- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 20, 2009



Zookeeper critical after jaguar attacks

State police have identified the zookeeper critically injured by a jaguar at the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo as Deborah Gregory of Severn.

Miss Gregory, 32, remains in critical but stable condition at Shock Trauma in Baltimore.

She has been working at the privately owned zoo for about a month as a big cat keeper, authorities said. She suffered injuries to her face and upper body from a black jaguar named Diego.

Frederick County Animal Control Director Harold Domer surveyed the jaguar enclosure Monday and found that the safety precautions were in order. Miss Gregory was attacked when a jaguar entered an inside den through what was supposed to be a secure door from the outside exhibit area, Mr. Domer said.


Man, 26, arrested in woman’s slaying

Baltimore County police have made an arrest in the fatal shooting of a Middle River woman.

Warren Yates, 26, of the North Point area, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Shirley Worcester, 58. The victim was fatally shot Jan. 7 while talking with family members outside her home on Whitehorn Way in the Hawthorne neighborhood.

Witnesses reported hearing several gunshots. Police think Mr. Yates fired several rounds at someone involved with him in a drug deal, and one of the bullets struck Mrs. Worcester.

Mr. Yates was arrested Monday and is awaiting a bail review. He also is charged with possession and distribution of narcotics and using of a handgun during violent crime.


Ship refloated after unloading

The Coast Guard said a cargo ship that ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay north of Annapolis has been refloated after thousands of tons of iron ore were unloaded.

The Bahamian-flagged vessel CSL Argosy ran aground in the Craig Hill Channel on Saturday while heading to Baltimore and was freed about 10 p.m. Monday.

The Coast Guard said more than 19,000 metric tons of iron ore was moved to barges to lighten the ship and was delivered to Baltimore.

The ship is anchored near Annapolis while the crew inspects the ship, but the Coast Guard there are no signs of damage or pollution.

The cause of the grounding is under investigation.


Man guilty in slaying near MSU campus

A city jury has convicted a man charged in a fatal shooting near the campus of Morgan State University, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s office said.

A news release issued Tuesday said the jury on Friday found Jason Allen, 25, guilty of first-degree murder in the February slaying of Jeff Payne, 20. The victim was shot at the Morgan View Apartment Complex while attending a going-away gathering for a Morgan State student, authorities said.

The shooting was the result of an earlier fight, prosecutors said.

Co-defendant Powerful Aguilar, 23, pleaded guilty in November to being an accessory after the fact.


Council considers night swimming ban

The Ocean City Town Council is being asked by Fire Chief Chris Larmore to ban swimming in the Atlantic Ocean or the Ocean City Inlet from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The proposal follows several hazardous nighttime surf rescues by paramedics and firefighters. The rescues put emergency workers at risk, Chief Larmore said. He points out that firefighters are not as well-trained as lifeguards to save swimmers.

The proposed ordinance includes no penalties or fines for those caught swimming after hours.



Shopping center hit by fire

A four-alarm fire damaged a grocery store and several adjoining businesses Monday at a shopping center near Falls Church, according to the Fairfax County Fire Department.

The fire was reported about 10:30 p.m. at E Mart. Flames were seen shooting through the roof, and the roof later collapsed, a fire department spokesman said. The fire also damaged a nail salon and a Starbucks coffee shop.

No one was hurt, and the fire was brought under control in less than two hours.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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