- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 20, 2008



One dies in crash involving school bus

One person was killed yesterday when a truck and van collided on Route 301, tumbled over a guardrail and slammed into a school bus.

Prince George’s County fire department spokesman Mark Brady, citing witness accounts, said the box truck and large van were traveling northbound about 1:30 p.m. when the vehicles collided.

He said the school bus, which was not carrying students, was struck by at least one of the vehicles in the southbound lanes. The driver suffered minor injuries.

One of two persons in the van died at the scene, Mr. Brady said. Another man in the van and the driver of the truck were taken to hospitals with injuries described as not life-threatening.


Man, 30, charged as fake firefighter

Authorities charged a Stevensville man with impersonating a firefighter and with reckless endangerment.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office said the charges stem from an investigation with the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office that began in September and ended with a raid Friday at the home of Christopher Hatch.

Investigators said Mr. Hatch, 30, went to a house fire in September dressed in turnout gear and told the occupants he was a firefighter and was there to conduct an investigation. He also is accused of going to an accident scene on the Bay Bridge and administering medical care to an injured woman.

Investigators said Mr. Hatch has no medical training and is not affiliated with any fire or rescue company.



Board OKs spending on illegals crackdown

Prince William County supervisors voted to spend nearly all of the county’s contingency reserve fund to pay for a crackdown on illegal aliens.

The Board of County Supervisors voted unanimously yesterday to spend $800,000 from the cash-strapped county’s reserve fund to pay for the efforts. That leaves less than $3,400 in the fund for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends in June.

The county already has given $325,000 to the police department for the initiative.

The new policies require police to check the immigration status of anyone who is detained if the officer has probable cause to think the person is in the country illegally. It also makes illegal aliens ineligible for certain county services, such as housing assistance and business licenses.

Hikers found safe on N.H. mountain

Two Arlington men missing in New Hampshire’s White Mountains since Sunday were found yesterday, alive and well.

“Other than being cold, wet and tired, they seem to be in good shape,” said Col. Jeffrey M. Gray of the state Fish and Game Department.

A National Guard helicopter crew saw Alex Obert, 30, and Steven McCay, 29, at about 10 a.m. on the south side of Mount Washington.

“They were actually up and in good shape, actively hiking out,” Col. Gray said.

The helicopter crew hoisted the men to safety. They were flown to the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center in Crawford Notch, where they were reunited with loved ones.

The men were seen Sunday as they hiked along the Presidential Range, which is covered in deep snow and was blasted by torrential rain overnight Sunday and into Monday.


Museum archivist charged with theft

A former Mariners’ Museum archivist was in federal court yesterday on charges that he stole museum pieces and sold up to 1,400 of them on EBay — including documents from a mother and son who survived the 1912 sinking of the Titanic.

Lester F. Weber, 46, and his wife, Lori Childs, 49, were indicted last week on charges of theft from an organization receiving federal funds, mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and filing false tax returns.

Prosecutors said the couple took items from the museum from 2002 to late 2006.


Pollard wins election for state House seat

Albert C. Pollard Jr. won back his House of Delegates seat in a special election yesterday.

Mr. Pollard, a Democrat from Lancaster County, won 63 percent of the vote over Republican Lee Anne Washington for the seat vacated by Republican Robert J. Wittman with his election to Congress in December. Mr. Wittman won the Northern Neck seat of Rep. Jo Ann Davis, who died in October.

The state planned to certify the election today so Mr. Pollard can be sworn in and participate in the last weeks of the legislative session, scheduled to end March 8.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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