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Winchester Star Newspaper Archive: February 12, 2008 - Page 1

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   Winchester Star (Newspaper) - February 12, 2008, Winchester, Virginia                                The Winchester Star Tuesday, February 12, 2008 112th YEAR No. 188 WINCHESTER, VIRGINIA 22601 35t Region's voters join in primary battles Clinton is very confident5 By The Associated Press WHITE MARSH, Md. - Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton denied on Monday that her campaign is in trouble after losing to Sen. Barack Obama in four states last weekend and replacing her campaign manager. "I'm still ahead in the popular vote and in delegates," Clinton said, though the numbers do not fully support that statement. An Associated  Press  tally CAMPAIGN NOTEBOOK shows Clinton with a slim lead among delegates - 1,147, compared to 1,124 for Obama. But an initial tabulation of the total popular vote showed Obama likely to pull ahead once the results of states that held caucuses are fully counted. . Speaking to reporters after touring a General Motors plant outside Baltimore, Clinton said See Campaign, Page A6 By DREW HOUFF The Winchester Star WINCHESTER - In the 2008 quest for the White House, most eyes will move toward Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., today. In what has been called the "Potomac Primary," Democrats and Republicans will take another stab at trying to determine whose names will appear on the November ballot, with heightened awareness following last week's Super Tuesday. Sen. John McCain of Arizona holds a strong lead among Republicans, especially after his chief rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, withdrew from the race on Thursday. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York holds a slight lead for the Democratic nomination over Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. There are indications that today's primary will attract a larger than normal turnout, and area Democrats and Republicans are encouraging their supporters to do what they can to bolster their candidates. Paul Hampton, chairman of the Winchester Democratic Party, attended the Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson fundraising dinner on Saturday in Richmond. He said the speeches by Clinton and Obama had a common theme - party unity in the upcoming election to retake the White Hous'e from the Repub- DECISION 2008 Virginia's polls are open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. today. Frederick planners review Va. 37 study More work ahead on road extension By ROBERT IGOE The Winchester Star WINCHESTER - Frederick County planning officials hope to make more progress on a plan to extend Va. 37 south of the city, but feel they have taken a major step forward. On Monday, members of the county Planning Commission and Transportation Committee heard Deputy Planning Director for Transportation JohnA. Bishop present the result of a Winchester-Frederick County Metropolitan Planning Organization study. The study examined the projected cost and effect of three options to improve the intersection, compared to no action at all, in an overall plan to extend Va. 37 south from Interstate 81 and remodel other major collector roads and primary routes in the vicinity. 'The basic desire of the report was to find a way to increase access, including exchanges at Shady Elm Road, while maintaining access at Va. 37 and U.S. 11," Bishop said of the $115,000 study. "In doing so, we hope to best meet the needs of future development." The study recommended the second of three alternatives, which would create a new interchange at Shady Elm and Va. 37, add lanes to Va. 37, and incorporate improvements to Exit 310 on Interstate 81 in Kernstown. Alternative Two is the most expensive of the options, with a preliminary price tag of $127 million, but the study's authors, HNTB Corp., See Va. 37, Page A6 SCOTT MASON/The Winchester Star This view, facing east, shows the termination of Va. 37 near Kernstown south of Winchester. The four-lane highway under the bridges at top is Interstate 81, and the highway below the bridges at center is U.S. 11. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he favors a possible suspension of withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq until the end of this summer. Projected by U.S. troops in Iraq July 2008 180 thousand 135,000 Jan. 25, 2008 158,000 j 160...................... Iraq drawdown may be slowed Gates, Petraeus believe summer evaluation of plan is necessary 140 120 100 J FMAMJ JASONDJ J 2007 2008 SOURCE: U.S. Department of Defense AP By TINA SUSMAN c 2008 Los Angeles Times BAGHDAD - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Monday endorsed the idea of a pause in the American troop drawdown this summer, as bombers killed at least 22 Iraqis in attacks targeting U.S.-allied tribal leaders. Gates's comments followed a meeting with the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, who favors a temporary break in the troop reduction after the last of five extra brigades leave as planned in July. The brigades were deployed in 2007 to quell Iraq's bloodshed, and their departure will bring troop levels down to about 134,000, the lowest since January 2007. Bloodshed has eased, but ground commanders such as Petraeus warn that it could surge anew if troops are pulled out too quickly. Some senior Pentagon officials favor a drawdown beyond the five brigades to relieve stress on troops, many of whom are on their third or fourth deployments. Gates previously had expressed hopes that conditions in Iraq would permit   'withdrawals   to   continue through the end of 2008, until about 100,000 forces were left in the country, but two hours of talks with Petraeus apparently changed his mind. Speaking about Petraeus' desire for, a pause, Gates said