- The Washington Times - Monday, July 13, 2009


Mosquito pools test positive for virus

D.C. Department of Health officials say three mosquito pools have tested positive for the West Nile virus.

Officials said Saturday that the mosquito pools were collected from a block on Washington Boulevard Southwest, near Fort McNair.

No infections of West Nile virus have been reported in the District this year. In 2008, six residents tested positive for the virus.

The health department recommends that residents remove standing water to eliminate mosquito breeding areas.

Petition seeks full account of shooting

A national advocacy group has gathered more than 500 signatures on a petition calling for a full account of the fatal shooting of a man by U.S. Park Police.

Volunteers with the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement have been circulating the petition related to the death of Trey Joyner.

Mr. Joyner, 24, was shot in June by plainclothes Park Police assigned to investigate a tip about someone with a gun in the Trinidad neighborhood.

Authorities have said Mr. Joyner was shot while police struggled to arrest him.

The FBI is investigating. Joseph Persichini Jr., the assistant director of the bureau’s Washington office, said the findings of the investigation will be turned over to the U.S. attorney’s office.



Library of Congress expands storage

The Library of Congress has opened a more than $40 million storage facility on the grounds of Fort Meade.

Librarian of Congress James Billington and acting Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers participated in a ceremony last week to mark the opening of the expanded, environmentally controlled facility.

The facility will house 33 million items from the library’s special collections, including maps, globes, manuscripts, prints and photographs, as well as sheet music and microfilm.

Twice-daily deliveries to the library’s main buildings on Capitol Hill will make the materials available to readers.

Library officials say these storage units will extend the lives of collection items for decades. Additional storage modules are to be built at Fort Meade.


Temple offers church place to worship

The congregation of Baltimore’s Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church has a temporary home in Pikesville after a lightning strike started a fire that damaged the church’s steeple and bell tower.

Pastor Frank Reid said Bethel AME members can’t return to the church until the unstable steeple and bell tower are secured.

Rabbi Steven Fink of Temple Oheb Shalom has offered the congregation its 900-seat sanctuary for worship. Bethel AME’s congregation will hold a Bible study and service Sunday morning at Temple Oheb Shalom on Park Heights Avenue.

The two congregations have worked together before. They’ve held services honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King, maintained a community garden and engaged in the Black and Jewish Forum of Baltimore.


Colleges say students lack math skills

College math professors say Maryland’s public schools aren’t doing a good enough job teaching basic arithmetic.

Nearly half of Maryland’s high school graduates who go on to four-year or community colleges are forced to take remedial classes before they can take classes for credit.

While the problem is worse at community colleges, a math professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, says 15 percent of the freshmen there are also forced to take remedial math.

Donna McKusick, a dean at the Community College of Baltimore County, said students are being taught too early to rely on calculators and can’t do basic multiplication or division.

But state education officials don’t think major changes to Maryland’s math standards and curriculum are needed.



VDOT: Massive truck could cause delays

Virginia transportation officials say a massive tractor-trailer making its way between Newport News and Martinsville this week could delay motorists who are traveling in the same areas.

The Virginia Department of Transportation says the oversized vehicle will make three trips along a designated and circuitous route between 6:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. daily, starting Monday. The tractor-trailer will be hauling forging press equipment to a plant in Martinsville. Each trip is expected to take two to three days.

The transporter is 225 feet long, about 3 1/2 times longer than a normal tractor-trailer, and more than 16 feet wide.


Federal funds OK’d to help fight flu

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says Virginia is eligible for nearly $8.8 million to prepare for swine flu and the fall flu season.

The agency said the money was included in legislation signed by President Obama last month. That measure included $350 million for fighting the flu across the nation.

The grants in Virginia include more than $6.5 million for state public health departments and more than $2.2 million for hospitals and health care systems.

The Virginia Department of Health says at least 310 cases of the H1N1 virus have been confirmed in the state with two deaths.


Landscapers descend on military cemetery

Hundreds of landscapers from across the nation will donate their time and expertise Monday to beautifying Arlington National Cemetery.

Landscape, lawn care and tree care specialists will spend the day mulching, cabling trees with lightning protection and performing a variety of other services.

It’s the 13th annual Renewal and Remembrance project, which is hosted by the Professional Landcare Network, or Planet. The gift is valued at more than $350,000 in services, materials and labor. Planet has contributed more than $2 million to the care of the historic cemetery since the inaugural project 13 years ago.

Monday’s event includes projects for children of Planet members. Children will plant flowers and participate in the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.


Congressman wants rest areas kept open

Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican, is asking Gov. Tim Kaine to reconsider plans to close 19 interstate rest areas this month.

Mr. Wolf said in a letter Friday that he is concerned about the safety of motorists if the areas are closed.

He said fatigued long-haul truckers will be forced to drive extra miles before they can take a break.

Transportation officials struggling with a $2.6 billion budget shortfall expect closing the rest areas to save $9 million a year.

Mr. Wolf said the state needs a plan to pay for its transportation needs, and urged the governor to take steps to remedy that.

He said he suggested in December that Mr. Kaine appoint a bipartisan commission to make recommendations on how to meet Virginia’s transportation needs.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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