- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 6, 2009


Metro gets funds for anti-terrorism

Metro’s transit police have received more than $9.5 million in federal funds from the Department of Homeland Security to create anti-terrorism teams.

The transit agency said Wednesday that the grant would pay for an additional 20 officers, who will staff teams focusing on terrorism prevention. The teams will seek to deter potential terrorists from targeting Metro through various initiatives, such as increasing random patrols of Metro facilities.

Metro also has received nearly $2 million from Homeland Security to expand its chemical detection program at stations and upgrade radio communications in tunnels in Prince George’s County.



No green light to turbine on roof

The city’s Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals voted 4-1 on Tuesday against Marsha Vitow’s request to install a wind turbine on her roof.

Miss Vitow told the board that a wind turbine atop her row house would “pave the way for a more progressive Baltimore,” but neighbors were concerned that the turbine would pose a safety risk and ruin views from rooftop decks.

The board’s executive director, David Tanner, said members decided after a long debate that turbines could not qualify for an exception to the city’s 35-foot residential height limit. He said the issue would need to be revisited as city officials rewrite the zoning law.


Shoes and helmets for rented scooters

City officials said they’ve seen more scooter accidents this year than in recent memory, so the Town Council has passed a law requiring helmets and shoes to be worn by anyone renting mopeds or motorized scooters. The law also requires rental businesses to clearly identify scooters as rentals. It took effect immediately.

Council members said they’d like to see every scooter driver wearing a helmet, but the law doesn’t cover people driving scooters they own.


Man extradited on murder charges

A suspect in the fatal shooting of a man in Glen Burnie is back in Maryland to face charges.

Anne Arundel County police said Joseph Serio, 30, of Glen Burnie fled to Florida after 28-year-old Lamont Gordon was fatally shot in July.

Detectives interviewed witnesses who identified Mr. Serio as the suspect, and ballistic evidence also linked him to the slaying.

Police said Mr. Serio was arrested in Miami on July 21 and was extradited to Anne Arundel County on Tuesday. He has been charged with first-degree murder in Mr. Gordon’s death.


Police record rise in boating deaths

More people have been killed in boating accidents this year in Maryland than all of last year, and with three months remaining in the boating season, the state could be on the way to its deadliest year since 2005.

Ten people have died in Maryland waters, and authorities say the majority of the victims weren’t wearing life jackets. The state had 27 boating deaths in 2004 and 2005

Maryland Natural Resources Police said the deaths have occurred over a wide geographical area, and there have been several different contributing factors, including poor judgment and weather.

Natural Resources police have increased patrols and outreach efforts since then, and the combined total in 2007 and 2008 dropped to 19.



7 children hurt in bus accident

Seven children were recovering Wednesday from injuries after a school bus collided with a sport utility vehicle in the morning.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue spokesman Dan Schmidt said none of the injuries were life-threatening. Two children were treated at the scene, and five were taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital.

The crash occurred about 10:30 a.m. as the bus was carrying children, ages 5 to 7, involved in a Fairfax County Public Schools summer program.

Police cited the 18-year-old driver of the SUV for failure to yield.


Domestic spat goes to pot

Powhatan County police said a domestic dispute led authorities to about 400 marijuana plants behind a home.

John Paul Russell Sr., 57, is charged with domestic assault and manufacturing marijuana at his Powhatan home. Authorities said his wife told deputies about the marijuana, which was camouflaged with other plants behind a shed.

Powhatan Sheriff’s Office Lt. Randy Stickels said police received a call Sunday morning about a person with a weapon. When they arrived, officered learned that a son had brandished a gun in response to the fight between his parents.

It was then that Mr. Russell’s wife informed authorities about the plants.


Inmates’ marijuana traced to officer

A correctional officer faces charges of delivering marijuana to inmates at the Augusta County Correctional Center.

Authorities said April M. “Lisa” Hogsett, 26, of Staunton was arrested Saturday and is being held at the Middle River Regional Jail in Verona.

A special agent of the Virginia Department of Corrections Office of the Inspector General seized a phone, plastic baggies and letters from Officer Hogsett’s vehicle Friday night after executing a search warrant. Authorities said inmate money orders were involved in the investigation.

Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor said Officer Hogsett remained employed at the Augusta County facility as of Tuesday. She began working there last year.

From staff reports and wire dispatches.

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