- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 18, 2006


Council postpones rent-control bill

A D.C. Council committee has postponed a vote on changes to the city’s rent-control law, opening the possibility for a provision setting aside some apartments for lower-income tenants.

The original measure by council member Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat and chairman of the Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Committee, would tighten limits on rent increases when rent-controlled apartments become vacant.

Landlords say such limits would discourage them from properly maintaining the city’s rental properties. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, a Democrat, is proposing a compromise that would include a “means test” on prospective tenants, allowing the rent-controlled units to go to those who need them the most.

Ex-boyfriend jailed in stabbing death

Police have arrested a former boyfriend in connection with the fatal stabbing of a woman Friday night in her home.

A Metropolitan Police Department spokesman said Denise Smith, 43, was found just before 11 p.m. with multiple stab wounds inside her home in the 1300 block of David Street Northeast. She was pronounced dead a short time later.

Investigators yesterday morning arrested her former boyfriend, Jerrold Vincent, 46, of no fixed address. He has been charged with first-degree murder while armed.



Fire that injured 3 ruled accidental

An apartment fire Friday night that injured three persons was started accidentally, Montgomery County officials said.

Two female residents were taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation, and a firefighter was sent to a hospital after a ceiling collapsed onto him. A fire official said the victims were expected to be treated and released.

The fire started before 9 p.m. in a third-floor unit at the Georgian Woods Apartments in the 2200 block of Georgian Way. It took about 75 firefighters to bring the blaze under control. Investigators think the fire started when a lamp fell onto a piece of clothing.


Teen fatally shot in officer’s home

The Prince George’s County Police Department is investigating the shooting death yesterday morning of a 13-year-old boy.

The incident occurred in the 19000 block of Aquasco Road in Brandywine.

Police were unclear about how the boy got a gun, but it apparently belongs to the owner of the house, a Forest Heights Police officer. County police said the gun was not the officer’s service weapon.

Three other children, all younger than 10, were in the home at the time of the shooting. The Forest Heights officer was the teen’s guardian.

Police were also unclear about who pulled the trigger and about whether the incident was an accident or a suicide.



Texas prosecutor could be U.S. attorney

A federal prosecutor in Texas with counterterrorism credentials could soon be the next U.S. attorney in Alexandria, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The newspaper reports a congressional aide said Chuck Rosenberg, the U.S. attorney in Houston, has been selected to undergo FBI background checks for the job.

Paul J. McNulty is the current federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of Virginia. President Bush has nominated him to serve as deputy U.S. attorney general.

Mr. Rosenberg was one of five lawyers recommended to fill the post by Sens. John W. Warner and George Allen, Virginia Republicans.

Mr. Rosenberg has worked before in U.S. attorneys’ offices, in Alexandria and Norfolk. He has also held such high-profile posts as counsel to the FBI director and counselor to former Attorney General John Ashcroft.


Baltimore company fined for fuel spill

A Baltimore company will pay Virginia $61,700 for a spill in May that dumped 24,000 gallons of home-heating fuel into the James River near Richmond.

The proposed settlement is between Baltimore-based Vane Line Bunkering Inc. and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. The fine would be paid within 30 days of its effective date, likely next month, when the State Water Control Board votes on the matter.

The incident occurred the morning of May 8 near the Osborne boat landing in Henrico County when a 300-foot, New York City-bound barge ran aground on some rocks, puncturing the vessel and causing it to spill some of the 1.7 million gallons of fuel it had just picked up in Richmond.

The Coast Guard and other emergency teams recovered about 10,800 gallons, leaving about 14,000 gallons in the water. The spill caused little environmental damage.


Flight returns for open door

An Alaska Airlines flight departing from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport had to make an emergency landing yesterday morning at Washington Dulles International Airport because a door was not completely closed.

Air-traffic controllers said the plane landed safely about 8 a.m.

An airline spokeswoman said the plane was going to Seattle and that the pilot realized roughly six minutes into the flight that there was a problem with the cabin pressure.

Ground crews at Dulles fixed the problem, and the jet took off again by 9:15 a.m.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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