- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 27, 2008



Six rescued on Potomac River

Six swimmers were rescued yesterday in the Potomac River.

The Montgomery County fire department received a call about 4 p.m. regarding a woman and man distressed in the river near Sherwin Island. Another call then came in about four people clinging to rocks near the river’s Virginia shore. It’s not clear how they got into trouble.

A 17-year-old boy was sent to the hospital for evaluation. A county spokesman said the group of six likely went swimming during a hike along the river.


Nigerian woman has quadruplets

A Nigerian woman gave birth to an unusual set of quadruplets.

Officials at Sinai Hospital say Nelly Itula, 40, delivered the babies Friday. The babies include identical twin girls and fraternal twin boys.

The babies were delivered by Caesarean section. The girls weighed slightly more than 2 pounds, and the boys weighed slightly more than 3 pounds each.

Hospital officials said Mrs. Itula, a teacher, came to Owings Mills in December to visit her sister when she found out she was pregnant. She was advised to stay in the United States because of health concerns. Her husband, Frederick Itula, arrived in Baltimore from Nigeria late Saturday. The couple has no other children, and Mrs. Itula had been taking fertility drugs.

The babies are being treated at the neonatal intensive-care unit at Sinai and are doing fine. The family is expected to return to Nigeria when doctors say it is safe for them to travel.


Barn fire intentionally set

The Maryland fire marshal’s office says a fire that destroyed a Frederick County barn over the weekend was intentionally set.

Several nearby mailboxes and roadside signs also were burned in the fire Saturday, and investigators think they were set on fire before the barn.

The fire in the 40-foot-by-70-foot barn was reported about 4:30 a.m. and took 70 firefighters an hour to bring under control.

The fire marshal’s office said the blaze caused an estimated $150,000 in damage.

The county sheriff’s office is assisting in the investigation.


Woman injured in fire smoking near oxygen

A Cecil County woman was critically injured in a fire yesterday morning that started when she tried to smoke a cigarette while on home oxygen, said a deputy state fire marshals.

Carey DeWitt, 65, suffered second-degree burns to her upper body and face and was taken to the burn unit at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She was in critical condition.

The fire started at about 2:15 a.m. at Mrs. DeWitt’s Earleville home. Investigators say she lit a cigarette while on oxygen, causing her clothing and bedding to ignite. She escaped the blaze and called 911.

Damage to the two-story home is estimated at $300,000. About 50 firefighters responded to the fire, which took them about two hours to bring under control.



Museum wants permit extension

The U.S. National Slavery Museum asked Fredericksburg officials for more time to begin construction.

The museum has until Aug. 1 to start building under a special-use permit granted by the city two years ago. Museum officials sent a request to the city May 16 asking for a one-year extension on the permit.

The permit was necessary because the museum’s design calls for a height that exceeds normal limits in that part of the city. The extra height was needed for the mast of a full-scale replica slave ship that is the museum’s centerpiece.

The city’s planning commission must consider the request and make a recommendation to the city council, who will issue a final decision. City officials say the process likely would take more than a month.


Firefighters injured in house blaze

Five firefighters were injured yesterday at a house fire in Leesburg.

The fire started about 2 p.m. Crews arrived to find heavy fire and smoke.

Two firefighters were airlifted to the Washington Hospital Center’s trauma center, and another three were taken to local hospitals for unspecified injuries. The cause of the fire was unknown.


Randolph College names dean

Randolph College named Dennis Stevens its new dean and vice president of academic affairs.

Mr. Stevens will start his job as the private college’s chief academic officer in July. He replaces William Coulter, who will return to teaching in the English department after five years as dean of the school.

Mr. Stevens, 56, is the dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Findlay, in Ohio. He taught political science for more than 25 years before becoming an administrator.

The school was Randolph-Macon Woman’s College until after trustees voted in 2006 to admit men to give the school more financial stability. The school’s name changed in July 2007, and it began enrolling men for the 2007-08 academic year.


Scouts reroute, repair forest trails

More than 1,000 Boy Scouts are expected to arrive in western Virginia next month to help repair and reroute more than 40 miles of national-forest trails.

Members of the Boy Scouts of America’s Order of the Arrow — an honor society of seasoned campers — are scheduled to begin arriving June 20 at the Goshen Scout Camp, in Rockbridge County.

They will spend more than a week in the George Washington and Jefferson national forests on such tasks as fixing and rerouting the Alleghany Highlands Multi-User Trail System, building campsites and adding trails.

The trail system will connect federal and state lands, said the Linda Brett, acting supervisor for the national forests.

Boy Scout officials said the mission is the organization’s largest service project since World War II.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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