- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Person jumps fence at White House

The Secret Service said a person jumped a fence onto White House property and was immediately taken into custody Tuesday.

The White House went into a security lockdown, and members of the news media were not permitted to leave the grounds.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said the person jumped the northeast fence rimming the White House at 3:17 p.m.

No injuries were reported.

President Obama was inside the White House at the time of the incident.

Ex-cop pleads guilty to tax charge

A former D.C. police officer has pleaded guilty to federal tax charges, the Justice Department said.

Willie Borden entered his plea Tuesday in U.S. District Court, officials said. Borden was co-owner of B&B Security Consultants in Southeast, providing security guards to groups and events in the region, officials said.

Borden helped collect, account for and pay employment taxes for the company. From 2002 to 2006, he and his business partner withheld more than $2 million in payroll taxes from employee paychecks, but they did not pay that amount to the Internal Revenue Service, as required.

Borden’s sentencing is set for Oct. 20. He faces up to five years in prison, fines of up to $250,000 and restitution for unpaid employment taxes.

Body found near Vietnam Wall

Officers found a man’s body at a park near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, U.S. Park Police said

Officials said the man was found early Tuesday in Constitution Gardens Park, east of the memorial at 19th Street and Constitution Avenue.

D.C. police said the body will be sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine how the man died.

Construction begins on connector trail

Construction began on a new section of a trail that will connect Silver Spring to Union Station.

D.C. officials kicked off the project Tuesday. The proposed eight-mile Metropolitan Branch Trail will link the Capital Crescent Trail, the Anacostia Tributaries Trail System and the Mall.

Some stretches of the trail are in place, including New York Avenue to Union Station, First Street in Northeast and John McCormack Road. The latest addition will span from New York Avenue to Franklin Street in Northeast.

The new 1 1/2-mile section is expected to be completed this summer. Officials said the trail will provide an option to commuters as a pedestrian and bicycle route.

NORAD schedules training flights

The North American Aerospace Defense Command will conduct two training flight exercises over Washington on Wednesday.

One of them, called Falcon Virgo, will take place between midnight and 6 a.m. The other, Amalgam Arrow, will occur between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The exercises are part of a series of training flights to improve NORAD’s intercept and identification operations.

Air Force fighters, U.S. Coast Guard and Civil Air Patrol aircraft will take part in the exercise.



Ex-firefighter charged with arson

A Silver Spring man has been charged with arson in connection with a fire set at a vacant Landover Hills home last year.

Fire officials said Anthony J. Sellers, 26, was arrested last week. Mr. Sellers is charged with second-degree arson in a fire last June. The felony charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

Firefighters were called to the two-story home for heavy fire coming from the second floor and roof. One firefighter suffered burns to his leg while battling the blaze.

Prince George’s County fire officials said additional charges are pending against Mr. Sellers in connection with fires set in two other vacant structures in Laurel and Riverdale last summer.

Mr. Sellers used to be a volunteer firefighter in the county but left before the fires were set.


Police: Accused man texted mistress

Charging documents show that a man accused of killing his wife in rural Kent County and making up a story about being carjacked was exchanging text messages with his mistress.

Ryan Holness, 28, is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Serika Holness, 26. Her body was found Friday on the side of a rural Eastern Shore road. Mr. Holness was charged in his wife’s death after police found inconsistencies in his story.

Charging documents show that investigators found no signs of a struggle between Mrs. Holness and her supposed attacker. She still had her wallet, ID and credit cards inside her purse.

Investigators also found text messages between Mr. Holness and a woman he told police was his girlfriend. At one point Mr. Holness sent a text saying he planned to divorce his wife.


Ammo test fire claims second life

An Aberdeen Proving Ground spokeswoman said a fire that broke out during test-firing of Soviet tank ammunition last month claimed a second life.

Base spokeswoman Pat McClung said Joe Gray, 32, of Aberdeen, died Friday of injuries suffered in the May 21 fire. Mark Henry, 49, of Delta, Pa., died at the scene of the fire.

The two were participating in a test of a T-55 Soviet tank firing 100 mm ammunition.

A third employee, Douglas Mauzy, 50, of Aberdeen, is being treated at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.


Insider threats seen as biolabs’ problem

A Defense Science Board report on military biolab safety said insider threats are the labs’ biggest security problem.

The Frederick News-Post reports that the board recommends a security review of Fort Detrick’s U.S. Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases’ environmental system computers. These computers help ensure that airborne pathogens cannot leave labs.

The report comes after the FBI’s conclusion that a Fort Detrick scientist was responsible for the 2001 anthrax mailings that killed five and sickened 17. But it does not examine the Justice Department’s specific allegations.

The report identifies insider threats as the most difficult to defend against, but dismisses concerns about outsiders trying to obtain pathogens from Defense Department labs.



State falls short with autism services

A report from the Virginia legislature’s watchdog group said the state does a poor job of providing services to people with autism.

According to the report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, state services lack coordination, and public schools can’t consistently meet the needs of autistic children.

The report also said there’s late diagnosis of children with autism and poor early-intervention programs.

Secretary of Health and Human Resources Marilyn Tavenner said Virginia supports the report and that her department is working to address the issues.

The report was released Monday during a meeting in Richmond. It was attended by parents seeking benefits for autistic children and insurance lobbyists gearing up to oppose the possibility of mandated insurance benefits that might include autism treatments.


21 swine flu cases reported on ship

The Navy is reporting 21 cases of swine flu onboard the USS Iwo Jima.

Navy spokesman Cmdr. Cappy Surette said the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case May 27. The amphibious assault ship left New York on May 26 after participating in Fleet Week.

Cmdr. Surette said the cases were mild. All 21 sailors and Marines were treated in New York and have since returned to duty.

Several other people have been isolated in the ship’s medical ward after developing flulike symptoms.

The Iwo Jima is scheduled to return to Norfolk later this week.

Cmdr. Surette said the Navy has had 147 confirmed cases of H1N1, and 137 of those people have returned to work.


Report disputed on graduation rates

Virginia officials are disputing a report that says the state’s high school graduation rate dropped over a 10-year period.

The report conducted by the publisher of Education Week said Virginia had a 73.4 graduation rate in 1996, compared with 69.2 percent in 2006. The statistics used by Editorial Projects in Education were the latest available to compare states.

Nationally, graduation rates rose 2.8 percent to 69.2 percent.

Virginia Department of Education spokesman Charles Pyle said the estimates are flawed because they don’t account for student mobility or ninth-grade retention.

The state’s own available statistics show graduation rates went from 74.3 percent in 1998 to 73.8 percent in 2006. Starting in 2008, Virginia bases its calculations from ninth grade to graduation.


Senators float bill for D-Day Memorial

Virginia’s senators are calling for a study to see whether the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford could become part of the U.S. Park Service.

U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb, both Democrats, introduced legislation on Monday asking for the study.

The senators join Rep. Tom Perriello, who introduced a bill last week in the House to bring the memorial under Park Service supervision.

The privately funded memorial is on the brink of financial ruin because of fewer donations and visitors.

In a statement, Mr. Warner said bringing the memorial into the Park Service will ensure that stories of sacrifice made on D-Day have a permanent place.

The legislation comes on the heels of last Saturday’s 65th anniversary of D-Day.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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