- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 9, 2009



Staff blamed in juveniles’ escape

The Maryland Department of Juvenile Services said the escape of 14 youths from the Victor Cullen Center in Sabillasville in May reflects a failure of personnel, not the security of the facility.

Spokeswoman Tammy Brown said Monday that the May 27 disturbance began when one resident refused to relinquish the telephone after his daily phone call.

She said that when the boy became aggressive, staff members acted too slowly and ineffectively in trying to restrain him. The 14 youths were quickly captured, but seven staff members suffered minor injuries in the process.


Police identify human remains

Police said human remains found last week near a residential driveway in Brandywine are those of a 21-year-old woman from the District.

Police were called to the wooded area Friday morning after a resident reported finding body parts near his driveway. The remains were taken to Baltimore to the medical examiner’s office, which determined the woman was killed by a gunshot wound.

Police have identified the victim as Dominique Diane Curtis of Southeast. Investigators do not have a motive or a suspect in her death.


Swan eradication efforts continue

Maryland wildlife officials said they will continue efforts to eradicate the beautiful but destructive mute swan.

Maryland Natural Resources Secretary John R. Griffin announced Monday that he was following the recommendation of a state task force and continuing efforts to eradicate the mute swan through lethal and nonlethal means.

Although the population of the invasive bird in Maryland has dwindled from 4,000 to about 500, the state panel recommended that they be eliminated entirely to protect wetlands and native birds.

Animal rights activists have opposed killing the birds.


Fireworks back at Nats games

When debris from fireworks fell on the D.C. fire chief at a Washington Nationals game, the chief called a halt to the pyrotechnics.

Now, after a meeting Monday between the team and fire department officials, the fireworks will resume.

The department said in a statement that new safety measures will be put in place to protect spectators, and that the fireworks will resume during Tuesday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Nationals had been launching fireworks during the national anthem, after home runs and wins and after every Friday game - until some debris landed on fire Chief Dennis L. Rubin during Sunday’s game against the New York Mets.

Southeast shooting suspect named

Police said they’ve identified the suspect in a police-involved shooting in Southeast.

The suspect, Allan Haggins, 38, died in the Monday morning incident.

D.C. police said that shortly after 11 a.m., officers patrolling the 500 block of M Street recognized Mr. Haggins because he had an outstanding arrest warrant related to a fatal stabbing. Mr. Haggins fled after he noticed the officers. Authorities said he later pulled out a handgun.

Two police officers shot Mr. Haggins. Officials said he also apparently shot himself.

Mr. Haggins was taken to a hospital, where he later died.

The officers were not injured in the incident, which is under investigation.



County logs first bear sighting

Fairfax County is home to 1 million people and at least one black bear.

County police said residents in the Clifton area spotted a young black bear roaming through some backyards Monday morning. It was the first black bear sighting in the county this year.

Animal control officers said it is not unusual to see black bears in some parts of the county.

Authorities said that black bears typically avoid contact with humans and that keeping trash secure is the best way to keep bears and other unwanted wildlife away.

In Virginia, the bear population has grown by an estimated 37 percent since 2001.


Economy causes garbage decrease

The poor economy has had one positive effect in Virginia: The amount of garbage is decreasing.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality reported Monday that solid waste received at state operations decreased by about 1.4 million tons in 2008 from 2007.

The 22 million tons of trash was down about 6 percent.

Department spokeswoman Krystal Coxon said people are buying less, so they’re throwing out less. And there’s less construction debris because there is less building.

The department said the amount of solid waste generated in Virginia was down 842,000 tons from 2007 to 15.4 million tons. The rest came from out of state.

The agency said 14.4 million tons of Virginia’s waste ended up in landfills, 2 million tons was burned and recycling and mulching took care of much of the rest.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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