- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Litter trap collects trash from river

The District is using a floating trap to collect litter and other debris from the Anacostia River.

City officials say it’s the first time the Bandalong Litter Trap has been used in the Western Hemisphere. It’s also in use in Australia and parts of Asia.

The device uses the water’s current to collect debris through a one-way flap, though officials say it poses no danger to fish and other wildlife. It was installed for about $55,000 at Watts Branch, the Anacostia River’s largest tributary in the District.

The trap is being tested as part of a two-year study of various trash-reduction technologies and will be maintained by the Earth Conservation Corps.

Police ID body found in river

The body pulled from the Potomac River near Fletcher’s Boat House on May 5 was that of an 11-year-old boy who fell into the river last month, Metropolitan Police said Tuesday.

Police said Jorge Eligio Rivera slipped on some rocks while he and his father were fishing on April 26. He fell into the Potomac just south of Chain Bridge Road on the Virginia shoreline.



Tow-truck driver charged with theft

Maryland State Police say a tow-truck driver is facing auto-theft charges.

State police say Charles Jennings III, 38, of Baltimore towed cars he found broken down on roadways to an auto-parts recycler, who bought them from him. Investigators uncovered the sales after a man seeking to repossess one of the cars activated a global positioning system he had on the vehicle and tracked it to the recycling yard.

State police say Mr. Jennings had filled out a form stating he was the owner of the car. In addition to the repossessed car, state police say, Mr. Jennings towed five other cars to the yard that day. They say they found seven other vehicles at the yard that had been reported stolen in March and April.


Ninth person arrested in teen’s slaying

A total of nine people - up two since Monday - have been arrested now in the slaying of a teen found dead in a Gaithersburg park in January. The suspects are thought to be connected to the 18th Street gang.

Police said the group began looking for a member of rival gang MS-13 to hurt on Jan. 18. That’s when they are said to have forced 15-year-old Dennys Guzman-Saenz into a car, drove him to Malcolm King Park, killed him and dumped his body near a creek.

Investigators said Dennys was not an official MS-13 member, but did know some members.

Police are still searching for additional suspects.


Ayers to speak at library event

Enoch Pratt Library officials say they have received several calls protesting a speech this week by former 1960s radical William Ayers.

Library officials say protesters are welcome at the Baltimore library as long as they are not disruptive. Mr. Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, will speak Wednesday night to promote their new book.

Mr. Ayers co-founded the Weather Underground, which claimed responsibility for a series of bombings. The former fugitive eventually surrendered and charges were dropped, but his past was an issue during Barack Obama’s run for president.

The professor served with Mr. Obama on a charity board, and he hosted an event for Mr. Obama in the 1990s. That prompted vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin to accuse Mr. Obama of “palling around with terrorists.”


Ex-Hopkins worker linked to ID theft

Johns Hopkins Hospital has informed the state Attorney General’s Office that a former employee may have been involved in a fake driver’s license scheme in Virginia.

The hospital sent a letter April 3 to the Attorney General’s Office saying that it began receiving reports in January about identity thefts that appeared to be linked to the hospital.

The letter said an investigation by the hospital, local law enforcement, the U.S. Postal Service and the Secret Service led to the former employee in the patient-registration area, who is expected to be indicted.

The hospital said it is not certain whether the employee was the source of the information, but it is offering credit monitoring and other services to some of its patients.



Governors groupfaces $2,500 fine

After pouring more than $1.3 million into Virginia’s 2009 race for governor last week, the Democratic Governors Association faces the prospect of a fine Thursday for failing to identify its contributors on time.

The DGA may be fined $2,500 for violating a state law that requires out-of-state political organizations to list their donors when they make contributions to candidates or political committees in Virginia races, said David Allen, campaign finance manager for the State Board of Elections.

The Washington-based DGA made recent contributions of $850,000 and $505,000 to Common Sense Virginia, a Virginia PAC set up to hound uncontested Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell while three Democrats fight toward their June 9 primary.

The DGA decided late Tuesday to submit a new list of donors who have given to the organization through Monday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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