- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 8, 2009


Barry moved to ICU for infection

D.C. Council member Marion Barry on Wednesday was being treated in the hospital for an infection and dehydration.

The former mayor, 73, was moved Tuesday to the intensive care unit at Howard University Hospital, his spokeswoman Natalie Williams said Wednesday evening.

“Today, he has undergone several routine tests related to his mild infection. He is following the doctors’ orders and is resting comfortably,” she said.

Mr. Barry has been hospitalized several times in recent years, including a stay in February for a kidney transplant and at least one return for complications.

Repairs near crash site complete

Full service has been restored and repairs have been completed on the Red Line at the site of June’s fatal train crash near the Fort Totten station, Metro said.

Trains had been traveling at reduced speeds through the area or moving one at a time. On Wednesday, transit officials said original track equipment dating to the 1970s had been replaced, and trains are able to run a full speed during rush hours.

Metro had been replacing the track circuit in the area of the accident since early August. Workers continue to make repairs to track circuits near the Takoma and Silver Spring stations as part of regular maintenance.

Transit officials said they continue to run twice-daily tests of all track circuits in the system. Trains continue to operate manually by train operators.

Recruiting office vandalized with paint

Vandals splattered the windows of a military recruiting office in Northwest with red paint.

The vandalism was discovered Wednesday morning, the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. Workers said they expected cleanup to take several hours.

The office is at 14th and L streets Northwest.



Loitering charges dropped against men

Prosecutors in Prince William County have dropped loitering charges against four Hispanic men after the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the case.

The men were arrested in May outside an apartment complex where they lived. The ACLU said the county’s ordinance is used to target Hispanics and that it infringes on First Amendment protections of free assembly.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert said he thinks the loitering law is constitutional. But it also requires police to give offenders a warning before an arrest, and that didn’t occur in this case.

The county in recent years has implemented numerous policies to crack down on illegal immigrants. Critics say that has resulted in discrimination against Hispanics.


Classes canceled because of illness

A private school in Roanoke has canceled classes for eighth through 12th grades through Friday and postponed a football game because of an outbreak of a flulike illness.

Roanoke Catholic School administrators said in a letter to parents Tuesday that classes were canceled because a high percentage to students had been absent.

The varsity football game at Fishburne Military School scheduled Friday has been postponed until Monday. Roanoke Catholic Coach Bob Price said only nine players attended practice Tuesday.

The school also canceled other sports activities.

Classes in lower grades were held as scheduled, and all teachers were to report as usual.

Administrators said classes are expected to be made up later this month or in early November.


Regulation adopted to help aquaculture

Virginia is adopting a new wastewater-disposal regulation to protect clam and oyster production in the waters off the Eastern Shore.

Gov. Tim Kaine said Wednesday that the regulation approved by the State Water Control Board requires that businesses and localities analyze alternatives to new or increased wastewater discharges that would result in the condemnation of the water for shellfish harvesting.

Such an analysis will determine whether a wastewater-discharge method would prevent pollutants from entering seaside waters, as well as whether the method is cost-effective. This process is aimed at reducing condemnations, in which the waters’ shellfish are declared unfit for market because of potential bacterial contamination.


Former birth-injury fund worker charged

A former employee of a state-run program that assists infants with birth-related neurological injuries has been indicted for allegedly embezzling more than $800,000.

The federal prosecutor’s office said Wednesday that Iris Allen, 44, faces 28 counts, including embezzlement, health care fraud, identity theft and interstate transportation of stolen property.

Maximum penalties range from two years in prison for each identity theft count to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for the other charges.

The indictment alleges that Miss Allen, a claims manager, submitted false invoices for payments to companies she created.


Police: Man killed by police was armed

A Dinwiddie County man who was killed by a trooper was shot after refusing to put down his shotgun, Virginia State Police said.

James Hicks Jr. was shot as Virginia State Police and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents served a federal search warrant early Tuesday. Authorities have not said why police were searching the home because the warrant is under seal.

State police said the trooper responsible for shooting Mr. Hicks, 45, is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.



Franchot: Reconsider closing Chestertown

Comptroller Peter Franchot said Wednesday that he thinks the Board of Public Works should take another look at the decision to close a Chestertown mental health facility because of budget cuts.

The board, which includes Mr. Franchot, Gov. Martin O’Malley and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, unanimously approved closing the Upper Shore Community Mental Health Center in August as part of $454 million in budget cuts.

Mr. Franchot has expressed frustration at misinformation that was accidentally given to the board before the vote on the number of Eastern Shore residents who are treated at the facility.

At the board’s meeting Wednesday, he asked Maryland Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary John Colmers to include alternative cuts that would allow the center to stay open for at least another year, in addition to a plan Mr. Colmers will submit to the board Nov. 4 on other places patients could receive treatment in place of the center.


Panel to meet on slot machine site

Maryland’s slot machine commission on Wednesday unanimously approved allowing 1,000 more slot machines at a Cecil County venue than first sought by the bidder, boosting the total proposal from 500 machines to 1,500 at the site.

Penn Cecil, a subsidiary of Wyomissing, Pa.-based Penn National Gaming, submitted an extra $6 million in licensing fees last week for the Perryville site at Interstate 95 and Route 222. Up to 2,500 slot machines are allowed at the site under state law.

The recession put a damper on initial bids submitted by developers in February. Of a possible 15,000 machines at five sites, developers only put up licensing fees for 6,550 at first, and a site in Allegany County had its only bid rejected after the bidder failed to put up the required licensing fee.

The change approved Wednesday for the Cecil County site brings the total number of machines being sought by four developers to 7,550.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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