- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 12, 2009


Equipment fires out at printing office

A shredder used to process waste paper for recycling caused several small equipment fires at the U.S. Government Printing Office on Friday afternoon.

D.C. fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said the Northwest building was evacuated as firefighters worked to control fires on the third and fifth floors and the loading dock.

Mr. Piringer said the machine is connected to upper floors through a chute that allows paper to flow through.

Printing office officials think static electricity ignited dust in the equipment, causing the fire.



Mother, son charged with murder for hire

Maryland State Police say a Washington County mother and her son have been indicted on murder-for-hire charges.

State police say the indictments were issued by a Washington County grand jury against Grace Marie Fink, 67, and her son, Clarence F. Meyers, 39, both of Hancock.

Police are accusing Meyers of conspiring with Mrs. Fink to murder his former girlfriend, who is the mother of two young girls he was charged with murdering earlier this year. Meyers is in prison after his conviction for those deaths in a February fire.


Dixon’s lawyers ask for new trial

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon is seeking a new trial.

Ms. Dixon, a Democrat, was convicted last week on one count of misdemeanor embezzlement. Jurors found that she misappropriated $525 worth of gift cards that were donated to the city for distribution to families in need.

If the conviction stands, she could be thrown out of office.

Ms. Dixon’s attorneys say she deserves a new trial for several reasons, including juror misconduct. They allege that two jurors lied during jury selection. One said she had never been charged with felony theft, but court records show she was charged with theft in 2007.

The lawyers say another juror received a shopping spree from the city at a 2006 event attended by Ms. Dixon and a city employee who testified at trial.



Bus crash sends 12 to hospital

A dozen students were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries after a school-bus crash Friday in Dinwiddie County.

State police Sgt. Thomas Molnar said the bus carrying 25 students wrecked about a quarter-mile from Dinwiddie Junior High School just before 3 p.m. The middle- and high-school students helped each other out of the back of the bus.

Sgt. Molnar said the driver ran off the right side of the road, overcorrected across the oncoming lane, then came back to the right side of the road again, where the bus overturned in a ditch.

The driver, Rae Cole, 25, of Sutherland, was charged with reckless driving. State police are investigating what made her run off the road. She also was taken to the hospital. Ms. Cole did not immediately return a phone message.


Man dies after stun-gun shots

Hampton police are investigating the death of a man who was shot twice with a stun gun by officers after he repeatedly swung a samurai-style sword at them.

Police spokeswoman Cpl. Paula Scheck said the 36-year-old man was pronounced dead at a local hospital about 1:15 a.m. Friday. He wasn’t identified.

Cpl. Scheck said the officers went to the man’s home Thursday night to serve an emergency custody order to take him for a mental evaluation.

A police statement said the man swung the sword at the officers and they shot him with a stun gun. He continued to swing the weapon and was shot again.

He then stopped breathing. The officers began CPR and called medics.

The officers are on administrative leave.

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