- The Washington Times - Friday, July 31, 2009


Arraignment set in museum shooting

A white supremacist accused of killing a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is scheduled to be arraigned in September.

Federal public defender A.J. Kramer said the arraignment for his client, James W. von Brunn, 89, is set for Sept. 2 in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Mr. Kramer said a hearing scheduled for Thursday was canceled. On Wednesday, Mr. von Brunn was indicted on seven counts, including first-degree murder, killing in a federal building and bias-motivated crime. Four of the charges make him eligible for the death penalty.

Authorities said Mr. von Brunn fatally shot museum guard Stephen Tyrone Johns on June 10. Mr. von Brunn was shot in the face by other guards but survived; he has been hospitalized since the shooting.



1,200 acres added to Crow’s Nest preserve

Virginia has acquired 1,200 acres to expand the Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve in Stafford County for $14.2 million.

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation purchased the land from K&M Properties. The sale that closed Wednesday increased the preserve’s size to 2,970 acres.

The preserve is jointly owned by the state agency and Stafford County.

Crow’s Nest is home to rare plant species and is a prime habitat for birds. It also contains some of the last remaining North Atlantic coastal plain dry calcareous forest.

The state agency is seeking funds to build infrastructure that would allow the public to hike and canoe on the preserve. Access currently is limited.


Report: Focus on pesticides in Bay

A new report urges regional and federal officials to pay more attention to pesticide pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, in addition to nutrients from fertilizer and sewage that cause oxygen-robbing algae blooms.

The report said not enough is known about the effects of pesticides, which they say have been linked to problems such as intersex fish.

The Pesticides and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Project said farming is responsible for most pesticide use, but lawns and golf courses also are sources, as are household items such as anti-bacterial soaps.

The report is urging the shift in focus for the Chesapeake Bay Program, a regional partnership that leads Bay restoration efforts. The authors said pesticide reduction is part of the program strategy, but gets only 3 percent to 5 percent of its resources.



Regulators delay Constellation ruling

Maryland utility regulators said they are extending the timetable of their review of Constellation Energy’s proposed sale of nearly half of its nuclear energy business to France’s EdF.

The Maryland Public Service Commission said Thursday that it intends to rule by Oct. 16, and sooner if possible. Constellation and EdF had asked for a ruling by the deal’s scheduled Sept. 17 closing date.

The PSC cited ongoing disputes in the discovery process, which it said had prompted the state and the Maryland Energy Administration to request additional time for discovery. The PSC said it recognized Constellation and EdF’s desire for a decision by Sept. 17, but could not compromise the quality of its public interest review.


Man charged with child sex abuse

A 24-year-old Chillum man was charged with sexually abusing a 6-year-old boy, Prince George’s County police said.

Police said Maynor Quintanilla Leon was arrested Tuesday in Houston by U.S. Marshals.

Prince George’s County authorities got an arrest warrant for him Monday after investigating a videotape that showed a man sexually assaulting the child.

Police were able to identify the boy and the man in the tape.

Mr. Leon is awaiting extradition to Maryland on sexual offense and child abuse charges.


Cuts force closure of Wellmobile sites

The University of Maryland School of Nursing said state budget cuts will force it to close several Wellmobile sites offering medical services to the poor.

The school said Thursday that sites in Glen Burnie, Cumberland and Crisfield will close Aug. 15.

The school said it is maintaining operations in central Maryland, including Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

Wellmobile funding of about $570,000 for the fiscal year that began July 1 was cut in half by the Maryland Board of Public Works last week.

The school said it is redesigning the program to focus on the most efficient and effective way to reach those in need.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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