- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 4, 2009



11 percent drop in murders in ‘08

The Maryland State Police has released a crime report showing an 11 percent drop in murders in the state last year.

The Uniform Crime Report is based on crime statistics provided by police departments across Maryland for January 2008 through December 2008.

The report cited a 20-year low in homicides in Baltimore city, a 17 percent reduction from the year before, and a 14 percent reduction in Prince George’s County.

The report also said violent crime in Maryland decreased 2 percent in 2008, compared with 2007.

Thirteen of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions reported reductions in violent crime.


Man mistakenly pronounced dead

Baltimore police said a burglary suspect laid on the floor of a convenience store for about a half-hour with a gunshot wound to the head before officers noticed he was still alive.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Michael Quarles, 51, was shot by an officer after he lunged at the officer with a long screwdriver early Saturday. The officer initially thought Mr. Quarles was wielding a knife.

Mr. Guglielmi said emergency medical technicians responded to the scene and pronounced Mr. Quarles dead, then left. About 30 minutes later, he said the officers noticed Mr. Quarles moving. The EMTs were recalled to the scene, and Mr. Quarles was taken to a trauma center. He remained in critical condition Monday.

The city’s fire department is investigating the EMTs, who have been temporarily reassigned.


Man dies climbing through own window

A man who often lost his keys died after climbing a fire escape and getting wedged in a window of his third-floor apartment, authorities said Monday.

Building manager Donald Donahoe said a neighbor saw legs dangling outside the window Sunday evening and assumed it was a prank until Monday morning. The neighbor called then, and Mr. Donahoe said he found 55-year-old Carson Corum’s body and notified police.

A window air conditioner had been pushed sideways, Mr. Donahoe said. Police said Mr. Corum’s body was wedged between the window and an interior wall.

Sgt. Charles Goldstrom said the death appeared to be an accident. The state medical examiner’s office in Baltimore will determine the cause.

Mr. Donahoe said Mr. Corum had locked himself out at least 20 times during his three years there.

“All these other times, he’s hollered up to me, ‘Hey, open the door,’ ” Mr. Donahoe said. “I couldn’t understand why he didn’t do it yesterday.”



Economy, flu provide challenges

Gov. Tim Kaine said budget cuts and swine flu could be the biggest campus challenges school officials face this year.

Mr. Kaine on Monday hosted his third annual campus preparedness conference in Richmond. He started the event after a student gunman killed 32 others and himself at Virginia Tech in 2007.

Mr. Kaine recently asked state department heads to cut spending for the third time in a little more than a year. He said that could hurt when it comes to buying new safety equipment.

The conference brings campus safety officials together to share ideas.

The governor also reminded safety officials to be vigilant when it comes to warning students about swine flu, or the H1N1 virus. At least three Virginians have died from the virus since early June.


Day care owner, son charged in death

The owner of a Richmond day care and her son were charged Monday in connection with the death of a toddler who was in the facility’s care.

A grand jury charged Keishawn Whitfield, 23, with involuntary manslaughter. Miss Whitfield’s mother, Valerot Whitlow, was charged with felony child neglect.

Mrs. Whitlow owns the Yellow Brick Road Day Care & Learning Center, and Miss Whitfield is an employee.

Police said 13-month-old Andrew Johnson died of heat exposure July 6 after being left in one of the day care’s vans for at least four hours. Miss Whitfield was driving the van.

A telephone call to the day care seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned Monday.

State regulators have recommended that the day care center lose its license.


Democrats hit GOP on welfare remark

The state’s Democratic chairman and the Democratic candidate for governor have attacked their Republican counterparts over the state Republican Party chief’s suggestion that some Virginians prefer welfare to work.

The Democrats referred Monday to a quote attributed to state Republican Party Chairman Pat Mullins in a weekly newspaper in Monterey. According to the Recorder, Mr. Mullins said a Wise County businessman closed two offices not because of the economy but because potential employees preferred welfare.

State Democratic Chairman Dick Cranwell called on Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert F. McDonnell to demand an apology from Mr. Mullins. Mr. McDonnell’s Democratic foe, R. Creigh Deeds, said it shows Mr. McDonnell “doesn’t get” rural Virginia.

Republican spokesman Tim Murtaugh said if Mr. Deeds is so concerned about employment in rural areas, why was he holding telephone news conferences instead of fighting for jobs.


State gets $36 million for housing programs

Virginia is getting more than $36 million in federal funding for a variety of housing programs.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said Monday that the funding would be used to support community development and produce more affordable housing.

The money includes $19.6 million in Community Development Block Grants, $14.2 million in HOME Investment Partnerships, $1.7 million in Emergency Shelter Grants and $667,943 for Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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