- - Monday, April 18, 2011

DISTRICT

Council considers truancy findings

D.C. Council members on Monday voted to accept an interim report designed to combat student truancy, a rampant problem that is linked to crime in city neighborhoods and public transit systems.

The Special Committee on School Safety and Truancy was formed in January and released its report last week. It found 13 percent of D.C. high school students were “chronic truants,” missing at least 15 days of classes without valid excuses during the first half of this school year.

The interim report, produced by council member Sekou Biddle, at-large Democrat, says students skipped school for a variety of reasons, including unsafe routes to and from home, bullying, teen dating violence, lack of proper attire or not having Metro fare.

The committee voted to “receive,” rather than adopt, the report, providing a window to tweak some of the conclusions.

Phil Mendelson, at-large Democrat, said he was “uneasy” about giving full-fledged support, noting that certain legislation included in the report has not been vetted in hearings.

Mary M. Cheh, Ward 3 Democrat, recommended a hierarchy of priorities to figure out what should be tackled first, and which can be funded immediately.

Council Member Marion Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, commended the report and aired his concern about the topic.

“It’s more than an acute problem; it’s an epidemic,” he said.

- Tom Howell Jr.

Woman found stabbed in Anacostia Park

Metropolitan Police said Monday they are investigating the killing of a Northwest woman found fatally stabbed in the parking lot of the Anacostia Park Skating Pavilion.

U.S. Park Police responded to the 1800 block of Anacostia Drive in Southeast at about 9:50 p.m. Sunday for reports of a woman down. Moments later, D.C. police officers responded to the same location for a call about a woman possibly struck.

The woman, identified as Sonya Lynch, 46, was unresponsive. When officers examined her, they discovered what appeared to be stab wounds. Fire and emergency medical services personnel responded but found no signs of life. The woman was later pronounced dead by a member of the chief medical examiner’s office.

- Matthew Cella

VIRGINIA

CHARLOTTESVILLE

Grand jury indicts ex-UVa. lacrosse player

A grand jury on Monday indicted a former University of Virginia lacrosse player on murder and other charges in the death of a member of the women’s team whom he had been dating.

Besides first-degree murder, 23-year-old George Huguely of Chevy Chase faces felony murder, robbery, burglary, statutory burglary and grand larceny charges in the May 3 death of Yeardley Love.

Circuit Judge Edward Hogshire set a trial date for Feb. 6 and a motions hearing for Nov. 7.

Mr. Huguely is accused of entering Love’s apartment and slamming her head into a wall. Authorities said Love, of Cockeysville, Md., died of trauma to the head. Mr. Huguely has been held in jail since his arrest.

The indictments by the Charlottesville Circuit Court grand jury were issued a week after a nine-hour preliminary hearing at which about 20 witnesses testified. Among them were roommates and teammates of Love and Mr. Huguely, police investigators, emergency medical crew members and a downstairs neighbor who was home the night of the fight.

- Associated Press

MARYLAND

CATONSVILLE

William Donald Schaefer dies at 89

William Donald Schaefer, the voluble and flamboyant former mayor and governor synonymous with Maryland politics for four decades, died Monday night at his home at the Charlestown retirement community outside Baltimore.

Mr. Schaefer was 89.

An iconic figure, the Democrat served as Baltimore’s mayor from 1971 to 1987, rising to national prominence when he transformed the urban blight of the city’s downtown to a tourist attraction.

He served two terms as Maryland governor, from 1987 to 1995. While in office, Mr. Schaefer oversaw the design of massive projects such as Harborplace and the development of the National Aquarium and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

He served two terms as state comptroller, from 1999 to 2007, when he retired from public life. Mr. Schafer made few public appearances after his retirement.

He was admitted for five days this month to a Baltimore hospital, where he was treated for pneumonia.

- David Hill

MARYLAND

SANDY POINT

Man dies after fall from Bay Bridge

Authorities say a man died after he was knocked over the side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge when his disabled car was rear-ended.

Maryland Transportation Authority Police spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Green said that when the 70-year-old man got out of his Honda Accord on the eastbound span Monday morning, the car was hit by a large truck. The car then hit the man, throwing him over the jersey wall and into the water.

The man was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A passenger was treated for a medical emergency at another hospital. The driver of the truck refused treatment.

- Associated Press

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