Haymarket Police Chief, Aide Suspended
The Haymarket police chief, along with his sergeant, were suspended without pay this week, and town officials have not disclosed the reasons for the personnel action.
Chief James E. Roop, 49, who has been with the department for nine years, and Sgt. Gregory Breeden, 46, who has been with the department for five years, were suspended June 21 by the Haymarket Town Council, according to Mayor David P. Taylor.
No acting chief has been appointed. The suspensions reduced the department to three full-time officers and four volunteers, who monitor the half-square-mile town in western Prince William County.
U-Va. Students Used Answer Key From Web
A committee at the University of Virginia is considering how to handle an incident in which first-year graduate students used an answer key they discovered on the Internet to complete an assignment.
Economics Department Chairman David E. Mills told the Associated Press that at least one student in an introductory graduate economics course shared information found in an online answer key with other students. He said many of the 30 students in the class were involved and had violated the university rule requiring students to do their work individually.
At the very least, he said, they knew what they were doing was wrong.
The answer key students found was on a Web site about their textbook.
Mills said the committee is deciding whether to forward the cases of some students to the student honor committee, which could then try the students and expel them.
Couple, Dog Plunge Down Mountain in SUV
A Suffolk couple and their dog plummeted 200 feet down the side of Afton Mountain in a sport-utility vehicle but were not seriously injured, police said.
William Copeland and his wife, Jeanette, were driving east on Interstate 64 when they pulled onto a scenic overlook in Afton about noon yesterday. The SUV struck a guardrail, flipped and tumbled down the mountainside.
"He said he couldn't stop," said state Trooper D.L. Keaton. "He remembered hitting the guardrail and going airborne."
Witnesses reported seeing the car flip end over end as it fell. Passing motorists called 911, and rescue squads from Albemarle County and Waynesboro used rope to haul the couple and their dog up the mountainside.
The Copelands were taken to University of Virginia Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries, Keaton said. The dog was taken to an animal shelter for a checkup.
No Bond for Quantico Mother in Trunk Case
A woman accused of putting her two 5-year-old children in the trunk of her car was ordered held without bond yesterday.
Tamatha Parker, 33, of Quantico is charged with two felony counts of child abuse. She told police she put the children in the trunk in a Wal-Mart parking lot Saturday as punishment for misbehaving inside the store.
An off-duty police officer from New Hampshire, alerted to the children's plight by a witness, stopped the car as the woman was backing out of a parking space and forced her to let the children out of the trunk.
Parker surrendered to city police Wednesday night and is being held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail. The children are in the care of a relative, police said.
Cardin, Van Hollen Disclose Fundraising
Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) of Baltimore said yesterday that he had raised more than $1 million since announcing his 2006 Senate bid in late April.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Montgomery County, another Democrat considering the race to replace the retiring Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D), said he had raised more than $380,000 during the past three months. Van Hollen, who plans to announce his intentions this month, said he has more than $1 million on hand in his congressional account.
The figures were released on the final day of a quarterly reporting period. Candidates have until July 15 to file reports detailing the money they raised during the quarter, which started in April.
Former NAACP leader and congressman Kweisi Mfume of Baltimore, another declared Democratic candidate for the Senate, did not announce a total yesterday.
Audit Critical of Md. Transit Administration
A new audit faults the Maryland Transit Administration for several lapses in fiscal management, including failure to recover $325,000 in overpayments made to a company that provides MARC services.
A report, released yesterday by the Office of Legislative Audits, also asked why the administration has not pursued $415,000 that it could have assessed another contractor for delays in fixing escalators that serve the Metro subway system.
The report also disclosed that the administration had failed to submit $42 million worth of contract extensions for approval to the Board of Public Works, a three-member state panel, as required by state procurement regulations. Moreover, the audit said, the administration failed to meet minimum-use standards for 68 of the 193 state-owned vehicles in its fleet.
Earlier Curfew for Youths Takes Effect
The summer curfew for youths in the District will begin today and run through Aug. 31, D.C. police said.
Under the curfew, youths younger than 17 have to be off the streets between midnight and 6 a.m. seven days a week, police said. The rest of the year, the curfew begins at 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and midnights on weekends.
Police said the law provides for exemptions for certain activities, such as work, school, religious, civic or organized recreational activities.
The department said it has stepped up enforcement of the curfew as part of its juvenile crime prevention strategy. During the first six months of this year, the department picked up 1,200 curfew violators.
Repeat violators can be subject to penalties, including 25 hours of community service. Parents who knowingly let the children violate the law can face a maximum $500 fine and community service, police said.
"During the summer season, these roads are oftentimes overwhelmed. We're at the risk of seeing some of our summer vacation areas become less accessible."
-- Frank R. Moretti, director of policy and research at TRIP,
a transportation research group. -- B1
Compiled from reports by staff writers Ian Shapira, John Wagner and Allan Lengel and the Associated Press.