- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Toll road moved to airports authority

The Dulles Toll Road is now in the hands of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

Virginia’s transfer of the road became effective Saturday as part of the financing for the planned rail extension to Washington Dulles International Airport.

Under the agreement, the state retains ownership of the road; no changes in the toll are planned until 2010. The airports authority will hold public hearings on any increases after that. All the toll revenue is to be used by the authority to maintain and operate the road and to fund transportation improvements in the corridor, including the Metro extension.

Last month, a Richmond judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging the transfer.

The rail project still hinges on final approval of a federal grant.



Man charged with abusing toddler

Baltimore County police have filed child abuse charges against an Essex man accused of severely injuring a toddler in his care who later died.

Jordan Adams, 2, died Friday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, police spokesman Bill Toohey said.

Arron Bogan, 26, was arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree child abuse causing severe physical injury.

Police said the dead child was Mr. Bogan’s girlfriend’s son. The woman had left the boy with Mr. Bogan for a few hours on Tuesday and was unable to wake him when she returned.

Court documents say the child underwent surgery for a severe brain injury.

Mr. Toohey said the abuse charge against Mr. Bogan, who is being held without bail, might be upgraded.


State takes over prison guard cases

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office is reviewing claims of prison brutality that led to the firing of 23 correctional officers at two prisons earlier this year.

Allegany County State’s Attorney Michael Twigg said he and his counterpart in Washington County asked the attorney general to step in because the allegations involve two counties with some overlap.

In April, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services fired 15 officers at Roxbury Correctional Institution near Hagerstown and eight from North Branch Correctional Institution near Cumberland, mostly for reputed assaults on inmates.

Prison workers’ union leaders contend the agency acted too hastily in firing the officers before considering all the evidence.


Hundreds seek sentence reductions

Twenty-seven Maryland residents have been released early from prison after a change in federal sentencing guidelines last year intended to close a gap in penalties for crack and powder cocaine.

The U.S. attorney’s office said 113 other crack offenders have won sentence reductions but remain incarcerated.

Although the U.S. Sentencing Commission initially estimated that only 279 state residents would be eligible for any reduction, authorities said more than twice that number have asked to have their sentences reduced.

U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said the unexpected caseload is a significant use of resources but has not obstructed his office’s other work.

The amended sentencing guidelines took effect last November.


City enacts camping ban

A new ordinance on the books in Cambridge bans camping within city limits.

The law was approved by the City Council last week and took effect Saturday.

The ordinance prohibits most camping in a tent, trailer, camper or any other temporary structure.

Temporary overnight camping on private property for social, religious or commercial purposes may be permitted by the property owner for up to one week.


Tractor-trailer driver killed

Maryland State Police were investigating a tractor-trailer accident on the ramp from eastbound Interstate 70 to southbound Interstate 81 near Hagerstown.

The tractor-trailer carrying coal went out of control and overturned, authorities said. The driver, Alvin Clise, 71, of Midland, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the ramp would remain closed for an undetermined amount of time.



Fake election flier culprit found

State elections officials have identified the person responsible for a phony election flier that told Republicans to vote on Tuesday and Democrats to vote a day later.

State Board of Elections Secretary Nancy Rodrigues said Monday that the flier bearing the Virginia seal and the elections board logo was a joke that got out of control. The flier was distributed early last week the across Hampton Roads area. State police confirmed that it also was distributed by e-mail.

State officials declined to name the person who created the flier or the person who began distributing it.

Although distribution of false information to voters is a misdemeanor, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said no charges would be filed.


SCC approves transmission lines

Virginia regulators have given the green light to the construction of overhead transmission lines from Dinwiddie County to the city of Chesapeake.

The State Corporation Commission (SCC) approved the two new transmission lines sought by Dominion Virginia Power.

In an order issued late last week, the commission said the transmission lines are necessary to maintain continued reliability of service to the south Hampton Roads area.

The first step in the project will be a 60-mile, 500-kilovolt transmission line between a Dominion substation in Dinwiddie County and a Suffolk substation.

The second segment will be a 21 1/2-mile, 230-kilovolt line extending from the Suffolk substation to a substation in Chesapeake.


Man’s death ruled a homicide

Fairfax County police have ruled the death of a man found inside a taxi a homicide.

Police said someone first spotted Mazhar Nazir, of Falls Church, early Sunday inside a cab parked on Greensboro Drive in the Tysons Corner area. That person called police to check on Mr. Nazir after noticing that the cab was still there hours later.

Police said the 48-year-old had an apparent injury to his upper body but did not identify it.

The death is the 13th homicide in Fairfax County in 2008. The case was under investigation.


Aircraft missing in South America

A Virginia-based aviation company said one of its aircraft with three people aboard is missing in South America.

A spokesman for Dynamic Aviation Group Inc. in Bridgewater said the search resumed Monday for the twin turboprop aircraft. The aircraft was reported missing Saturday in Guyana after it did not return from an aerial geophysical survey.

Dynamic spokesman Rick Roof identified the flight crew as Wes Barker and Chris Paris, Dynamic Aviation employees from Harrisonburg. An employee of a Canadian company was also on board.

The aircraft was searching for uranium deposits in the rain forest.

Dynamic Aviation has sent one of its aircraft to Guyana to join the search.


Firefighters injured in house blaze

Six firefighters battling a house fire in Danville were injured when a balcony collapsed.

Four were treated at Danville Regional Medical Center and released by Sunday night. Two had to undergo surgery for broken legs.

The Sunday morning fire in a two-story apartment building was caused by a cigarette, Capt. Franklin Ferguson said. He said the balcony collapsed because the building was unsound.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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