it "probably does make sense" for a "brief period." He said the ultimate decision lay with President Bush. Although violence has dropped in most of the country, insurgents remain active. In particular, they have stepped up attacks on supporters of the Awakening movement, started by Sunni See Iraq, Page A6 Ricketts' suit ends with out-of-court settlement By LORRAINE HALSTED The Winchester Star WINCHESTER - A lawsuit filed against the leader of Ricketts Construction. Co. Inc. by one of the founder's sons has been dropped as part of an out-of-court settlement According to a memorandum of understanding, Jeffrey Ricketts, a minority stockholder in the company, agreed to withdraw the lawsuit he filed against Chief Executive Officer Denver E. Quinnelly in Winchester Circuit Court on Oct. 24. The lawsuit had accused Quinnelly, majority stockholder of Ricketts Construction Co., of defrauding the firm of $7.5 million. In the lawsuit, Ricketts said Quinnelly owed the firm for work that construction crews performed for a cluster of companies in which Quinnelly owns or has a business interest Ricketts was seeking $20 million in compensatory damages and another $20 million in punitive damages.   , "We mutually agreed to dismiss this suit back on Dec. 13," Quinnelly said, referring to the memorandum of understanding in his office on Monday. The memorandum was signed by Quinnelly, Ricketts, and their attorneys, as well as an attorney from a binding company which is overseeing construction jobs left undone by the firm when it closed in mid-December. In addition to dropping the lawsuit, the memorandum states mat all parties have agreed to liquidate the company's assets and appoint a third-party received to oversee the liquidation process, Quinnelly said. It also stated that "Denver Quinnelly would allow Jeff Ricketts to start up his own company and allow him to complete the bonded jobs that Ricketts Construction Co. Inc. was currently working on, subject to the bonding company's approval," he said, reading from the memorandum. LeClairRyan - a law firm based in Virginia, Washington, D.C., New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey - was appointed to be the receiver for Ricketts Construction, according to an order signed by Judge John E. Wetsel Jr. and filed in Winchester Circuit Court oft Feb. 1. Ricketts and Quinnelly were named as plaintiffs and Ricketts Construction See Ricketts, Page A6 licans. Hampton said Clinton and Obama stressed a new future for the United States, building a government that addresses all citizens' interests and needs, rather than one trying to help a select few. "[The Democrats] have a lot more people coming out to campaign [events]," he said. "We also had a lot more young people coming out [on Saturday to the dinner in Richmond]." Hampton said he was pleased to see so many people holding signs and supporting the two candidates, even if they weren't necessarily going to the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. See Primary, Page A6 Driver is fined in 3-fatality accident 2 local teens died in 2007 1-66 wreck By ERICA M. BUSH The Winchester Star FAIRFAX - A Woodbridge man has been fined for crashing his tractor-trailer into two vehicles last year and killing three people, including two Winchester-area teenagers. A Fairfax County Circuit Court jury on Monday found Mac Jerry Kriesch, 44, guilty of improper driving in the accident on Interstate 66 near the Fairfax County Parkway. Kriesch's penalty for the misdemeanor traffic infraction was a $500 fine. He had been charged with felony reckless driving, but the jury found him guilty of the lesser charge and the judge imposed the maximum possible fine under state law. Kriesch was driving a truck carrying 8,000 gallons of gasoline when he struck the rear of a 2000 Jeep that was stopped on westbound 1-66 around 4 a.m. on Jan. 28,2007. The impact caused the Jeep's gasoline tank to rupture, and pushed the vehicle into a 1996 Volvo station wagon carrying Handley High School senior Ashley Myers and James Wood High School senior Sidney Cardinale, according to the Virginia State Police. Both cars, as well as the cab of the tractor-trailer, were engulfed in flames by the time police arrived on the scene. The 18-year-old students, as well as the Jeep's driver, 35-year-old Donald Kevin Weeks of Haymarket, died in the accident Kriesch escaped the cab with minor injuries. He was indicted on the reckless driving charge by a Fairfax County Cir- See Trial, Page A2 Mac Jerry Kriesch was fined $500 Going up again Beginning on May 12, mailing a first-class letter will cost an extra penny. PageAS TODAY'S QUICKREAD Blowing In the wind Winchester-area officials continue to address the damages caused by powerful winds that swept through the region on Sunday, toppling trees and cutting power to thousands. Full story Bl Soldiers pen novel Authors write a book while on assignment , in Kosovo. Full story C5 Judges sweep The Handley boys' and girls' basketball teams defeated rival James Wood on Monday night. Full story CI COMING WEDNESDAY A Tuskegee airman will be the featured speaker this morning at Sherando High School as part of the school's observance of Black History Month. The program is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. Four Sections, 24 Pages Bulletin Board...........B2 Life........ Business;'......,............Dl- Local..... Classified Ads............D2 Movies..; Comics......................B4 Nation.., Dear Abby..................C6 Sports..., Editorials...................A4 Virginia. C5 Bl B5 .AS CI A3 TODAY'S FORECAST 35 Cloudy, with a 90 percent chance of snow, freezing rain, and sleet Snow and sleet accumulation up to 1 inch. Full report A6 35 LOW Miss your paper? Call 665-4946 from 7 to 11 a.m. HIGH   ,     "      FullreportAG.      LOW      |       ..�flWMK^, 0608566000375   

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