- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 25, 2007


Three killed in fiery car crash

The multivehicle crash that occurred late Friday night in the 3300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast was caused by a Ford Mustang speeding eastbound that crossed into the westbound lanes, the Metropolitan Police Department said yesterday.

The Mustang hit a 1991 Toyota Camry and a 2003 Mercury Marquis taxi that were traveling west. The two occupants of the Mustang and the driver of the Toyota were killed.

The driver of the Mustang was identified as Jermard Rogers, 39, of Southeast. The passenger was identified as a 39-year-old male with no fixed address, until his family is notified. The Toyota driver was identified as Richard Watts, 44, of Northeast.

Nearby neighbors heard the crash, near Texas Avenue Southeast, and tried to help the trapped motorists but the cars were quickly engulfed in flames. The cab driver, John Tivade, 57, of Silver Spring, was rescued but severely burned.



Smoking ban clears another hurdle

A statewide smoking ban moved closer to enactment yesterday when House lawmakers gave final approval.

The House voted 98-40 to end smoking in Maryland bars and restaurants. The bill allows bars to seek an exemption if they can prove their business suffers because of the ban, which would take effect in January.

The Senate is expected to give final passage to the ban tomorrow, and Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, plans to sign it into law. The only remaining hurdle is for lawmakers to agree on whether to exempt private nonprofit clubs such as the American Legion.


House passes bill to clean Bay

House lawmakers yesterday approved a bill that would create a development fee to help restore the Chesapeake Bay.

However, the fee is less than originally proposed by environmental groups.

The bill starts a so-called “Green Fund” charge on new development in Maryland to pay for efforts to reduce nitrogen and other pollution in the Bay.

The bill passed 96-41 and goes to the Senate.

Most of the money would go to the state Department of Agriculture for environment-friendly programs such as one that pays farmers to plant winter cover crops to reduce pollution. Some of the remaining money would go to the state’s Department of Planning to help steer growth and the Maryland Department of the Environment.


Police van collides with car; 3 hurt

A police van carrying 13 officers collided with a car early yesterday, according to the Baltimore Police Department.

The force of the collision overturned the police van. A department spokesman said one officer and two of the car’s passengers were taken to Mercy Hospital with minor injuries.

The accident occurred at about 12:10 a.m. at the intersection of Caroline and Monument streets.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.


Three killed in plane crash

Baltimore County police say three men from Joppa were killed when a single-engine plane crashed yesterday morning.

They were identified as 45-year-old Theodore Ryder, 48-year-old Paul Sorensen and 48-year-old Timothy Connor. Police said Mr. Ryder was the pilot.

A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman said the Piper Saratoga PA-32 single-engine plane took off from Harford County Airport in Churchville and was on its way to Abingdon, Va. The plane crashed shortly after takeoff between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

Investigators from the NTSB, the Federal Aviation Administration, Piper and Lycoming — the maker of the plane’s engine — arrived on the scene near Green Tree Drive and Country Club Lane in northern Baltimore County.

The plane crashed about 75 feet from a home, which was not occupied, near the Hillendale Country Club golf course. It has not been determined whether the pilot was trying to land at the course.



Taxpayers can help two cancer centers

State income-tax returns for last year will allow Virginians to support cancer research.

Filers can make voluntary contributions from their refund checks or include an extra amount if they are paying taxes to support research at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center and the University of Virginia Cancer Center.

The centers have earned special designation from the federal National Cancer Institute based on the quality of their research programs. Sixty centers nationwide have been awarded the designation.

Delegate Franklin P. Hall, Richmond Democrat, led the effort to encourage the donations, which will be shared equally by the two cancer centers. The due date for Virginia income-tax returns is May 1.


City selected for pilot DWI identity program

A nonprofit group has selected Harrisonburg as the first test city in what could be a national training program to identify intoxicated patrons and help keep them off the road.

The Foundation for Alcohol Responsibility (FAR) group hopes to reduce underage drinking and drunken-driving charges through cooperation with police, bars and university administrators.

During the first year, FAR will give as much as $100,000 in training and education materials to city restaurants. Six restaurants are participating so far, the group’s president said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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