- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Training scheduled for skies above D.C.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command will conduct a training exercise in the skies above and around the District on Tuesday and Wednesday from midnight to 6 a.m., officials say.

The exercise consists of a series of training flights held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region Command Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center, the Continental U.S. NORAD Region (CONR), the Civil Air Patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard and CONR’s Western Air Defense Sector.

Two Civil Air Patrol Cessna aircraft, two Air Force F-16s and one Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter will participate in the exercise, called exercise Falcon Virgo 09-07.

Military officials say the exercise is designed to hone NORAD’s intercept and identification operations, as well as procedural tests of the NCR Visual Warning System.



10th person pleads guilty to scam

A 10th person has pleaded guilty in a $35 million mortgage foreclosure rescue scam.

Federal prosecutors say Ronald Chapman Jr., 34, of the District, faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He pleaded guilty on Monday.

Authorities say Chapman and others, through the Lanham-based Metropolitan Money Store, targeted homeowners who risked losing their homes. The scheme took advantage of homeowners and lenders by using straw buyers, fraudulently obtained loans and inflated real estate appraisals to strip equity from more than 100 homes from 2004 to 2007.

Losses attributable to Chapman’s role are between $200,000 and $400,000. As part of his plea, Chapman has agreed to pay restitution for the full amount of victims’ losses.


Plebe caps monument in traditional climb

A first-year student at the U.S. Naval Academy has succeeded in the annual tradition of placing a cap atop the 21-foot-high Herndon Monument.

Nineteen-year-old Schyler Widman, of Jackson Hole, Wyo., put the cap on the monument in 1 hour, 14 minutes and 38 seconds on Monday.

The obelisk is greased with 200 pounds of lard for the challenge.

Midshipmen traditionally end their “plebe” year by removing a cap and placing another one on top of the monument.

The tradition is thought to have begun in 1907.


Disney buys land at National Harbor

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has purchased a tract of land at the National Harbor development in Prince George’s County, the master developer for National Harbor announced Monday.

Disney is considering using the 15-acre site overlooking the Potomac River in National Harbor as the location for a resort hotel for families and others visiting the D.C. region.

“We’re thrilled Disney has decided to invest in National Harbor,” said Milton V. Peterson, chairman of the Peterson Companies, one of the largest privately owned development companies in the greater Washington area specializing in large mixed-use developments. “Disney is the top family-entertainment company in the world, and its purchase is a great vote of confidence in the future of National Harbor and the Washington area as a top family tourism destination.”

Disney purchased the property from Peterson for $11 million.



Old Dominion picks new president

Old Dominion University named John Broderick its eighth president Monday.

The school’s Board of Visitors unanimously appointed Mr. Broderick to the position. He has served as acting president since Roseann Runte stepped down last year after seven years to take a job as president of Carleton College in Ottawa, Canada.

Mr. Broderick, 52, will earn $312,000 annually, $30,000 higher than his current salary, under a contract that expires in June 2011. The position includes overseeing an operating budget of $411.6 million and more than 2,500 faculty and staff members.

“His leadership through significant state budget reductions positioned the university in a more stable fiscal situation, and his implementation of a comprehensive enrollment management plan brought about a more strategic approach for ODU to increase the quality and rigor of its academics in the coming years,” Rector Ross Mugler said.

Mr. Broderick was vice president for institutional advancement and admissions for 12 years before becoming acting president. He also was Miss Runte’s chief of staff since 2003. Before coming to Norfolk in 1993, Mr. Broderick taught public relations and journalism at the University of Pittsburgh and before that was an administrator at St. Bonaventure University.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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