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MARYLAND BRIEFING

Thursday, September 25, 2008

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY

State Senator Wants Feds To Investigate Inmate's Death

Sen. C. Anthony Muse says Prince George's County should turn the criminal inquiry into the death of inmate Ronnie L. White over to the Justice Department to remove "perceptions that this process is anything less than fair."

Muse (D-Prince George's) sent a letter Tuesday to Prince George's State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey, asking him to consider the independent review. White was found unresponsive in his county jail cell June 29, two days after he had been charged with killing a county police officer.

White's death was ruled a homicide, but Ivey has not ruled out suicide.

-- Aaron C. Davis

Motorcyclist Dies in Crash In Upper Marlboro Area

A 19-year-old man died yesterday when he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into a box truck on a commuter artery in the Upper Marlboro area, authorities said.

Collin L. Cooper, a member of the military stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, was traveling at a high rate of speed on the ramp from Crain Highway to Pennsylvania Avenue about 4:15 p.m. when his motorcycle hit the curb. When he lost control and hit the truck, the motorcycle burst into flames.

Cooper was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. The driver of the truck was taken to Prince George's Hospital Center with minor injuries.

-- Elissa Silverman

Shootout on Highway Leaves 1 Man Dead, 1 Injured

A man was killed and another was critically injured in a shootout yesterday between occupants of two moving cars in Temple Hills, Prince George's County police said.

A silver Honda carrying two men flipped over about 2 a.m. on Branch Avenue near Saint Barnabas Road after the men had been shot, police said. One died, and the other, who had been pinned under the vehicle, was in critical but stable condition, police said. Police did not release the men's names.

After the crash, the northbound lanes of the thoroughfare were closed for nearly eight hours as detectives investigated.

-- Aaron C. Davis

Fort Washington Bicyclist Dies After Being Hit by Van

A bicyclist was killed in Fort Washington yesterday when he was struck by a van while trying to cross Allentown Road, police said.

Jose Obdulio Garcia, 45, of the 800 block of Veltri Drive was traveling west and had crossed eastbound traffic before he was hit, police spokesman Henry Tippett said. The accident occurred at 12:04 p.m. in the 7200 block of Allentown Road.

-- Aaron C. Davis

STATE GOVERNMENT

Each Side in Slots Debate Gains Allies in Referendum

Maryland firefighters became the latest municipal union to endorse the November referendum proposal on slot machine gambling, and the Maryland Taxpayers Association came out against it.

In a statement by the pro-slots group For Maryland, For Our Future, LeRoy A. Wilkison, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Maryland, which represents 20 locals, said passage of the ballot question would ensure that budgets stay intact, preserving public safety. At a news conference, Herb McMillan, president of Maryland Taxpayers Association, a group of fiscal conservatives, criticized the $1.4 billion tax increase approved by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly last year and signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D). Miller said that slots revenue would only "add fuel" to state spending.

-- Lisa Rein

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