Week In Review

WEEK IN REVIEW

September 17, 2006

Annapolis

Academy gets tough on drinking

In a sweeping effort to stamp out sexual assaults and other problems stemming from alcohol abuse at the U.S. Naval Academy, school officials announced Thursday that they will use Breathalyzer tests and the threat of expulsion to force midshipmen -- even those 21 and over -- to curtail their drinking.

The enforcement tactics, which put the Naval Academy at the forefront of the "zero tolerance" movement at colleges nationwide, allow no underage drinking or driving under the influence of alcohol.

Since classes at the Annapolis military college resumed last month, midshipmen age 21 and older are limited to three drinks on a given night, and their blood-alcohol content is not to exceed 0.08 percent, the legal standard for drunken driving in many states, including Maryland. Academy officials will administer random breath tests to hundreds of students on weekends.

Those who fail will be referred to the school's substance abuse counseling program. Second-time offenders and those with blood-alcohol levels of 0.15 percent or higher will be disciplined through the academy's conduct system. Punishments will include restriction to the dormitory, 5 a.m. marches and expulsion.

The academy hand-delivered letters outlining the new guidelines to bars and restaurants in the Annapolis area, asking them to go beyond checking student identification. It urges them to allow code-enforcing midshipmen to drop in, encourage drunken midshipmen to go home and to call a pickup service or night watch officer if necessary.

A section, Friday

Pasadena

U.S. ends inquiry into beating death

Federal officials said Thursday they will not bring civil rights charges against six white men in the 2004 death of a black Pasadena teen after a brawl.

"We don't have grounds to prosecute," said Cynthia Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice. To win a case, officials would have had to prove that 17-year-old Noah Jamahl Jones died in a racially motivated attack and because he was exercising a federally protected right. They lacked such evidence, officials said in a statement.

The decision not to press criminal charges ends a two-year inquiry into Jones' death.

Maryland section, Friday

Anne Arundel

Rape trial excludes report of drug

A female Naval Academy midshipman was given a date rape drug near the time of an alleged assault against her at a Georgetown hotel, according to testimony Wednesday at the Washington Navy Yard.

That evidence won't be heard at the special court-martial of Kenny Ray Morrison, a former football player and senior who is charged with indecent assault, indecent acts and conduct unbecoming an officer in the Feb. 4 incident. Lt. Col. Paul McConnell, a Marine Corps judge, tossed out the toxicology test result, which he said could prove that the drug GHB was in the woman's system during a six-week period but could not be linked to Morrison.

Morrison, a native of Kingwood, Texas, has pleaded not guilty. He will face no jail time if convicted in the midlevel form of military trial, which is often used for misdemeanors. Jury selection is set to begin Sept. 26.

Maryland section, Thursday

Anne Arundel

A few glitches mar primary vote

Anne Arundel County Sheriff George F. Johnson IV sailed by his opponent Tuesday and Del. John R. Leopold emerged from a field of five candidates to win their parties' primaries in the race for county executive.

In legislative races, state Sen. John A. Giannetti Jr. and Del. Brian R. Moe, both Democrats from District 21, were unseated, but all remaining incumbents remained standing to face re-election in November.

The election was seriously marred by problems tallying the votes. Results from eight of 189 precincts turned up missing Tuesday night. Two of the voting machine memory cards were discovered still in the bags in which ballots were returned to the election board office, but six were not found until Wednesday morning -- apparently left by election judges in the machines. With absentee votes still not all counted, one County Council race remained undecided Friday: In the District 4 GOP primary, businessman Sid Saab led lawyer David A. Tibbetts by 95 votes out of nearly 3,000 cast Tuesday.

Among other contested County Council races, Josh Cohen topped fellow Annapolis city council member Classie Gillis Hoyle in the Democratic primary in District 6; lawyer and civic activist Jamie Benoit easily defeated three other Democrats in District 4; and, in the most surprising result, lawyer Daryl Jones pulled off an upset victory over civic activist Rik Forgo in District 1.

A section, Thursday

Annapolis

Marion Warren, photographer, dies

Marion E. Warren, the celebrated Annapolis photographer who chronicled the history and culture of the Chesapeake Bay for more than half a century, died Sept. 8 after a long battle with cancer. He was 86.

Just three hours before he died at Anne Arundel Medical Center, Mr. Warren, who in his younger days would scale a ship's mast or climb a bridge piling to find the right angle, was reviewing three new prints of his negatives for an exhibit Wednesday in Annapolis. It opened as scheduled at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts as a celebration of his life.

Maryland section, Sunday

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