- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 5, 2009



Store guard hit with pepper spray

Authorities Tuesday were searching for a shoplifter who they say used pepper spray against a store security guard.

Montgomery County police provided images of a person, possibly a man dressed as a woman, who is accused of stealing a $2,000-Chanel dress from the Saks Fifth Avenue store on Wisconsin Avenue in Chevy Chase.

Police said the suspect entered the store Thursday and removed the dress from a rack before placing it into a large bag. They said a security officer, who tried to stop the person from leaving, was sprayed in the eyes with pepper spray.

Officials said the suspect was last seen running toward the Friendship Heights Metro station.


Fallen utility poles cause power outage

Pepco on Tuesday was looking into what caused several utility poles to fall down in Northeast Washington, causing dozens of residents to lose power.

Authorities said they responded to Minnesota Avenue and Polk Street on Tuesday after a call about downed power lines. They said the poles blocked access to the Deanwood Metro station and air condition systems went out at nearby apartment buildings that had lost power.

Pepco spokesman Bob Dobkin said three poles fell, while two others leaned over. Mr. Dobkin said it was unclear what caused the poles to come down, but he said investigators were aware that a truck had hit a pole in the area last week.

City gets $8 million to weatherize homes

D.C. officials said the city would receive more than $8 million in federal stimulus money to support weatherization programs for low-income residents.

The money will allow the District to weatherize an additional 785 homes over the usual workload of 400 in the same period.

The weatherization program includes replacement of windows and doors, installation of insulation and weather-stripping, and repair of heating and cooling equipment.

D.C. residents must meet certain income guidelines to be eligible. A household of one person, for example, must have a maximum annual income of $21,660, while the maximum income for a household of eight is $74,020.



Site taken off list for jamboree

The Boy Scouts of America won’t be bringing its national jamboree to Rockbridge County after all.

Board member Jack Furst cited land-use issues and the $100 million to $250 million cost as factors behind the board’s decision.

The Goshen site topped a list of 80 studied in 28 states.

But estimates on the initial investment required knocked it out of consideration.

The idea of moving the 10-day event from Fort A.P. Hill to Goshen by 2013 also drew some opposition.

Opponents said the development would change the rural character of the area and questioned whether existing roads could handle the traffic.

“After much discussion it became clear that the Goshen site in Rockbridge County was just not an appropriate location for an operation of this magnitude,” Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said.

The jamboree, held every four years, attracts nearly 30,000 Scouts from across the U.S. and 12,000 staff and volunteers. Rural Rockbridge County has a population of about 32,000.

Spokeswoman Nicole Slater said the BSA has signed a purchase agreement for a 10,600-acre property in Beckley, W.Va., which had been considered as a future high-adventure base offering horse riding, hiking and other activities.

Mr. Furst said the Beckley property scores “very high” on the availability of water and sewer services. “The challenges we have in West Virginia are elevation and topography,” he said.


Police say parachute opened in plane

Virginia State Police said Tuesday a fatal skydiving accident was caused by a parachute that accidentally opened inside the airplane.

State Police spokesman Sgt. Thomas Molnar said that Army Command Sgt. Maj. Harry Parrish was sucked out the plane’s door when his parachute opened.

The accident occurred Saturday evening as Sgt. Maj. Parrish was preparing to make a jump with a trainee during a private training exercise near Middle Peninsula Airport near West Point. Sgt. Molnar said six other people had jumped from the plane before the accident.

Sgt. Maj. Parrish, 53, was from Fort Meade, Md. His body was found Sunday morning in a wooded area near the airport.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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