- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 13, 2008


City preparing for inaugural parade

D.C. officials are trying to improve the streets in time for the presidential inaugural parade in January.

Crews will fix streets, clean sidewalks and repair lights along the parade route on Pennsylvania and Independence avenues, said a District Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

In addition, workers will put down new crosswalks and striping. They’ll also clean and paint 133 streetlight poles and 112 traffic-signal poles.

Plans call for $2 million repair project to run through October, before temperatures drop.



Alcohol test eyed in bridge crash

Investigators are awaiting results from blood tests intended to determine whether the driver of a car was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during a fatal weekend accident involving a truck that plunged off the Bay Bridge, state police said Tuesday.

Laboratory results are expected in about a week, said Marcus Brown, chief of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police.

Mr. Brown did not confirm reports that the driver of a car involved in Sunday’s accident had said she had fallen asleep. When asked about the report, Mr. Brown said only that “she has given us statements that are similar to what she told reporters.”

Truck driver John Short, 57, of Willard, was killed early Sunday when his tractor-trailer plunged into shallow water. Two other people were seriously injured in the accident, police said.


Homicide suspect still at-large

Charles County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for an Oxon Hill man charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of a Waldorf man.

Deputies went to the 3000 block of Heathcote Road in Waldorf about 11 p.m. Monday, where officers found Joseph Burgess, 21, dead with a gunshot wound to his upper body.

He was outside a house with a group of friends when James Ford, 20, pistol-whipped one man and shot Mr. Burgess, police said. The shooting occurred after an argument tied to events that occurred earlier Monday.

Mr. Ford fled and is still at large, police said. He is charged with first- and second-degree murder and assault offenses.


Truck hits house, kills woman

Baltimore County police are questioning a man after a stolen pickup truck struck a house in Hereford, killing a woman who was sleeping in a first-floor bedroom.

The crash happened about 5 a.m. Tuesday, police spokesman Cpl. Michael Hill said.

The woman, 46, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her daughters, ages 14 and 16, were on the second floor and not hurt, Cpl. Hill said.

The truck was unoccupied when police arrived, but officers later found a man with minor injuries thought to have been an occupant, Cpl. Hill said. Police do not know whether he was the driver or a passenger, but he is being questioned, Cpl. Hill said.

The truck contained purses possibly taken during recent vehicle break-ins in the area, he said.


Judge denies claim in monoxide case

A federal judge has effectively dismissed a liability claim against a defendant in a lawsuit filed after the carbon-monoxide deaths of two tourists at an Ocean City motel.

U.S. District Court Judge William Nickerson granted summary judgment to R.E. Michel Co. on the strict liability complaint.

The company sold a water heater that leaked the gas. The business is still accused of negligence and breach of warranty, according to court documents.

The lawsuit brought by Yvonne Boughter also names as defendants the motel owner, the manufacturer of the water heater and the plumber who installed it.

Mrs. Boughter, husband Patrick, and daughters Kelly and Morgan, were staying at the Days Inn Hotel at 23rd Street in June 2006 when Patrick and Kelly were killed in their room by the poisonous gas.


Man charged in multiple arsons

A Jefferson man is charged with arson after police connected him to a 1997 fire.

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Department on Monday arrested Wayne Duncan, 28, who police say set four fires. He is charged with arson, attempted arson, burglary and reckless endangerment.

Mr. Duncan set a Brunswick home on fire on Sept. 3, 1997, police said. More than 10 years later, he started a July 26 fire at a business in the 3900 block of Jefferson Pike in Jefferson, police said. The total damage was estimated at $750,000.

Six days later, Mr. Duncan started a fire at a barn in the same block, and he returned four days later, on Aug. 5, to set a nearby home on fire, police said.

Four people escaped that blaze.



Virginia voters getting younger

Virginia’s pool of registered voters is getting younger.

According to the State Board of Elections, about 64 percent of the more than 200,000 new voters who have registered since January are younger than 35.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama has been widely credited with drawing more young voters into politics. But exactly what that means for Mr. Obama’s chances in Virginia is unclear. Virginia hasn’t backed a Democrat for president since 1964, and both Democrats and Republicans are conducting voter-registration drives in the state.


Teens charged in bank robbery

Two teenagers have been arrested and charged with an armed bank robbery in Prince William County.

Police say the two boys, 16, used a gun to demand cash at a United Bank branch in Triangle and rode off on a black motor scooter. Officers tried to stop the suspects, but they didn’t stop.

Police chased the suspects into a school parking lot and then on foot before they were arrested.

No one was injured in the incident.


Safety programs get $13.5 million

Some Virginia programs are receiving more than $13.5 million in federal grants to support traffic safety.

Gov. Tim Kaine, Democrat, says the federal grants are being awarded to local, nonprofit and state organizations that strive to reduce the number of traffic deaths and injuries in Virginia.

A majority of the money is being awarded to localities throughout the state, but nonprofit and state agencies are also receiving grants.

The programs range from increasing safety-belt and child-safety-seat usage, deterring impaired and aggressive driving, and promoting awareness of risks for teen and senior drivers.

Funds are being administered by the Virginia Highway Safety Office of the Department of Motor Vehicles.


Eagle, baby bobcat going to nature park

An eagle and a baby bobcat that can’t be released into the wild are getting a new home.

The Wildlife Center of Virginia said Tuesday that it plans to transfer the pair to the Maymont Nature Park in Richmond on Wednesday.

The eagle will be housed at Maymont’s new bald eagle exhibit, which is to open Sept. 13.

One of the eagle’s wings was amputated after it was found in December near a roadside garbage collection site in King and Queen County.

The bobcat can’t be released because it lived with humans for three weeks before it was brought the center in June. The wildlife center says a Bath County couple who found the bobcat along a road initially thought it was a domestic kitten and kept it in their home.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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