- The Washington Times - Friday, January 16, 2009


Lincoln exhibit at Smithsonian

More than 60 objects from President Abraham Lincoln’s life are going on display at the National Museum of American History.

The exhibit, “Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life,” opens Friday, just days before President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration, which includes symbolism from the Lincoln administration.

The exhibit features the top hat that Lincoln wore the night he was assassinated. Other items include his office suit and Mary Todd Lincoln’s purple gown, as well as photographs from Lincoln’s inaugurations in 1861 and 1865.

Curators said this is the first major Lincoln exhibit at the Smithsonian in about 50 years. It was planned for the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth in February.

30 homes affected by third pipe break

An 8-inch water main break Thursday in Southeast blocked traffic and created water-pressure problems for roughly 30 homes, according to the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority.

The break was the third in the District in recent days. One occurred Wednesday on H Street Northwest and the other Monday on 16th Street Northwest.

The break Thursday on U Place closed traffic from 19th and 22nd streets.



City official pleads in gift card case

The state prosecutor’s office said Thursday a Baltimore housing official pleaded guilty to the theft of gift cards also mentioned in the indictment of Mayor Sheila Dixon, a Democrat.

Lindbergh Carpenter Jr. of Owings Mills stole seven Toys R Us gift cards worth $140 that he had bought in December 2007 for use during the Mayor’s Holly Trolley Charitable Tour, the prosecutors office said. The cards were used to pay for part of the purchase of a $265 Nintendo Wii video game, prosecutors said.

Carpenter is an assistant commissioner in the Community Action Partnership office of the Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development. He pleaded guilty to theft of less than $500.


Shooting suspect found dead

A man being sought in the shooting of a Laurel woman was found dead hours later in a car parked along Interstate 95, Maryland State Police said.

The man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. His body was found about 2 a.m. Thursday on the shoulder of the highway near Route 32.

The man was being sought for a shooting four hours earlier outside a town house. A woman, 34, was shot twice in the face in the 15400 block of Arbory Way, authorities said.

The woman had a restraining order against the Hyattsville man, 32, Laurel police said. The man’s body was found in the same vehicle that left the shooting scene. The woman is being treated at Shock Trauma in Baltimore.


Report: State needs new radio system

A new report says Maryland’s first responders need access to an expensive radio system that will enable them to communicate with each other across local borders.

The recommendation was part of a $225,000 report on the state of Maryland’s disaster preparedness released Thursday.

The state is reviewing bids from companies that can set up the emergency communications system, said Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat. He hopes to have the radios operational within 5 to 7 years.

Last month, a separate study by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found Maryland was tied for last place among states nationwide in readiness for a health emergency. The radio issue was not addressed in their report, the authors of the study said.


Police arrest suspect in shopkeeper’s killing

DNA evidence found in a stolen getaway car has linked a suspect to the May killing of a shopkeeper in Silver Spring, authorities said.

Julio Paredes is in federal custody after being charged with first-degree murder and carjacking in the fatal shooting of Jorge Villatoro, an immigrant from El Salvador. Mr. Villatoro was shot at the store Variedades Jenny, which was named for his daughter.

Police say they are trying to confirm the identity of a second suspect in Mr. Villatoro’s death.

Besides the May shooting, Mr. Parades is accused of conspiring with others in a series of armed robberies across Maryland that began shortly before the slaying and continued until August.


Parking rates up at Inlet lot

The Town Council has voted to raise hourly parking rates at the Inlet lot.

Starting April 15, parking will cost $2.25 per hour every day of the week. Rates were last increased in 2003 to $2 on weekends and $1.50 on weekdays.

Town officials expect the rate increase will generate nearly $1 million in additional annual revenue.

The increase was approved in a 6-1 vote. Councilman Jim Hall voted no, saying the town was boosting revenue “on the backs of the tourists.”

In a related revenue move, the council voted to lower the age of free admission to the annual Winterfest of Lights. The event has been free for children under 12, but the change means 10- and 11-year-olds will now be charged the $4 admission.



Ex-manager of airline accused of embezzling

A former JetBlue Airways manager in Richmond has been charged with embezzling up to $250,000 from the airline.

A Henrico County grand jury indicted Carol Davidson, 43, of Midlothian, on seven counts of embezzlement and six counts of forgery or uttering. Ms. Davidson was released on bond this week and her trial is scheduled for March 25.

Ms. Davidson is accused of using her access to various accounts and billing documents to obtain money for travel, electronic devices, and other personal expenses, Commonwealth’s Attorney Wade Kizer said Thursday.

A JetBlue spokesman said Wednesday that the company is cooperating with investigators. Ms. Davidson is no longer a JetBlue employee, the spokesman said.

Ms. Davidson’s attorney, William Dinkin, said he had not yet reviewed the indictment and had no comment.


Public input sought on proposed reactor

Federal regulators are seeking public input on an environmental impact evaluation of Dominion Power’s plan to build a third nuclear reactor at its North Anna Power Station.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Thursday that it will hold a public meeting Feb. 3 at Louisa County High School in Mineral. Written comments will be accepted until March 20.

The NRC already has approved an early site permit for the proposed reactor, which has drawn protests from environmental groups.

The preliminary evaluation by commission staff includes a finding that no other “environmentally preferable or obviously superior” sites have been identified, the commission said.

A final environmental impact statement is expected to be issued by the end of the year.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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