- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 5, 2009



Dixon’s lawyers may seek new trial

Lawyers for Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon have indicated they plan to file a motion for a new trial.

Dale Kelberman, one of Ms. Dixon’s attorneys, filed a motion Friday seeking an extension of the deadline to ask for a new trial.

The motion was denied by Judge Dennis Sweeney, meaning Ms. Dixon’s lawyers have until Thursday to complete their motion for a new trial. Mr. Kelberman argued that attorneys needed more time to prepare the motion and to gather transcripts and other evidence.

Ms. Dixon was convicted Tuesday on a misdemeanor fraud charge. She was acquitted on three other counts, including felony theft.

Jurors could not reach a verdict on another misdemeanor count. Prosecutors have informed Judge Sweeney that they have no plans to retry that count “at this time.”


Regents toughen math requirement

The Board of Regents has approved a measure requiring applicants to University System of Maryland schools to take a fourth math course and take math during their senior year.

The measure will apply to students who begin ninth grade in the fall of 2011.

Some regents wanted to know how much flexibility could be allowed in the new policy.

Mike Lurie, a spokesman for the University System of Maryland, said there already was some flexibility on admissions at institutions in the system. Mr. Lurie said about 15 percent of freshmen classes are admitted with exceptions to existing policies.

The chancellor of the system will report back to the board at its first meeting in 2010 with details about how the policy will be implemented.


Swine flu activity down

Gov. Martin O’Malley said flu activity in Maryland is on the decline.

He said positive tests for swine flu are down, along with hospitalizations, emergency room visits and admissions to intensive-care units resulting from both swine flu and seasonal flu.

However, swine flu continues to be deadly. State health officials say 35 Marylanders have died from the disease, including six whose deaths were reported this week. About 70 percent of those victims had underlying health conditions.

Mr. O’Malley said the state has ordered more than 1.2 million doses of the swine flu vaccine and has received more than 750,000 doses. The governor said the state should have enough doses on hand to give the vaccine to anyone who wants it by the end of the year.


Salahis sued over bounced check

The Virginia couple who got into last week’s state dinner at the White House without an invitation are also in trouble for bouncing a $24,000 check for liquor purchased in Maryland.

The Montgomery County government, which conducts all the wholesale liquor sales in its territory, filed a lawsuit Thursday against Michaele and Tareq Salahi in Montgomery County District Court. The Salahis purchased wine and beer for a charity polo event they held in Montgomery County in May.

According to court documents, the couple returned more than $10,000 worth of merchandise, but they still owe more than $13,000 from the bounced check.

A spokesman for Dewey & LeBoeuf, a law firm that represents the couple, declined to comment on the claim.



Man sentenced to death in slaying

A West Virginia man was sentenced to death Friday after being convicted of killing a Navy officer in a murder-for-hire plot.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith in Norfolk handed down the sentence for David Anthony Runyon, 38, of Morgantown, W.Va. A jury found Runyon guilty of capital murder in the 2007 shooting death of Ensign Cory Allen Voss in Newport News.

Runyon was hired by Ensign Voss’ wife and her boyfriend to kill Ensign Voss so the lovers could be together and collect $500,000 in insurance money. Catherina Voss and Michael Anthony Eric Draven were previously sentenced to life in prison for their roles in the plot.

Runyon’s attorney said he plans to appeal.


Cocaine stuffing recipe for arrest

A man from Guatemala was placed under arrest after customs inspectors at Dulles International Airport discovered he was carrying a cooked chicken stuffed with more than $4,000 worth of cocaine.

Agents decided the fully cooked chicken that Wagner Mauricio Linares Aragon, 32, brought with him on a flight from El Salvador warranted closer inspection.

Inside the chicken’s cavity they found two small, clear bags that contained about 60 grams - 2.3 ounces - of powder cocaine.

Mr. Linares Aragon is being held awaiting trial on felony drug charges in Loudoun County.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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