- The Washington Times - Friday, December 29, 2006

DISTRICT

Mourners urged to use Metro

Visitors coming to the District this weekend to view former President Gerald R. Ford’s casket in the Capitol are urged to use public transportation. The designated visitor entrance to the Capitol will be on the Mall at Third Street Northwest, between Pennsylvania and Independence avenues Northwest.

The Federal Center Southwest, Capitol South, Judiciary Square and Union Station Metrorail stations are within walking distance.

Public viewing times today are from 7:30 p.m. to midnight; tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Photography will not be allowed inside the Capitol Rotunda. Expected wait times in line could range from one to six hours. Constitution Avenue Northwest between 17th Street Northwest and Capitol Hill will be closed to traffic tomorrow from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

MARYLAND

ANNAPOLIS

Ehrlich grants 17 pardons

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., as one of his final executive acts, granted pardons yesterday to 17 persons.

Maryland Parole Commission Chairman David R. Blumberg said those pardoned have turned around their lives and have become law-abiding residents. The 17 served prison sentences for crimes such as drug possession and distribution, burglary, theft and assault. An Ehrlich spokesman said no decision had been made about whether Mr. Ehrlich, a Republican, will grant more pardons before his term ends Jan. 17.

BALTIMORE

Increased property assessments mailed

Assessment notices were mailed yesterday to 600,000 property owners in Maryland.

The average assessment increased 18.7 percent, less than the average increase last year of 20.1 percent. The increases also arrive with reports of a flat housing market.

The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation said the numbers follow the market and are related to values that are three years old. The agency said home prices are still strong, though homes are staying on the market longer than they did a year ago. In Maryland, properties are reassessed every three years and the change in value is added in phases.

Most homeowners won’t have to pay the full increase on property taxes because of local limits on assessments.

JESSUP

Correctional officers stabbed at prison

Three correctional officers were stabbed yesterday morning by an inmate at the maximum-security Jessup Correctional Institution, but none was seriously injured, state prison system officials said.

The 29-year-old suspect is serving a life sentence for murder and weapons offenses, officials said.

The assault occurred shortly after 10 a.m. as the inmate was leaving a recreation room.

The Jessup Correctional Institution is next to the Maryland House of Correction, where correctional Officer David McGuinn was fatally stabbed in July, reportedly by two inmates. In January, Officer Jeffery Wroten was shot to death while guarding an inmate from the Hagerstown prison at a hospital. Division of Correction Commissioner Frank Sizer resigned this year amid widespread criticism of persistent violence in Maryland prisons. He was replaced by John A. Rowley.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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