- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Full court asked to hear pants case

A former D.C. judge who unsuccessfully sued his dry cleaners for $54 million over a lost pair of pants isn’t giving up.

Roy Pearson has filed a petition requesting that the case be reheard again - this time by all nine judges on the D.C. Court of Appeals.

Mr. Pearson had argued that Custom Cleaners failed to live up to its promise of “satisfaction guaranteed.”

Three appellate judges agreed in December that Mr. Pearson failed to show the store’s advertising amounted to fraud and said his argument defied logic.

In asking for a hearing before the entire court, Mr. Pearson argues that the three-judge panel failed to address all the issues raised by his appeal.

Mr. Pearson did not respond Tuesday to requests for comment.



9 homicides reported in 5 days

The Baltimore police department reported Tuesday that the city has had nine homicides in the first five days of the year.

Officials said the owner of a Chinese carryout who was shot in a weekend robbery died of his injuries Monday at a hospital.

Tian Zin Wang, 51, was making a delivery in the 800 block of Webb Court when he was robbed and shot.

Police also Tuesday identified Joshua Harris, 21, as the victim of a fatal shooting Monday afternoon on Reisterstown Road.

Two people were killed in Baltimore in the first five days of 2008.


Truck driver injured in Route 301 crash

A truck driver was seriously injured Tuesday morning after his tractor-trailer plunged into a ditch, according to the Prince George’s County Fire Department.

A department spokesman said the driver was heading northbound on Route 301 when he lost control of the tractor-trailer, then and went over the shoulder and down a steep hill.

The spokesman said two saddle tanks burst, spilling 150 gallons of diesel fuel, some of which covered the driver. Authorities temporarily closed the northbound lanes of Route 301 to clean up the spill.

The driver was taken to a hospital for injuries that were considered serious but not life-threatening.


Anne Arundel OKs sprinkler law

The Anne Arundel County Council has voted to require that sprinklers be installed in all new homes built in the county, starting later this year.

County Executive John R. Leopold, a Republican, called the 6-1 vote a “a major victory” for residents.

The bill was introduced last year with strong support from firefighters.

Mr. Leopold’s office said residential sprinklers are the single most effective way to reduce civilian and firefighter fatalities in structure fires.



Body found in burned shed

Fairfax County fire officials discovered the body of a man Tuesday morning inside a shed in Annandale.

Firefighters were responding to a shed fire at Meadow Farms Nurseries on Backlick Road when they found the man inside the 12-by-20-foot structure. The shed was destroyed in the blaze.

Authorities did not identify the man, and the medical examiner was to determine the cause of death.


Fire injures five, displaces 40

Arlington County firefighters said an apartment building fire left five people injured.

Chief Fire Marshal Benjamin Barksdale said the blaze was reported about 4:45 a.m. at a four-story building on Fairfax Drive.

Firefighters rescued 16 people from the windows of the building. Five went to hospitals with injuries, including broken legs. Two more were treated for smoke inhalation.

Chief Barksdale said all 40 residents were displaced.

Authorities closed the westbound lanes of Arlington Boulevard for a few hours to make way for emergency vehicles.

The fire appeared to have started in a basement storage area. Its cause remained under investigation.


Forest fires decrease, but more acres burn

The number of acres burned by forest fires in Virginia increased by 130 percent in 2008, despite a drop in the number of blazes.

The Virginia Department of Forestry said Tuesday that 1,322 forest fires were reported last year, down 12.4 percent from 2007, but the number of acres burned increased from 11,200 to 25,704 during the period.

The agency said the worst day was Feb. 10, when 354 fires burned more than 16,000 acres.

Forest fires also damaged 16 homes last year.

Virginia’s spring forest fire season begins Feb. 15.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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