- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2008

MARYLAND

JESSUP

Four killed in crash, including infant girl

Four people, including an infant girl, were killed just before 8 a.m. yesterday in a two-vehicle crash on U.S. Route 1.

The other victims were a man and two women, Howard County police said. A 4-year-old girl survived the crash and was taken to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.

The victims’ identities were not released.

Police said the man driving the Nissan Altima was from out of state and was not related to the passengers. They said they thought the four passengers were related and from Laurel.

The car crashed head-on into a box truck when the driver of the car crossed the center line into the northbound lanes just north of Patuxent Range Road, police said.

The driver of the box truck and a passenger suffered minor injuries.

BLADENSBURG

Two walking to school robbed at gunpoint

Two students were robbed at gunpoint on their way to school yesterday and Bladensburg High School was locked down while police searched for the robber.

The students were walking to school at about 9:30 a.m. when a 17-year-old robbed them, taking an iPhone and other items, police said.

Two Bladensburg officers spotted the teen running away and chased him into a wooded area behind the school. Police called for backup, including a dog and a helicopter, and arrested the teen a short time later. He has been charged with armed robbery.

FROSTBURG

Man awaiting trial sought out hit man

A Frostburg man is charged with offering to pay someone to kill a key witness in his upcoming attempted-murder trial.

David Nadreau, 23, was in jail awaiting trial when he offered someone money to kill the witness, police said. He is charged with solicitation and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, witness intimidation and obstruction of justice.

Police said the intended target is scheduled to testify against Mr. Nadreau on charges stemming from an incident in which several shots were fired into a Frostburg home Jan. 3. Nobody was hurt.

BOONSBORO

I-70 visitor centers to close for remodeling

Two Maryland Welcome Centers along Interstate 70 west of Frederick will close next Wednesday for a reconstruction project.

The rest stops are on opposite sides of the highway near South Mountain.

The project will cost more than $21 million and is expected to be completed in fall 2009.

State Highway Administration spokesman Dave Buck said the rest areas are more than 35 years old and in need of upgrades.

The new buildings are designed to be environmentally friendly, with low-flow bathroom fixtures and geothermal heat pumps. Visitors will have high-speed Internet access.

Playground and pet areas also are planned.

HAGERSTOWN

90,000 acres set for gypsy-moth spraying

Forest pest managers plan to spray a little more than 99,000 acres in Maryland this year to slow the eastward spread of gypsy moth caterpillars.

The acreage is nearly double the approximately 50,000 acres the state Agriculture Department sprayed last year to curb the worst infestation of the leaf-eating worms since 1995. Despite those efforts, more than 45,000 acres were defoliated.

Far western Garrett County again leads the list, with more than 32,000 acres targeted. The other western counties will see an increase, including more than 23,000 acres in Frederick, more than 13,000 in Washington and more than 12,000 in Allegany.

The spraying plan extends across the northern tier of counties and includes parts of Howard, Montgomery, Talbot and Worcester counties.

VIRGINIA

WAYNESBORO

I-64 shooting suspect faces more charges

The 19-year-old suspect in the Interstate 64 shootings last month now faces two more felony charges.

The new charges against Slade Woodson are from the March 27 incident when shots were fired at a house and a credit union building.

Waynesboro police said the new charges came after investigators found another bullet hole in the house.

Mr. Woodson requested a public defender in a hearing Monday. He also is charged with felony counts in Albemarle County on charges he shot five cars traveling on I-64, slightly injuring two people, and an unoccupied Virginia Department of Transportation dump truck.

A 16-year-old also is charged in the case.

FAIRFAX

County will raise property tax rate

Fairfax County is preparing to raise property taxes this year to protect its services and public schools amid declining real estate values and a generally souring economy.

Some economists are predicting greater declines in property values for next year.

The Board of Supervisors tentatively approved a $3.3 billion spending plan for the next fiscal year that raises the property tax rate 3 cents, to 92 cents per $100 of assessed value. It will take final action on the budget Monday.

The county’s property values have declined on average about 3 percent this year.

Also this week, the Arlington County Board approved a new budget that includes a 3 cent increase in the property tax rate.

The board also added a 12.5-cent tax on shopping centers and businesses and new fees for solid waste removal, water service, fire inspections and ambulance services.

FAIRFAX

Officer sentenced for computer use

A Fairfax County police sergeant yesterday was sentenced to two years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to illegally using police computers to check license plate numbers for a friend.

Federal prosecutors said Sgt. Weiss Rasool, 30, used police computers to access information from the FBI’s National Crime Information Center. They said he didn’t know his friend was the target of a federal investigation and that the plates were on surveillance cars used in the probe.

Sgt. Rasool, 30, a seven-year veteran of the police department, also checked his own name and the names of others to determine if they were registered with the Violent Crime and Terrorist Offender File — a category of records maintained within the FBI computer system.

In January, Sgt. Rasool pleaded guilty in Alexandria federal court to one misdemeanor count of unauthorized computer access.

Court records show Sgt. Rasool was caught when federal agents using a wiretap heard his call to the friend, who was later convicted.

Man pleads guilty to groping on plane

A man pleaded guilty to groping a woman on a flight last year from Washington Dulles International Airport to Seattle.

Air marshals said Michael Lamar Holland, 46, of Montoursville, Pa., groped a 39-year-old woman shortly after United Flight 917 took off Dec. 30 from Dulles. The plane was diverted to Pittsburgh, where Mr. Holland was arrested.

His attorney has said Mr. Holland recently had changed his seizure medications, has a history of blackouts and doesn’t remember groping the woman.

Mr. Holland was living in Kent, Wash., when he was arrested. He pleaded guilty Monday to engaging in abusive sexual contact while on an airplane. He is scheduled to be sentenced July 24.

NEWPORT NEWS

Winter dredging for crabs shut down

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted yesterday to shut down winter dredging for crabs in the Chesapeake Bay.

The commission also approved other measures intended to help meet Gov. Tim Kaine’s goal of reducing the female crab harvest by 34 percent.

Dredgers drag large, rakelike devices across the bottom in winter to catch hibernating, pregnant female crabs. As both the dredging industry and crab population dwindled in recent years, state regulators said shutting down the practice is a harsh but necessary step.

More than 150 workers and 50 boats were employed by the industry.

The commission also voted to reduce peeler pots and hard pots, close the fall season about a month earlier than usual, and add two cull rings allowing smaller crabs to escape from pots.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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