Student Given Probation in BWI Case

Damascus Man Smuggled Box Cutters on Flight

Nathaniel T. Heatwole, a college student from Maryland who smuggled box cutters onto passenger flights to highlight flaws in airport security, was sentenced to two years' probation.

Heatwole, of Damascus, pleaded guilty to carrying the items through the security screening area at Baltimore-Washington International Airport onto a Southwest Airlines flight Sept. 14. He also smuggled items onto planes five other times between February and September 2003.

Since his arrest, he has worked with federal officials to produce a videotape in which he explains how he smuggled the items onto the plane. In addition to probation, Heatwole must perform 100 hours of community service.

Racial Analysis of Traffic Stops Offered

Montgomery Chief Sees No Systemic Profiling

Montgomery County police continue to stop African American drivers at a higher rate than their proportion of the county population or registered drivers, according to data released by police under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said he sees "no indication that there is a systemic racial profiling issue." Police said that many of the blacks pulled over in traffic stops are not county residents and that the proportion of blacks who live in the county is not an accurate benchmark for evaluating traffic stops.

The president of the Montgomery NAACP chapter said there are more questions that police need to answer, such as how many of the blacks who were pulled over live outside Montgomery.

Pr. George's Schools Chief Criticized

County Council Members See Disrespect

A rift has developed in the relationship between the Prince George's County Council and schools chief Andre J. Hornsby. Sparks became evident late last month when the council voted against the school board's plan to begin construction immediately to expand five high schools. Moments after the vote, Hornsby and his deputies walked out of the meeting.

Angry council members fired off a letter to the school board saying his action demonstrated disrespect. Hornsby, who took over the school system a year ago, and rankled politicians as superintendent of schools in Yonkers, N.Y., said that he left the meeting because he had somewhere to go and that he did not understand the need for an apology.

Some council members complain that he has done little to build a rapport with elected officials.

Ex-State Police Chief Gets 6-Month Term

Norris Misspent Taxpayer Funds on Gifts, Affairs

A federal judge sentenced former Maryland State Police superintendent Edward T. Norris to six months in prison for illegally spending thousands of dollars in police funds on expensive gifts, extramarital liaisons and other indulgences.

Norris, 43, also was fined $10,000 and ordered to serve three years of probation after his release, with the first six months under home detention.

He was appointed state police superintendent after Robert L. Ehrlich's election as governor in 2002.

Across the Region

Howard County Schools Chief; WWII Memorial

* By a unanimous vote, the Howard County school board selected Sydney L. Cousin, 58, as the new superintendent. Cousin, who had served as interim schools chief, had retired from the school system last year.

* The new National World War II Memorial will be closed to the public on the Fourth of July and covered with fire-resistant tarpaulins because officials fear the Mall's fireworks display could rain embers on the site.

* The Montgomery County Council approved a strategic plan for economic development that calls for jobs to grow faster than the county's population or its number of homes, a formula that the plan's critics say will result in more traffic and higher housing prices.

* Howard County officials are studying whether to buy Merriweather Post Pavilion and turn the concert venue into a year-round performing arts center.

Phone crackdown: Drivers such as Jessica Torres could be cited for phoning without a hands-free device starting Thursday.