In The Region

January 30, 2009

Woman who died in crash on I-95 is identified

The woman who died Wednesday after the tractor-trailer driven by her husband crashed on northbound Interstate 95 near Washington Boulevard and burst into flames has been identified as Diana Roser, 63, of DeLand, Fla., said a spokesman for the Maryland Transportation Authority Police. Cpl. Robert Thibodeau, the spokesman, said the rig was being driven by Dennis Roser, 63, when it became involved in a collision with several other vehicles and jackknifed. Thibodeau said the tractor's diesel fuel saddle tanks ruptured, causing a huge fire that killed the woman and destroyed the tractor. He said the husband escaped the burning rig without injury, but was held overnight for observation at Maryland Shock Trauma Center and then released. He said the rig was carrying boxes containing Perdue chicken products. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Richard Irwin

Md. urges electronic filing to avoid tax refund delay

Maryland taxpayers should file their returns electronically this year to avoid a delay of up to four weeks for refund checks, Comptroller Peter Franchot warned this week. It will take longer this year to process paper tax returns because of budget cutbacks. Franchot, the state's chief tax collector, said his agency plans to hire only 70 temporary workers to help open and sort mailed returns this tax season, about half the number hired last year. The move is expected to save about $450,000 as the state faces huge budget shortfalls. Electronic returns can be processed in a matter of days and cost less to handle. Officials said that taxpayers who don't have access to a computer can visit a local branch office, where electronic returns can be prepared.

Laura Smitherman

Columbia's Bain center may be shut until Feb. 17

The water-damaged Bain Senior Center in west Columbia might not reopen until Feb. 17, Howard County officials said, after flooring and drywall is replaced, and everything dries out. A burst sprinkler pipe in the ceiling of the building's computer room discovered Jan. 18 is the culprit, the second time a sprinkler pipe has burst since January 2004, when 35,000 gallons of water flooded the center during a weekend cold snap. Activities have been shifted to nearby public buildings.

Larry Carson

Woman pleads guilty in motel standoff

HAGERSTOWN: A South Carolina woman pleaded guilty yesterday to her role in a two-day standoff with police at a Western Maryland motel in August. Rene L. Reynolds, 21, of Moncks Corner, S.C., faces up to 10 years in prison on her conviction on one count of conspiring to threaten arson. In return for her plea, prosecutors dropped theft and drug possession charges. Reynolds and James A. Prevatt III, also of Moncks Corner, were arrested Aug. 22 by police who stormed their room at the America's Best Value Inn in Hancock after a 45-hour standoff. Reynolds, who was pregnant at the time and has since given birth, pretended she was Prevatt's hostage and supported his false claim that he had explosives in the room, said Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Brett R. Wilson.

Associated Press

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