- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 1, 2006


Blossoms, sports boost Metro ridership

Metro officials report that ridership Friday was the third-highest for a weekday in agency history. More than 808,000 passengers took a destination subway ride, and about 1.3 million used the rail and bus service.

Officials said the Cherry Blossom festival, the Wizards basketball game and the Nationals baseball game contributed to the large numbers. On the biggest ridership day, in June 2004, the day of the funeral of former President Reagan, more than 850,000 people rode the subway.


Two dead in separate shootings

The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating two homicides early yesterday morning.

The first occurred about 1:45 a.m. at an apartment building in the 1200 block of Valley Avenue in Southeast. A police department spokesman said officers found Kenneth Surber Jr., 20, of Manassas, lying in a hallway with a gunshot wound to the head.

The second occurred about 2:30 a.m. at Georgia Avenue and Bryant Street in Northwest. Two men in a 1989 Ford Crown Victoria were found with gunshot wounds.

Delonta Kelsey, 17, of Northwest, died from his injuries. A 20-year-old, shot in the shoulder, is hospitalized.

Hearing discloses Medicaid problems

The D.C. Health Department says it is having trouble monitoring spending for Medicaid, the health care program for the poor and disabled. Officials told the D.C. Council on Friday that they may be paying millions of dollars to transportation companies that do not exist, fabricate billings or carry ineligible residents.

Health Committee Chairman David A. Catania, at-large independent, said his staff had tried to call some of the companies reimbursed but got out-of-service announcements, home-phone recordings and even a rap song on a constant loop.



Teen sought in attempted killing

The Baltimore County Police Department is looking for a 16-year-old girl accused of attempted murder and attempted robbery.

Police have issued an arrest warrant for Tanya Harris of Woodlawn, charged as an adult in the shooting Lensey Hamilton Jr., 26. Police said they consider Miss Harris armed and dangerous. Investigators said she tried to rob Mr. Hamilton at gunpoint Monday night when she sought him out for a ride. Police say Miss Harris shot Mr. Hamilton five times.



Tax commissioner to retire

Virginia Tax Commissioner Kenneth W. Thorson will retire May 1 after 22 years of state government service. Janie E. Bowen, the first female to be selected for the position, will succeed him, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said Friday.

Mr. Thorson, 65, who has served as tax commissioner since May 2002, was the first director of the Virginia Lottery and served in the state attorney general’s office. Mrs. Bowen, 52, now serves as deputy secretary of finance after working for the Virginia Department of Taxation for 28 years.


Students removed for Latino T-shirts

A Hispanic second-grader and a kindergarten pupil were sent home Friday for wearing homemade T-shirts that read, “Latinos Forever,” written in Spanish.

The children were disciplined as thousands of students across the country and hundreds in Prince William County left schools to protest immigration bills debated in Congress. Todd Erickson, principal of Occoquan Elementary School, said he was concerned that the T-shirts could disrupt classes because a protest, the fourth in a week, occurred Friday in Woodbridge.

Anderson Urrutia, 8, and Joseph Soriano, 5, wore the shirts, made by Anderson’s sister, a 16-year-old at Woodbridge Senior High School. The back of the shirts read, “100% Latinos.”

Mr. Erickson stopped the students on their way to their first class. They remained in the office for three hours until their mothers arrived.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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