- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Man, 18, charged in Metro incident

Metro police have arrested Jarrell Thompson Jr., 18, of Southeast Washington, and charged him with pushing another youth into the side of a train last month.

Metro officials announced that the Tuesday arrest and said Mr. Thompson has been charged with aggravated assault. He is accused of pushing another youth into the side of a Red Line train at the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail station last month.

If convicted, Mr. Thompson could face up to 15 years in prison, Metro said.

The youth who was pushed into the side of a train was recently released from a hospital.



Group drafts bill to legalize ‘corkage’

Some wine advocates hope to make Frederick County the first in Maryland to allow restaurant patrons to bring their own bottles.

Adam Borden of Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws said Tuesday that the group has drafted a bill that would allow restaurants in Frederick County to implement a so-called “corkage” policy.

Mr. Borden said the proposal was instigated by celebrity chef Bryan Voltaggio, who wants wine lovers to be able to enjoy bottles from their own collection at his Frederick restaurant, Volt.

State Delegate Paul S. Stull, Frederick County Republican, asked the group to draft the bill for possible introduction by the county’s delegation in the upcoming General Assembly session, Mr. Borden said.

Also on the city’s restaurant scene, former Frederick Mayor Jennifer Dougherty is back in the restaurant business. The Frederick News-Post reported Tuesday that Miss Dougherty and business partner Bruce Rhoderick have opened an Irish restaurant called Magoo’s Pub and Eatery on Second Street downtown.

Miss Dougherty owned an Irish pub called Jennifer’s for more than 20 years before selling it last year.


Jurors prejudiced, mayor’s lawyers say

Five of the jurors who convicted Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon on a misdemeanor embezzlement charge are being brought back to court for the hearing on her motion for a new trial, a court official said Tuesday.

Retired Howard County Circuit Judge Dennis M. Sweeney, who presided over Mrs. Dixon’s trial, has asked the jurors, who became friends on Facebook during the trial, to appear at the Jan. 6 hearing, said Maryland Judiciary spokesman Darrell S. Pressley.

Mrs. Dixon’s lawyers argue in their motion for a new trial that those jurors disregarded Judge Sweeney’s instructions not to discuss the case outside the courthouse.

They said in the motion that the mayor was deprived of a fair trial because of misconduct by jurors, including their communication on Facebook, and that two of the five jurors lied during jury selection.

In court papers filed Tuesday, Mrs. Dixon’s lead attorney, Arnold M. Weiner, noted that Judge Sweeney sent a letter to jurors on Dec. 22 advising them “that they should not discuss this case with anyone.”

Mrs. Dixon, a Democrat, was convicted Dec. 1 of misappropriating $525 in gift cards that were donated to the city for distribution to needy families. She could be removed from office after her Jan. 21 sentencing.

Mrs. Dixon was acquitted of three other counts, including felony theft, and jurors could not reach a verdict on another embezzlement count.


Gansler criticizes judges’ elections

Maryland’s Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler wants circuit court judges to serve for 10 years before they face election.

Mr. Gansler said the current process, under which judges must be elected within two years of their appointment, politicizes the job.

He called the current requirement an “anathema” and said judges should be above politics.

Mr. Gansler has not yet drafted legislation to change the state constitution or lined up any sponsors in the General Assembly.

Gov. Martin O’Malley, who must appoint the judges, would not comment on the proposal.


Woman, 47, charged with faking robbery

St. Mary’s County sheriff’s deputies have charged a cab company employee who said she was robbed of $500 of the firm’s money but in fact spent the money herself.

Sharon Milburn, 47, of Great Mills, has been charged with theft and making a false report to a police officer.

Deputies said Miss Milburn called 911 Monday morning to report that a man grabbed her purse containing $500 belonging to Chesapeake Cab Co. and that her boyfriend chased after the man.

Deputies said they found inconsistencies in Miss Milburn’s story and that she and her boyfriend made up the robbery story because Miss Milburn spent the money.

Her boyfriend, John Greenwell, 50, also of Great Mills, was charged with making a false report.



State declares streams impaired

Elevated levels of E. coli bacteria and organic compounds often found in coolants and insulating fluids have been found in a 41-mile stretch of the Levisa Fork and Slate Creek in Virginia.

Though the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has declared the streams impaired, it has not placed any restrictions on boating, fishing or swimming.

The department is hosting a public meeting Jan. 14 in Grundy to discuss the findings.

Shelly Williams, who is with the department’s regional office in Abingdon, said there is no time frame for implementing a corrective-action plan.


Police identify body found on beach

Authorities have identified a woman whose body was found on a Chesapeake Bay beach in Northampton County.

The Northampton County Sheriff’s Office said the body found on a Chesapeake Bay beach last week is Robin Lamb, 56, of Deep Creek, and said was the victim of an apparent boating accident.

The Ithaca Journal in New York said Miss Lamb owned Micawber’s Pub near Cornell University.

Authorities are looking to locate the boat, apparently sunk, and any other occupants that may have been aboard. A second woman from Accomack County may have been on the boat, but there are conflicting reports of who was aboard.


Environmental Quality wins green contest

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has won the Green Commonwealth Challenge.

It was one of 38 agencies that accepted the invitation to see how many actions its employees could take to reduce their impact on the environment between June 15 and Nov. 15.

As a result, employees traveled less, recycled more and used less water and fewer disposable materials.

Gov. Tim Kaine announced the winners on Tuesday.

The Department of Corrections came in second, followed by Virginia Tech.

The top three winners are authorized to reward their employees with a day off from work.



Council considering parking change

The Town Council is considering replacing parking meters with computerized pay stations.

Town Manager Cliff Graviet said that since the town increased its parking fees, first to $1.25 per hour in 2007 and then to $1.50 in April, it has struggled to manage the overflow of quarters.

The council has considered similar proposals before, but because of these problems, Mayor Tony McClenny said he is more amenable to making the switch.

With pay stations, motorists would use quarters or credit cards and receive a ticket stub indicating the time their parking expires. Mr. Graviet said the new machines would increase revenues between 10 percent and 15 percent because most people buy more time than they need.

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