- The Washington Times - Friday, January 2, 2009



Power restored after heavy winds

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. said nearly 45,000 customers in Central Maryland lost power as the region dealt with wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

By noon Thursday, power had been restored to nearly 42,000 customers, and about 3,200 remained in the dark.

The company said most of the outages were caused by trees and tree limbs falling onto power lines.

Pepco reported Wednesday night that 9,000 of its customers in the D.C. metro area were without power. By noon Thursday, that number had been cut to 700.

Nearly 1,300 Delmarva Power customers in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore still had the lights off at midday Thursday, down from about 7,000.

Allegheny Power reported about 400 remaining outages in Western Maryland on Thursday. Dominion Virginia Power reported 365 outages in Northern Virginia on Thursday afternoon.

Nonprofit provides free cab rides

A Virginia-based nonprofit said hundreds of “would-be drunk drivers” took advantage of free cab rides this New Year’s holiday.

The McLean-based Washington Regional Alcohol Program said 468 people used the free cab ride service, SoberRide, instead of risking a drunken drive home.

The program offered free trips from 10 p.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Services were provided in the District, in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland, and in Arlington, eastern Loudoun and Prince William counties in Virginia.

The group said it provided more than 2,000 free cab rides in the SoberRide program from Dec. 12 through New Year’s.


Park Police gets new chief

The National Park Service has named the new chief of the U.S. Park Police.

Officials said Salvatore Lauro will head the force, which oversees security at Park Service property in the District, New York and San Francisco.

Chief Lauro has been the Park Police’s acting assistant chief since March. He joined the Park Police in 1978 as an officer in Washington.

In a report last year, the Interior Department inspector general found the Park Police neglected security at landmarks and was plagued by understaffing and poor leadership, among other problems. Officials have said they were responding to the report.

Fenty names new transportation head

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has named new heads for the D.C. Department of Transportation and three other city posts.

Gabe Klein will be director of the transportation department. He was co-founder and chief executive officer of On the Fly, a boutique food service company. Mr. Klein also has worked as a regional vice president for Zipcar, a car-sharing company.

Mr. Fenty, a Democrat, named Lee A. Smith III as director of the Department of Small and Local Business Development. Mr. Smith most recently served as director of administration and government affairs for the Washington Convention Center Authority.

The other appointments were Bridget Davis as director of the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs and Tracy Sandler as director of the Office of Boards and Commissions.



Police commissioner arrests gun suspects

Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III rang in the new year by arresting two people and seizing two sawed-off shotguns.

Commissioner Bealefeld told the Associated Press that the cancellation of a planned fireworks display in the Inner Harbor allowed him to go on patrol. Commissioner Bealefeld and an aide, Detective Pete Sullivan, were parked in an alley in West Baltimore at midnight when they saw two men firing guns into the air.

Commissioner Bealefeld and Detective Sullivan ran toward the gunmen and identified themselves, and the men retreated into a home. The commissioner and detective said they entered the home and called for backup after finding several people, then arrested the gunmen and recovered the sawed-off shotguns that were fired.

Throughout the city, officers arrested 44 people for gun crimes between midnight and 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Police also seized nearly 50 guns.


Pedestrians killed in 2 accidents

Prince George’s County Police said two pedestrians were killed in separate accidents.

Police said Darryl Elliott was struck at the intersection of Landover and Brightseat roads in the Palmer Park area Wednesday evening. The motorist who hit him remained at the scene.

Another man, Tin Cheung, died in a Forestville parking lot in the 2900 block of Donnell Drive. The driver involved also stayed at the scene.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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