- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 20, 2009



Two prison guards acquitted of assault

A jury acquitted two former state correctional officers accused of beating an inmate at the medium-security Roxbury Correctional Institution.

Robert Harvey, 63, of Hagerstown, and Keith Morris, 27, of Warfordsburg, Pa., were found not guilty Friday afternoon.

They are among eight fired Roxbury guards who were charged with assaulting inmate Kenneth Davis in March 2008.

The only other trial held so far ended in a hung jury. Two other defendants have pleaded guilty.


Mayoral candidate withdraws from race

The first black woman to win the Democratic nomination for Annapolis mayor has withdrawn from the race, citing personal reasons.

Zina Pierre withdrew her name Friday night. The announcement came after revelations about her financial problems, including a home in foreclosure in Prince George’s County and state liens for unpaid income taxes.

Ms. Pierre won the Democratic nomination Tuesday night, putting her on track to become the city’s first black mayor. Campaign spokesman Michael Matthews said Ms. Pierre withdrew for “personal reasons.”

City code says the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee must choose a replacement for Ms. Pierre by Oct. 2.

The 44-year-old political consultant grew up in Annapolis and worked as a special assistant to former President Bill Clinton.


University regents approve furloughs

The Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland has approved another round of furloughs for employees that could begin as soon as next month.

The plan approved Friday would represent $26 million in savings to help absorb $94 million in cuts to the university system since the start of the fiscal year in July.

It’s not clear how many days the 21,000 employees will have to go without pay. The regents gave university presidents flexibility to tailor the furloughs to each campus. During a round of furloughs this spring, lower-paid employees faced a few unpaid days while top administrators took as many as 10.

Furlough days could begin in October and could close entire campuses on days when classes aren’t scheduled.


Body found in arson fire

A man has been burned beyond recognition in a Capitol Heights house fire, and Prince George’s County authorities believe the blaze was intentionally set.

Fire department spokesman Mark Brady said police are investigating the death as a homicide. He said it was not clear whether the victim was killed before the fire was set or died in the blaze. The fire broke out just before 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

Mr. Brady said investigators have not been able to determine the man’s identity because of the extent of his injuries.


Hundreds suffer impact of flood

Crews continue to pump water from flooded basements in Dundalk after a 6-foot-wide water main broke, flooding cars and washing away part of a road.

Baltimore County Executive James Smith said Saturday that about 100 basements had flooded. But there were no injuries, arrests or vandalism after the flooding that started Friday afternoon.

About 800 customers were still without power Saturday morning. Baltimore Gas & Electric inspectors were going door-to-door to determine where it was safe to turn the power back on.

At its height, the flooding was knee- to chest-deep.

Officials with the Baltimore City Public Works Department, which serves the county, planned to inspect the concrete pipe that failed.


Fire breaks out at diplomatic home

A fire that broke out in the kitchen at Chile’s diplomatic residence in Washington has sent one woman to the hospital.

D.C. fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said the 62-year-old staff member suffered serious smoke inhalation at the residence Saturday. Firefighters were called to the three-story building about 2:45 p.m.

There was heavy smoke, but firefighters quickly brought the fire under control. Authorities said damage was moderate and confined mostly to the kitchen area.

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