- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 6, 2009



Guards assaulted at state prison

Two state correctional officers received minor injuries when they were assaulted over the weekend by an inmate wielding a push broom at the North Branch Correctional Institution near Cumberland.

The female officers were taken to a hospital in Cumberland by ambulance shortly after 4 a.m. Sunday, according to the Cumberland Times-News.

The newspaper reported that internal investigators will consult with the Allegany County state’s attorney to determine whether charges will be filed against the 50-year-old inmate.


Student stabbed with steak knife

A Maryland high school student was stabbed Monday in the back with a steak knife, according to the Charles County Police Department.

Police said the girl was attacked by another student about 11:45 a.m. in a hallway near the cafeteria at McDonough High School in Pomfret. The stabbing happened as students were changing classes.

The 17-year-old victim was flown to a hospital and was being treated for injuries that were not considered life-threatening. The student accused of stabbing the girl was hospitalized with a hand injury. A third student who tried to intervene was treated by a school nurse.

Police were trying to determine what prompted the attack.


Body-shop vandals hold demolition derby

Washington County authorities are looking for vandals who broke into a Hagerstown Ford body shop and staged their own demolition derby with cars awaiting repair.

Deputies said the perpetrators Sunday morning ran five vehicles into offices, equipment and one another, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

Police said a sixth vehicle was found abandoned several miles away.


School seeks funds for wind power

Washington County public school officials are considering putting a wind generator at Washington County Technical High School.

The officials said the generator wouldn’t produce much power, but it would give students hands-on lessons in energy technology.

Pre-engineering teacher Alan Zube is working with school officials to secure grant funding for the generator. Mr. Zube said the generator will cost about $22,000 to buy and install.

If the project gets grant funding, Mr. Zube said, the generator could be installed in September.


Man dies trying to save pet in blaze

The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office on Monday released the name of the man killed in a house fire in Walkersville.

Michael Aquino, 60, was killed in the blaze late Sunday evening at a two-story home in the first block of Maple Avenue.

Authorities said Mr. Aquino’s wife and granddaughter were flown to Shock Trauma in Baltimore and his daughter was sent to Frederick Memorial Hospital. They were being treated for smoke inhalation. The injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Investigators said Mr. Aquino helped his family escape the blaze but went back inside the house to try to save a pet.

Deputy state fire marshals determined that the fire began in the living room. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The damage is estimated at $100,000.



Kaine names Reese as policy deputy

Virginia Deputy Secretary of Transportation Barbara Reese has been appointed as deputy policy director in the governor’s office. Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, announced her appointment Monday.

Mr. Kaine said Mrs. Reese will continue to lead Virginia’s efforts to secure rail service to Washington Dulles International Airport.

Mrs. Reese has served as deputy secretary of transportation since 2007. She has worked in state government since the late 1980s, in the executive and legislative branches.


Feb. 19 execution set for cop killer

A Virginia inmate is scheduled to be executed next month for killing a Winchester police officer in 1999.

Winchester Circuit Court set a Feb. 19 execution date for Edward Nathaniel Bell, 44.

Bell was sentenced to death for killing Sgt. Ricky Timbrook. Prosecutors said Bell shot Sgt. Timbrook in the face because he feared the officer would find him carrying a gun or drugs.

Bell’s execution was delayed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s consideration of lethal injection procedures. The court upheld the execution method in April.


Teen dies in skiing accident

A 13-year-old Virginia boy was killed over the weekend in a skiing accident in north-central Pennsylvania.

Officials said Patrick Shire, of Haymarket, was skiing at the Ski Denton resort near Coudersport on Saturday afternoon when he left the trail and hit a tree.

A spokesman for the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said the teen belonged to a ski racing team and was on a practice run.

Other skiers heard the crash and came to the boy’s aid. Patrick was pronounced dead at a hospital.

A Potter County coroner said the teen died of blunt force trauma and ruled the death an accident.

Ski Denton is part of Denton Hill State Park, near the border with New York.


Mount Vernon tapped as U.N. heritage site

President Bush on Tuesday is set to submit George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon to be considered as a U.N. World Heritage Site under a program that names and helps preserve international areas of cultural or natural importance.

The president also is scheduled to submit the Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. These are the first two sites submitted by the United States since 1995. The Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon are among the 878 sites already listed.

Ex-banker sentenced in tax office scandal

A former bank manager was sentenced Monday to six years in prison for his role in a tax scandal that cost the District nearly $50 million.

Walter Jones helped deposit nearly $18 million in fraudulent checks while working at Bank of America after he was befriended by the scheme’s mastermind, Harriette Walters. Prosecutors said that in exchange for his help, Jones received cash gifts totaling at least $366,000.

Jones, of Essex, Md., was sentenced in federal court in Greenbelt after pleading guilty in May to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The city has sued Bank of America for $105 million, accusing the bank of failing to properly train and supervise its employees.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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