Our network

Ex-Officer Gets 2.5 Years In Bank Break-In

Greenbelt, Md. (AP)- A former Prince George's County police officer has been sentenced to 21/2 years in prison for orchestrating a bank break-in.

A federal judge sentenced 42-year-old Eddie Smith Jr. of Fort Washington on Monday and ordered him to pay more than $10,000 in restitution. Smith pleaded guilty in July to breaking into a Temple Hills SunTrust bank last year.

According to his plea agreement, Smith drove 54-year-old Earl Blake of Capitol Heights to the bank in his cruiser, then gave him tools and instructions on how to cut open an ATM safe. Firefighters responded to the bank after receiving an alarm and saw Blake inside. Blake fled and Smith ran around the bank as though he were pursuing him, but then fled himself.

Blake was sentenced to five months in prison.

Prince George's County Bus Strike Ends After 5 Weeks

Upper Marlboro, MD (AP)- Bus drivers in Prince George's County have ended a five-week bus strike and are returning to work.

Tommy Ratliff, president of the union that represents drivers and mechanics, said union members approved a three-year contract with the bus operator Veolia Transportation on Monday. Ratliff says the union sought better job security and health insurance, higher wages and changes to a disciplinary policy.

The new contract includes a $1-an-hour pay increase, an additional holiday and continued pension contributions and health care options.

Valerie Michael, a spokeswoman for Veolia, says employees will start returning to work on Tuesday.

Veolia had run limited service for weeks. The company employs 136 full-time and 26 part-time workers in the county.

Town Council Member Suspended During Ticket Investigation

MORNINGSIDE Md. (WUSA) -- A Morningside town council member has been suspended from her job as clerk of the town's police department while state police investigate an audit of Morningside's Red Light Camera Program.

The clerk, Regina Foster, serves on the town council with her husband Terry Foster. Together the couple are two of the three seats on the town council.

Police Chief Eugene C. Mills Jr. has asked the Maryland State Police to do an independent investigation of the town's Red Light Camera program. But Mills will not say why, citing the ongoing investigation.

Sources with knowledge of the case say Mills called in outside investigators over suspicions that Foster has been fixing tickets for some people, although the scale of the suspicions are unclear.

Morningside is a small municipality with about 1300 residents and only 6 police officers.

Prince George’s County Voters Can Vote Early Beginning October 22 Through October 28

The Prince George’s County Board of Elections announces Early Voting!!  In addition to Election Day, now, Prince George’s County voters will have six additional days to vote.  Early voting begins on Friday October 22 through Thursday, October 28.  The early voting centers will be closed on Sunday, October 24 2010. 

“The Board of Elections is excited about early voting.  This will give Prince George’s County voters an opportunity to vote at their convenience.  Nearly three percent of the voters in the county voted early for the Primary Election.  I challenge the voters of Prince George’s County to take advantage of the opportunity” said Elections Administrator Alisha Alexander. 

Prince George’s County has five early voting centers:

Man Files $1.5 Million Lawsuit Against Prince George's County Police

UPPER MARLBORO, MD. (AP) — A former Prince George's County police academy cadet has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking $1.5 million after he says he was dismissed for being outspoken about alleged cheating at the academy.

Attorneys for Steven LaPier filed the lawsuit Thursday. According to the lawsuit, LaPier was dismissed after a medical board declared him unfit for duty. Before being dismissed he had complained that instructors gave test answers to the cadet class. The lawsuit says the police department tried to "silence" LaPier as "retaliation for voicing his complaints."

The instructor denies wrongdoing, but an investigation is ongoing. A county spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Ehrlich, O'Malley Square Off In Heated Debate

WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- There was no love lost between incumbent Governor Martin O'Malley and former governor Robert Ehrlich in Thursday afternoon's debate at The Washington Post building.  WUSA9 was a media partner for the debate, along with WAMU 88.5 radio.

"While Bob Ehrlich appointed his unqualified cronies to important positions on the Public Service Commission, we've restored professional regulators..." O'Malley said.

"Governor O'Malley calls immigrants 'new Americans,' if someone breaks into my home, does that make him a new family member for the evening?" Ehrlich asked.

Those types of comments started almost immediately as one candidate blamed the other for ruining Maryland's economy, ignoring schools and cutting jobs in the state.

O'Malley's main message throughout the hour-long debate was to bring Maryland people together "positively and diligently."

9NEWS NOW, Washington Post Bring You Maryland Gubernatorial Debate LIVE Thursday At Noon

WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- A heated debate on Maryland's jobs, education system and, of course, the economy is expected for the debate between Governor Martin O'Malley and Former Governor Robert Ehrlich, today at The Washington Post building.

Ehrlich started off the fireworks Monday by accusing O'Malley, who he referred to as "gov" throughout the debate, of lying about how much money he had saved as governor in the past four years.

O'Malley struck back, by saying that Ehrlich raised taxes throughout his tenure at the state's executive.

Another hot topic for the two candidates in their last meeting Monday morning was education.