- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 17, 2009


City prepares for bag fee

D.C. officials plan to distribute more than 122,000 reusable bags to low-income residents and seniors in advance of January’s new 5-cent fee on disposable bags.

The city’s Department of the Environment is distributing the bags as part of a “Skip the Bag, Save the River” campaign.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said in a press release announcing the initiative Monday that his message is simple: “The bag fee is coming.” Mr. Fenty signed the fee into law in July, saying it would cut down on disposable bags that litter the Anacostia River.

Judge returns from deployment

A D.C. Superior Court judge who was deployed to hear cases as a military judge in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait has returned home.

Judge Robert R. Rigsby says it was the first time the Army had a judge working full time in a war zone. During his six-month deployment, the 48-year-old Army Reserve colonel heard about 30 cases involving a variety of charges, including involuntary manslaughter and drug charges.

The judge says the experience left him with admiration for the young people serving in the military overseas.

Judge Rigsby surprised his wife, Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, a D.C. appeals court judge, with his Oct. 23 return. MARYLAND


Ex-officer indicted in burglary attempt

Federal prosecutors say two men, including a former Prince George’s County police officer, have been indicted in connection with an attempted break-in at a bank.

Eddie Smith Jr., 41, of Fort Washington, the former officer, and Earl Blake, 53, of Capitol Heights, were indicted on conspiracy to commit bank larceny and attempted bank larceny.

The indictment says Mr. Smith drove Mr. Blake to SunTrust Bank in Temple Hills in his marked police cruiser on June 10. According to court documents, Mr. Blake entered the bank with a saw while Smith waited in his cruiser.

The indictment also alleges that when firefighters responded to the bank’s fire alarm, Mr. Smith advised them to leave because he had found the bank to be secure.


Woman sentenced in mortgage fraud

A Fort Washington woman was sentenced Monday to more than 12 years in prison for her role in a mortgage fraud scheme.

Joy Jackson, 41, was also ordered at sentencing to pay more than $16 million in restitution and to forfeit homes and cars.

Prosecutors say Jackson oversaw the Lanham-based Metropolitan Money Store, which cheated lenders and homeowners facing foreclosure.

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.


Developer called, but doesn’t testify

Developer Glenn Charlow was called to the stand by the prosecution in the Sheila Dixon trial but did not testify.

Once Mr. Charlow was called to the stand on Monday, the defense objected and after a lengthy bench conference, Mr. Charlow stepped down without testifying.

Last week, visiting Judge Dennis Sweeney ruled evidence involving Mr. Charlow’s purchase of gift cards would not be allowed because it had been entered at the last minute. Judge Sweeney also said he was reserving judgment on whether or when Mr. Charlow could be called as a possible witness.

Earlier Monday, developer Patrick Turner testified that the cards were intended for city children, not the mayor’s personal use.

Mr. Turner said he couldn’t clearly remember whether the gift cards were delivered in a plain envelope, as the defense contends.


Man killed while trimming tree ID’d

Montgomery County police have identified the man who died after falling off the ladder he was using while trimming a tree branch.

Hector Say Cupil, 35, of Germantown, died Saturday in Bethesda. Police said Mr. Cupil fell about 30 feet to the ground and that the chain saw he was using caused an injury to his upper body.

Police said the death appeared to be accidental.



Report: 10% power reduction doable

The State Corporation Commission says Virginia’s goal reducing electricity consumption by 10 percent by lowering demand and improving efficiency is realistic.

The General Assembly passed legislation earlier this year requiring the report, which the SCC submitted to the legislature and Gov. Tim Kaine on Monday.

The commission says reductions in consumption through demand-side management programs offered by Dominion Virginia Power, Appalachian Power and Kentucky Utilities are possible but could cost ratepayers more. The SCC says it’s not recommending specific programs or technologies, but expects the utilities to work toward the goal and will evaluate proposals on a case-by-case basis.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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