- The Washington Times - Friday, October 20, 2006


Police response cuts violent crime

Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey yesterday said violent crime has decreased 18 percent since he declared a crime emergency on July 11.

Chief Ramsey, flanked by officials from local and federal law-enforcement agencies that were part of his violent-crimes task force, made the announcement after a daylong summit reviewing the anti-crime measures and their success.

“What you see the task force doing is not declaring victory and closing up shop but looking for ways to build on it,” said Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat.

Chief Ramsey said the crime emergency likely will continue through the end of the month, at which time officers working overtime voluntarily would supplement specialized units. He said the leaders of the agencies that make up the task force would continue to meet on a monthly basis to share information.

Joseph Perischini, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said the model has been so successful it is being exported to other cities experiencing sharp increases in violent crimes.

Testimony ends in Rosenbaum slaying

The trial of Percey Jordan Jr., accused of killing a New York Times journalist, continued yesterday with a friend of Mr. Jordan’s saying the defendant admitted to committing a crime.

“One time he mumbled and said they got a cracker,” prosecution witness John Snowden said in D.C. Superior Court.

Mr. Jordan, 42, is accused of killing journalist David E. Rosenbaum on Jan. 6. Mr. Rosenbaum, 63, was struck in the head and robbed in his Northwest neighborhood. He died two days later.

Mr. Jordan’s cousin, Michael C. Hamlin, has pleaded guilty to charges related to the incident, including robbery and second-degree murder. He testified Thursday that the robbery was Mr. Jordan’s idea and that Mr. Jordan had struck Mr. Rosenbaum in the head with a hard plastic pipe.

Snowden’s account came during the final day of testimony in the murder trial. Closing arguments and jury deliberations are expected to begin Monday.

Defense attorney Michael Starr attacked the credibility of Snowden, on parole until 2008, suggesting he simply wanted a $25,000 reward.

D.C. Deputy Medical Examiner Lois Goslinoski, who performed the autopsy, testified that Mr. Rosenbaum died from blows to the head.

Metro appoints interim manager

Metro’s board of directors appointed an interim general manager yesterday to replace Dan Tangherlini, who steps down in early November to take a possible job with the D.C. government.

Jack Requa will take over Nov. 6, a day after Mr. Tangherlini steps down as interim general manager.

Mr. Requa is Metro’s chief operating officer for bus service and has been with Metro since 1998.

Mr. Tangherlini will become the next city administrator if Democratic primary election winner Adrian Fenty is elected mayor next month.



Blaze damages base office building

A six-alarm fire heavily damaged an office building at Fort Meade yesterday, base officials said.

The blaze, which broke out about 3:50 p.m., was in a building whose contents are “sensitive in nature,” said Fort Meade public affairs officer Jennifer Downing.

Firefighters from Fort Meade and Anne Arundel, Howard and Prince George’s counties battled the blaze, said Lt. Col. James Peterson, director of emergency services at Fort Meade.

Col. Peterson told reporters that part of the roof of the three-story brick building collapsed onto a lower floor before the fire was contained. Efforts to contain the flames were complicated by strong winds.

He said minor construction was under way in the area of the roof where the fire started.

The building was evacuated, Col. Peterson said, but one firefighter twisted his leg fighting the blaze. There is no damage estimate and base officials will investigate the cause today, he said.

Col. Peterson would not say what kind of work was going on inside building 4554, but a Web search for the building shows that it contains the 902nd Military Intelligence Group Command.


Medicaid restored for immigrants

The Ehrlich administration is reinstating Medicaid coverage for legal immigrants who lost their benefits last year.

The decision last year to drop about 4,000 pregnant women and children from the program was challenged in the courts. Last week, Maryland’s Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s preliminary injunction blocking the cuts for 13 plaintiffs.

The Ehrlich administration said last year that funding for the coverage was eliminated because of budget difficulties. Officials said the move would save $7 million.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs said the policy reversal is a victory for their clients and for the other immigrants who lost coverage.

It is not clear whether benefits will be restored retroactively.


UMd. seeks $1 billion in fundraising drive

The University of Maryland began a campaign yesterday to raise $1 billion over the next seven years in what the school said was the largest fundraising drive by a public university in Maryland and the Washington area.

The campaign will raise funds for scholarships for needy students, to recruit faculty, fund construction of new facilities and contribute to entrepreneurial ventures at the state’s flagship school. It will run through 2011.

The university has raised more than $300 million during a two-year “silent phase.”


No emergency shown before crash

A National Transportation Safety Board investigator said the pilot of a plane that crashed Thursday in Odenton notified the airport that he was returning to the airport, but gave no indication of an emergency before the crash.

NTSB investigator David Muzio said a man and a woman were on board a single-engine plane that crashed on the grounds of Tipton Airport.

Stan Sypien said his father-in-law, Daniel Eberhardt, 57, of Downers Grove, Ill., was the pilot of the plane. He did not know the identity of the passenger.



DNA links man to slain student

Prosecutors said DNA from a blood sample taken off the prime suspect in the disappearance of a University of Vermont student from Arlington has been found to match hers.

The sample was taken from the blue jeans of Brian Rooney, 36. It was tested by Vermont State Police.

Michelle Gardner-Quinn vanished from Burlington, Vt., on Oct. 7 and was found dead nearly a week later.

Mr. Rooney is being held without bail in Vermont.

He appeared in court Thursday to plead not guilty to sex charges brought as a result of the probe into Miss Gardner-Quinn’s disappearance.

Authorities accuse Mr. Rooney of repeatedly sexually assaulting a former girlfriend and soliciting someone to have her killed.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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