- The Washington Times - Friday, June 20, 2008


Motorcyle passenger killed in crash

A passenger on a motorcycle was fatally injured in a crash in Southeast, and the operator of the vehicle was charged with involuntary manslaughter. D.C. police said .

Katrina Matthews, 20, of the District, was thrown from a motorcycle driven by Demarkus Henry, 28, of Landover, when it collided with a car on Southern Avenue. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the motorcycle was speeding on the wrong side of of the road at about 1:10 a.m. Thursday when it struck the car driven by Jerrold Savage, 43, of the District.

Mr. Henry and Mr. Savage were taken to hospitals for treatment.

Women plead guilty to identity theft

Two Maryland women pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit identity theft when they stole personal information from employees of the D.C. public schools, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Rashalle Henderson, 22, of District Heights and Tashana Crews, 25, of Oxon Hill, entered the pleas Thursday in U.S. District Court. Sentencing is set for Oct. 14.

According to evidence presented at trial, Henderson, who worked for the public schools, stole personal information from employees or those applying to work for the school system. Using e-mail accounts, she sent the stolen information to Crews.

The two used the stolen information to open lines of credit on the Internet, prosecutors said, and obtained $40,000 in goods, services and cash.

Norton appeals for oversight

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton has introduced a bill that would give the District full oversight over the D.C. Charter School Board.

The seven-member panel was created by Congress in 1996. Members are appointed by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty from a list presented by the U.S. secretary of education.

In introducing the bill Thursday, Mrs. Norton, a Democrat, said District residents resent the federal government’s involvement in important decisions about local education.

She also noted that, unlike similar boards in the city, members of the charter school board don’t have to be District residents.



Beltway speed limit to vary near bridge

The speed limit on the Capital Beltway near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge soon will be adjusted periodically for overnight travelers.

Wilson Bridge project spokesman John Undeland said beginning in late July, an operator will adjust the speed limit based on sensors and cameras that monitor traffic.

The speed limit will vary from 50 to 35 mph between the Springfield Interchange and Telegraph Road.

Transportation officials hope that adjusting drivers’ speeds will keep traffic flowing evenly, reducing the number of collisions.

Initially, variable speed limits will be used only overnight when some lanes are closed for construction. However, officials said the system eventually might be used full time.


State’s wine business flows

Virginia’s wine industry is booming.

Wine grape production jumped by 35 percent between 2001 and 2007, from 4,200 tons to 5,600, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Acreage increased by 41 percent during the same period, from 1,700 acres to 2,790, said Tony Banks of the Virginia Farm Bureau.

Last year, Virginia’s wine grape crop was valued at $7.8 million.

There are 130 wineries in the state, which is the nation’s fifth-largest producer.


Grocery chain to use soy fuel

Locally based Ukrop’s Super Markets said Thursday it will turn used soy oil from its chicken frying operations at 11 stores into biodiesel for its fleet of delivery trucks.

Employees will dump the used oil into 350-gallon plastic containers behind the stores, where it will be picked up by a separate company to transform it into fuel.

The program will eventually be in place in 28 stores.

The chain’s fleet of 15 trucks and 45 refrigerated trailers uses about 275,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year. The new program will produce as much as 65,000 gallons, or about a quarter of the total.

Officials will mix about 15 percent of the new fuel with conventional diesel , said Pat Hadden, director of technical services for the grocery chain. Using more than that could cause mechanical problems.



Tainted tomatoes sicken at least 10

Ten Marylanders are among the 383 people sickened by salmonella linked to tainted tomatoes.

Federal health officials learned of 106 more cases Wednesday, bringing the total to 383 nationwide . And officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta say they don’t think the outbreak is over.

At least 48 people have been hospitalized. The source of the salmonella has not been traced and the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety chief warned Wednesday that might be impossible todo.

Infections with the same genetic fingerprint have been identified in 30 states and the District since April. New Mexico has the most cases at 70. Illinois has 34 cases and Arizona 26.


Wastewater spills again

City officials reported a second spill this week from the wastewater treatment plant.

Some 48,140 gallons overflowed onto an adjacent street early Thursday, city officials said.

Another 35,000 gallons of wastewater in the area of the overflow was pumped to a nearby treatment tank and did not reach the street.

A spill from the Fitzwater Street plant on Tuesday dumped 21,000 gallons of partly treated sewage into the area.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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