Dan Noble, manager of the Spring Valley munitions cleanup project, displays a World War I-era shell.
Dan Noble, manager of the Spring Valley munitions cleanup project, displays a World War I-era shell. (By Jacquelyn Martin -- Associated Press)
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Thursday, January 24, 2008


Digging Resumes

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will resume its excavation today for buried chemical weapons in the Spring Valley neighborhood in Northwest Washington, officials said yesterday.

The digging for the weapons, left over from World War I testing at American University, was halted last month after the discovery of a 75mm arsine shell that was suspected to have an explosive charge. The Army said the chances of such a shell exploding are "extremely low" because it lacks a fuse.

The Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board approved a request from the Army to resume digging but required the corps to add an air filtration unit to the protective measures at the excavation site, which is in the 4800 block of Glenbrook Road. The equipment is now in place, officials said.

-- Steve Vogel


Former Commander Is Disciplined for E-Mails

Complaints that a former D.C. police commander sent inappropriate e-mails have been sustained by the department's internal affairs division, and Chief Cathy L. Lanier has reassigned him, officials said yesterday.

Hilton Burton, who had been commander of the 4th Police District, was permanently transferred to a post as an inspector in the department's professional development bureau, said Assistant Chief Peter Newsham. Burton was accused of using his department e-mail and cellphone to send a woman sexual messages. In a separate incident, he was accused of sending inappropriate messages while working, using his personal account, authorities said.

Cmdr. Linda Brown, who had been head of the 4th District since November, was named permanent commander there.

In another personnel move, Lanier moved Capt. C.V. Morris, former head of the violent crimes division, to the 7th Police District. Lanier shifted him to the forensics unit in September and has decided to put him in the patrol division.

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