- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 11, 2007

Members of the D.C. press corps today will reissue a long-overdue honor to one of their own.

On March 9, 1977, 12 armed Hanafi Muslims stormed into three D.C. buildings, including the Districts city hall. The gunmen took nearly 150 hostages and held them for nearly 40 hours, before surrendering.

During the siege, the gunmen fatally shot Maurice Williams, a 24-year-old reporter for WHUR-FM after he got off of an elevator. Marion Barry, who went on to serve four terms as mayor and is now the Ward 8 representative on the D.C. Council, also was shot.

A plaque to honor Mr. Williams had been placed outside the fifth-floor press room in what is now the John A. Wilson Building, but it was lost in a bureaucratic shuffle over who controlled the building. WTOP radio reporter Mark Segraves has spearheaded an effort that began in 2005 to have a new plaque placed outside the press room, one naming the space after Mr. Williams.

A dedication ceremony to put up the new plaque is scheduled for 10 a.m., with Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Mr. Barry expected to read proclamations in front of other city leaders as well as an expected crowd of those who cover them.

All aboard

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley on Thursday named Metro’s former chief financial officer, Peter Benjamin, and the former head of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Elizabeth Hewlett, as Maryland’s members of the Metro board of directors.

Mr. O’Malley, a Democrat, appointed the two to replace members appointed by his Republican predecessor, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

Mr. Benjamin lives in Garrett Park and spent 20 years with Metro, 13 as CFO. He also served as the transit system’s director of planning and as a senior financial adviser. He replaces Ray Briscuso as Montgomery County’s representative.

Miss Hewlett, who lives in Bowie, was the longest-serving chairman of the M-NCPPC and the Prince George’s County Planning Board, completing her second five-year term in 2006. She replaces Charles Deegan, who was the principal representative for Prince George’s and chairman of the Metro board.

The state Senate must confirm both appointments.

Gary Emerling contributed to this column, which is based in part on wire service reports.

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