- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 7, 2008


Eight tornadoes strike wide area

Eight weak tornadoes played havoc in the Washington area during Wednesday’s series of brief, violent storms that swept in from the Midwest. One each hit Falls Church, according to the National Weather Service, halting Metro service in the area during rush hour.

Also in Virginia, two tornadoes struck Culpeper and Stafford counties, and one struck Clark and Fauquier counties. Buildings in Chesapeake Beach, Md., were also damaged by a tornado.

More than 20,000 D.C.-area residents remained without power Friday evening. Baltimore Gas & Electric, Dominon Virginia Power and Pepco said they would be able to restore power to most customers by the end of Saturday. Many small outages persisted as a result of isolated wires downed in disparate areas.



Man shot in barber shop

Prince George’s County police said a man was shot and wounded Friday afternoon as he sat in a barber’s chair.

County police spokesman Cpl. Stephen Pacheco said the 37-year-old man was in a barbershop on Sargent Road shortly before 2 p.m. when another man burst in wearing a mask, shot him, and then fled.

Cpl. Pacheco said the wounded man was taken to an area hospital, where his condition was not immediately known.

The motive was unknown.


State gets base funds

Maryland labor officials are distributing federal money to colleges and schools developing programs for defense-related career opportunities created by military base realignment and closures. The process is bringing thousands of jobs to Maryland at installations such as the Aberdeen Proving Ground and Fort Meade as bases are closed or cut back elsewhere.

Fort Meade Alliance, Cecil College, Harford County Public Schools and Frederick Community College are sharing a $400,000 grant.

The Alliance educates seventh- to 12th-graders on security clearances, while Harford County students will receive technology training and education about homeland security careers.

Cecil College is planning a program to create certified government contractors. Frederick Community College will offer education on building facilities for handling sensitive information.

Chesapeake Bay Region Technical Center of Excellence will use some of the money to study the effect on commuting of bringing that many new jobs to those communities.



Tomatoes tied to salmonella

An outbreak of salmonella initially linked to uncooked tomatoes has reached the state.

U.S. health officials say two people in the state are among the more than 100 in a dozen states who reportedly have been infected with the same strain of salmonella.

That strain has been traced to 71 reports of the illness in Texas and New Mexico since April. Thirty-four people in 10 states have also been infected with the same strain.

Nineteen people have been hospitalized by the food poisoning. There have been no deaths.

An investigation by health authorities tied those cases to uncooked, raw, large tomatoes.

Tests are under way to determine if the Virginia cases are linked.


Court revives Dulles lawsuit

The state Supreme Court revived a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s planned transfer of the Dulles Toll Road to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

The court unanimously ruled Friday that Richmond Circuit Judge Margaret Spencer erred in ruling that state transportation officials and agencies had sovereign immunity in the case.

Two Northern Virginia residents claim the transfer would violate the state constitution because it wasn’t approved by the General Assembly. Under a 50-year agreement, the airports authority would operate the road and collect tolls, some of which would be spent on construction of a 23-mile Metrorail extension to Dulles.

The plaintiffs want their toll fees to go toward maintenance of the road rather than the rail project.


Conviction upheld by court

A divided state Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a man sentenced to death for killing a Norfolk police officer.

Thomas Porter admitted shooting Stanley Reaves three times in the head. His trial was moved to Arlington because of heavy news coverage of the case in Norfolk. Porter raised a number of issues on appeal, but the court affirmed the conviction in a 5-2 decision Friday.

The dissenting justices said Norfolk Circuit Judge Chuck Griffith improperly heard the case after transferring it to Arlington. Justice Lawrence Koontz wrote that such mistakes could eventually erode public confidence that the death penalty is being fairly administered.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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