- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 21, 2006


New parking permits needed near RFK

People who live near RFK Stadium will need to get new residential parking permits before the Nationals home opener on April 11.

The D.C. Department of Transportation said it is sending information about the parking restrictions around the stadium, in what it calls the RFK Enhanced Enforcement Zone.

The idea is to make sure that street spots are reserved for people who live there — rather than taken by Nationals fans who don’t want to pay for the stadium lot.

Officials said vehicles will have to display Zone 6 or Zone 7 residential permits. Their guests must have a valid visitor’s parking pass on the dashboard.

And, the city warned, special event stickers handed out last year by the Sports and Entertainment Commission are not valid this year.



Toddler killed in apartment fire

A 19-month-old boy was killed in a fire at his apartment yesterday, Prince George’s County fire officials said.

Jeovanny Rodriguez was rescued from the burning, third-floor apartment in the 5100 block of Kenilworth Avenue, said Mark Brady, a fire department spokesman, but he died at a hospital.

The boy’s mother tried to get back into the burning building to rescue her son, then directed firefighters to him.

“They threw a ladder to the window, went up in the window, found the child, pulled the child out, down the ladder and ran him over to the closest ambulance,” said Assistant Chief James Johns of the Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department.

The mother and a 7-year-old brother also were taken to a hospital, where they were listed in good condition, Mr. Brady said. A 60-year-old woman, who broke her ankle, was also hospitalized.

Firefighters had the fire out in about 10 minutes, and it was contained to one apartment. Several neighbors were displaced because of water damage to their units.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.


Two women sought in hospital robberies

Authorities in Frederick County are looking for two women they think are responsible for a series of robberies at hospitals and retirement communities.

The women were caught on tape last month at the Country Meadows Retirement Community, where they broke into two unlocked apartments and stole cash, credit cards and checkbooks, authorities said.

Some of the credit cards were used to make purchases at businesses along Interstate 81 near Chambersburg, Pa.

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said similar incidents have been reported at retirement homes and hospitals in Washington and Anne Arundel counties, as well as in Chambersburg. Investigators from all four jurisdictions are working to identify the women.


Information sought in string of fires

Investigators are asking for the public’s help as they search for whomever is behind a series of suspicious fires in recent weeks.

“We had a fire [Monday] afternoon in an area in Rockville where we have had about a dozen or so fires over the last month,” fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said yesterday. “And although not all of them have been connected, we believe one person, or a group of persons, is responsible for at least some of them.”

The fires began in the middle of last month. Mr. Piringer said cars, trash and playground equipment are among the items torched. In the most recent case Monday, a vehicle was set on fire in front of the Board of Elections building. That happened during the day, but Mr. Piringer said most of the fires are in the overnight hours.

On March 5, seven vehicles in a parking lot were burned.

Nobody has been hurt in any of the fires.

Anyone with information on the fires is asked to call Montgomery County’s Arson Tip Line at 240/ 777-2263.


Ospreys in full array on Patuxent River

One of the surest signs that spring has arrived on the Patuxent River is the sight of an osprey displaying a freshly caught fish to his mate.

While male and female ospreys winter separately in Central and South America, they return to their mates every spring. Almost driven to extinction in the 1960s by the use of the pesticide DDT, ospreys abound once again on the Chesapeake Bay.

At the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, more than two dozen breeding pairs nest, said Karyn Molines, a naturalist at the sanctuary.

“People come from Europe, where the ospreys never made a comeback, and they are amazed that we have so many,” Miss Molines told the Baltimore Sun.

For those who make the trip to the sanctuary about 20 miles east of the District, the brown-and-white birds of prey put on quite a show.

Mating rituals include the “fish flight,” in which the male zips around his mate waving a large fish he has snagged with the sharp talons on his feet.

Mating, which lasts only seconds, is repeated many times, not only to breed, but to bond, Miss Molines said.

More than 2,000 osprey pairs now nest in the Bay, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Web site. The number has returned to 1950s levels, said Chandler Robbins, an ornithologist with the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.

Miss Molines said there were only two breeding pairs on the Patuxent in 1972 when Maryland banned DDT use. “It’s an ecological success story,” she said.

However, Don Merritt, a biologist with the Horn Point laboratory in Cambridge, said ospreys once again could be threatened, this time by pollution and declining numbers of small fish such as menhaden. Ospreys feed on larger fish, such as striped bass, that depend on menhaden for food.


Cheney to attend fundraiser for Steele

Vice President Dick Cheney will join the list of powerhouse national Republican leaders headlining fundraisers for Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele’s campaign to replace Democrat Paul S. Sarbanes in the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Steele, attending a campaign event in Annapolis yesterday, would not answer questions about his fundraiser with the vice president.

“I’ll talk about that later,” he said.

Cheney spokeswoman Jennifer Mayfield also would not answer questions about the vice president’s role in raising money for Mr. Steele, Maryland’s first black statewide elected official.

Mr. Steele was recruited heavily as a Senate candidate by state and national Republican leaders, who think he offers the party its best chance of winning a seat in heavily Democratic Maryland. State party leaders said Mr. Steele was promised plenty of help in raising money, and so far the national party has delivered.



Man found dead in parked car

The body of a man was found early yesterday morning, apparently fatally shot in his car.

Officers made the grim discovery about 3 a.m. in the 300 block of South Whiting Street, in the Landmark section. The victim was identified as Mustafa Aburanat, 41, of Annandale.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 703/838-4711.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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