- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 30, 2008


Police seek suspect in NW bank robbery

D.C. police are searching for a man who robbed a bank in Northwest.

The man passed a note demanding money at the Bank of America in the 2000 block of Pennsylvania Avenue on Friday, police said. He took an undetermined amount of cash and fled.

The man was last seen wearing all black.



Lawmaker eyes limit on police spying

The General Assembly should pass legislation to prevent covert surveillance of activist groups of the sort conducted in 2005 and 2006 by the Maryland State Police, a Frederick County lawmaker says.

Delegate Rick Weldon, Frederick independent, plans to meet with the American Civil Liberties Union before deciding what action to take. He’d be willing to submit his own bill or co-sponsor other legislation, he said.

The legislature should pass a bill that would bar covert surveillance by state police without a specific threat of criminal activity, Mr. Weldon said. He fears government spying on citizens who aren’t suspected of crimes more than he fears antiwar protesters, he said.

Among the activist groups targeted for surveillance was the Frederick Progressive Action Coalition, which has protested expansion of biodefense facilities at Fort Detrick.


Police arrest three in woman’s slaying

Montgomery County police have arrested three people in the slaying of a Wheaton woman and the burning of her home.

Authorities found Lila Meizell, 83, while responding to a blaze at her home on Wednesday.

Jose Alvarado, who did yard work for the victim, had tampered with payment checks to increase their value, but wanted to prevent her from finding out, police said. He came up with a plan with his wife and cousin to kill her and then cover up the murder by setting her home on fire, officials said.

Police arrested Mr. Alvarado, Ana Rodas and Ramon Alvarado at their home in Wheaton. They face murder and arson charges.

The medical examiner’s office has ruled the death a homicide. The manner of death was ruled as blunt-force trauma, burns and smoke inhalation.



Probe: Pigs treated humanely after crash

An investigation concluded that pigs were humanely treated after a truck hauling them overturned on Virginia Route 10 in Suffolk in September.

The investigation was conducted by Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Phil Ferguson, who responded to a complaint by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The animal rights group argued that Smithfield Foods and Murphy-Brown workers yanked pigs by their ears and prodded them with tools to get the dazed animals moving.

The investigation included an officer at the scene who reported no evidence of abuse, Mr. Ferguson said.

The accident killed about 65 of 190 hogs on the truck.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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