WSSC Buys Out 2 Top Managers
Longtime Agency Employees Are Replacements
The board of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission voted to pay its two top managers more than $250,000 each to step down, and appointed longtime agency employees as replacements. The vote ended a six-month dispute between the board and John R. Griffin, its general manager, and his deputy, P. Michael Errico. The board picked Carla R. Joyner, WSSC's chief of mission support, to lead the utility. Her deputy will be Chief Financial Officer Thomas C. Traber.
Johnson's Security Pick Criticized
Officer Facing Internal Investigation
Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) chose a police corporal who was suspended temporarily in January and is facing an internal investigation to be his deputy director of homeland security. Cpl. Keith Washington, 43, was suspended after an off-duty scuffle. In naming him to the newly created job, Johnson touted Washington's "extensive military background," knowledge of anti-terrorism tactics and community ties. The appointment drew criticism from activists who questioned Johnson's selection of a person with a blemished background.
Prince George's Fire Chief Resigning
Blackwell Taking Post in Anne Arundel
Prince George's County Fire Chief Ronald D. Blackwell, head of the regional task force investigating a serial arsonist, announced he will resign his post Aug. 20 to take a similar job in Anne Arundel County. Blackwell leaves Prince George's five years after he arrived as a lieutenant colonel. He oversees nearly 1,900 career and volunteer firefighters and paramedics assigned to 47 firehouses. They answer about 133,000 calls for service every year. In Anne Arundel, he will oversee about 720 career firefighters who last year answered about 86,000 calls for services from 27 firehouses.
Metro Operator Abandons Train
3 to Get Refresher Course but No Penalty
A Red Line train operator was ordered to take a refresher course after she abandoned her crowded train during rush hour. The refresher course also was ordered for two others who violated procedures during the Monday night incident. The six-car Red Line train was headed for Shady Grove when it pulled into the Van Ness-UDC Station and sat idling for 12 minutes, according to Metro. The central train controllers gave permission for the operator, who had finished her shift, to leave her cab, believing another operator was in the cab.
Goddard Flight Center Reopens Doors
Community Day Revived After Three Years
The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt resumed its annual Community Day for the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. An estimated 10,000 people attended the event that featured demonstrations and tours of normally closed rooms where scientists work. Goddard officials had stopped the Community Day program out of concern for the safety of the work performed at the center.
Planes Chartered to West Africa
Ghana Airways Grounding Stranded Passengers
U.S. and Ghanaian officials agreed to charter planes to transport several hundred passengers who had been stranded for a week in the Baltimore area, New York and West Africa after U.S. officials ordered Ghana Airways to stop flying in and out of the United States. Officials grounded the African airline because of questions about its safety.
Frederick Ponders Red-Light Cameras
Police Studying Implementation Possibilities
In a sign of its rapid growth, Frederick officials said they are studying the possibility of installing red-light cameras as a way to regulate traffic at dangerous intersections. The city police department is expected to return to City Hall in the next few weeks with camera statistics and reports for city officials to review. Opponents say cameras create a system where people are guilty until proven innocent.