- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 19, 2008



SUV crashes at bridge toll booth

Three persons were injured yesterday in a crash at the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza, Maryland Transportation Authority Police said.

A sport utility vehicle struck a concrete buffer between toll booths about 10 a.m., became airborne and rolled onto a car in the same lane, police said.

Firefighters needed 10 minutes to free the trapped driver of the SUV. The 31-year-old man and two other persons were taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Five lanes at the toll were closed for about an hour while the accident was being cleared.


Cocaine seized in historic amount

Two Salisbury, Pa., residents face drug charges after what authorities characterized as the largest seizure of cocaine powder in Garrett County history.

The Garrett County Narcotics Task Force said the arrests of Brian Brown, 44, and Nancy Reed came after a raid Sunday evening at an unidentified Grantsville motel. Complaints about suspicious activity prompted the raid.

Investigators seized a large bag of powder cocaine with a street value estimated at $30,000, some crack cocaine, marijuana, a car and more than $4,000 cash.

Mr. Brown and Miss Reed face charges that include possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a common nuisance.


University works on China partnership

Frostburg State University is looking to expand its new partnership with a teaching university in China.

The interim director of FSU’s Center of International Education, geography professor Hank Bullamore, said Frostburg wants to be a leader in global education. The goal is to prepare students for work in a global society.

Faculty and staff members traveled to China last year to discuss faculty and student exchange programs with Hunan Normal University.

Several FSU education students traveled to China last month, and the university choir is scheduled to perform next month in Beijing and Hunan Province.

Vice Provost John Bowman hopes that degree-seeking students from China will enroll at FSU.


Snowmobiles sink, injuring two riders

Two snowmobilers were injured when their sleds hit open water and sank, the Maryland Natural Resources Police said.

Four snowmobiles with eight occupants were traveling near the Route 219 Bridge on Deep Creek Lake at 12:10 a.m. Sunday. A sled occupied by Matthew J. Laster, 26, and Anchi Pho, 27, both of Atlanta, sank in 35 feet of water, Cpl. Ken Turner of the DNR police said. Another snowmobile ridden by Brian M. Haskell, 17, of Baltimore, and Alisha A. Laster, 17, of The Woodlands, Texas, also sank near the same spot.

John M. Lancelotta, 40, of Westminster, who also was riding a snowmobile, was trying to help the people in the water when his sled sank.

Mr. Lancelotta and Miss Pho were taken to Garrett County Memorial Hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening, Cpl. Turner said.

Harford escapee AWOL in Tennessee

An inmate at a Nashville, Tenn., jail who escaped a year ago from a Maryland jail has gone missing, but authorities think he is hiding in the facility.

Terrell Watson, 33, was not in his cell at Metro Detention Facility when jailers checked on him early Sunday morning.

Watson, also known as Terrance Washington, came to Tennessee after escaping in January 2007 from the Harford County, Md., jail.

Watson faked an injury and then ran from officers when he was taken to a hospital, said Lt. Jim Eyler with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.

“He’s definitely an escape artist,” Lt. Eyler said.

He was arrested in April at a motel with a stolen rental truck. He was being held at the Tennessee jail on a parole violation from his original auto-theft charge.


Two shot, 1 dies at club near stadium

One man was killed and another person was injured in a shooting early yesterday near M&T; Bank Stadium, police said.

The incident occurred about 2:40 a.m. in a parking lot outside the Paradox Nightclub.

Police did not identify the man who died. The other victim was taken to Bayview Medical Center for treatment.

Police said a group of people had left the nightclub and gathered in a nearby parking lot. There was a dispute, and “a crowd gathered and things escalated,” said Detective Donny Moses, a police spokesman. He said police had no suspects in the shootings.


Deputy used Taser at high school game

The Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy has been reassigned to internal duties while authorities investigate reports that he fired a Taser at a Kent Island High School basketball player after being told twice by a senior officer not to fire.

The stun gun was used on sophomore Brandon Bennett after an altercation with another student that followed a game Wednesday. Brandon’s father, Julius Bennett, said deputies providing security at the game already had separated the boys when Deputy Anthony Lenzi approached Brandon with his Taser drawn.

The father said Sgt. Mathew Kempel twice ordered Deputy Lenzi to holster the weapon, but he fired anyway, hitting the teen in the chest. The father said Sgt. Kempel restated in front of witnesses that he twice told Deputy Lenzi not to fire.



Campus graffiti attacks W&M; board

Scathing messages of vandalism directed at the College of William & Mary’s Board of Visitors were found spray-painted on several campus buildings.

Police are investigating at least nine confirmed instances of graffiti reported Saturday.

The messages covered buildings, including a door to the historic Wren Building, and appeared to be made with a stencil.

One message decried, “No more board of dictators!”

Officials said police have not determined whether students were responsible, but anyone involved could face criminal charges.

Last week, hundreds of students and faculty spent days protesting Gene S. Nichol’s resignation as president after his contract wasn’t renewed by the school’s governing board.


Officer shot in leg while firing at fox

A suburban Richmond police officer was shot in the leg while trying to capture a rabid fox.

Police said two Henrico County officers were looking for the animal Sunday after a resident reported being attacked by a fox. When they encountered the fox, it attacked one of the officers.

Officials said both officers fired their weapons, killing the fox and striking one officer in the leg. It is not clear whether the round that hit the officer was shot from his own gun or the other officer’s weapon.

The injured officer was taken to VCU Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening. The fox tested positive for rabies.


Officer charged with DUI after crash

A Roanoke police officer was charged with driving under the influence after totaling a police cruiser in Pulaski County, Virginia State Police said.

Officer Andrew Page hit a guardrail on northbound Interstate 81 on Saturday night. The wreck totaled the 2005 Ford Crown Victoria he was driving; it was a marked Roanoke police car, police said.

Court documents say a Breathalyzer test showed Officer Page’s blood alcohol content to be double the legal limit. Officer Page, who was in plain clothes, was injured slightly.

Roanoke police said Officer Page has been suspended and that the department is conducting an internal investigation of the incident.


Rail improvements aim to ease I-81 flow

State and railroad officials say improvements to a rail bottleneck in western Virginia will help cut truck traffic on Interstate 81.

Crews are beginning work on the project between Manassas and Front Royal, an area of freight-train congestion.

The state will spend $40 million and Norfolk Southern $17 million for new track and signal equipment.

Norfolk Southern spokesman Robin Chapman said that when the work is done later this year, it will allow longer and more frequent north-south trains and haul more goods to and from Norfolk’s ports.

State highway analysts predict that the work will cut 597,000 truck trips from Virginia highways over the next 15 years.

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation said a study on potential rail projects is expected to help officials determine what further improvements will do the most good.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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