- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 10, 2009



Woman held in attack on pregnant woman

A judge has ordered a Suitland woman accused of cutting a pregnant woman in an attempt to take her unborn child be held without bond.

Veronica Deramous, 40, made her first court appearance Wednesday in Prince George’s County District Court via closed-circuit television. Judge Robert Heffron Jr. ordered Ms. Deramous remain in custody until her Jan. 5 hearing.

The public defender’s office said Wednesday that it will represent Ms. Deramous, but an attorney has not yet been assigned.


Gas-attack suspect caught in Arkansas

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that a Frederick man suspected of setting an acquaintance on fire has been apprehended in Little Rock, Ark.

Cpl. Jennifer Bailey said Joshua Mashburn, 26, was picked up Wednesday by Little Rock police.

She said Frederick County authorities plan to extradite Mr. Mashburn back to Maryland.

He is charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree arson and other offenses for dousing a 48-year-old man with gasoline and setting him on fire in the victim’s Frederick home early Saturday morning.


Suspect pleads guilty in inmate’s slaying

The last of three men charged with murdering a fellow state prison inmate has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in Hagerstown.

Chad Cirigliano, 30, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy to commit second-degree assault and was sentenced to an additional 10 years. Cirigliano was already serving a 10-year sentence for a 2004 burglary conviction in Worcester County.

Prosecutors dropped first-degree murder, assault and robbery charges stemming from the April 2008 death of Armando Fernandez, a convicted child sexual abuser from Prince George’s County.

Fernandez died two months after he was attacked at the Roxbury Correctional Institution. State police had his body exhumed for an autopsy that concluded his death was a homicide.


Task force submits job growth ideas

A state task force has submitted recommendations to Gov. Martin O’Malley to help small businesses and create jobs.

The Governor’s Task Force on Small Business highlighted five recommendations in the report Wednesday. One of them would extend the state’s Small Business Reserve Program, which requires 24 state agencies to fill 10 percent of total procurement dollars with qualified small businesses.

The group also suggests revamping state financing programs to complement federal and private sector opportunities for small businesses.

The task force says the state should create a Maryland Small Business Commission.

Earlier this week, Mr. O’Malley outlined a legislative agenda to help small businesses, including a $3,000 tax credit for each unemployed person hired by businesses.


Researcher diagnosed with tularemia

The Army says a Fort Detrick biodefense worker has been hospitalized for treatment of a disease she may have contracted in a laboratory.

Caree Vander Linden of the U.S. ArmyMedical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases said Wednesday that the woman was admitted Monday to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District to receive antibiotics intravenously.

Tests have confirmed that the woman has tularemia, a respiratory illness that can cause life-threatening pneumonia. The Army announced the case Friday, 11 days after she first sought help.

Ms. Vander Linden said the woman’s condition is stable and improving.

Tularemia cannot spread from person to person. It is caused in nature by tick and fly bites, or from handling infected animals.



Vet vows to fly flag unhindered

A 90-year-old Medal of Honor winner says he plans to fly Old Glory “without interference” for the rest of his life, now that his homeowners’ association has dropped a demand to take down a 21-foot flagpole in his front yard.

Retired Army Col. Van T. Barfoot read a statement Wednesday thanking people nationwide who backed his efforts to fly the American flag at his home.

Mr. Barfoot’s comments came a day after the Sussex Square Homeowners’ Association dropped threats of legal action. He had erected the flagpole in September, despite being denied permission to do so because it violated the neighborhood’s aesthetic guidelines.

Mr. Barfoot received the Medal of Honor after standing up to three German tanks with a bazooka during World War II.

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