- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 29, 2008


Schools chief makes Time cover

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee is being featured on the cover of Time magazine for her approach to reforming urban school systems.

Mrs. Rhee is pictured in a classroom with a broom in the edition dated Dec. 8. She wears all black with a stern look on her face.

Inside the magazine, the chancellor reveals she is a Democrat, but came close to voting for Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona for president. She says a close friend begged her to give then-Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois Democrat, a chance.

Mrs. Rhee says she is “somewhat terrified of what the Democrats are going to do on education.”

Teachers’ unions spent millions of dollars supporting Mr. Obama’s campaign, and Mrs. Rhee is battling the Washington Teachers’ Union for more power to fire teachers she deems ineffective.

Mrs. Rhee says it will send a message if Mr. Obama takes a side on union negotiations for D.C. schools.



Police probe two slayings

Baltimore County police said two women were found slain inside their homes in unrelated incidents on Thanksgiving, and investigators have identified a suspect in one of the killings.

Police were looking for Rex Wesley, 36, in the stabbing death of his girlfriend, Donna Brown, 30.

Police said Miss Brown’s mother came to her daughter’s Randallstown-area home Thursday night and found Miss Brown on the floor with Mr. Wesley standing over her. Miss Brown had been stabbed in the back of the neck. Mr. Wesley ran from the scene, and Miss Brown was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where she died.

Earlier Thursday, police found a woman strangled on her bed inside her Middle River-area home. Police were called because the victim, Tanya Drakes, 33, had not been seen for several days. Officers had to force their way inside her house.


Fatal fire ruled an arson

Police have ruled that a fire in Wheaton that killed an elderly woman was an arson, and the woman’s death is considered a homicide.

The fire was reported Wednesday evening. A firefighter and two police officers also were injured in the blaze.

Montgomery County police have identified the woman who was killed as Lila Meizell, 83.

Authorities said two police officers saw smoke coming from the two-story, single-family dwelling and notified firefighters. The officers tried to rescue the woman and brought her outside, but she did not survive.


Car hits, kills woman

Charles County Police were investigating a woman’s death after police said she was hit by a car while arguing with her boyfriend.

Michelle Thornton, 49, of Mechanicsville, was struck and killed on Crain Highway at McConnell Place in White Plains.

Police said Miss Thornton was hit by a car near a bus stop where she was arguing with her boyfriend Wednesday night.

The car that killed Miss Thornton was driving north on Crain Highway when the crash occurred. Police said the boyfriend and the driver stayed at the scene until police arrived.

Police said they were still investigating the circumstances of the accident.


Officer wounded in shooting

The Baltimore County Police Department said a shooting that wounded an off-duty Baltimore city police officer has been ruled an attempted suicide.

The shooting was reported shortly after midnight Friday at an apartment building on Arbor Station Way in Parkville.

The female officer was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore and was expected to undergo surgery. Baltimore TV station WJZ (Channel 13) reported the woman was wounded in the face.


Woman arrested in fatal shooting

Baltimore County police have arrested a woman in the death of a man with whom she had been having a relationship.

Police said Keri Schneider, 36, shot and killed Timothy Lekin, 35, on Wednesday, then called her husband, who came to pick her up.

The two began heading to the home of relatives in Hagerstown. Police tracked them there and arrested Mrs. Schneider Thursday morning. She was charged with first-degree murder and was being held without bail.

Police were still investigating the role of Mrs. Schneider’s husband. He had not been charged.

Mr. Lekin was found slumped over the wheel of his car in the Hunt Valley area, about seven miles north of Mrs. Schneider’s Lutherville-area home.


Three charged in trail beating

Anne Arundel County police have arrested two people and were looking for a third in the beating and robbery of a 20-year-old Glen Burnie man who was walking on the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail.

The investigation led to the arrests of James Jackson Jr., 19, and Brandon Reading, 18, both of Glen Burnie. Police have issued a warrant for Richard Harmon, 22, of Pasadena. All three are charged with robbery, assault and theft.

The attack happened Nov. 5 near Saunders Way and Ingles Road in Glen Burnie. Police said the man was attacked from behind and was beaten and kicked, then robbed of $50 and his cell phone.

The charges were part of a larger police crackdown along the trail that has led to minor charges against 13 adults and 22 juveniles.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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