- The Washington Times - Monday, March 26, 2007


Circulator begins service extension trial

The D.C. Circulator bus will extend its east-west route to add the Georgetown Metro Connection to Foggy Bottom today.

The Georgetown Metro Connection, known as the “blue bus,” was launched five years ago by the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID), to link Georgetown to the three closest Metro stations — Foggy Bottom, Dupont Circle and Rosslyn.

The District Department of Transportation with the Georgetown BID will conduct a six-month trial to extend the Circulator’s route.

Also the Circulator’s Smithsonian/National Gallery of Art route will resume service seven days a week today as part of its seasonal change. The Smithsonian/National Gallery of Art loop will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.



Resident dies after fire rescue

A 48-year-old man rescued from a house fire yesterday morning by Prince George’s County firefighters died shortly after arriving at a hospital.

A county spokesman said the fire started at about 10 a.m. in the 5200 block of Wheeler Road in the Oxon Hill area. Firefighters found heavy fire in the basement of the home. Family members who had escaped told the firefighters that there was still a man inside the home.

Firefighters extinguished the fire and found the man unconscious and not breathing. Paramedics took him to Southeast Community Hospital in the District. The man had burns and smoke inhalation and received CPR on the way. His name is being withheld pending notification of his family. Investigators are still trying to determine the cause and origin of the fire.


Victims identified in plane crash

Investigators have released the names of the men killed Saturday morning in a small-plane crash in northern Baltimore County.

The men are identified as Theodore C. Ryder, 45; Paul E. Sorensen, 48; and Timothy H. Connor, 48, all from Joppa, Md. Police said Mr. Ryder was the pilot.

Family told the Baltimore Sun that the men were neighbors and planned to attend a NASCAR race in Bristol, Tenn.

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) spokesman says 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 at about 9:15 a.m.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration and engine-maker Piper and Lycoming were on the scene of the crash, near the Hillendale Country Club golf course.

Investigators said the plane crashed in a wooded area about 75 feet from an unoccupied home, but they do not know whether the pilot was trying to land at the course.

The plane didn’t appear to break up in flight, nor did an in-flight fire occur, an NTSB official said.

The weather on Saturday was foggy and rainy. However, an instrument flight plan was filed for the flight, meaning the pilot would depend on instruments for navigation, the NTSB official also said.



Options ‘wide open’ for Fort Monroe

Virginia officials say a new state authority that will decide the fate of Fort Monroe could begin meeting as early as next month.

The Army will vacate the historic waterfront fort in 2011.

Marc Follmer, deputy assistant for the Office of Commonwealth Preparedness, said at a town hall meeting Saturday that the options for the base’s future use remain “wide open.” Mr. Follmer also said Gov. Timothy M. Kaine is committed to a solution that will provide a lot of public space.

Mr. Kaine, a Democrat, signed legislation Friday that created a new authority to study reuse options for the fort. The board will be staffed by seven appointments from Hampton, four state legislators, five members of the governor’s Cabinet and two gubernatorial appointments. The Army says it costs about $15 million a year to maintain the moated fort and its buildings.


Tech students help Kenyan village

Virginia Tech engineering students are combining academic knowledge and the sun’s power to bring a healthier future to an African village.

Nine Tech seniors have designed a system that will use solar panels to channel sunlight into electricity powering a clinic in south-western Kenya. The project is focused on the village of Getongoroma and its clinic.

The village is about an hour from the nearest town with a power grid. Right now, the clinic treats malaria, AIDS, parasitic infections and dengue fever by the glow of a few solar-powered light bulbs.

The Tech students have designed a system to provide about 24 kilowatt hours of solar energy to the clinic each day. The average U.S. household uses about 30 kilowatt hours a day.

Solar panels would absorb sunlight during the day and convert it into electricity stored in batteries and, later, distributed through a breaker box.

For now, the students are still raising money for the project. They need about $120,000 to build and ship the equipment to Kenya.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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