- The Washington Times - Friday, April 24, 2009


Artwork approved for Farragut North

Metro has approved an art project that will be installed this summer at the busy Farragut North station downtown.

The artwork will include light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, designed to respond to passengers’ movements as they ride the escalator at the entrance to Connecticut Avenue and K Street.

The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities are paying for the project and helped select the artwork.

Metro on Thursday also approved art projects from more than 160 submissions for the first five stations on the new rail extension to Washington Dulles International Airport.



14-year-old killed by freight train

Prince George’s County police spokeswoman Erica Johnson said Prince Ibrahim Trye, 14, was struck and killed early Thursday by a southbound CSX Corp. train.

Miss Johnson said the teenager, a student at Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School, was struck near Locust Grove Drive and Baltimore Avenue. There were other children with him, but it was unclear why they were near the tracks, she said.

MARC commuter trains 844 and 851, which share the CSX track and run between Baltimore and Washington, resumed service about noon.


Donor kidney taken through belly button

Surgeons at the University of Maryland Medical Center said they successfully removed a donated kidney through a woman’s belly button.

The location of the incision means the 22-year-old Virginia woman, who donated the kidney April 15, will not have a scar, the university said. The kidney was given to a 54-year-old Timonium woman.

Medical center officials said the hospital was the third in the United States to offer the new procedure.

Dr. Benjamin Philosophe, the head of the medical center’s transplant division, said the small incisions of the laparoscopic approach has been shown to reduce recovery time and the single incision bellybutton approach could be even better.


Mayor’s attorneys ask for dismissal

Lawyers for Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon and a City Council member Helen Holton told a judge why they think the indictment against their clients should be dismissed.

Mrs. Dixon is accused of stealing gift cards intended for families in need and lying about gifts from developers. Miss Holton is accused of taking a bribe and lying about gifts.

Mrs. Dixon’s attorney, Arnold Weiner, told a judge Thursday that prosecutors misled a grand jury about Baltimore’s ethics law. He said Mrs. Dixon didn’t violate the portion of the ethics code that carries criminal penalties.

Miss Holton’s attorney, Joshua Treem, said prosecutors improperly used her legislative acts against her.

Mrs. Dixon did not attend the hearing. Miss Holton attended but refused to speak to reporters.


Woman sentenced for killing man

Federal prosecutors said an Ellicott City woman has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for seducing, conning and killing a man 30 years her senior and then cashing his Social Security checks for years.

Nancy Jean Siegel, 61, was sentenced Thursday after being convicted in March of second-degree murder, witness tampering, theft of government benefits and identity theft in Jack Watkins’ death.

Prosecutors say Siegel murdered Mr. Watkins for personal gain before she put his body in a trunk and dumped it near the Appalachian Trail in Loudoun County, Va.

She collected his Social Security from May 1996 to January 2003 after he was strangled.


Two people injured in SUV accident

Maryland State Police said at least two people were hurt when an SUV crashed through the wall and into the lobby of the Heritage Animal Hospital.

Police said the injuries to the 31-year-old driver of the Chevrolet Suburban and the 17-year-old driver who pulled into his path on Route 194 were not life-threatening.

The man’s two daughters were taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital for examinations.

Police said the Suburban hit the 1999 Oldsmobile about 7:40 a.m. Thursday and then went through a brick wall into the lobby.

No one was in the building at the time. A cat inside the animal hospital wasn’t hurt.


Man found dead in domestic dispute

Prince George’s County police said a man was found dead inside a Clinton home Thursday after a domestic dispute that blocked students’ access to James Ryder Randall Elementary School.

Spokesman Mike Rodriguez said authorities were called to Lucky Lure Drive about 4:30 a.m. After police arrived, an injured woman ran from the home and told police that a man inside had said he would hurt himself, Mr. Rodriguez said.

The woman was taken to a hospital. Her relationship to the man was unknown.

Police barricaded the area around the home and stood guard for hours, while emergency workers were called.

At noon, police entered the home and found the man’s body. He had not been identified.


Man pleads guilty in immigration case

Federal prosecutors said the owner of an Annapolis painting business has pleaded guilty to hiring illegal immigrants and money laundering.

Robert Bontempo, 47, pleaded guilty Thursday to hiring as many as 24 workers who weren’t U.S. citizens or weren’t authorized to work in the United States.

Federal prosecutors said he paid them in cash from 2003 to 2005 and then started paying them by check. Prosecutors also said he didn’t require the workers to provide documentation of their work status or citizenship status.

He has agreed to forfeit five bank accounts, 10 vehicles and seven properties paid for with money from his business. He will be sentenced Sept. 4.



Former legislator George Rawlings dies

George Chancellor Rawlings Jr., a former Virginia legislator and liberal icon, died Wednesday at Mary Washington Hospital. He was 87.

Mr. Rawlings served in the House of Delegates from 1964 to 1969. In 1966, he upset U.S. Rep. Howard W. Smith, the powerful chairman of the House Rules Committee, in a Democratic primary but lost the general election to Republican William L. Scott. In 1970, he lost a U.S. Senate race to independent Harry Byrd Jr. He later served on the Democratic National Committee.

Mr. Rawlings, a lawyer, pleaded guilty to embezzling from a trust account in 2000 and received a suspended five-year sentence. He is survived by a brother, Richard C. Rawlings of Fredericksburg.

Funeral services are set for 3 p.m. Sunday at Massaponax Baptist Church in Fredericksburg.


Hearing delayed in beheading case

A hearing set for a Virginia Tech doctoral student accused of killing a fellow student in a campus cafe has been rescheduled for May 29 in Montgomery County General District Court.

At the request of the defense and prosecution, the Thursday hearing was delayed so that a more thorough mental evaluation could be presented for Haiyang Zhu before his case moves forward.

Mr. Zhu is charged with first-degree murder of Xin Yang, 22, who was beheaded in her dormitory cafe where she met Mr. Zhu for coffee Jan. 21.

After his arrest, Mr. Zhu was transferred to a state mental hospital in Petersburg.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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