City State: Morning Roundup

The days of allowing developers to “land bank” on D.C. property without building are over. Victor Hoskins, deputy mayor for economic development, joined a long line of D.C. officials who said they intend to clean up decades-old agreements that allow developers to sit indefinitely on tax-exempt and other below-market city property, reports Jeffrey Anderson of The Washington Times.

Jury selection resumes Tuesday in the murder trial of Brittany Norwood, the woman accused of fatally beating a co-worker — and then attempting to cover up the crime — at the Lululemon yoga boutique in Bethesda. On Monday, only a handful of potential jurors said they had not heard about the killing, largely because of the brutal nature of the attack in March and the twists and turns of the investigation. Miss Norwood, 29, is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Lululemon store manager Jayna Murray, 30. Murray was found in the back of the upscale Bethesda Row store bludgeoned so severely that her spinal cord was severed. Miss Norwood was found tied up in the store’s bathroom. Opening statements are expected Wednesday, reports Andrea Noble of The Times.

Rep. Andy Harris might be the most unlikely beneficiary of Maryland’s new congressional map. The map, proposed by Gov. Martin O'Malley and approved last week by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly, will keep congressional Democrats safe in six of the state’s eight districts and give the party its best chance in two decades to unseat Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett. However, experts say the map could make Mr. Harris, a Republican, unbeatable in his 1st District, which covers the entire Eastern Shore and was redrawn this year to include more of conservative northern Maryland, reports David Hill of The Times.

Maryland’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding is expected to make recommendations Tuesday in Annapolis on how the state should try to raise about $800 million annually. The commission already has put together a handful of preliminary recommendations, including 5-cent increase in the state’s gas tax each year for three years, according to the Associated Press.

A 20-year-old arrested Sunday in the fatal shooting of a Maryland taxicab driver was under the care and custody of the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), The Washington Times has learned. Rashad Slye, whose aunt is a youth-family team coordinator with the agency, was arrested Sunday and charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of the cabdriver, 40-year-old Domingo Ezirike, according to law enforcement and multiple DYRS sources, The Times reports.

As Virginia’s regulatory reach expands to include businesses such as tattoo and body-piercing parlors, the costs of doing business for barber shops and hair salons are rising as well. Laws that quietly moved through the state’s legislative process over the past two years increasing licensing fees went into effect last month. Now barbers will have to pay $140 for a license, up from $55, and license applications for barber shops and nail and hair salons increased from $90 to $225, reports David Sherfinski of The Times.

D.C. police are looking for information in a Sunday morning hit-and-run accident in Northwest that killed a 32-year-old man. The accident happened around 8 a.m., about two blocks east of the Shaw Metro stop, police said. Officers were called to the 1800 block of Sixth Street Northwest to investigate a report of a man down. They found an unconscious man lying on the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police identified the man as John Young Kim of Berkeley, Calif. According to the preliminary investigation, he was hit and dragged by a vehicle that left the scene, police told The Washington Post.

Former D.C. mayoral candidate Suliamon Brown will be in court Tuesday on traffic charges. Mr. Brown was arrested in September on charges of driving on a suspended Maryland license and failure to obey. He has accused aides to D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray of paying him and promising him a job during last year’s campaign to disparage then-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. He worked in the Gray administration briefly before he was fired. His allegations are the subject of an ongoing probe by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Brown was arrested last month and given a ticket for driving with a broken headlight. He said at the time that he didn’t know anything was wrong with his license, which he hadn’t changed to the District of Columbia, according to the Associated Press.

A book by Maryland’s only Republican governor in a generation is set to hit the shelves in December.  The Washington Post reports that Robert Ehrlich said in an interview Monday that his book, “Turn This Car Around: The Roadmap to Restoring America,” will be released on Dec. 6. Mr. Ehrlich says that the book signals his desire “to be relevant in the national debate” but that he has no desire to run for elected office again. BenBella Books, a boutique publisher, describes Mr. Ehrlich’s work on its website as “a call to action.” It says it “provides insightful suggestions to help resolve many of the issues in America.” Mr. Ehrlich lost a re-election bid last year to Gov. Martin O'Malley. He now works as a lawyer at King & Spalding in Washington.

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