- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 11, 2008



Interracial marriage pioneer remembered

A black woman who defied the state’s ban on racially mixed marriages and helped end miscegenation laws nationwide was remembered at a memorial yesterday as “an icon of America.”

Mildred Loving’s challenge of the state law led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling in 1967 striking down miscegenation. She died May 2 at her home in Milford. She was 68.

Mrs. Loving and her white husband, Richard, were married in the District in 1958. Five weeks later, a sheriff and two deputies burst into their bedroom in Central Point and arrested the newlyweds.

The marriage certificate was not recognized by Virginia, which was one of 16 states that barred marriages between the races.

“I think he thought [if] we were married, they couldn’t bother us,” Mrs. Loving said of her husband, who died in 1975.

In Loving v. Virginia, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote that miscegenation laws violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause.


Polluting power plant to get scrubber

Dominion Virginia Power is cleaning up its Chesterfield Power Station — annually ranked among the top air polluters in the state.

The energy provider dedicated a major piece of pollution-control equipment last week at its Chesterfield County power plant.

The equipment, called a scrubber, will remove 95 percent of the sulfur dioxide — about 37,000 tons a year — from the coal-burning smokestack and will also remove 90 percent of the mercury.

Along with reducing acid rain and removing toxic chemicals, the addition of the equipment brings the company’s investments in air-pollution control at the plant to $650 million by year’s end, Dominion said.

Between the late 1990s and 2015, Dominion said it will have spent $2.6 billion on environmental improvements at power plants serving Virginia and its 2.2 million customers.



Teachers feel unsafe in detention center

Teachers who work at Baltimore’s Juvenile Justice Center say the youths there are out of control, and they’ve written to Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, to voice their concerns about safety, according to the Baltimore Sun.

A letter sent to Mr. O’Malley in March and signed by 14 teachers describes gang activity, threats and assaults, the paper reported. One teacher wrote a follow-up letter about being attacked by a youth who later threatened “to knock [her] out” again.

The 144-bed Juvenile Justice Center holds teenage boys until trial if they are deemed by judges to be a danger to themselves or others. Delinquent youths awaiting long-term placement in other facilities are also housed there.

The youths are required to get six hours of schooling each weekday and are taught by state Department of Education employees.


Officer cleared in Taser death

The attorney for a Frederick County sheriff’s deputy who delivered a fatal electronic shock to a 20-year-old man said his client is gratified that he won’t face criminal charges.

A grand jury ruled Friday that Cpl. Rudy Torres was justified in using his Taser to subdue 20-year-old Jarrel Gray after Mr. Gray did not obey commands to show his hands last November. Mr. Gray was shocked twice and died three hours later.

Cpl. Torres’ attorney, Patrick McAndrew, said his client’s actions “were legally justified and in accordance with agency procedures.”

Ted Williams, a lawyer hired by Mr. Gray’s family, said he wasn’t surprised the grand jury did not pursue charges. He said no Frederick County deputy has ever been indicted for, in his words, “murdering a black man.”


Drug dealer linked to informant’s death

A convicted drug dealer has been linked to the shooting death of a confidential informant.

Twenty-eight-year-old Gary Williams of Abingdon has not been charged in the death of Robin Lee Welshons. But federal prosecutors said during a hearing in U.S. District Court here Friday that Williams conspired in Ms. Welshons’ shooting and that information should be considered relevant to his sentence.

Williams is awaiting sentencing for dealing crack and cocaine. Prosecutors said if Judge William Quarles accepts their argument that Williams was involved in Ms. Welshons’ death, he could face up to life in prison.

Defense attorney Christie Needleman said she was “blindsided” by the charge that her client was involved in Ms. Welshons’ death. Judge Quarles rescheduled the sentencing for May 16 to give the defense a chance to respond.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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