- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 18, 2007


NAACP delays headquarters move

The NAACP’s headquarters are still in Baltimore — for now.

The civil rights group’s board of directors Saturday failed to finalize details on moving its main offices from Baltimore to the District, said Bruce Gordon, president of the National Association for the Advance-ment of Colored People.

Members of the 64-person board worked out some fine points — but not all — of selling the group’s 50,000-square-foot building in north Baltimore and buying the new building in Southeast.

“We’re not too different from the typical homeowner,” Mr. Gordon said. “We have to sell in order to buy.”

He added, “This [move] is absolutely still on the table. Our plan is to move forward.”

The group did not say when the issue might be taken up again.

The move is expected to cost $20 million, and details on how to finance it have not yet been worked out, Mr. Gordon said.

Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. fought to keep the civil rights group in Maryland, offering financial and real estate incentives, to no avail.

The 98-year-old nonprofit has been based in Baltimore since 1986, when it moved from New York.

Officer shoots robbery suspect

An off-duty D.C. police officer shot a man who was trying to rob him yesterday, police said.

Police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile said the officer was approached by two men in Southeast yesterday afternoon.

Sgt. Gentile said the two men attempted to rob the officer, and he was forced to draw his weapon. One of the men was shot in the buttocks. The other made off with the officer’s private vehicle.

The vehicle was later found abandoned in Northeast.

The man who was shot was hospitalized in police custody.



Police kill man in shootout

Police fatally shot a man early yesterday after he emerged from a standoff and fired shots from a rifle, said a spokesman for the Baltimore County police.

Cpl. Michael Hill told the Associated Press that the man had argued with his girlfriend earlier. At about 2 a.m., when she tried to gather some belongings, the man wouldn’t let her inside the building on Lowells Glen Road and she called police.

When police arrived, Cpl. Hill said they tried to persuade him to come out and talked to him on the telephone, but he refused and threatened to kill himself.

“At about 3:30, he came out of the apartment building dressed in camouflage and fired several shots from that rifle toward officers,” Cpl. Hill said.

Two officers returned fire, killing the man.

“We just don’t know exactly why he decided to do that,” Cpl. Hill said. “The fact that he came out and fired shots is justification for deadly force.”

Police have not released the man’s name. The officers have been placed on routine administrative leave pending an investigation.


Horse lovers help neglected animals

A group of Baltimore-area horse enthusiasts went west yesterday in a caravan to deliver supplies to help more than 70 neglected horses near Sharpsburg.

Maureen Haley helped organize the caravan. The group met yesterday morning at the Hunt Valley Towne Centre before setting off to deliver about 480 bales of hay.

Late last year, Barbara Reinken was charged with more than 70 misdemeanor counts of animal abuse and four felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals.

The charges occurred after the Humane Society of Washington County and the county sheriff’s office carried out a search-and-seizure warrant at her farm near Sharpsburg.

Authorities found more than 70 horses in various stages of poor health.

Miss Reinken has denied mistreating the horses. She said only that she might have had too many. A trial is set for Thursday in Washington County District Court.



Underwater sleuths search for steamboat

An amateur underwater archaeologist is set this week to lead a group to the Staunton River to find the remains of the steamboat Nellie.

Nellie was one of as many as six small steamboats that operated along the Staunton in the 1880s. It went down after hitting a reef 125 years ago.

Lee Chamberlain will be working with volunteers with the Northern Neck of Virginia Shipwreck Survey.

They will conduct an extensive dive operation in the river, looking for the 14-foot, shallow-water steamer.

After the Civil War, the Army Corps of Engineers began maintaining the Staunton River from Brookneal to Randolph.

Brookneal was then a commercial hub of the area because of the tobacco auctions and the port.


I-95 cup thrower faces prison time

A North Carolina woman who has been in jail for a month now faces two years in prison for maliciously throwing a McDonald’s cup of ice into a car that had cut her off on the highway.

The story has come to be known as the McMissile case to locals and some of Jessica Hall’s fellow inmates.

Jessica Hall, 25, of Jacksonville, N.C., said she was mad when it all happened last summer but never expected such repercussions.

She said the car driven by a D.C. man merged in front of her twice on Interstate 95, as she, her children and her pregnant sister were driving to New York. Hall flung the cup over her car and into the other car, where it flew across the driver and landed on his girlfriend.

A Stafford County judge instructed the jury that any physical object can be a missile and propelled by any force, including throwing.

The jury convicted Hall and recommended the minimum of two years in prison.

A judge will formally impose the sentence Wednesday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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