- The Washington Times - Friday, December 4, 2009


Metro Board eyes fares and service

Fare increases and service cuts are on the table as Metro grapples with a projected $175 million budget gap for the next fiscal year.

Metro Chief Financial Officer Carol Kissal briefed board members on the budget picture Thursday.

Possible service cuts include pushing back the time the subway opens in the morning, increasing the intervals between trains and buses, and closing some stations or station entrances during slow periods.

Peter Benjamin, chairman of the Metro Board’s finance committee, said the agency will do everything possible to avoid raising fares or cutting service.

Metro’s bottom line has been suffering from having fewer riders than expected this year.

The agency blames high unemployment for the decrease in ridership.



Man returned to Va. for 1987 rape

Fairfax County police said a DNA match has helped crack a 1987 sexual assault case in Northern Virginia.

Police said John Q. Kinsey, 49, of Greencastle, Pa., was returned to Virginia on Wednesday to face charges for the assault of a 30-year-old woman in the Pimmit Hills area on May 11, 1987.

Police said Mr. Kinsey broke into the woman’s home and attacked her. They say she jumped out of a window to escape.

Officials said detectives recently submitted DNA evidence to a lab and it linked the case to Mr. Kinsey. Last month, a grand jury indicted him on rape and burglary with intent to commit rape charges, and Pennsylvania State Police arrested him at his home.


Charge dropped against sheriff

An assault and battery charge against Rockbridge County Sheriff R.W. “Bob” Day has been dropped.

Lexington police charged Sheriff Day with the misdemeanor following an incident Oct. 14 in the office of Robert Foresman, the county’s emergency services coordinator. The sheriff was accused of assaulting Mr. Foresman.

Mr. Day’s attorney, Tom Simons, said both sides got together, resolved their differences and decided to drop the case.

Retired Judge Steve Helvin approved the agreement Thursday. Judge Helvin was brought in from Charlottesville to hear the case in Rockbridge County General District Court.


Immigrant acquitted of decapitation threat

A Vietnamese immigrant who sent his congressman a bloodstained letter vowing to decapitate a U.S. consular official was acquitted of two charges Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Robert Payne ruled that prosecutors failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Phuong Nguyen Le of Richmond really intended to harm U.S. Consular Chief Charles Bennett in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Mr. Le, 50, last year mailed a letter to the Richmond office of Rep. Robert C. Scott, Virginia Democrat, threatening to cut off Mr. Bennett’s head. Mr. Le was angry because a visa application for his wife in Vietnam was rejected, and Mr. Bennett’s letter informing him of the decision suggested the marriage was a sham.

The letter also threatened a massacre worse than the Virginia Tech shootings. The typewritten page was heavily smeared with Mr. Le’s blood, which he also used to sign his name.

Judge Payne said he was convinced by a psychiatrist’s testimony that in Vietnamese culture, the decapitation remark would be viewed as an insult, not a threat.



Alderman convicted of sex offense

An Annapolis alderman has been convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses against a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul Harris on Thursday convicted Samuel Shropshire of second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense. Sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 22.

Shropshire, a Democrat who ran for mayor of Annapolis but lost the primary, was charged in May after he allegedly touched a male midshipman’s crotch in a car.


Man pleads guilty to sex, drug charges

Federal prosecutors said an Ohio man has pleaded guilty to taking part in a plot to run a sex and drug trafficking business from a Maryland apartment.

Richard Johnson, 22, of Chillicothe, Ohio, entered the plea Thursday. He will be sentenced Feb. 12.

According to his plea, Johnson and conspirators transported at least 12 people from two states to Maryland to engage in prostitution from an apartment in Millersville.

Johnson and conspirators distributed illegal drugs to associates, prostitutes and customers.

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