- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 20, 2008

REGION

Metro riders to see delays

Riders on the blue and yellow Metro lines can expect track maintenance delays to continue from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Metro said.

Those traveling between Pentagon City and Braddock Road stations should add at least 35 minutes to their trips as trains are sharing a single track during those hours, officials said.

Every other yellow line train heading to Huntington and blue line train going to Franconia-Springfield will end its route at Pentagon City station, then turn around. Other blue and yellow line trains traveling between Pentagon City and Huntington and Franconia-Springfield will run every 36 minutes.

MARYLAND

BALTIMORE

Republican raps tactics on slots

House Minority Leader Tony O’Donnell, a Republican, said Gov. Martin O’Malley and fellow Democrats in the state legislature are trying to scare voters into supporting a November referendum authorizing slot machine gambling.

Mr. O’Donnell said Democratic leaders will use the state’s budget problems to push for passage of the slots referendum. He made the comments Saturday morning on a radio program hosted by former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and his wife on Baltimore radio station WBAL.

Maryland voters will decide whether to authorize as many as 15,000 slot machines in the city of Baltimore and in Allegany, Anne Arundel, Cecil and Worcester counties.

Mr. O’Malley said in May that if the referendum fails, lawmakers will have to face a lot of unpopular choices to balance the budget. But Mr. O’Donnell said Saturday that the state can cut spending increases to avoid future tax hikes, and the need for slots.

BALTIMORE

Discretion urged on surveillance

Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, said police must use discretion in deciding on surveillance of political activists.

Documents released by state police show undercover officers infiltrated anti-war and anti-death penalty groups while Mr. Ehrlich was governor. However, the head of the state police at the time has said the former governor was not aware of the surveillance.

Former state police Superintendent Tim Hutchins is also defending the surveillance, saying the undercover officers attended public meetings.

Mr. Ehrlich, appearing Friday on Baltimore TV station WJZ, said police must use discretion, but also risk being blamed for not doing their jobs if activists do things that put other people at risk.

GREENBELT

Corruption trial goes to jury

The retrial of former Prince George’s County schools chief Andre Hornsby is back in the hands of jurors.

Jurors were given the case Friday after listening to four weeks of testimony.

Mr. Hornsby’s first trial on corruption charges in federal court in Greenbelt ended in November in a mistrial when jurors were unable to reach a verdict.

The 22-count indictment charges Mr. Hornsby with mail and wire fraud, evidence tampering, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

Mr. Hornsby was charged with steering a school system contract worth about $1 million to an educational technology firm where his then-girlfriend worked. Federal prosecutors charge that Mr. Hornsby and the girlfriend then split the $20,000 commission she received.

He was also accused of accepting a kickback for another contract.

Mr. Hornsby left office in 2005.

TAKOMA PARK

Council opposes eating foie gras

Takoma Park officials are taking a stand against duck liver delicacies.

The City Council unanimously approved a resolution recently to oppose production and sale of foie gras, which is French for “fatty liver” and is produced by force-feeding geese and ducks.

The resolution also encourages residents “to avoid supporting this extreme form of animal cruelty.”

The move a few weeks ago came at the urging of Bruce Williams, mayor of the Washington suburb sometimes referred to as “the Berkeley of the East.”

“We knew some people would say, ‘Why are you wasting time doing this?’” Mr. Williams said. “It’s important to educate folks about the humane treatment of animals.”

Animal rights advocates contend that ducks and geese used in foie gras production are treated inhumanely and the dish should be outlawed.

There is no foie gras production in the city or anywhere in Maryland, but gourmands can get it at restaurants and specialty shops.

VIRGINIA

WEST POINT

105 Guardsmen return from Iraq

Virginia National Guard soldiers from the West Point-based 237th Engineer Company are coming home after nearly a year in Iraq.

The Guard said that 105 soldiers will be coming home Sunday evening, four days after touching down at a base in Wisconsin.

The welcome home ceremony for the soldiers will be held at West Point High School.

The soldiers have been serving since September in Iraq, where they specialized in demolitions and light infantry tactics.

In particular, they went on patrols searching for bombs planted along main and alternate supply routes.

Four of the company’s soldiers were killed during the mobilization and deployment. A memorial honoring them has been erected outside the armory doors in West Point.

CHARLOTTESVILLE

U.Va. gets grant for smoking ills

Nine researchers at the University of Virginia have been awarded a total of $10 million to study smoking-related diseases.

The study will last for three years, and the goal is to learn more about the treatment of diseases related to cigarette smoking.

While the harmful nature of smoking has been long established, much more needs to be discovered, research dean Erik Hewlett said.

In particular, he said, researchers need to study the specific mechanisms by which smoking contributes to lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema.

The university research program was created last year with a gift from Richmond-based tobacco giant Philip Morris USA.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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