- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Officer, suspect injured in car chase

U.S. Park Police said an officer and a man were hospitalized after a car chase in Northeast.

A Park Police spokesman said two officers were following a vehicle about noon Monday. The driver failed to stop, and the officers chased him for two blocks. The vehicle struck a steel structure under the bridge at K and Second streets near Union Station.

Spokesman Sgt. David Schlosser said the officers got out of their car and fired their weapons. The man drove away and hit one of the officers. The driver later stopped the vehicle one block away.

Officials said the driver was sent to the hospital with a gunshot injury, not thought to be life-threatening. The struck officer also was hospitalized with injuries, which were not life-threatening.

Capitol displays historic documents

The Capitol Visitor Center is putting 50 historic documents on display just months after opening in December as the first stop for visitors to Congress.

The documents on view beginning Monday include the first draft of legislation declaring war on Germany during World War II. It shows that the Senate simply used a previous resolution declaring war against Japan and replaced the name with Germany.

The center also will show the second draft of the U.S. Constitution. On that draft, a list of states was replaced with the phrase “We the People of the United States.” And visitors will see a bill drafted by a young Rep. Abraham Lincoln of Illinois in 1849 to abolish slavery in the District.

The documents are on loan from the National Archives and the Library of Congress.



College costs going up

While tuition at Maryland colleges and universities is likely to hold steady, room and board rates will increase.

The increases approved last week by the state university system's Board of Regents range from 1 percent to 7 percent.

Regents were to set tuition after the General Assembly gave final approval to the state budget. The university system was expected to face only slight cuts to its $1 billion budget, allowing tuition to stay flat for the fourth straight year.

Under the new room and board rates, the typical annual dorm charge at the university's flagship campus in College Park is expected to rise by nearly $150, to $5,500.

Meal plan prices will rise anywhere from 1.5 percent at Salisbury University to 7 percent at Frostburg State University.


Injured firefighter's condition improves

Prince George's County fire officials said a firefighter severely burned in a house fire has been moved out of the intensive care unit.

Daniel McGown, 21, suffered burns to his face and respiratory tract when he went into a burning home in Kettering early Wednesday.

His condition had been upgraded to fair and he was moved out of the ICU at the Washington Hospital Center during the weekend. Officials said he is walking, talking and eating food from his favorite sub sandwich shops.

The investigation into the fire continues. Authorities think it may have been set intentionally.


Mikulski asks VA to upgrade clinic

U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski has asked the Department of Veterans Affairs to upgrade mental health services at its outpatient clinic in Cumberland.

The Maryland Democrat released a letter Monday that she sent to the director of the regional VA medical center in Martinsburg, W.Va., seeking action on complaints voiced last week by a Vietnam veterans group in Cumberland.

The vets are concerned about the VA's decision to stop contracting with a private clinic for mental health care and add services at the local VA clinic.

The letter made seven specific requests, including more VA counselors and a 24-hour hot line in Cumberland.


Trial set in child's death

A trial date has been set for a Stevensville woman charged with killing her 3-year-old daughter.

Police said Victoria Sparrow killed her daughter, Laci, in December by putting medicines in her food, then tried to kill herself by taking pills.

Mrs. Sparrow's trial has been scheduled for July 20 in Queen Anne's County Circuit Court.

She faces 10 charges including first- and second-degree murder, child abuse death of a child, attempted poisoning and contaminating or poisoning food or drink.

Mrs. Sparrow has pleaded not criminally responsible by reason of insanity. She has filed a notice of incompetency to stand trial and is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.


McDonnell announces fundraising total

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell raised $2.2 million during the first fundraising quarter of this year and has $3.5 million left to spend, his campaign said Monday.

Mr. McDonnell, the race's lone Republican, received his funds from 1,547 donors. He was prohibited from fundraising from Jan. 15 to Feb. 20 while the state's General Assembly was in session and he served as attorney general.

Mr. McDonnell's three potential competitors - Democrats R. Creigh Deeds, Brian J. Moran and Terry McAuliffe - announced first-quarter fundraising totals last week. Mr. McAuliffe raised $4.2 million and Mr. Moran brought in $800,000.

Mr. Deeds, a state senator who also was prohibited from fundraising during the legislative session, raised more than $600,000 and has $1.2 million in cash on hand.

The candidates are required to file their financing reports by Wednesday.


Teen arrested in girlfriend's death

Fairfax County police said a 17-year-old has been arrested in the death of his girlfriend.

Police said they charged the teenager with homicide Sunday, after his girlfriend Siobhan Russell, 19, was found in the Herndon area with a fatal stab wound to her upper body.

Authorities said the two were arguing in the boyfriend's home in the 12700 block of Magna Carta Road when the stabbing occurred.

Officer Ray Roberts said police were contacted about 4:30 p.m. by the young man's father, who was in the house at the time.

Officer Roberts said the boyfriend is being charged as a juvenile.


Regulators delay crab harvest action

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission is delaying action on 2009 crab regulations until next month.

The commission had been scheduled to act April 28, but said it will wait until May 26 to consider additional regulations.

The delay will give the commission additional time to analyze a Chesapeake Bay crab population assessment that will be released this week, according to a news release.

The decision also was spurred in part by a Norfolk Circuit Court judge's ruling requiring the commission to decide annually whether it will close the winter crab dredging season.


Survey planned on beetle infestation

State officials want to determine whether a tree-killing beetle has spread beyond a quarantined area in Northern Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Monday it will install 3,500 traps across the state to determine the extent of the emerald ash borer infestation.

Commissioner Todd P. Haymore said the survey's findings will help local officials develop plans to manage the beetle.

A quarantine was issued in 2008 for Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park after the emerald ash borer was found in Fairfax County.

The beetle feeds on the layer of wood just beneath the bark of the ash tree, thus cutting off water and nutrients.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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