- The Washington Times - Friday, May 30, 2008


Immigrant aid funds sought

Immigrant groups and officials from Maryland and Virginia are seeking $15 million to help hundreds of thousands of eligible area immigrants become citizens.

The proposal aims to help legal permanent residents become U.S. citizens and full participants in society, said Arlington County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada.

The plan would use federal, state, county and private sources to create “naturalization support centers” in the area. It was largely developed by the advocacy groups CASA de Maryland and Tenants and Workers United of Northern Virginia.

The centers would refer legal permanent residents to English classes and offer legal counseling. They would also provide test preparation and assistance with filling out applications.



Study predicts busy Purple Line

Ridership on a proposed light-rail line from Bethesda to New Carrollton could be 40 percent higher than in previous projections, Maryland transit officials estimate.

The proposed 16-mile Purple Line could be light rail or a bus rapid transit.

The light-rail system, with an estimated 68,000 trips daily, would be the most expensive option. Officials said that estimate is 20,000 trips higher than earlier projections because it takes into account potential trips made by Metro and MARC riders.

Depending on what kind of system is chosen, it could take nine minutes to travel between Bethesda and Silver Spring and 27 minutes between Silver Spring and College Park.

Officials also must decide the line’s exact route, including whether it will run along the Capital Crescent Trail.


Lawsuit filed in Taser death

The family of a local man who died after he was struck by a deputy’s Taser has filed a $145 million lawsuit against Frederick County.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt says that Jarrel Gray, 20, died as a result of being shocked twice by a Taser on Nov. 18.

A county grand jury ruled May 9 that Frederick County Sheriff’s Cpl. Rudy Torres was justified in using his Taser to subdue Mr. Gray after Mr. Gray did not obey commands to show his hands.

The state medical examiner’s office ruled the case a sudden death associated with restraint and alcohol intoxication. The lawsuit was filed by Mr. Gray’s parents, Jeffrey Gray and Tanya Thomas, both of Frederick.


Police seek crash witnesses

Maryland State Police are looking for witnesses to a crash in the Frederick area that killed two elderly men.

Police said the three-vehicle collision occurred at about 12:25 p.m. May 20 on westbound Interstate 70 near the I-270 interchange.

The crash killed local residents Verlin Krabill, 83, and Alvin Culver, 81. The drivers of the other vehicles were not hurt.


Police identify dead fishermen

Local police have released the names of the two fishermen who drowned Sunday evening while fishing in Johnson Pond.

The bodies of Anthony Roland of the District and Johnnie Tyson of Hyattsville were found Monday morning.

Officials said the men were fishing with two friends on the pond’s spillway when one man fell in. The second man vanished when he tried to help his friend.


Five indicted in trash theft

A Wicomico County grand jury has indicted five people for the theft of about $450,000 worth of diesel fuel, tires and other supplies from the county landfill.

Those charged include former landfill superintendent Kenneth Townsend and former landfill official Paul Tomaszewski. The others charged include area contractor Ray Lewis, Benjamin Merritt and suspended landfill employee George Ennis.

All five are charged with one count of theft scheme and four counts of conspiracy to commit theft scheme.

Mr. Townsend and Mr. Tomaszewski were fired from the landfill in February. The County State’s Attorney’s office said additional indictments are possible.


Trial delayed in officer´s death

The murder trial of a city man accused of killing an off-duty city police officer in last January has been postponed.

Brandon Grimes was scheduled to go on trial yesterday for the shooting death of Detective Troy Chesley, 34, but the prosecutor was involved in another trial. A new trial date has not been set.

Mr. Grimes is expected, however, to go on trial this week on an unrelated handgun charge.

Mr. Grimes is charged with first-degree murder. Police said the detective was killed outside a home on Fairfax Road in what investigators think was a robbery attempt.


Hospital crunch eased last year

City officials said their efforts to ease emergency room crowding are working.

Fire Chief James Clack and Health Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein said yesterday that new data show a significant reduction in emergency room crowding at city hospitals.

Officials said the number of hours hospitals were placed on reroute status - meaning patients had to be directed elsewhere - dropped more than 33 percent. The number of hours of hospital time without EKG-monitored beds decreased almost 36 percent and the return-to-service time for ambulances dropped nearly 6 percent.

Ambulance transports, meanwhile, increased nearly 5 percent, and patient visits to emergency departments increased 1.2 percent.

Officials said the crowding measures had been steadily rising through 2005 and began to show signs of improvement in 2006. They said the data is based on information provided by state and city emergency management officials.


Teen beaten to death

A Berlin teen was beaten to death yesterday during a fight that broke out after a graduation party, Worcester County police said.

The brawl erupted when a group of people standing on a roadway in the Decatur Farms subdivision was approached by another group in a vehicle, police said. Michael Mitchell, 19, died after being struck by a blunt object, investigators said.

Another man was taken to Atlantic General Hospital with injuries suffered in the fight, but his condition was not available. Police said several suspects and persons of interest had been identified, but charges had not been filed.


Seized games called illegal

Baltimore County police have concluded that 110 video machines seized this month from 41 bars and other establishments were used for illegal gambling. The case has been referred to county prosecutors.

The machines were seized May 8 in raids throughout the county. Under an order from a circuit court judge, police had two weeks to either determine the machines were illegal or return them to owner Carbond Inc.

Carbond president Carroll Bond III said the seizures have caused him financial losses.


English voted official language

Commissioners here have voted to designate English as the town’s official language.

Commissioner Don Schildt said the designation is not discriminatory. He said people who come to live in the country should learn the official language.

The commissioners voted 4-0 Wednesday in support of a resolution similar to a resolution adopted by Taneytown in 2006.

The resolution says governmental business is transacted in English, English is the primary language taught in the local schools, and English is the leading spoken language in the area.



Execution set for Emmett

A July 24 execution date has been set for a death row inmate who is challenging the state’s lethal injection method.

Danville Circuit Court set the execution date yesterday for Christopher Scott Emmett, 36, for the 2001 bludgeoning death of a co-worker, according to the attorney general’s office.

Emmett’s execution was one of dozens halted by the Supreme Court while it considered whether lethal injection amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. The court upheld lethal injection execution in April, but Emmett claims the state’s method does not ensure sufficient anesthesia before the paralyzing and heart-stopping drugs are administered, making it unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Emmett’s case May 14, and a decision is expected within 60 days.

Emmett was convicted of beating John Fenton Langley to death with the base of a brass lamp in a motel room.


State to decide teen sentence

The state Department of Juvenile Justice will decide the punishment for a teenage boy who admitted his role in a series of shootings along Interstate 64 near here.

Brandon Dawson was sentenced Wednesday to an indeterminate amount of time at a state juvenile facility.

The 16-year-old can be held until he is 21.

The sentencing in Albemarle Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court was for the teen’s guilty pleas to five counts of maliciously shooting at an occupied vehicle and two other charges transferred from Waynesboro.

Slade A. Woodson, 19, also is charged in connection with the March 27 shootings. Two people were slightly injured.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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