- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 13, 2006


Egg Roll tickets available Saturday

Tickets to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll will be given out to the public by the National Park Service beginning this weekend.

Most tickets to Monday’s free event will be distributed Saturday, beginning at 7:30 a.m., at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion at 15th and E streets Northwest, the Park Service said.

A smaller number of tickets also will be available at 7:30 a.m. Monday.

The tickets are for timed entry to the egg roll and will be available on a first come, first served basis. A maximum of five tickets will be issued per person.

Children of all ages are allowed to attend as long as there is at least one child 7 or younger and no more than two adults per group.

The egg roll, in which children use spoons to push colored eggs through the grass in a race on the South Lawn, will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event has been a Washington tradition since the mid-19th century. Last year, 16,000 tickets were issued.



Murder convictions thrown out again

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has thrown out the convictions of a Prince George’s County man convicted of killing a couple at a Bladensburg animal hospital, saying police questioned him for too long to get self-incriminating statements.

Two juries have convicted Robert Angel Perez and Thomas Jefferson Gordon III of killing a veterinarian and his wife in 1999, but all four convictions have been overturned.

The decision marked the fifth time since June 2003 that Maryland appeals courts have thrown out convictions because the interrogations lasted too long.

Mr. Perez was convicted in 2004 for killing Dr. Nirwan T. Thapar and his wife, Shashi, during a robbery in the Bladensburg Animal Hospital.

Three of Mr. Perez’s and Mr. Gordon’s convictions were overturned on appeal because of errors by the trial judge.

State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said his office would retry the two men.


More workers exposed to chemicals in lab

For a second consecutive day, employees of a research laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground were being monitored yesterday for exposure to dangerous chemicals after a brief power outage.

Aberdeen Proving Ground spokesman George Mercer said yesterday’s outage occurred shortly before 2 p.m. at a laboratory operated by the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, an organization that does chemical and biological research for the Defense Department.

Three employees suffered possible exposure to small amounts of several chemicals, including hydrogen cyanide; G-B, a nerve agent; and mustard, a blister agent. Mr. Mercer said the employees were under observation but haven’t shown any symptoms.

The outage affected only a few laboratories in a single building at the Edgewood complex, and there was no apparent connection to an outage Tuesday at another laboratory complex that caused 15 persons to be monitored for exposure to chemicals.


State to buy land of 1814 battle site

The state plans to purchase a swath of undeveloped land in southeastern Baltimore County where American troops fought off British invaders during the War of 1812.

Much of the land where British and American troops met in the 1814 Battle of North Point has been developed, but the center of the battlefield, where Brig. Gen. John Stricker stood as he commanded the American forces, remains open.

The Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit land preservation and conservation group, negotiated to buy 9 acres on North Point Road near Trappe Road from Mars Super Markets. The state will buy the land from the trust for $1.75 million.

The state Board of Public Works is expected to approve the purchase next month.

“It’s a miracle that this property has survived all this time,” said Robert Reyes, president of the Friends of the North Point Battlefield Inc., a group that has worked to commemorate the battle.

The tract to be bought sits near Battle Acre Monument, currently the only marker commemorating the one-day fight that, along with the British navy’s failed assault on Fort McHenry, spared Baltimore from capture.


Backhoe bucket injures workers

Two men were seriously injured yesterday when the bucket from a backhoe fell on them as they worked in a trench.

Emergency crews got the call about 11:15 a.m. at a construction site in the 800 block of North Essex Avenue, Baltimore fire department spokeswoman Elise Armacost said.

The bucket had been removed from the trench before responders arrived and the workers were not trapped, as first thought.

Miss Armacost said it took emergency workers — including a team of doctors from the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center called the go-team — about 20 minutes to stabilize the men and remove them from the 15-to-18-foot deep trench.

The identities of the men have not been released.



Mistrial in case of boy found on Beltway

A mistrial was declared yesterday in the case of a woman accused of abandoning her 4-year-old son on the Capital Beltway.

The Fairfax County jury deliberated for about five hours in the case of Channoah Green, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Drivers found the boy running along a shoulder of the Beltway in Falls Church on July 26. Miss Green was arrested a few hours later near Richmond. Police said she made the boy get out of the car, then hit him with the vehicle when he tried to get back in.

At a preliminary hearing last year, police testified that Miss Green told them that she was hearing voices at the time.

Jurors said the deliberations were serious, but the panel remained hopelessly deadlocked.

The lead prosecutor said he will retry the case.


Kaine introduces new schools official

Virginia should not withdraw from the federal No Child Left Behind Act but should continue to seek more flexibility in meeting its requirements, the state’s new superintendent of public instruction said yesterday.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine introduced Chesterfield County Superintendent Billy K. Cannaday Jr. as the state Department of Education’s top official.

Critics of No Child Left Behind have criticized the law as onerous, and some have suggested that Virginia should opt out and give up the accompanying federal money. The program seeks to have all students, regardless of race, poverty or disability, proficient in reading and math by 2014.

“One of the most demeaning things you can do to a child is say, ‘I don’t think you can,’” Mr. Cannaday said at a press conference when asked whether Virginia should withdraw.

But he added that the law “has some regulations that are not sensitive to what we’ve done in Virginia” — a reference to the public school Standards of Learning.

Mr. Cannaday said he hoped federal officials would recognize Virginia’s leadership in school accountability as the state seeks waivers from some of the federal mandates.

Mr. Cannaday, 55, will succeed Patricia Wright, who has been acting superintendent of public instruction since the Jan. 1 retirement of Jo Lynne DeMary. He will finish out the fiscal year in Chesterfield and assume his new duties July 1, Mr. Kaine said.

Miss Wright will return to her previous position as deputy superintendent of public instruction.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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