- The Washington Times - Monday, November 23, 2009


Area airport noise data goes online

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has launched an online service called Airscene, allowing users to view archival noise- and flight-tracking data for Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International airports.

It allows users to enter a street address, view flight movement, check information from noise monitors and file noise complaints.

The airports authority says noise data is loaded into the system each night and can be seen the next day. Live flight tracks are not allowed for security reasons, but the data usually becomes available within 72 hours after a flight.

Twenty-year-old noise monitors used at the two airports also have been replaced.



Civil War statehouse for $5.6 million

The brick mansion where Fairmont, W.Va., lawyer Francis H. Pierpont governed the Restored State of Virginia during the Civil War is for sale in Alexandria’s Old Town.

The asking price for the circa-1804 building in the historic Old Town district of Alexandria is $5.6 million.

Originally built about 1804 as the Bank of the Potomac, the building was converted into a single-family home in 1987. It includes three bedrooms, a carriage house, two living rooms, a library, elevator, wet bar and nine fireplaces.

Pierpont was an outspoken opponent of Virginia’s secession from the Union and is often referred to as the father of West Virginia. The sale is being handled by McEnearney Associates of Alexandria.


Police find body in burning car

Fairfax County police and fire officials are investigating the death of a person found in a burning car in the Annandale area.

Police were called to a small road in a wooded area Saturday evening and found a car engulfed in flames. Officer Tawny Wright said authorities found a severely burned body after the flames were extinguished.

Police are asking for any witnesses who were near Willow Oaks Corporate Drive about 8 p.m. Saturday to come forward.

Police are not releasing the person’s age, sex or identity until autopsy results are returned.


Glen Allen hunter dies in shooting

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said a 42-year-old man from Glen Allen, north of Richmond, had died after an apparently accidental shooting.

The man was hunting in Charles City County, east of Richmond. Game officials are investigating the accident, which happened about 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The victim was hunting with another man and a 14-year-old boy when a shotgun fired.

It was not known if the weapon was fired by the victim or one of the other hunters.



Holly tree debuts with decorations

Carroll County officials said a tight budget is forcing them to forgo a five-year tradition of having an evergreen Christmas tree outside their office building.

County spokeswoman Vivian Laxton said there will be no large evergreen tree in front of the county office building in Westminster this Christmas season because of the county’s attempt to adjust its budget this fall.

The trees were usually donated, but county crews had to cut down the 20- to 30-foot-tall trees and transport them to the office building. That cost the county $2,500.

A holly tree growing in the front of the building will have to do and is decorated with lights. A tree-lighting ceremony for the holly is scheduled for Dec. 1.


Pennsylvania man charged after chase

A Pennsylvania man has been charged with numerous criminal offenses after leading police on a high-speed chase injuring two Maryland State Police troopers on the Capital Beltway.

Police said Christopher E. Murphy, 30, of Horsham, Pa., was charged with attempted murder, assault and traffic offenses.

State police said the troopers were pursuing an erratic driver Saturday in Prince George’s County when the suspect swerved into the side of a patrol car. That car hit another cruiser, and both patrol cars spun out of control. Another vehicle, driven by Ellen Sistare of Mitchellville, also was struck.

Authorities said Officers Michael O’Brien and Alphrin Norman were hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening. Miss Sistare was treated for minor injuries.


Patrolling increased during holidays

Authorities in Charles County are stepping up patrolling efforts to prevent crime as the holiday season approaches.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office began its Holiday Safety Plan this month with increased police presence in shopping centers and neighborhoods. About 15 more officers will be out each night until the operation ends New Year’s Day.

Along with more uniformed officers, some detectives will be in plainclothes and unmarked cars to identify possible robbery suspects.

Groups will canvass parking lots of malls and shopping centers to look for vehicles that have valuables in plain view and will leave a notice for drivers alerting them of risks they could face.


Crime tips accepted by text messages

St. Mary’s County residents now have the option to text-message crime tips.

The sheriff’s office said people can use their cell phones to send anonymous crime-fighting information. Sheriff Tim Cameron said the popularity of text messaging creates a significant opportunity for the public to help combat crime.

The system encrypts text messages and routes them through several secure servers, which, officials said, keep identities anonymous.

Investigators also can communicate with a tipster through text messages without learning the person’s identity.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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