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Man Intentionally Set Fatal Car Fire

Investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal have determined the fire that took the life of a twenty-six year old Germantown man at a Frederick County Exxon gas station, was intentionally ignited.

Ainsley Ronald Gordon, Jr. was fatally burned when gasoline vapors were ignited,consuming him and his 2006 Nissan Xterra at the Exxon station located at 5516 Buckeystown Pike in Frederick, in the early hours of November 4, 2009.


After a lengthy investigation, investigators determined Mr. Gordon was responsible for pumping approximately twelve gallons of gasoline on and around his vehicle and most likely himself, before igniting the blaze. All other possible causes for the fire were eliminated during the investigation. No motive for his actions was established.

FCPS Students Outdistance State and Nation On SAT and ACT College Admission Testing Results

Results just released by the Educational Testing Service in New Jersey show that Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) seniors continue to score well above state and national averages.  Their mean critical reading, math, writing and combined SAT-1 scores exceed Maryland and U.S. averages, consistent with trends for previous years. 

Results for the class of 2010 increased five points in critical reading, three points in math and two in writing as compared to the senior class of 2009. The combined mean score for Frederick County is 1559; Maryland’s is 1502, and the nation’s is 1509. Frederick’s score rose 10 points, Maryland’s score rose five points, and the national scores remained constant.

Frederick Man with Gang Ties Facing Gun Charges in Md.

The Northern Virginia Daily reports, a Frederick County man with links to a motorcycle gang faces gun charges in Maryland, according to authorities.

Stephen Francis Torres, 52, of 302 BobCat Trail, Shawneeland, is charged in Prince George's County (Md.) Circuit Court with five, firearm-related offenses, according to information on the state's online database. The offenses happened Aug. 28, the statement says. A grand jury returned the charges Sept. 9 and Torres is set to appear in the court on Sept. 24.

R.T. Swartz, an investigator with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office, seized items from Torres' home while executing a search warrant Thursday in relation to gun charges and criminal street gang participation. Swartz has been assigned to the Northwest Virginia Regional Gang Task Force since 2005.

Md. Looks for Cancer Cluster Near Ft. Detrick

The Frederick News-Post reports, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says it's working with Frederick County health officials to investigate a possible cancer cluster near Fort Detrick, where workers dumped industrial chemicals and field-tested Agent Orange decades ago.

DHMH says it hopes to know by late September whether the cancer rate within a mile of Fort Detrick is significantly higher than in other parts of the county or state.

The investigation stems from a former Frederick resident's claim that he found many cancer cases among current and former Fort Detrick neighbors, including his former wife and late daughter.

On Thursday, DHMH and the Maryland Department of the Environment said they have asked the Army to test for the Vietnam-era defoliant Agent Orange on and around Fort Detrick.

Assisted Living Without Water

Since last Thursday, the residents of Tranquility at Fredericktowne, an assisted living home, have been without water.

The home has 68 rooms on three floors for its 80 residents.  As of right now, the home has been using bottled water for drinking, sponge baths and brushing teeth.  Paper plates and plastic utensils have also replaced using water to wash dishes.

Frank Gerhardt, spokesman for Tranquility says the issue came to light when two of their residents were in the hospital and tested positive for waterborne illness.  He says they haven’t linked it back to the assisted living center, but as a precaution they’re taking measures.

Gerhardt says Tranquility doesn’t understand what the problem is.  They use city water.

The Health Department has performed water tests which are still in the lab baring no results yet. They’re going to take more samples to make sure the problems are fixed.

Race Horses Killed In Charles Town Barn Fire

CHARLES TOWN, WV (WUSA) -- A barn fire killed more than two dozen race horses in Charles Town, West Virginia.

"It was like a towering inferno, you could see the timbers all throughout the stalls, there were still horses kicking in there, described Barn Owner, Ken Grey. 

Grey tried to rescue as many animals has he could around 4:30 am when the blaze started. "I really thought that might catch on fire because the heat was so bad."

All the horses are thoroughbreds. Owners race them across the street at the Charles Town Race Track. Horse Trainer Don Poper, who shares a close bond with the horses, put his life on the line for the animals.

"You talk to them, let them hear your voice, other horses knew that someone was there, leading a horse, and they wanted to be freed also and just that thought of knowing you can't go back in that barn, it eats you," explained Poper. 

Early Voting In Maryland Begins

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Gov. Martin O'Malley is hoping early voting in Maryland for the first time will create higher voter turnout.

O'Malley, a Democrat, was the 222nd voter who cast a ballot in the primary at the Public Safety Training Facility in Baltimore on Friday afternoon, the first day of early voting in Maryland.

Former Gov. Robert Ehrlich, O'Malley's likely opponent in November, also is encouraging people to vote early, even though he's been critical of early voting and vetoed legislation to create it when he was governor.

Ehrlich says it's now the law in the state and he's going to live with it and, it is hoped, take advantage of it. Andy Barth, an Ehrlich campaign spokesman, says Ehrlich is expected to take part in early voting next week.