- The Washington Times - Friday, September 28, 2007


Fenty releases EMS recommendations

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty yesterday officially released the findings of a task force created to recommend reforms for the District’s Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

The 13-member task force was created as part of a settlement with the city by the family of slain New York Times journalist David E. Rosenbaum.

The panel recommended that the city address the pay disparity between the fire department and emergency workers, who work together on emergency calls. One recommendation is to integrate the whole department as an all-hazards agency. That means all personnel would be required to have minimum qualifications in basic emergency medical care and other fire-related skills.

The task force also recommended restructuring the agency to strengthen and elevate the emergency medical services portion.

Mr. Rosenbaum was attacked and killed when he went for a walk in his Northwest neighborhood in January 2006. A scathing report found that emergency and hospital workers bungled his care.

Warrant issued for no-show Sheehan

A bench warrant was issued yesterday for antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, who did not appear for arraignment in D.C. Superior Court to face charges related to her Sept. 10 disorderly conduct arrest on Capitol Hill, FoxNews.com reported.

Judge Michael McCarthy issued the order to Mrs. Sheehan at about noon, a court spokeswoman said. The warrant states Mrs. Sheehan is to be arrested and brought before the court. She also faces one count of unlawful assembly.

A spokeswoman for Mrs. Sheehan said that she was unaware there was a court appearance scheduled for yesterday and that the matter would be resolved immediately.

The spokeswoman also said Mrs. Sheehan was home in California and did not receive the paperwork notifying her of the court date.

FoxNews.com said it has a court document dated Sept. 10 and signed by Mrs. Sheehan advising her to appear yesterday at 8:30 a.m. The warrant sets a $50 bond for her arrest. Mrs. Sheehan was arrested Sept. 10 during a House hearing on the Iraq war.



Sex offender gets 50 years for killing boy

A convicted child sex offender was sentenced to 50 years in prison after he pleaded guilty yesterday to first-degree murder for the fatal stabbing of an 11-year-old boy.

Melvin Jones, 53, had befriended Irvin Harris’ family, and Irvin’s mother, Shanda Harris, knowingly allowed Jones to care for her children.

Miss Harris pleaded guilty earlier this month to reckless endangerment but was spared prison time because prosecutors agreed to a plea bargain with an eight-year suspended sentence.

Prosecutors say it is unlikely that Jones will ever be released from prison.

Jones did not speak at the hearing. He admitted killing Irvin in July 2006 and leaving his body behind a church near the Harris family’s home in Northeast Baltimore. An autopsy report said Irvin was stabbed 14 times in the chest.

After the killing, Miss Harris said she learned about a year earlier from her drug-treatment counselors that Jones was a registered sex offender. When she confronted Jones, he told her the convictions stemmed from consensual touching and that he had not served any jail time, the mother said at the time.


Bikes vs. locomotive race postponed

Safety concerns have forced postponement of a race between bicyclists and a steam locomotive in the Western Maryland mountains.

Organizer Larry Brock of LaVale said the race, tentatively set for Oct. 13, will be held next spring if his bike club and the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad can resolve safety and insurance issues.

Six to eight bicyclists had planned to race the train along a section of the Allegheny Highlands Trail that parallels the railroad tracks for 16 miles from Cumberland to Frostburg.

Allegany County officials said they lack the staff for such an event and that the trail would likely be crowded with users during the midday contest.


Stolen boat found missing its parts

The thieves who stole a boat from an Eastport dealership and sought ransom from the owner have since abandoned the boat in Baltimore.

The 17-foot Boston Whaler was found in a Baltimore harbor, stripped of the engine, controls, sun screen and cooler, Annapolis police Officer Kevin Freeman said.

The thieves left a note at the dealership saying they wanted $3,000 in ransom from owner Bart Hiltabidle to get the boat back, police said.

Mr. Hiltabidle said thieves came back the next day and tried to steal a 15-foot boat. They carved “last chance” into the front door.

Since then, he said he increased security at his store and added more locks.


Woman gets 31/2 years for role in carjacking

A Frederick County judge sentenced a North Carolina woman to 3½ years in prison for her role in a three-state carjacking spree that killed one person and injured two others, including a Frederick woman.

Tahishei Lakeba Harrison, 29, of Hope Mills, N.C., previously was sentenced to 10 years in Virginia, where a man was fatally shot. She will serve that time first.

Harrison testified against Michael Jerome Philon Jr., 28, of Fayetteville, N.C., who has pleaded guilty to attacking Lisa Chuvalas in April 2004 when she arrived for work at the J.C. Penney store at Francis Scott Key Mall. Harrison was sitting in the back seat of a car as Philon grabbed Miss Chuvalas. She freed herself from Philon’s grip and ran screaming.

Philon was sentenced to seven years, which he will serve after he finishes a 10-year Virginia sentence.

The car belonging to the man killed in Virginia was found parked just a few spaces from where Miss Chuvalas was attacked. Another driver in North Carolina also was shot but survived.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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