- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 28, 2007


Howard U. Hospital names chief executive

Howard University Hospital yesterday announced the appointment of its new chief executive.

Dr. Larry Warren, former chief executive officer for the University of Michigan hospital system, will oversee the hospital’s clinics, management, operations and financial affairs.

University President Patrick Swygert also announced Dr. Wilson’s appointment as senior vice president of health services for the hospital.

A former dean at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Dr. Wilson will manage Howard’s clinic and research initiatives, as well as operations at the hospital.



Board upholds firing of superintendent

The Alexandria School Board voted yesterday to affirm their decision to not renew the contract of school Superintendent Rebecca L. Perry.

The panel voted 5-4 against reversing its decision made last month.

Mrs. Perry’s supporters said that she has improved test scores among the 10,000 students enrolled in the system. She has held the job for seven years. Her contract expires next June.

Some board members called for her to be fired after she was arrested in 2004 for driving under the influence.

Some parents said the school board failed to give Mrs. Perry a fair assessment.


PETA activist charged with taking deputy’s dog

An animal rights advocate who said she was rescuing a stray will be prosecuted on a felony theft charge for loading a deputy sheriff’s hunting dog into a van and driving away.

A judge will allow the case to proceed against Andrea Florence Benoit, 25, of Chesapeake. She said she was worried about the dog’s welfare and only wanted to return it to its owner.

Miss Benoit picked up the foxhound while working in Southampton County for Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The dog belonged to Southampton County Deputy Sheriff J.T. Cooke Jr., an animal-control officer who had let out several of his hounds the night before to chase foxes.

PETA has been opposed to activities that harm animals, including wild land creatures like foxes.

The case will be heard in Circuit Court.


Teacher sentenced for sex with students

A former Wythe County middle school teacher will spend nearly four years in prison for sex-related charges involving two teenage, male students.

Karen Susan Patton, 42, once won Teacher of the Year honors in Carroll County.

But in March, she pleaded no contest to three felony charges — including non-forcible sodomy involving the boys.

She faced up to 25 years in prison for the offenses, which authorities say involved boys between ages 13 to 15.

The relationships surfaced after the mother of one of the boys found an explicit online instant-message exchange between the teacher and her son.

Authorities said Patton, a seventh-grade English teacher at Scott Memorial Middle School, began the sexual relationships in 2004.



Police finish probe of officer in shootings

Prince George’s County police have completed their investigation into the shooting of two furniture-delivery men by a county police officer, Chief Melvin C. High said yesterday.

Chief High would not say what evidence his department forwarded to the county State’s Attorney’s Office, citing the ongoing legal case that includes a grand jury probe into the January incident. But the chief did say it had shed light the case.

“The evidence is clear and convincing, but I won’t say where the evidence goes,” Chief High told reporters.

Cpl. Keith Washington fatally shot Brandon Clark, 22, and wounded Robert White, 36, at his home in Accokeek on Jan. 24. Cpl. Washington has said the men attacked him when he found them in a part of his house where they didn’t belong. Mr. White, who testified Tuesday in front of the grand jury, said in an earlier statement to police that the attack was unprovoked.

Cpl. Washington, who was the county’s homeland security officer, already faces charges that he brandished a gun at a real estate appraiser who mistakenly knocked on his door in April.

Chief High also said police have not finished their probe of a May 30 fatal accident on the Capital Beltway that occurred during a police chase of a speeding motorcycle. Authorities are trying to determine whether the officer was at fault for the chase that ended with a multivehicle crash that killed two men and injured 15 persons. The motorcycle driver got away.

Chief High said the results of that probe also will be forwarded to the State’s Attorney’s Office.


Today’s the day for counting dolphins

The National Aquarium in Baltimore will lead Maryland’s annual dolphin count today.

Aquarium staff and volunteers will be stationed along the 26 miles of Maryland’s Atlantic Ocean coast. As dolphins pass by, they will be recorded on a tally sheet. Volunteers allow the aquarium to have more counting stations along the beach, and provide a more accurate representation of the Maryland dolphin population.


Woman attacked by bear in Romania

A bear attacked a group of U.S. tourists, including a woman from Maryland, on a remote trail in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains, authorities said.

The group of six chased off the bear when it tried to approach them near a cabin about 75 miles north of Bucharest, but the bear reappeared on a trail and attacked the group about 10 p.m. Saturday.

The Frederick News-Post reported that the bear first attacked Sara McKelvey, 26, of Frederick. The extent of her injuries was not known.

After she fell down and others threw stones at the bear, it turned its attention to a man, biting him on the leg. The bear then mauled to death a 31-year-old woman.

Officials did not immediately disclose the victims’ identities or hometowns.

The bear earlier had bitten a Romanian tourist on the shoulder and attacked sheep, a member of the rescue team said. Authorities were searching for the bear to euthanize it.

Romania is home to about half of Europe’s brown bear population, but attacks on humans are rare. Three years ago, two men died after they were attacked by a rabid bear.


Traffic stop yields 42 pounds of pot

Maryland Transportation Authority Police arrested two men in Baltimore County after a search found nearly 42 pounds of marijuana in their car.

An officer stopped the car Tuesday for speeding and following too closely on Interstate 95 south of White Marsh.

