charlottesville police think one man is responsible for two early morning sexual attacks on University of Virginia students.

Police said both incidents occurred early Monday in the same area.

In the first incident, a 21-year-old student left a party about 12:30 a.m. and a man followed her home, police spokesman Ric Barrick said.

When she opened the door to her home, the man rushed her and tried to force her inside, Mr. Barrick said. The woman screamed, and her boyfriend chased the attacker away.

About two hours later, a 28-year-old law student was walking past a restaurant when a man offered her a ride.

Police said the man led her to a darkened area, and she changed her mind. But as she turned to leave, the man grabbed her, forced her against a vehicle and groped her. The woman fought him off and later called police.


Stolen ashes recovered by trucker on highway

A Roanoke County woman got back her husband’s cremated remains.

Jean Casey said police told her yesterday that the box and velvet pouch containing the ashes of her husband, Jerry Casey, had been found along U.S. Route 460.

Mrs. Casey’s home was broken into last week, and she reported that thousands of dollars worth of jewelry was taken. But she said the most distressing thing was the disappearance of her husband’s ashes.

Mrs. Casey said her son walked into a gas station on Route 460 Saturday night and told the cashier that his father’s remains had been stolen. A truck driver overheard the conversation and told the son that he had nearly run over the box on the road and had turned it in to the police.

Police confirmed that the ashes were the remains of Mr. Casey and notified his wife Monday.



Ex-state employee sentenced for fraud

A former employee of the Maryland Department of Social Services was sentenced yesterday to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to filing false federal income-tax returns seeking more than $200,000 in refunds.

Federal prosecutors said Clarenth Miles, 31, of Edgewood, stole the identification of several foster children, either filing false returns in their names or listing them as dependents. She was working at the family-services section of the Department of Social Services when she filed the false returns from March 2000 to May 2002.

The Internal Revenue Service issued more than $100,000 in refunds.

U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson ordered her to pay restitution to the IRS of $102,054 and more than $35,000 to two banks that issued refund-anticipation loans based on fraudulent returns. The 15-month sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release.

Miles’ husband, Antonio Miles, 36, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and identity-theft and was sentenced Jan. 16 to a year in prison and ordered to pay more than $60,000 in restitution.

A friend, Cantrice Moore, 32, was sentenced in August to three years of probation after pleading guilty to conspiracy and theft charges, with the first six months to be spent on home detention. Judge Nickerson ordered her to pay more than $52,000 in restitution.


Car hits school bus taking team to game

A car crashed into a school bus carrying a high school girls basketball team in Carroll County yesterday afternoon, seriously injuring the driver of the car.

No one was injured on the bus, which was carrying 22 Century High School students, three coaches, an assistant and the driver, said Lt. Phil Kasten, a spokesman for the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.

The accident occurred about 4:45 p.m. on Route 84, when a car traveling southbound lost control, left the roadway, overturned and landed on its roof, Lt. Kasten said.

The car hit the side of the bus. The driver, a 40-year-old Gaithersburg woman, was taken to a hospital with injuries not thought to be life-threatening, Lt. Kasten said.

The team was traveling to a game at Francis Scott Key High School. They were taken back to the school.

Snow and ice were “certainly a contributor in this collision,” Lt. Kasten said, adding that the sheriff’s office responded to five other accidents about the same time.


Man to get 5 years in child-porn case

A Frederick man has accepted a plea deal in a child-pornography case that will send him to prison for five years.

James Drew, 41, pleaded guilty Monday and will be formally sentenced next month. The prison time is part of a 10-year suspended sentence.

Prosecutors said Drew came to the attention of investigators in June 2005 when he solicited sex acts over the Internet from an undercover detective in Wheaton, Ill., who he thought was a 13-year-old girl.

Maryland State Police tied Drew to more than 4,000 images and 100 videos depicting sex acts involving girls younger than 16.


Slain teen identified as son of officer

A teenager who was fatally shot Sunday night outside an Owings Mills apartment complex is the son of a Baltimore police officer.

Kevin Evans, 17, was a resident of the Morningside Apartments, with an address in the same block of Old Coach Lane where he was shot.

The teen was found on the ground between two apartment buildings. He had been shot once in the upper body and died later at Northwest Hospital Center.

Police have no arrests or motive in the shooting.


5 rescued from house filled with gas fumes

Firefighters rescued five persons from a house after finding high levels of carbon monoxide inside.

Someone at the home in the 100 block of Ferndale Road called 911 about 10:40 a.m. yesterday to report that five persons felt sick and that a carbon-monoxide detector had gone off.

Anne Arundel County firefighters found carbon monoxide in the basement and on the first floor. A fire department spokesman said a gas furnace was suspected to be the source of the gas.

The victims were taken to hospitals in Baltimore.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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