- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 4, 2009


Metro adds trains for triple-header

Extra trains will be available for a busy night of sporting events this weekend, Metro says.

Officials are bracing for a crowded rail system Saturday night as fans head to the Nationals game at 6:05 p.m., the Wizards game at 7 p.m. and the D.C. United game at 7:30 p.m.

The transit agency is asking attendees at Nationals Park, the Verizon Center and RFK Stadium to use all available entrances at the Metrorail stations to help ease congestion.

Metro says it will run six-car and eight-car trains after the games on all five rail lines.

Report on vouchers finds modest gains

A report released Friday finds that children receiving vouchers to attend D.C. private schools have made modest gains in reading but no progress on math scores.

The Education Department study examined the effect of the voucher program three years after it was implemented in the city.

According to the report, children with the scholarships gained the equivalent of about three more months of learning in reading, but performed at similar levels in math.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement that the results do not support continuing the program, which Democrats are seeking to end after next year.

But Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, California Republican, said the report underscores the importance of giving parents a choice if their children are in failing schools.

Tourism chief to lead D.C. United Way

The United Way chapter for the Washington area has hired its next chief executive officer from outside of the philanthropic community.

William Hanbury, the current president and CEO of Destination DC, is set to become CEO of the United Way of the National Capital Area on July 1. Mr. Hanbury announced his departure from the Washington tourism agency Friday.

The United Way chapter has been plagued with allegations of financial mismanagement over the years.

Former CEO Charles Anderson left in August for a job at the charity’s headquarters in Alexandria. In 2006, the chapter’s chief financial officer resigned after complaining that Mr. Anderson pressured her to inflate fundraising totals.

Mr. Anderson’s predecessor, Norman Taylor, resigned following allegations of financial mismanagement. And Mr. Taylor’s predecessor, Oral Suer, served two years in prison for stealing nearly $500,000 from the charity.



Teenager gets life for slaying mother

A Baltimore County teenager who beat his mother to death with a baseball bat after an argument over his grades has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

However, a judge recommended Friday that Lewin Powell III serve at least part of his sentence at a psychiatric facility with a program for young offenders.

Powell’s attorney asked that all but 20 years of his sentence be suspended. But Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Cox said she could not ignore the “shocking, brutal, senseless” nature of the crime.

Powell will be eligible for parole after serving 15 years. However, inmates convicted of first-degree murder require the signature of the governor to be paroled and no such inmate has been paroled in Maryland since 1994.


Bidder eyes shopping center at race tracks

A new potential buyer for Maryland’s racetracks, which is up for auction by their bankrupt owner, could raze Pimlico Race Course to make way for a shopping center.

Pikesville developer Carl Verstandig of America’s Realty LLC told the Baltimore Sun on Thursday that he could pay cash for Pimlico and Laurel Park. But he said he would not bid on the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Last month, Canada’s Magna Entertainment Corp., which owns Pimlico, Laurel Park and the rights to the Preakness Stakes, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Mr. Verstandig said he’s open to building around the Baltimore racetrack if keeping the Preakness there is a legal requirement. His proposal for Laurel Park includes shops, restaurants and possibly a racetrack, if racing can operate profitably.



Radford lifts lockdown after shooting

Police are searching for a suspect in a fatal shooting that prompted a five-hour lockdown at Radford University.

University officials alerted students by e-mail, text message and voice mail about 9 p.m. Thursday to stay inside and lock their doors after reports of gunshots about a block from the campus.

The suspect was seen fleeing toward the campus, which prompted a sweep of campus buildings by authorities, police said. Authorities do not believe the suspect or the victim were Radford students.

City officials on Friday identified the victim as Floyd Wilfred-Linn Wright Jr., 33, of Christiansburg. The suspect has not been identified.

The lockdown was lifted about 3 a.m.


Republican leader to run for sheriff

Veteran state Sen. Ken Stolle, 54, said Friday that he plans to leave the General Assembly to run for sheriff of Virginia Beach.

The Republican told the Virginian-Pilot that the sheriff’s position would be a “huge new challenge.”

Mr. Stolle has served in the state Senate since 1992. The minority leader pro tem said he planned to file his candidate paperwork Friday.

He also told the newspaper that he has Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative neurological disorder that can impair motor skills. Mr. Stolle said the disease made him re-evaluate his priorities, but it wasn’t a major factor in his decision to run.

The former Virginia Beach police officer said he wants to return to law enforcement.


Arlington hires new superintendent

The Arlington County School Board has appointed a school official from a neighboring county as its next superintendent.

Patrick K. Murphy, an assistant superintendent in the Fairfax County school system, emerged from a national search Thursday to lead the Arlington schools.

Mr. Murphy has agreed to a four-year contract with an annual salary of $195,000.

Outgoing Arlington Superintendent Robert G. Smith said in September that he would step down after 12 years of leading the 19,500-student system. He is set to join the faculty of George Mason University this fall.


Prince William cop injured in car chase

Prince William County police said they arrested a boy, 17, early Friday on charges related to injuring an officer after he rammed into her cruiser during a pursuit.

The boy faces charges including attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer.

The incident began Thursday night, when the officer tried to stop a suspected drunken driver at Occoquan Road and Jefferson Davis Highway in Woodbridge.

The driver did not stop and a pursuit ensued, police said. They say the officer fired at the driver moments before his car rammed her cruiser, pinning her between the cruiser and its door, and drove away.

The boy was later involved in a hit-and-run crash, which injured four people, police said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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