News Briefs

Local and VCU

VCU police seek suspect in Singleton Center break-in

Police at VCU are looking for a Richmond man on larceny related charges.

Police have a warrant for the arrest of Ervin M. Johnson, 21, of the 3200 block of North Avenue, on charges of breaking and entering, attempted grand larceny and damage to state property at the W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts.

Police say someone got into the Singleton Center on Park Avenue in October and tried to take a Sony LCD projector, damaging it in the process, said Detective Sgt. P.M. Abrams. The theft was not successful.

Johnson is not a VCU student, according to university officials.

Anyone with information can call VCU Police Detective Sgt. P.M. Abrams at (804) 640-3380 or the VCU Police Communications Center at (804) 828-1196.

Brief by the Richmond Times-Dispatch

VCU board approves demolition of four properties for new buildings

The landscape of VCU is about to change with the approval Friday of the demolition of four old buildings to make way for a classroom complex and the new School of Medicine.

Also a new residence hall and parking facility will bring the university closer to its vision of Grace Street “as our college street,” said Brian J. Ohlinger, VCU’s associate vice president for facilities management.

The Board of Visitors approved the demolition of the art deco A.D. Williams Building, which will be replaced by the 12-story School of Medicine.

The board also approved the demolition of a set of row houses on Linden Street, a school building on North Harrison and the former Baptist Student Union building on Floyd Avenue, which stand in the way of a $44 million classroom facility.

None of those buildings will be removed until VCU obtains state financing for the project.

Brief by the Richmond Times-Dispatch

Legislation would create civil fines for noise violations

Legislation under consideration in the General Assembly could give localities another option to enforce their noise problems.

The House and Senate passed bills that would allow localities to adopt civil penalties for noise ordinance violations. Localities could impose fines of up to $250 for a first offense and $500 for a subsequent offense.

As the legislative session nears its midpoint, House Bill 297 cleared the House and is in a Senate committee. Senate Bill 246 passed the Senate and is in a House committee. If both bills survive intact, a conference committee would have to reconcile differences in language before the legislation went to the governor.

With civil rather than criminal penalties, localities would not have to depend solely on the police department to enforce their noise laws. Others, such as public works officials and sheriff’s deputies, would be able to enforce the regulation.

Brief by the Richmond Times-Dispatch

National and International

Ala. biology professor accused of killing 3 colleagues shot, killed brother in 1986

More than 23 years before a college professor was accused of shooting six of her colleagues, her teenage brother died from the blast of a shotgun she held in the kitchen of her family’s home in Massachusetts.

The 1986 shooting was ruled accidental and no charges were filed against Amy Bishop. The case could get a closer look as authorities try to explain why they believe the Harvard-educated neurobiologist opened fire Friday, killing three.

Bishop, a rare woman suspected of a workplace shooting, had just months left teaching at the University of Alabama in Huntsville because she was denied tenure.

Authorities have refused to discuss a motive, and school spokesman Ray Garner said the faculty meeting wasn’t called to discuss tenure.

It appeared the violent episode in Bishop’s past was not known to her colleagues in Huntsville.

Brief by The Associated Press

US Marines say coalition troops in majority of Taliban town but Taliban defend pockets

It could take weeks to reclaim the Taliban stronghold of Marjah, a top Marine commander said Sunday as thousands of U.S. troops and Afghan soldiers fought for a second day in NATO’s most ambitious effort yet to break the militants’ grip on Afghanistan’s dangerous south.

Squads of Marines and Afghan soldiers occupied a majority of Marjah, but gunfire continued as pockets of militants dug in and fought.

Explosions from controlled detonations of bombs and other explosives were being heard about every 10 minutes in the area.

The second day of NATO’s largest offensive since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan also was marked by painstaking house searches.

Brief by The Associated Press

Indian nationalists demand talks with Pakistan be called off after bakery bombing

Hindu nationalist leaders demanded Sunday that new peace talks with rival Pakistan be canceled after a bomb blast in a crowded bakery in western India killed nine people and wounded 57.

The explosion Saturday, caused by a bomb left in an unattended bag, was the first major terrorist attack in India since the 2008 Mumbai massacre.

It ripped open the German Bakery in the city of Pune, 125 miles southeast of Mumbai.

Dozens of relatives waited at the city morgue to take home the bodies of victims as authorities performed autopsies.

Brief by The Associated Press

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