- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Smithsonian gains from stimulus

The Smithsonian Institution is poised to receive a piece of the $787 billion economic stimulus funding to help repair existing facilities, though it will be a smaller amount than originally planned.

The museum and research complex will receive $25 million from the stimulus package President Obama signed into law Tuesday.

A House version of the bill had included $150 million for the Smithsonian to reduce a $2.5 billion backlog of maintenance for its 19 museums, the National Zoo and numerous research centers. That number was slashed to $75 million in the Senate, and to $25 million in a compromise agreement passed Friday.

The stimulus package includes $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts to help struggling arts groups in every state.



Man sentenced in credit scheme

A federal judge has sentenced a Mitchellville man to 3 1/2 years in prison for a nearly $1 million credit card scheme.

Dain McCalla, 28, was sentenced Tuesday for taking over more than 50 credit card accounts. McCalla used those accounts to spend nearly $1 million on a BMW, cell phones, a computer and other items.

Prosecutors said he and two men purchased prepaid MasterCards and fraudulently obtained someone else’s credit cards. They would obtain new credit card accounts in the victims’ names and use an ATM to transfer the victims’ funds to the prepaid MasterCards.

McCalla will be required to pay $944,996.50 in restitution and forfeit the BMW and other goods. Five others have pleaded guilty in the scheme.


Route 50 crash kills motorist

U.S. Park Police said a Suitland man was killed when his car hit a light pole, then went over a low stone wall on U.S. Route 50.

The Chrysler Sebring was traveling westbound on Route 50 at the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in the Cheverly area when the crash occurred just before 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Police said the driver, John Larry Lloyd, 21, was found dead.

The ramp from southbound Baltimore-Washington Parkway to westbound Route 50 was closed for about five hours for the investigation. Police said speed was determined to be a likely factor in the crash.


Man admits identity fraud

A Baltimore man has pleaded guilty to using his dead neighbor’s identity to fraudulently get credit cards and deceive the government, banks and utility companies.

David Johnson, 45, pleaded guilty Tuesday to fraudulently using credit cards in the name of his neighbor, who died in July 2004. Federal prosecutors said Johnson also pleaded guilty to stealing the man’s financial assets, including Social Security and state pension payments.

Prosecutors said Johnson and a friend deceived local and federal government agencies into thinking the neighbor was still alive by paying his mortgage, utility bills and taxes.

Prosecutors said the men charged at least $47,000 on the dead man’s credit cards between late 2004 and November 2007, when the scheme was discovered.



Police identify shooting victim

Fairfax County police have identified one of the victims of a shooting in Fairfax Station.

Police were called Monday morning to a home on Laketree Drive and found two people with gunshot wounds.

Police said Margaret Teague, 58, was found dead. A 59-year-old man, who police think is Mrs. Teague’s husband, was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Both had been shot in the torso.

Authorities said the incident appeared to be a domestic dispute. Police spokesman Officer Don Gotthardt said investigators had not determined who fired the shots.

An autopsy on Mrs. Teague was planned for Tuesday.


Police use DNA in assault arrest

Fairfax County police said they have arrested a man accused of sexually assaulting a girl in 2006.

Police said Tuesday that a DNA match led them to the arrest last week of James Williams, 47, of Alexandria. Mr. Williams faces various charges, including rape and abduction.

Officials said Mr. Williams assaulted a 16-year-old Alexandria girl in November 2006. He was arrested last month in another case and DNA samples linked him to the assault.


Man sought in child rape

Prince William County police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man wanted in the sexual assault of an 8-year-old.

The suspect, Marcos Reyes Banegas, 25, is a Honduran national with no fixed address, but he has ties to Woodbridge, Alexandria and Gaithersburg. He is charged with rape, forcible sodomy and other offenses.

Police said he sexually assaulted an 8-year-old on Monday.


Nurse arrested for sexual battery

Vienna Police have arrested a nurse accused of sexually battering a woman at a medical facility.

Police said the woman went to the Inova Urgent Care Center in Vienna on Feb. 11 for treatment.

Bassam Karim, 32, reportedly performed an inappropriate examination on her after he took the 26-year-old woman to an examination room.

The Vienna man has been charged with sexual battery, which police said took place in the examination room. He was arrested Tuesday after turning himself in at police headquarters.


City considers new Metro station

Alexandria officials plan to move forward with discussions on a new Metrorail station.

Officials said they will meet with the Metrorail Station Feasibility Work Group on Thursday to discuss a possible station at Potomac Yard. The stop would be located between the Braddock Road and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport stations, along the Blue and Yellow lines.

Planners say the project could cost up to $150 million. Mayor William D. Euille, a Democrat, told WTOP Radio that the mix of residential and commercial space at Potomac Yard makes it “ripe to do this,” though it may take five or 10 years.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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