Guard Fired, Others Disciplined for Escape
One prison guard was fired, two ordered to undergo additional job training and another demoted yesterday in the latest fallout from a Jessup prison escape in May.
"These folks were part of the overall security lapse," said Dave Towers, a spokesman for the state corrections agency. "They did not follow proper security protocols."
Eight corrections officials have been disciplined to date, and the warden, Sewall B. Smith, was reassigned to another corrections post last week. Corrections officials will appear before a state legislative committee in Annapolis on Tuesday to explain the security breach.
The May 18 escape of convicted felons Byron L. Smoot, 38, and Gregory L. Lawrence, 39, resulted in wide-ranging security reforms at the Maryland Correctional Institute at Jessup. It was the only successful escape in the prison's 18-year history. The inmates were captured two days later.
Academy May Get Money Instead of Milk
A federal defense bill has been amended to allow the Naval Academy to keep money earned from leasing its dairy farm.
U.S. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-Md.) offered his amendment Thursday to the fiscal 2000 defense authorization bill, and it passed unanimously.
"The midshipmen at the academy have been subsidizing the dairy operation for years, so it seems only fair they get some of it back," Gilchrest said.
The academy has operated the dairy farm since 1911, when concerns arose over the safety of the nation's milk supply after an outbreak of typhoid. It has solicited bids for lease of the 875-acre farm near Gambrills since selling most of its cows last year.
Snail Seen as Threat to Bay Shellfish
Virginia marine scientists are concerned that a fist-sized Asian snail discovered in state waters last summer could threaten the region's seafood industry.
The veined rapa whelk eats other shellfish such as clams and oysters. The whelk was first spotted near the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel in June.
Researchers were reluctant to speculate that the snails had established healthy colonies in Chesapeake Bay waters.
But the estimated range of ages of the more than 600 whelk collected so far makes that all but certain. And watermen and researchers have watched as the animals have begun laying millions of egg cases.
Researchers believe the whelks found their way to Hampton Roads as free-floating larvae sucked up in the ballast water of freighters.
Student Sues Over Expulsion
A 14-year-old middle school student is suing the Newport News School Board and its superintendent because school officials expelled her after she was accused of making threatening comments.
The student, Nickacia Christianne Imbody, said that she made no hostile remarks and that school officials violated her free-speech rights. She wants to go back to school and clear her record. The case stems from a classroom discussion April 22 on media coverage of slayings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.
According the lawsuit, teacher Corine Sprigle asked her English class, which included Nickacia, to discuss media coverage of the shootings. Nickacia told her teacher that she, too, used to dress all in black and had a fascination with Adolf Hitler like the Columbine students who called themselves the Trenchcoat Mafia.
DMV Offers Photo IDs for Children
Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles is now offering photo identification cards for children under age 15. The cards can be obtained at any DMV customer service center. A DMV photo ID costs $5 and expires after five years or on the child's 15th birthday.
The card includes the child's name, an ID number, address, birth date, sex, height, expiration date and signature. The child's photo will be stored in a DMV database and may be made available to national law enforcement agencies in the event of an emergency.
Georgetown Wins Food Research Grant
Georgetown University has won a $1 million grant from Sara Lee Corp. to establish a food safety research fund.
The university's Center for Food and Nutrition Policy will use the fund to support applied research projects that promise to identify new methods for improved food safety.
They include studies of post-processing bacteria elimination, potential food additives and best practices for the packaged meats industry. The studies are aimed at producing strategies for preventing food-borne diseases such as salmonella.
Streets to Close for Pride Festival
Pennsylvania Avenue between Third and Ninth streets NW will be closed from 2:30 a.m. until midnight tomorrow for the Capital Pride Festival, a celebration by the area's gay, transgendered and bisexual communities.
Other streets throughout the city will shut down from noon to 3 p.m. tomorrow for a parade, which will start at N Street NW and go along 23rd Street to P Street to Dupont Circle, around the circle to New Hampshire Avenue and onto 17th Street NW. The parade will continue along P Street, onto Logan Circle, to 13th Street and down to Pennsylvania Avenue to the festival.
Emergency Drill to Affect Yellow Line
Metro plans to conduct an emergency drill tomorrow, simulating a derailment and fire on a Yellow Line train on the Potomac River bridge between the L'Enfant Plaza and Pentagon stations.
During the drill, scheduled to last from 7 to 11 a.m., service will be reduced on the Yellow Line, and trains coming from Virginia on that route will continue to L'Enfant Plaza by way of Orange and Blue Line stations.
Participating in the exercise will be rescue personnel from the District, Alexandria, Arlington and Metro as well as the U.S. Park Police. About 50 volunteers will pose as victims.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"To leave unconnected two of the biggest economic engines in the state of Maryland and the state of Virginia doesn't make any sense."
--Charles A. Dukes Jr., who heads the Greater Washington Board of Trade's transportation committee, arguing for a highway connecting the technology corridors of suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia.