Sewage Spill Leads to Closings
Frederick County health officials have closed down Walkersville's 35 restaurants and food-service businesses as a major sewage spill continues to disrupt life in the town.
Officials ordered restaurant workers to stop handling or preparing food, fearing that contamination of the water supply could lead to illness. Meanwhile, four tank trucks arrived to provide water to the town's 7,500 residents.
Work crews yesterday laid 1.3 miles of pipe to connect Walkersville to the Frederick city water supply. Officials hope that by mid-week the temporary measure will provide tap water to town residents while the town cleans its own water supply. An advisory not to use well water also has been extended to include the town's private wells.
On Monday, a construction accident ruptured an 18-inch sewer line. About 900,000 gallons of sewage--enough to fill 44 swimming pools--had spilled by the time the leak was discovered six hours later. Town health officials determined Friday that the sewage had contaminated the ground water.
Starr Reportedly Ordered to Yield Tapes
A federal judge reportedly has ordered independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr to provide tapes of phone conversations between Linda R. Tripp and Monica S. Lewinsky to Maryland prosecutors who are building a possible wiretapping case against Tripp.
Maryland State Prosecutor Stephen Montanarelli asked U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson for the tapes last month. A report in yesterday's Baltimore Sun cited unnamed sources who said the judge has granted the request.
For about a year, a Howard County grand jury has been meeting to decide whether Tripp, who lives in Columbia, should be charged with illegally taping the conversations in which Lewinsky, the former White House intern, detailed her sexual relationship with President Clinton. Under Maryland law, it is illegal to record telephone conversations without the consent of all parties.
Tripp has said that she recorded more than 25 conversations with Lewinsky from her home in 1997 and that she had been warned of the Maryland prohibition against such secret recordings before making some of the tapes.
But Tripp's attorney, Joseph Murtha, said in an interview yesterday that prosecutors should not be able to use the tapes because they were turned over to Starr in exchange for a grant of immunity. Murtha said he would challenge any indictment if Montanarelli uses the tapes.
Montgomery Government Phone Changes
Most Montgomery County government telephone numbers will change tomorrow to make way for a new phone system.
Callers will need to dial a new 240 area code and three-digit exchange to reach most county offices. The change will affect more than half of the county's 12,000 government numbers.
For more than a decade, all county government numbers except those at satellite offices have started with the area code 301 followed by the 217 prefix. Tomorrow most numbers will begin 240-777 or 240-773, with the final four digits remaining unchanged in most cases. For the next three months, those who dial old numbers will receive tape recordings with the new numbers.
The number for Montgomery County general information will be 240-777-1000.
Officials Ignored Warning, Guard Says
A guard at a Maryland prison says her superiors ignored her warning that inmates were planning to escape from the facility.
Three captains at the Maryland Correctional Institution at Jessup failed to act on the warning by corrections officer Bernadette Thomas that convicted robber Byron L. Smoot was planning to break out. Corrections Commissioner William W. Sondervan confirmed that the officer submitted a written report to prison officials detailing her warning.
Meanwhile, a corrections officer who was fired for failing to react to an alarm said the alarm did not sound during the escape. Nina M. Polley said a microwave motion detector that should have sounded did not work when Smoot and convicted murderer Gregory L. Lawrence fled by scaling a prison fence May 18.
Sondervan discounted Polley's account but said the report that a warning was not heeded is being investigated. Corrections spokesman Dave Towers said the agency is also looking into allegations that Thomas was harassed by superiors as a result of her report.
Prison officials fired Polley on June 4, saying she ignored or failed to respond to alarms and radio calls alerting her to a security breach. The two inmates were recaptured two days later. A former Patuxent Institution psychologist, who has been romantically linked to Lawrence, has been charged with aiding the inmates.
4 Injured When Car Crashes Into Store
Four people were injured yesterday when the car in which they were riding crashed into a liquor store in the 4800 block of Benning Road SE, a fire department spokesman said.
The crash occurred about 10:45 a.m. The injured people were taken to D.C. General Hospital.
Boy Burned in Pr. William Boat Blast
An 11-year-old boy was severely burned by an explosion aboard a boat as it pulled away from a Prince William County marina yesterday afternoon, authorities said.
The 23-foot cabin cruiser had stopped for gas shortly after 4 p.m. at the E-Z Cruz Marina, 16425 Neabsco Rd., on Neabsco Creek. After refueling, the boat was about 100 yards from the dock when the engine exploded about 5:20 p.m., according to Deputy Chief Mike Clark of the Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton volunteer fire department. Four people, all of Falmouth, Va., from the boat were rescued from the water.
The 11-year-old boy suffered second- and third-degree burns on both legs, and also suffered burns to his torso and lungs, Clark said. He was taken by helicopter to Children's Hospital.
Memorial Service Set for McLean Family
A memorial service is scheduled this afternoon for the three members of the Taima family, who were found slain in their McLean home last month. Fuad Taima, 63, his wife, Dorothy, 54, and their son Leith, 16, were found shot to death in their Broyhill Street home on May 28. Detectives from the FBI and the Fairfax County police department have been investigating the family's business dealings and ties to Iraq as possible factors in the murder. Police have not named any suspects in the slaying. Family members have arranged for a memorial service at 3 p.m. at Walker Chapel United Methodist Church in Arlington.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We're going to super-saturate this baby." -- D.C. Executive Assistant Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer, on plans to deploy large numbers of extra officers and helicopters in response to an outburst of shootings in Northwest and Southeast neighborhoods.