Highways Should Get Money, Gilmore Says
Speaking on his monthly radio show in Richmond yesterday, Gov. James S. Gilmore III (R) defended his plan to spend 40 percent of Virginia's tobacco settlement on highways, saying he views the money as reimbursement for the state's past health care costs.
Health advocates said last week that they will try to persuade the General Assembly to spend the money on research and treatment of tobacco-related diseases, which they say was the intent of the settlement.
Virginia expects to receive $4 billion over 25 years as its share of a $206 billion settlement the states reached with tobacco companies last year. The 1999 General Assembly agreed to spend half of the money to help tobacco-growing communities and 10 percent to discourage youth smoking.
Gilmore has proposed using the rest--about $1.6 billion--to help pay for a $2.5 billion highway-building program.
Juvenile Justice Board Changes Members
Gov. James S. Gilmore III appointed four new members to the state's Juvenile Justice Board yesterday less than two weeks after the board voted to decertify Virginia's largest juvenile prison. The appointments replaced three board members whose terms expired in June and one board member who resigned.
All five board members had voted to decertify the crowded Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Center, outside Richmond. Board members reported that officers there were paying some juveniles to enforce discipline and that some female officers were trading sex for cooperation with youths in their care.
Last week, the director of the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Rev. Gerald O. Glenn, resigned in frustration over his dealings with the board, which had suspended a program initiated by Glenn that trained guards to hit or kick juvenile inmates who attack them. Gilmore was a supporter of Glenn.
The board members the governor chose not to reappoint are Peter M. Wherry, of Virginia Beach, Norfolk Sheriff Robert J. McCabe and Col. Carl R. Baker, the Chesterfield County police chief. Christina A. Frank, of Mount Claire, resigned. To replace them, Gilmore appointed Kenneth Feng, of Burke, a senior special agent in the U.S. General Accounting Office; Jorge Lozano, of Annandale, president of Condortech Services Inc.; A.V. "Buck" Maddra, of Chesterfield County, a retired police major; and Thomas Wilkins, of Reston, a management consultant.
Two Charter High Schools to Open
The D.C. Board of Education has approved the opening of two new charter high schools next fall, one of which will serve teenagers with learning disabilities and emotional problems, officials said yesterday.
The JOS-ARZ Therapeutic Public Charter School will offer a year-round program for 72 high school students, some of whom will live at the school's facility in the 200 block of Taylor Street NE. The Kamit Institute for Magnificent Achievers Public Charter School will enroll 50 ninth- through 12th-graders.
The school board also has revoked the probationary status of the World Public Charter School, a multilingual elementary school placed on probation last year because of administrative problems. School board officials said the school has corrected the problems and is flourishing.
Charter schools are publicly funded but operate independently of school system bureaucracies. There are about 7,000 students enrolled at 31 charter campuses across the city.
Holiday Pies Flood Food and Friends
By 9 a.m. yesterday, commuters had dropped off 125 pies to Food and Friends, and all day, the drivers and the pies just kept coming.
The nonprofit organization's executive director, Craig Sniderman, had been worried about getting enough pies to go along with the 2,000 dinners being delivered to people sick from the virus that causes AIDS. The group delivers meals to 500 clients each day, but for Thanksgiving, it is providing enough food so that clients can have guests. Pies are the only food the group in Southeast Washington doesn't make itself.
After an article in The Washington Post yesterday mentioned the pie shortage, pies started appearing. Sniderman said the response produced so many pies that each client will get three.
"Working at this place," Sniderman said yesterday, "is the best antidote I know to the cynicism of our age."
Liquor License Suspended After Bar Death
A Georgetown bar's liquor license was suspended Tuesday, two weeks after a teenager was shot to death on the sidewalk outside.
The city's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board heard testimony from police and residents that the Sports Fan Club in the 3200 block of M Street NW allows underage drinking and is a trouble spot for bar brawls. The board suspended the liquor license until a hearing scheduled for Jan. 12.
The bar's owners said that they take security seriously and that the incident was not typical.
Tyreen Jay Chaney, 19, of Springfield, died at Georgetown University Hospital less than an hour after he was shot on Nov. 9. Bernard Bryant Jr., of the 2700 block of Rose Valley Drive in Fort Washington, was charged with murder while armed.
Hog Farm Can't Expand Yet
State environmental regulators say a Frederick County hog farmer must devise a better plan for cutting odors before they allow his operation to expand.
The Maryland Department of the Environment ordered Rodney Harbaugh in September to submit an odor-control plan as part of his application for a wastewater discharge permit. The permit would allow Harbaugh to increase the herd on his Rocky Ridge farm from fewer than 2,400 to about 4,000 hogs.
On Friday, J. James Dieter, wastewater permits administrator, said the plan Harbaugh submitted last month was unacceptable and must be more aggressive.
Dieter said state regulators also will consider the results of an air pollution study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of gases flowing from Harbaugh's property to that of a neighbor who has complained about strong odors from the farm.
Harbaugh said he might have to shut down if he can't increase production. He said he may sue the state environmental agency if it refuses him a wastewater discharge permit.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"There's a changed atmosphere. People are more careful about what they say and what they do."
--Stephen Sutton, a graduate student at the University of Maryland who is black, on the reaction to recent hate mail on the College Park campus, which is one of the nation's most diverse and has won applause for its efforts to foster understanding.