- The Washington Times - Monday, May 12, 2008


N.Y. Avenue reopens after weekend work

A stretch of New York Avenue Northeast reopened yesterday evening after crumbling during the recent rains and causing major delays for motorists entering the District.

The D.C. Department of Transportation said all westbound lanes reopened at about 5 p.m.

The stretch, just before the Brentwood Road exit and about a football field in length, slid off an embankment Friday.

Roughly 50 truck loads of dirt were needed to rebuild the lane. Crews also are installing additional drainage under the road.

The spokeswoman said crews are still not sure why the ground became unstable. They found an abandoned water main at the site, but engineers have yet to determine whether that compromised the road foundation and was a contributing factor.



Black bear killed crossing highway

A young black bear was struck and killed by a car in Frederick County over the weekend, state police said.

The incident occurred Saturday at about 8:15 p.m. on U.S. 340, west of Mount Zion Road.

Police think they chased the same bear Friday night after receiving reports of it roaming near U.S. 340 and U.S. 15.

The car’s driver says he was in the right lane and swerved left when he saw the bear coming from the right shoulder. He was not injured, and his Nissan ended up in the median.


DUI trial today for state’s attorney

Wicomico County State’s Attorney Davis Ruark is scheduled to appear in court this morning on drunken-driving and weapons charges.

The charges follow Mr. Ruark’s arrest in February in Ocean City. The trial will be held in Worcester County District Court.

Police say Mr. Ruark, 52, was pulled over after officers saw him speeding and crossing the center line. They also say his blood-alcohol content was .15 — nearly twice Maryland’s limit for drunken driving.

Officers found that Mr. Ruark had a handgun in his car. He has a permit to carry a loaded handgun, but Maryland law prohibits a person from transporting a handgun while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


Academy dedicates sports complex

The U.S. Naval Academy has dedicated its new field house in honor of the first black man to graduate from the school.

Wesley Brown, a D.C. resident and retired lieutenant commander, was celebrated Saturday as a pioneer of racial justice as the Naval Academy opened the 140,000-square-foot sports complex.

Cmdr. Brown, 81, told the crowd that the honor was “the most wonderful moment” of his life.

The $50 million Wesley A. Brown Field House is the new home of the Naval Academy’s track and field teams. It also will serve as the practice space for the football and women’s volleyball teams. Mr. Brown is a veteran of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and served in the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps.


Ex-girlfriend charged in fatal shooting

State police have charged a Joppatowne woman with fatally shooting a former girlfriend in the doorway of her Cecil County home.

Police say Sandra Heim, 46, and Helen Sparks, 47, recently had broken up and had argued before the shooting.

The women were driving away from Miss Sparks’ home in North East on Saturday at about 1 p.m. when the car stopped. Witnesses told police Miss Sparks began walking home, but Miss Heim got a gun from her trunk and started firing, pursuing Miss Sparks to her doorstep.

Police say Miss Sparks’ 22-year-old son captured Miss Heim and neighbors helped hold her until police arrived.

Miss Heim is charged with first- and second-degree murder, assault and handgun violations in the death.



Lanes reopen at Wilson Bridge

The weekend construction work on the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge is complete, transportation officials said yesterday. The work is in preparation of opening a second bridge span and part of a larger, $2.5 billion improvement project.

Crews began Friday shifting lanes on the Capital Beltway’s outer loop to align them with the new bridge. Cars heading toward the bridge from Virginia into Maryland were funneled into one lane near the Telegraph Road exit. Several highway ramps in the area also were closed. Traffic backed up for about a mile.

The second span of the new Wilson Bridge will open to traffic the last weekend of the month. The first span opened in the summer of 2006.


Chlorine leak injures worker

A worker suffered minor injuries after a chlorine leak at the town of Culpeper’s wastewater treatment plant Saturday morning.

About 45 firefighters from six Culpeper County fire companies and a hazardous-materials team from the Fredericksburg Fire Department responded to the chlorine leak.

Town officials say the incident occurred when the plant’s two operators were changing 1-ton chlorine cylinders used in the treatment of raw sewage.

Operator Paula Byers had trouble putting a regulator on the new tank and said she heard a cracking noise before “gas shot out.”

A small amount of chlorine gas got on another worker, causing a minor skin reaction. He was treated at Culpeper Regional Hospital and released. No nearby residents were evacuated.


High schooler linked to ‘death list’

Hampton police say a 14-year-old girl who had threatened violence at Hampton High School was found to have a “death list” in her locker.

Police aren’t identifying the girl because of her age. But they’re charging her with communications of threat by writing and communicating verbal threats. A police spokeswoman said students overheard the girl making threats and referring to a hit list in her locker.

School officials checked her locker late last week and found a list of names labeled “death list.” There was no immediate word on what action the school system would take against the girl.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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