- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 2, 2008


Teen arrested in woman’s death

Metropolitan Police have arrested a 17-year-old Maryland boy in connection with a September slaying. Police said they arrested Ricky Donaldson of Fort Washington on Friday, charging him as an adult with first-degree murder in the Sept. 13 shooting of Deloris Persha.

Authorities found Ms. Persha, 44, with several gunshot wounds on V Street in Northwest. She died at a hospital five days later.



Glaring gaps found in youth supervision

Department of Juvenile Services officials say one-third of youths under court-ordered supervision in Baltimore hadn’t seen their caseworkers for three months or longer this spring.

A review of case management disclosed Friday says this made it harder to keep the youths out of trouble. Similar reviews across the state were scheduled to be completed on Friday.

Juvenile Services Secretary Donald DeVore said the review will help “create a base line” as the department builds new policies.

The review also found cases with notations of “AWOL” youths without further investigation, unclear notations about a juvenile’s level of supervision and notations about adult charges without follow-up.

Officials say practices have changed since the review.


O’Malley, Franchot clash on tax system

Gov. Martin O’Malley’s office is delaying an $87 million contract for a tax collection system that Comptroller Peter Franchot sees as a priority.

In a memo last week, Mr. O’Malley’s chief of staff, Michael Enright, said the contract to modernize the state’s tax collection system should not be taken up at the next Board of Public Works meeting, as Mr. Franchot requested.

Mr. Franchot’s office calls the move by the governor’s office “highly irregular.”

There has been tension between the two Democrats, but a spokesman for the governor says the move was not politically motivated. He says it was prompted by concerns about affordability and for affected local governments, which hadn’t been informed of the costs to them.

Mr. Franchot’s office says it doesn’t make sense to delay the revenue-generating project.


Ehrlich undecided on gubernatorial run

Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, says he hasn’t decided whether to run again for governor.

Mr. Ehrlich said Saturday on his weekly show on Baltimore radio station WBAL that comments made in response to a question by a caller the week before did not indicate that he was leaning against another run. Although, he did note the obstacles facing a Republican in Maryland.

The former governor and congressman told the caller that he lost his re-election bid against current Gov. Martin O’Malley despite a good approval rating. Mr. Ehrlich also noted that with the exception of U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, a Republican representing Western Maryland, none of the elected officials in the state are close to his political thinking.

The former governor reiterated those points on Saturday and added he had not decided on whether to run again.



Squirrel knocks out power in Richmond

A squirrel caused a massive power outage in Richmond that eventually led to thousands without power.

The curious animal short-circuited a Dominion Virginia Power substation on Friday morning, and crews making repairs to the facility caused a second substation to shut down.

At the height of the outages, about 6,000 Dominion customers in Richmond were in the dark.

Power was out along a significant stretch downtown, disabling traffic signals at several major intersections for most of the day.

There also were reports of people stuck in elevators in several buildings, including on Virginia Commonwealth University’s main academic campus. Some businesses also were forced to close.

The squirrel did not survive.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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