- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Lasorda portrait set at Smithsonian

The National Portrait Gallery is installing a painting of Major League Baseball Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda on his 82nd birthday.

The nearly life-sized portrait, measuring 60 by 50 inches, was installed Tuesday at the Smithsonian Institution museum. It commemorates Mr. Lasorda’s long career with the Los Angeles Dodgers and goes on view at the start of a three-game series between the Dodgers and Washington Nationals in the nation’s capital.

The portrait will be on view in the New Arrivals gallery through Nov. 15. The painting by Everett Raymond Kinstler will be part of the collection of baseball-related art.

Mr. Lasorda managed the Dodgers for 20 seasons, leading them to eight division titles, four National League pennants and World Series titles in 1981 and 1988.



Police: Man drowns trying to save son

A Montgomery County man drowned trying to rescue his teenage son, Ocean City police said.

Police identified the man as Richard Robert Wagner, 52, of Boyds.

Authorities said Mr. Wagner drowned while trying to rescue his teenage son from a rip current off the beach at 35th Street on Monday evening.

Ocean City Beach Patrol Capt. Butch Arbin said two paramedics searched in the water and found the teenage son, who told them his father was still in the water. Police said Mr. Wagner was spotted about two blocks north.

The father and son were taken to Atlantic General Hospital, where the father was pronounced dead. The teen was treated and released.


University auditor charged in fraud

Maryland’s state prosecutor said a University System of Maryland auditor has been charged with filing fraudulent time sheets.

Prosecutor Robert Rohrbaugh said William Lewis, 53, of Towson submitted time sheets showing that he worked 40 hours per week when he didn’t. The criminal information was filed Tuesday.

Charging documents allege the University System of Maryland internal auditing office manager declared 70 hours of work, thus receiving pay he didn’t earn during the purported nine-week fraud.

No court date has been set for Mr. Lewis’ case. Mr. Rohrbaugh said the investigation is continuing.


Woman killed, man hurt in crash

One driver was killed and another driver was injured in a two-vehicle collision on Interstate 795 in Owings Mills, Maryland State Police said.

The accident happened about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday near the Owings Mills Metro station. Troopers said a Honda Civic driven by Amy L. Brooking, 21, of Reisterstown was traveling southbound on I-795 when it crossed the grass median and went into the northbound lanes of the highway.

Miss Brooking’s car struck a Freightliner box truck driven by William K. Dodge, 32, of Hanover, Pa. The truck went off the road and overturned.

Miss Brooking was pronounced dead at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. Mr. Dodge was taken to Northwest Hospital in Randallstown with injuries that were not life-threatening.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.


Police: Teen destroyed missing ram statue

A teen accused of stealing two statues depicting a famous Spanish ram says one of the statues is no more, police in Dorechester County said.

The statues depicting Don Pedro, a ram owned by E.I. du Pont, were taken Sept. 10 from the entrance to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science-Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge, where they stood guard for 50 years.

One was found damaged in the road nearby. The fate of the other remained a mystery until police say they received a tip it was in Joseph Yater’s living room.

Police say Mr. Yater, 18, and Derek Bramble, 22, are charged with theft and other offenses.

Mr. Yater told police one statue fell out of a truck and the other was destroyed and tossed into a septic lagoon after they read about the thefts in the newspaper.



Lawyer: No execution for disabled inmate

A Virginia death-row inmate who killed two men in Richmond cannot be executed because he is mentally disabled, his attorney told a federal appeals court Tuesday.

A lawyer for the state countered that Darrick Walker, 37, failed to prove he is disabled through intelligence-quotient tests and evidence about how well he functions in society.

Walker was convicted of killing Stanley Rogers Beale in November 1996 and Clarence Elwood Threat in June 1997. Virginia law allows the death penalty for anyone who commits two premeditated murders within three years.

Walker’s attorney, Jody Kris, told a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that her client met the “national consensus” for the definition of being mentally disabled. She said a lower court ignored Walker’s low IQ test scores and evidence of limitations in adaptive behavior.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional to execute the insane or those with an IQ less than 70, established by age 18, who lack basic adaptive skills.


Transit ridership up 4 percent

Virginians drove fewer miles and increased their use of public transportation in 2008, an environmental group said.

A report released Tuesday by Environment Virginia says public-transit ridership increased by more than 4 percent, compared with 2007 levels. The number of miles driven fell by 4 percent.

According to the report, the increase in public-transit ridership and reduction in miles driven saved 27 million gallons of gasoline.

The report attributed the changes in part to volatile gas prices and the economic downturn.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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