- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 18, 2008

DISTRICT

Homeless shelter to remain open

The D.C. Council voted to stop the closure of a downtown homeless shelter.

Lawmakers say the Franklin School shelter across from Franklin Square must remain open until Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, a Democrat, tells the council where the 300 people who use it will be relocated.

Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, a Democrat, says he has only seen a list of about 50 names and addresses, and no document explaining how the homeless will get services such as drug treatment and health care.

About a dozen demonstrators protesting to keep the shelter open briefly disrupted a council meeting Tuesday. They were escorted from the building.

MARYLAND

BALTIMORE

3 plead guilty in club shooting

Three people have pleaded guilty in connection with a fatal shooting at a Baltimore nightclub.

The shooting in February last year killed Harold Robinson, a bouncer at the Club International, in the 2300 block of West Baltimore Street. He was shot in retaliation for removing a disorderly person from a party at the club, prosecutors said.

Tony Hawks, 30, and Darnell Parker, 30, pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree-murder, murder conspiracy and a handgun charge, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office said. Dwayne Gwynn, 35, pleaded guilty to murder conspiracy.

Parker was sentenced to 40-years in prison, Hawks and Gwynn were ordered to serve 20 years.

DENTON

Charges dropped against deputy

Prosecutors have dropped assault and child-abuse charges filed against a Talbot County Sheriff’s deputy who was accused of shooting a boy with a BB gun.

Charges against Deputy Michael Plugge were dropped Tuesday primarily because an investigation by the state police showed the July incident did not fit the charges, Caroline County State’s Attorney Jonathan Newell said.

The only witnesses are the boy, 4, and his sister, 5, and both told police they thought the shooting was an accident, Mr. Newell said. In addition, the boy’s mother filed the charges two weeks after learning about the shooting, he said.

No disciplinary action has been taken against Deputy Plugge, the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office said.

SALISBURY

Shooting leaves woman badly hurt

Wicomico County authorities are investigating a shooting near Salisbury that left a woman, 29, in critical condition.

The shooting occurred about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday in the 900 block of Booth Street.

The woman’s name has not been released. She was taken for surgery to Peninsula Regional Medical Center, authorities said.

Members of the Wicomico Bureau of Investigation and the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit are investigating the case. Police have made no arrests.

VIRGINIA

RICHMOND

Kaine sets probe of gas gouging

Thirty inspectors are investigating more than 2,000 complaints of possible gas price gouging in the aftermath of Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, said Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat.

Mr. Kaine said Wednesday the complaints were received by the state’s consumer protection office, which continues to take calls on its hot line. The number is 800/552-9963 or 804/786-2476.

Mr. Kaine said he also waived certain gasoline volatility specifications in an effort to increase the supply of gasoline in Virginia. The move allows distribution of gasoline blends that normally wouldn’t be allowed until Oct. 1.

RICHMOND

Panel appointed for VCU president

A 17-member search committee was named Wednesday to find a successor to Eugene P. Trani as president of Virginia Commonwealth University.

The appointments include faculty members, Board of Visitors members, staff and students.

Mr. Trani announced in August he was retiring in 2009 as president of Virginia’s largest public university and as chairman of the VCU Health System. He will remain at the university as a distinguished professor.

The search committee will conduct a national search and has a goal of drawing up a list of semifinalists by early next year.

SUFFOLK

Firefighters contain blaze in swamp

A stubborn fire in the Great Dismal Swamp is under control, again.

The Suffolk fire began June 9 and has smoldered ever since, even after Tropical Storm Hanna delivered some much-needed rain.

Refuge officials said Tuesday the fire is not out but under control — a statement made previously only to see flames spark anew. The fire was started by logging equipment.

Refuge staff have been using high-volume pumps to reflood the swamp, which was parched because of a persistent drought.

The fire could flare again if the fall brings hot, dry conditions, officials said.

The refuge covers 110,000 acres in Virginia and North Carolina.

CHESAPEAKE

Dying jogger saved by twin officers

A double dose of good luck saved an unidentified jogger Monday.

The man was running near the border of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach when he collapsed, police said.

Twin brothers Justin and Brandon Bowman chatted nearby in their police cruisers. Justin is a Chesapeake police officer; Brandon is an officer in Virginia Beach.

They got a call at 11:15 a.m. for an injured person near the border of their two cities, so the brothers, 25, both responded.

They found the man lying on the ground, not breathing and without a pulse.

Justin started CPR while Brandon grabbed a defibrillator from his cruiser. After several cycles of CPR, Justin felt a pulse.

When paramedics put the man in an ambulance a few minutes later, he was breathing on his own.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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