- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 5, 2008


Abandoned baby in good health

An abandoned baby boy found on a doorstep in Prince George’s County was taken to Children’s Hospital and pronounced healthy.

A Prince George’s police spokesman said the newborn was found Thursday evening near the front door of a home in Hyattsville and appeared to be six to eight weeks premature.

If police can’t find the boy’s mother or relatives, he will be turned over to Child Protective Services.

Senators again seek funding for Metro

With a fare increase looming, U.S. senators from Maryland and Virginia are renewing their call to give Metro dedicated federal funding.

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, Maryland Democrat, said the federal government has a responsibility to support the aging transit system since its employees make up nearly half of all rush-hour riders.

Mr. Cardin; Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland Democrat; and Sen. Jim Webb, Virginia Democrat, are urging the Senate to take up legislation introduced last year that would provide Metro with $1.5 billion over 10 years if the District, Maryland and Virginia match the money.

The senators said Maryland and Virginia commuters will be the hardest hit by the fare increase, which takes effect tomorrow.



Home detention in bus beating

A Baltimore judge yesterday ordered nine teens charged with beating a woman aboard a bus to stay in their homes.

The judge agreed with prosecutors who said the middle school students should not be allowed to leave their homes before their Jan. 31 trial. Prosecutors said the teens would be dangerous if allowed out in public.

But one of the defense attorneys representing the teens said that’s simply not the case. He said his client — a 14-year-old girl — has never been in trouble with police or at her school.

The teenagers are charged with attacking Sarah Kreager, her boyfriend and a bus driver last month.

Charges were dropped this week against Miss Kreager, who had been accused of provoking the attack by spitting on one of the teens.


Judge sentences gang member

An MS-13 gang member who shot a man in the neck during a robbery in 2005 has been sentenced to more than five years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Deborah Chasanow yesterday sentenced William Mendez, 21, to 66 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Mendez made a plea agreement in the case.

According to the agreement, Mendez and two other gang members knocked on a Gaithersburg apartment door in December 2005, showed a gun and announced a robbery. When one of the residents said he didn’t think the gun was real, Mendez shot the man in the neck.

The thieves stole $3,000 in money, jewelry and cell phones.


Aid program targets mentally ill

State health officials are planning to offer courses for those interested in providing aid to people in distress because of mental illness.

Maryland will become the first state in the nation to offer training in Mental Health First Aid, a program developed by the University of Melbourne in Australia.

The training stems from the belief that anybody can be trained to help those suffering from mental illness. For example, participants are taught how to distinguish a panic attack from a heart attack.

Officials with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said a professor from the Australian school will help instruct Maryland mental health officials in the first training session, scheduled for Monday.



Panel asked to study illegal alien plans

The Virginia Commission on Immigration has been asked to study recommendations that include sanctions against businesses that knowingly employ illegal aliens.

The recommendations also would require identity cards and documentation to receive certain benefits.

The trio of proposals was presented yesterday to the commission in Richmond. The recommendations were left over from dozens the Virginia State Crime Commission’s Illegal Immigration Task Force considered before endorsing 16 final proposals.

Officials said the three recommendations went beyond the scope of that task force, which focused on the impact of criminal acts by illegal aliens.

The Commission on Immigration will issue its recommendations to the governor.


Raid nets bogus apparel, cash

Authorities in the Richmond area have confiscated hundreds of counterfeit clothing items from raids on three businesses and a home.

According to court documents in Richmond and in Henrico and Chesterfield counties, police seized more than 850 knockoff versions of Nike and Air Jordan athletic shoes, Timberland boots, Rocawear jeans and coats, NBA jerseys, Ralph Lauren shirts and other apparel.

Investigators also confiscated at least $20,000 in cash.

The supervisor of the multijurisdictional task force told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that no arrests have been made, but police are working with area prosecutors about possible charges.

The supervisor asked not to be identified because of the undercover nature of the operation.


Wilder wants to buy Old City Hall

Richmond Mayor L. Douglas Wilder says the city needs its Old City Hall back.

Mr. Wilder, a Democrat, listed the building as one of several requests to the state General Assembly.

The former governor said the city was in desperate need of downtown office space. He said that since the building on Capitol Square was not being used by the state, he asked Gov. Tim Kaine to sell it back to the city.

The state Department of General Services says the building is 93 percent occupied with tenants, including state agencies, several Virginia Commonwealth University entities, quasi-state agencies and private groups.

The building is assessed at $6.5 million. The city sold the building to the state in 1981 for $3 million. The state recently paid $5.3 million to buy out the leaseholders.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



Click to Read More

Click to Hide