Friday, July 13, 2007


EMT reinstated in Rosenbaum case

D.C. fire officials confirmed yesterday that an emergency medical technician fired over the poor handling of an attack on former New York Times reporter David Rosenbaum has been reinstated.

However, D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department Battalion Chief Kenneth Crosswhite said the city plans to file a court appeal on the reinstatement of Selena Walker.

WUSA-TV reported an administrative law judge with the D.C. Office of Employee Appeals ruled that officials did not take action against Miss Walker within a 90-day window after they learned or should have learned of the incident.

A D.C. inspector general’s report found that Miss Walker did not follow protocol when she took Mr. Rosenbaum to Howard University Hospital rather than the closer Sibley Memorial Hospital. Mr. Rosenbaum failed to receive proper care for a head injury he sustained during a robbery and died days later.

Metro memorializes workers killed on job

Metro has chosen memorials to honor employees who have been killed on the job.

A polished black granite pylon with a stainless steel “M” logo will stand on the mezzanine at Metro Center. It will be surrounded by a granite circle with an inscription spelling out the names, job titles, years of service and the year of death of the employees.

A 4-by-5-foot black granite plaque will be placed at Metro’s maintenance and training center in Hyattsville. The memorials will be installed early next year. Metro has also created a scholarship fund for children of employees who die on the job.



Funeral-home owner missing with money

More than a dozen families who thought they prepaid for funeral services learned this week that their money and the former owner of Duffield Funeral Home are missing.

An investigation by the Virginia State Police, Scott County commonwealth’s attorney and the Department of Health Professionals has been ongoing for about six months.

Anthoney Carson Robbins was indicted on 51 counts of fraud and obtaining money by false pretenses. Neighbors said he hasn’t been around for months, and a local news station found a for-sale sign in his yard.

Investigators said Duffield Funeral Home abruptly closed last year.


Teacher indicted in assault on plane

A Florida high-school teacher has been indicted for reputedly assaulting fellow passengers and crew members aboard an AirTran flight from Atlanta to Newport News, authorities say.

Valjean Marguriet was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on one count of interference with a flight attendant and two counts of misdemeanor assault. Interference with a flight attendant is a felony charge.

Court documents said that during the flight Tuesday, Miss Marguriet, 55, assaulted a fellow passenger by grabbing and shaking her arm. She also struck a flight attendant in his face and interfered with his duties, the documents state.


Man sentenced in storage-unit attack

A man who kidnapped, stabbed and choked his girlfriend, then left her to die in a locked storage unit in Richmond faces up to 40 years in prison.

Kip Burns, 24, pleaded guilty Wednesday to the attack, which happened in December. He faces sentencing next month.

Police said the couple lived together and Mr. Burns attacked Octavia Lee, 19, in the storage cubicle they shared after she suggested that she was going to move out.

Officials said Miss Lee played dead and Mr. Burns locked her in the windowless unit, saying he was going to return and throw her body into the river. But Miss Lee kicked through a wall and crawled out of the unit and escaped through an adjoining one.



Woman dies from fire injuries

A woman who was critically injured when fire swept through her apartment last month in Burtonsville has died, bringing the number of fatalities from the blaze to four.

A Montgomery County Fire Department spokesman said Elsie Nuka, 30, was pronounced dead Wednesday at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Miss Nuka’s three young children died in the June 28 fire. They were found unconscious and not breathing when firefighters arrived that morning at the Windsor Court Apartments.

Investigators think the fire started in the kitchen after Miss Nuka placed a plastic device used to sterilize baby bottles near the stove, which was on. The children’s father was not in the apartment at the time of the fire. He was taken into custody in May on immigration charges.


One-third of state in moderate drought

The National Drought Mitigation Center says more than a third of Maryland is in a moderate drought.

The drought map released yesterday shows all or parts of 11 counties that were listed last week as “abnormally dry” are now in the moderate drought category. Most of the rest of the state remains designated “abnormally dry.”

The counties on the moderate drought list are the four Lower Shore counties, the three Southern Maryland counties and the lower regions of Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Talbot and Caroline counties.

Moderate drought is the least serious of the four drought categories reported nationwide in the weekly survey and compiled by researchers at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.


