PRINCE WILLIAM GOVERNMENTCounty Adopts Hiring Freeze, Spending CutsPrince William County will impose a hiring freeze and take other steps to cut nearly $18 million in spending from its current budget under a plan that cleared the Board of County Supervisors yesterday. The board, seeking to offset a revenue shortage caused by the slowdown in the residential housing market, agreed with nearly all of County Executive Craig S. Gerhart's cost-saving proposals. Gerhart found $7.35 million in savings through delayed debt service payments, and he recommended holding vacant about 40 full-time positions. As a result of the freeze, striping for some athletic fields that was planned for spring will be delayed.
The board voted to delay for two weeks a decision on whether to close an adult day-care center in Manassas, which would have yielded about $127,000 in savings through the fiscal year that ends June 30.
Next year's budget will be presented to the board March 6.
-- Timothy DwyerFAIRFAX COUNTYFirst Hypothermia Death of Winter RecordedAn apparently homeless man whose body was found in western Fairfax County died of hypothermia, the first such fatality in Fairfax this winter, police said yesterday. Robert Bruce Miller, 59, was discovered under a pickup about 3:30 p.m. Friday in the 14800 block of Thompson Road in the Chantilly area, Officer Richard Henry said. An autopsy found that hypothermia, caused by prolonged exposure to dangerously low temperatures, was the cause of death.
-- Tom JackmanARLINGTON COUNTYMan Arrested, Linked to Chain of BurglariesA District man was arrested early Sunday as he emerged from a closed Chinese restaurant in Arlington County, and police believe he is responsible for a string of burglaries along the Wilson Boulevard commercial corridor. Shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday, police received a report that a suspicious person had entered the Hunan Gate restaurant at 4233 Fairfax Dr., Arlington police spokesman John Lisle said. Police surrounded the building, announced their presence and arrested a man moments later.
Dwayne W. Johnson, 44, was charged with burglary, grand larceny and possessing burglar's tools, and police are investigating him in connection with four other burglaries over the weekend, Lisle said. In addition, police are investigating whether Johnson had a role in 24 other business burglaries dating to January 2006.
-- Tom JackmanALEXANDRIAEx-Professor Admits Guilt in Child Porn CaseA former University of Pennsylvania business professor pleaded guilty yesterday to child pornography after federal agents found DVDs showing him having sex with a teenage boy. Lawrence S. Ward, 64, faces 15 to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced May 11, prosecutors said. Ward pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to producing child pornography for import into the United States.
Agents found the DVDs in Ward's luggage and computer during a routine customs examination when he arrived at Dulles International Airport from Brazil on Aug. 27, prosecutors said.
-- Jerry Markon