- The Washington Times - Monday, December 7, 2009


Firefighter injured in row house blaze

D.C. fire department authorities said a firefighter was injured while putting out a blaze at a row house in Northwest Washington.

Fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said about 90 firefighters and emergency responders arrived at the 1300 block of Oak Street at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday. One firefighter was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Mr. Piringer said the fire caused a wall to collapse and damaged nearby homes. Several streets also were closed in the area, and road crews were called in because of icy conditions.

Authorities were investigating what caused the fire. The home was unoccupied, and officials think it was under construction or renovation.

Power restored to area customers

Pepco has restored power to the District and to Prince George’s and Montgomery county residents who lost their electricity after the region’s snowfall Saturday.

The company’s Web site showed early Sunday that most had their power back on by the afternoon.

By late Saturday, about 6,500 customers had been affected in Prince George’s County, about 1,400 customers were affected in Montgomery County and a handful were affected in Washington.



Men shot, beaten in hotel fight

One man was shot in the face and another was severely beaten when a fight erupted early Sunday morning during a birthday party at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel, police said.

Officers were called to the downtown hotel at about 3:15 a.m., said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. Shortly after police arrived, they found a Tech-9 semiautomatic machine pistol in a room where the party was held.

Police said a woman had rented two adjoining hotel rooms for a birthday party with about 20 young adults. There a fight broke out between two men from Baltimore - Raymond Woodland and Marquis Johnson. It’s not clear what started it, Mr. Guglielmi said.

He said Woodland pulled out the pistol and fired one shot, striking Mr. Johnson in the face. Another scuffle began, with two of Mr. Johnson’s friends taking away the gun and then holding Woodland down and severely beating him.

Woodland was in critical condition with severe injuries at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Mr. Johnson was in serious condition at the same hospital, but was expected to survive, Mr. Guglielmi said. Another person suffered minor facial lacerations during the fight for the gun.

Woodland, who is on probation for earlier drug charges, was expected to face attempted murder, assault and illegal weapons charges once he’s released from the hospital.

Two men were expected to be charged Sunday night with beating Woodland, Mr. Guglielmi said.


Repairs beginning on sewer pipes

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission is launching a project to repair aging pipes in Prince George’s County.

The sanitary commission plans a kickoff event for the work Monday at its Laurel headquarters. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Democrat, and others are expected to attend.

The work will renew infrastructure in the Lower Anacostia area of the county. Inspections show that the sewer mains and laterals there are deteriorating and some of the mains are nearly 90 years old.

The Maryland Department of the Environment provided a $6 million grant for the project through federal economic stimulus funding. Officials say it’s the first time that the sanitary commission has received federal money for a reconstruction project through the department.


Man struck, killed crossing Interstate

Maryland State Police said a Parkville man was pronounced dead at the scene where he was struck by a tractor trailer.

Police said the man, who has not been identified, tried to cross Interstate 695 on Saturday.

The driver of the tractor trailer, Jerry Lyn Brooks, 46, of Ellicott City, was not injured. He was hauling an empty tanker. Lanes were closed for several hours as troopers investigated.



Traffic screens ready at mall

Shoppers at the Tysons Corner Center shopping mall can now check out how traffic is moving before they head home.

The Virginia Department of Transportation spent $400,000 on five screens placed throughout Tysons Corner Center that show traffic conditions. Officials said it will help shoppers make informed decisions. For example, if traffic is bad, a shopper might decide to stay and eat dinner at the mall.

Two major projects - the addition of new lanes on the Capital Beltway and the extension of Metro to Dulles International Airport - are causing major delays in the Tysons Corner area.


Retired executive winner in primary

Jeff McWaters, a retired insurance executive, has won the Republican primary for a special election for state Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle’s 8th District seat.

Mr. McWaters, who left the top job at managed-care insurer Amerigroup Corp. in 2007, won 63 percent of the vote to Virginia Beach Council member Rosemary Wilson’s 37 percent Saturday.

Mr. McWaters advances to a Jan. 12 special election to replace Mr. Stolle, who was elected sheriff of Virginia Beach. So far, no Democrat has been nominated to oppose him.

Election officials said about 6.5 percent of the district’s registered voters participated.


Deputy dies after car falls on him

Law enforcement officials said a sheriff’s deputy has died after a car he was working on fell on him.

Kevin L. Rock Sr., 43, a Prince William County sheriff’s deputy, died Thursday in the Fredericksburg area. He was off duty when the accident happened. Mr. Rock was married and had three children.

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