Raymond Sharpe, 25, of Lithonia, Ga., and Dewight Antwain Stephens, 26, of Hallandale, Fla., were charged with possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and importation of marijuana into the state.

Both were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each at the Baltimore County jail.


Teen hit by lightning while under a tree

A 16-year-old girl was in critical condition last night after being struck by lightning near her home.

The girl was waiting for a bus on Kennebeck Street yesterday afternoon when she ran under a tree to get out of the rain, Prince George’s County fire officials said. The lightning struck the tree, then hit her.

A nearby Potomac Electric Power Co. crew who saw what happened performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the girl until paramedics arrived. One of the Pepco workers said the girl had no pulse and wasn’t breathing.

The girl was being treated at Greater Southeast Community Hospital.


Dog illness prompts closing of kennels

Several Humane Society kennels in Wicomico County have been closed amid an outbreak of sickness among the dogs.

The outbreak started June 16, when a recently adopted 8-week-old puppy died. Other dogs were showing signs of respiratory illness, but testing to determine the disease continues.

Linda Lugo, executive director of the Humane Society in Wicomico County, said some dogs have been tested for distemper, a virus.

The kennels were expected to remain closed the rest of this week.


Man found shot between town houses

A man found fatally shot Tuesday is the fourth homicide in the city this year.

Officers responding to a report of a shooting in the 200 block of Croll Drive about 11:30 p.m. found Marcus Antonio Wells, 35, between two town house units suffering from a gunshot wound.

He was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Neighbors reported hearing what they thought were fireworks, but police said they have not found any direct witnesses of the shooting.


Postal worker charged with theft, fraud

Worcester County authorities have charged a postal worker with stealing credit and automated teller machine cards from the mail.

The Worcester Bureau of Investigation arrested Nikhik Girishbhai Patel, 26, of Salisbury, last week and charged him with 36 counts of credit-card theft and fraud.

Court documents say Mr. Patel used the cards to withdraw cash from banks and make purchases at a Crisfield store. Police said he stole about $3,000 from six victims in Berlin and Ocean Pines.

Mr. Patel was released on $15,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in District Court Aug. 3.


Day care under fire for claims of abuse

Baltimore County police and state officials are investigating reports of abuse at a Dundalk day care center.

Police said the probe was sparked by reports that workers at the Jack and Jill Day Care Center taped a 4-year-old to a chair and that a child was locked in a dark basement full of mold, dust and rat feces.

Police would not comment on evidence collected so far, but said they think there may be some truth to the story.

The county Department of Social Services and the State Department of Education are also investigating.

The day care center’s owner, Mary Duerr, said the information is coming from a disgruntled employee.

The center remains open, but Miss Duerr said about half of the 27 children enrolled there have dropped out.


Teenager charged in shooting on train

Baltimore police have charged a 17-year-old Cherry Hill resident in the shooting of a light rail train passenger, and they are looking for another suspect.

It happened last week on a train near the Westport station.

Police said Jyreece Simmons and Gary Hayden, 23, attacked a 23-year-old Halethorpe man and a friend on the train. Police said the men were pistol-whipped, and one was shot in the chest.

The Simmons youth was arrested Monday and charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, armed robbery, theft and other offenses.


Drowned man’s body found on Assateague

The body that washed up at Assateague Island over the weekend is a 19-year-old Lanham man swept away while in the surf, Ocean City police said.

Lij-Paul Headley, his brother and his cousin were caught in a rip current near 31st Street on June 17. Authorities said the men did not know how to swim.

A lifeguard rescued Mr. Headley’s brother and cousin but lost sight of Mr. Headley, who was a student at Morgan State University.


Grandmother details smothering attempt

The Easton teen charged with trying to smother his grandmother with a pillow tried it twice, the grandmother said.

Kevron Lamonte Chase, 18, was charged Monday with assault and endangerment after his grandmother, Viola Marie Chase, told police that her grandson said he would kill her and placed a pillow over her face while she was in bed early Monday.

Mrs. Chase said the teen stopped after a few minutes and left the room, but then returned several hours later. Again he covered her face with a pillow but then stopped, she told police.

Mrs. Chase has also accused another grandson, Jaron Tyrell Chase, 24, with stealing $102 from her wallet earlier this month.

“I fear that he may assault me again,” Mrs. Chase said in charging papers.


Lit sparkler in pants burns 9-year-old boy

A 9-year-old boy suffered second-degree burns on his legs after putting a lit sparkler in his pants pocket.

The boy, who was not named, was burned when the sparkler set his pants on fire. He was flown to the Johns Hopkins Burn Center in Baltimore with second-degree burns on his legs as well as minor burns on his hands.


Crash kills girl, injures 3 others

Maryland State Police are still trying to determine the cause of a head-on collision Tuesday afternoon that killed a 5-year-old girl and injured four others.

The crash occurred about 3 p.m. on Route 214, not far from the Prince George’s/Anne Arundel County line.

A car driven by Larry Freeman, 50, of the District, crossed the centerline and struck a minivan driven by Jerry Ruleman, 44, of Edgewater, investigators said.

A 5-year-old girl was taken to the Bowie Health Campus where she died. Her 10-year-old sister is listed in critical condition at Children’s Hospital in the District.

Mr. Freeman, Mr. Ruleman and a passenger who was riding in the front seat of Mr. Ruleman’s minivan were being treated at hospitals.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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