- The Washington Times - Friday, March 9, 2007



Ex-Academy professor, wife die in house fire

The two persons killed in a house fire Thursday night were a retired Naval Academy professor and his wife.

Authorities said Reuben Alley, 88, was found by firefighters dead inside his home.

The Naval Academy said Mr. Allen was professor emeritus of electrical engineering.

Mr. Alley’s wife was found on the front lawn with extensive burns. She was taken to the burn unit at Johns Hopkins Bayview, where she died yesterday morning.

The academy said Mr. Alley retired in 1993 after 28 years of service, and he maintained close ties with the academy after his retirement.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. Damage to the home is estimated at $500,000.


Man admits bribing Walter Reed official

A Rockville man has pleaded guilty to bribery conspiracy charges in connection with a plot to steer contracts at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to his companies.

According to federal court records, Leon Krachyna admitted conspiring with an associate to bribe a civilian contract specialist.

Federal prosecutors said that between June of 1999 and March of 2002, Krachyna and his associate were awarded more than $1 million in contracts for services provided at Walter Reed facilities.

The contracts were for landscaping services and the transportation of furniture and hospital records.

Krachyna admitted paying a public official between $10,000 and $30,000 in return for confidential bidding information and other assistance designed to steer business to his companies.

Krachyna could face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced.


Police make arrest in man’s slaying

Anne Arundel County police have arrested a man wanted in a slaying earlier this week.

Police said Daniel Lawson, 20, was arrested yesterday morning at an undisclosed location in Glen Burnie.

He is charged with first- and second-degree murder.

Mr. Lawson is accused of killing James Fabian, 36, about 2 a.m. Tuesday at a home on Nann Avenue near Brooklyn Park. Police said they found Mr. Fabian dead inside after an assault and home invasion.

The investigation is continuing.


Teen pleads guilty to killing elderly woman

A 15-year-old Baltimore resident pleaded guilty yesterday to killing an elderly woman last year, prosecutors said.

Devon Richardson made the plea in Baltimore Circuit Court, prosecutors said. He was charged with second-degree murder.

Court testimony showed Devon was not in school Sept. 26, when Janice Letmate, 67, was fatally shot with a rifle while walking home.

She was shot once in the head, and witnesses connected Devon to the shooting.

He will be sentenced in May.


State seeks to curb racy Web sites at work

Two state agencies plan Internet training for employees after an audit showed some workers routinely look at racy Web sites during work.

An audit released to lawmakers Thursday showed that more than 20 employees at the Maryland Aviation Administration and Maryland Transportation Authority used state-owned computers in “hundreds of instances” to look at adult-themed Web sites.

The General Assembly’s investigators said the audit was done after a tip on a fraud hot line. No employees were mentioned by name in the audit.

The aviation administration operates Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and Martin State Airport. The Transportation Authority runs toll facilities.

The audit excluded workers who viewed an adult site only once, assuming it could have happened accidentally.

Also, the report noted, “the number of employees and occurrences is understated” because no instances were documented unless the computer files identified a specific employee. There were hundreds of such incidents.

The audit was of a 31-day period between September and December.


Reservoir pumped to avert dam break

Workers averted the threat of a dam break in the town of Oakland yesterday by powering up two giant pumps to lower the water level in the reservoir.

The leased pumps, trucked in from Pittsburgh and placed by a National Guard helicopter, were switched on yesterday afternoon as the air temperature climbed to near 40 degrees — the start of a thaw that officials had feared could overwhelm the clogged dam with snow runoff.

A dam failure would have prompted evacuation of about 25 homes in the town of 1,900 and flooded the basements of some businesses along Route 219, officials said.



University rescinds invitation to speaker

George Mason University has rescinded an invitation to an Ohio professor who wanted to speak on his article calling for war with Iran.

John Lewis said the speech could be rescheduled.

Mr. Lewis teaches history at Ashland University. He was invited to speak in conjunction with an article he wrote in December titled “No Substitute for Victory: The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism.”

In the article, Mr. Lewis calls for war against the Islamic government in Iran and “immediate, personal destruction” of Muslim clerics and intellectuals who advocate the formation or support of an Islamic state.

The invitation was pulled after the school received complaints from Muslim students and it was discovered that the charter of the club that invited him had lapsed.

Mr. Lewis said the speech has been tentatively rescheduled for April, with the university’s College Republicans club as a new sponsor.

But a university spokesman said the school had received no notice of the club’s invitation.


Ailing man confesses to 38-year-old slaying

A Prince William grand jury indicted a former Army sergeant this week for a 38-year-old slaying he confessed to because he felt “his days are number(ed).”

Donald Brew, 62, is being held at the Prince William-Manassas regional jail.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert said Brew confessed to the 1969 slaying of Patricia Adams of Prince George’s County.

He told authorities that in 1969 he drove Miss Adams, a 28-year-old woman whom he had befriended, to Prince William Forest Park and shot her.

Mr. Ebert said police at the time suspected Brew, but could never tie him to the crime.

Brew now told authorities he is sick and won’t live long. He confessed that he killed Miss Adams shortly after she testified against him before a federal grand jury in another case.


Marine admits to fatally hitting tot

A Marine charged with killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter while baby-sitting her Sunday has admitted fatally hitting the child.

Lance Cpl. Christopher Nadeau, 19, of South Carolina, is charged with first-degree murder, felony child abuse and causing a child to be injured.

Court records show Nadeau first told police that the child had injured herself by falling out of a bed.

He reportedly told police he heard a thud, then found the child on the floor with vomit in her mouth and no heartbeat.

Later, Nadeau confessed to police that the child might have hit her head on the toy box when he struck her with the palm of his hand.

Police have not identified the child.

Nadeau is being held without bond in the Rappahannock Regional Jail.


Center dedicated to Civil War ironclad

A $30 million center dedicated to the USS Monitor opened yesterday, exactly 145 years after the iconic Union ship fought the Confederate ship Virginia to a tactical draw in the first clash of ironclads.

The USS Monitor Center houses more than 1,200 artifacts from the wreckage of the Civil War ship. It also includes an interactive exhibition on both armored vessels, plus a high-definition theater with seats that swivel so viewers can turn 360 degrees around to experience the battle through digital paintings, lights and sounds.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, who took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, said the center, a new wing of the Mariners’ Museum, embodies the Old Testament expression “beating a sword into a plowshare.”

A ship built as a weapon of war, he said, now is “the centerpiece of an educational museum in a reunited nation not at war with itself.”


Wildfire danger contained for now

The danger from wildfires in southwest Virginia has been reduced, at least for now, forestry officials said.

Department of Forestry spokesman John Campbell said firefighters contained a fire that burned more than 1,000 acres in Lee County this week.

He said yesterday morning that crews are doing mop-up work at the site near Blackwater.

Mr. Campbell said winds in southwestern Virginia had died down, and forestry officials hope that rain forecast this weekend will dampen dry leaves and tree limbs in the forests.

But Mr. Campbell said the state is in the severest part of the forest fire season, which started earlier than usual this year.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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