Mayor, citizens fight Hooters restaurant

Chesapeake City Mayor Bill Kiessling is upset over a proposal to build a Hooters restaurant in the old Schaefers Banquet Hall.

Mr. Kiessling says he’s concerned about the clientele a Hooters would bring. He also said activities listed on the Hooters Web site do not seem appropriate for the location.

A group of residents were scheduled to meet last night to talk about their concerns.

The controversy began when the restaurant’s new owner, Charles Cao, appeared before the county liquor board requesting to open the terrace. The opening has been stalled because Mr. Cao failed to turn in the documents needed to continue renovations and obtain a liquor license. The board will require Mr. Cao to answer questions at a July 31 meeting.


Road-rage incident leads to shooting

State police charged two persons with attempted first-degree murder in connection with a road-rage incident.

John Shires said a pickup truck passed him Tuesday afternoon while he was riding a motorcycle in Ridgely. He got into an argument with the people in the truck and told police that they followed him home.

Mr. Shires said he fired a shot into the air, and that one of the men and that a teenager then shot at him with a rifle but missed.

Police later arrested Timothy Covington, 23, and a 17-year-old boy in connection with the shooting.


Woman sentenced for theft from firm

A Berlin woman has been ordered to serve 18 months in prison for stealing $120,000 from the West Ocean City construction company where she worked as a secretary.

Police said Janet Parks, 48, used company checks for her own benefit and charged personal expenses to a company credit card.

She pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft scheme charges. The prison time is part of an eight-year suspended sentence. She must also make restitution.

Fowler Construction Co. owner Rusty Fowler went to police this winter when he found a discrepancy in his books. Parks was arrested in February.


Carnival worker accused of attempted murder

State police say a carnival worker in Frederick County is one of two men charged in an attempted murder in Calvert County.

Police said Wayne Jones, 22, was arrested Tuesday evening while operating a ride at the carnival for the Harney Volunteer Fire Company near Emmitsburg. A second suspect, Robert Mister, 37, was arrested early Wednesday morning at an address in Frederick.

State police said the men are from Leonardtown but gave no other details.

The owner of the carnival company, M-and-M Amusement, is Mr. Mister’s father. James Mister said he has not seen his son in about two months. And he said he did not know that his son and his employee were wanted by authorities.


Senates funds project for BRAC roads

The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday passed a bill that included $21 million to help prepare Maryland roads and mass transit for thousands of workers arriving over the next five years.

The military’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) plan will bring as many as 60,000 jobs to the state by 2011, and local officials expect major traffic problems from the influx of workers.

“More money for Maryland highways and public transit systems means safer and faster commutes to work,” said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland Democrat. “This funding will help BRAC-ready our transportation systems to keep Marylanders on the move.”

The bill includes $13 million for the MARC commuter rail system, $3 million to improve access to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, $1 million for the Central Maryland Transit Center at Fort Meade and $3 million to improve access at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

But $21 million is far less than counties have requested, and they are relying heavily on federal aid as the state budget faces a $1.5 billion shortfall. Anne Arundel County alone has asked for $5 billion in BRAC-related transportation funding.


Activist’s son charged with drug offense

A drug raid has resulted in the arrest of the son of Annapolis civil rights activist Carl Snowden.

Police charged Kojo Snowden, 22, with possession and intent to distribute marijuana.

Details of the charges are not available because the court records are sealed, but the arrest came after a three-month investigation in Annapolis that led to 12 other arrests.

This is not the first time that Mr. Snowden has been in trouble with the law. According to court records, he was charged with drug possession with intent to distribute last year. He was sentenced to probation.

Carl Snowden was named this year to the position of civil rights director for the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.


Man gets 4 years in fraud conviction

An Ellicott City man has been sentenced to four years and three months in federal prison for an investment-fraud scheme.

Wilkins McNair, 49, was sentenced Wednesday in Baltimore for his guilty plea on charges of wire fraud and money laundering. He was also ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution to the investors.

McNair was accused of keeping money that was to be invested in an obesity treatment clinic, then failing to pay taxes on the money.

McNair was the former accountant for convicted pension manager Nathan Chapman, who was convicted of using state pension money to buy stock in his companies.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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