- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 25, 2009



New poultry farm rules put on hold

Challenges to new rules aimed at controlling polluted runoff from the largest poultry farms into streams and the Chesapeake Bay have prompted state officials to put the requirements on hold.

The Waterkeeper Alliance and Wicomico County chicken farmer Blair Ranneberger asked to review the requirements that were to take effect Wednesday, state environment officials said.

Mr. Ranneberger said the requirements were “unscientific” and would hurt his business.

The alliance said the rules weren’t strict enough.

The state had planned to require farms with 125,000 birds or more to get permits to ensure that waste doesn’t get into the water. Medium-sized farms would have to certify that they were taking similar precautions.

Farms would have had to pay an annual fee of up to $1,200, submit reports and be subject to state inspection.


Colorado woman wins a house

A Colorado woman has won a 4,400-square-foot house in Edgewater after buying a $50 raffle ticket.

The drawing was held Friday and Karen McHale, of Idaho Springs, Colo., held the lucky ticket. More than 23,000 tickets were sold around the world.

About $100,000 of the $1.2 million brought in by the raffle will go to a local charity. The rest will cover the owners’ loans.

But owner Tom Walters’ said he and his wife will still take a bit of a loss because they bought the house in 2006 for $425,000 and spent $750,000 to fix it up.

Ms. McHale isn’t sure yet whether she’ll try to sell or rent the house. She said one factor in the decision is an expected $200,000 to $300,000 tax bill, because the raffle could be considered gambling.


Three arrested after undercover cop shot

Baltimore police said three people have been arrested after an undercover police officer was shot twice in the face while working a drug detail.

Dante Arthur, 33, was shot Friday night and police said Saturday that he was listed in critical, but stable condition at Shock Trauma.

Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld said the officer, who has been on the force for about eight years, was one of two plain-clothes officers who approached a group of people they believed were selling drugs.

During the attempted purchase, Commissioner Bealefeld said the officer was shot and his partner returned fire.

Commissioner Bealefeld said Friday that two people at local hospitals might be linked to the shooting and police were investigating.


Marshals probe fire at former post office

State fire officials are investigating a blaze set at a former post office in Harford County.

A passer-by discovered the fire at the building in the 600 block of Joppa Farm Road in Joppa about 5 a.m. Saturday and called 911.

Someone intentionally started the fire in the building, which had been vacant for about two years and is now under renovations, deputy state fire marshals said.

It took about 45 firefighters about 10 minutes to bring the fire under control, but not before it caused about $10,000 in damage to the building.



Ex-Regent official convicted of abuse

A former Regent University dean has been convicted of sexually abusing children.

Stephen McPherson, a former Regent University law school assistant dean, pleaded guilty Friday in Chesapeake Circuit Court to two counts of forcible sodomy and two counts of object sexual penetration. Sentencing is scheduled for May 22.

According to indictments, the charges stemmed from events between May 2000 and May 2002 that were reported to Chesapeake police in July 2007.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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