- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 20, 2008


5 arrested during neo-Nazi rally

Five people were arrested in connection with a rally by a neo-Nazi group in downtown Washington.

U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. Robert Lachance said the five were part of a group that was protesting the National Socialist Movement, which held a rally yesterday from the National Mall to the U.S. Capitol. Sgt. Lachance said the counter-demonstrators were arrested on charges of assaulting an officer. He said that some used pepper spray, and that one person struck an officer with a pole.

The National Socialist Movement said its permit application said more than 250 members were anticipated at the rally, but Sgt. Lachance said fewer took part.



Man fatally shot by PG police

Prince George’s County police yesterday fatally shot a man while responding to a disturbance call, authorities said.

WRC-TV (Channel 4) reported that officers were called to the 2700 block of Calvert Street at about 10 a.m. after a woman reported her brother had been drinking and doing drugs all night.

As officers were interviewing witnesses, a man with a gun and knife came out of a building, police said. The man raised the pistol and officers fired, killing him, police said. The man was not identified.


State GOP seeks new executive director

The Maryland Republican Party is looking for a new executive director after John Flynn resigned to become general counsel for Americans for Prosperity, a public interest group in the District.

Mr. Flynn took over as executive director at a low point for the party — January 2007, when Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, took office after defeating incumbent Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican.

Later that year, the party reported that it was nearly broke. But state Republican Party Chairman Jim Pelura said Mr. Flynn helped turn things around. He said Mr. Flynn drew more small donations, allowing the party to pay off its debts.

Mr. Pelura said the Republican base “is excited and energized again” and credits Mr. Flynn for that.


Couple charged with homicide

Baltimore police have arrested a husband and wife in the slaying of an unidentified man whose burned body was found in a townhouse community in Middle River last weekend.

Edward Palmer, 48, and his wife, Catherine Palmer, 46, have both been charged with first-degree murder.

The body was badly burned, but an autopsy revealed that the cause of death was blunt force trauma. Police have determined that the man was killed in the 600 block of North Clinton Street in Canton, near the Palmers’ home.

A spokesman for Baltimore County police said a tip led to the crime scene in the city.


City wants to buy homes next to park

Baltimore officials want to buy seven homes next to a park that’s been closed because of arsenic contamination.

The homes would be demolished to make way for the West Covington project in south Baltimore. Plans call for hundreds of homes and more than a million square feet of retail and offices next to Swann Park, which is being cleaned up and will reopen.

Some of the homeowners next to Swann Park say they want to leave. But others say they’re worried the city won’t give them a fair price. The park was closed after arsenic contamination dating from the 1970s was discovered last year.

City Solicitor George Nilson said the area offers “an exciting opportunity for development.”


Counties face lean budget year

Lean economic times and reductions in state aid are leading to tight budgets for local governments across the Baltimore region.

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, for example, wants to increase the number of police officers on the street but is proposing little spending growth in other areas.

Harford County’s budget proposal includes raises for employees to make the jobs more enticing, but otherwise, the county is limiting its spending.

In Baltimore County, employees will get no cost-of-living increases, but officials hope to avoid any increases in taxes or fees.

Many county leaders believe the difficult budget decisions will continue into next year, in part because of reductions in state aid. County governments will get $120 million less state money than last year, said Michael Sanderson, legislative director of the Maryland Association of Counties.

The situation isn’t quite as bad in Baltimore city, which is benefiting from a 9.9 percent increase in property tax revenues and 11.4 percent more from income taxes.



Black colleges seek more alumni support

Administrators at Virginia State University have learned it takes money to make money.

The majority black school has spent millions of state dollars renovating buildings in part to heighten school pride among alumni they hope will respond with their wallets.

Development vice president Robert Turner said it’s working. He said alumni support has risen from 7 percent five years ago to 10 percent, and individual gifts have increased from hundreds of dollars to thousands.

Black colleges are refreshing outdated efforts to solicit former students, adding specialized staff, crafting personalized “asks,” improving campuses and increasingly using Internet outreach to augment shrinking state and private funds with alumni dollars.

At Norfolk State University, alumni giving has grown from 2 percent to 8.2 percent since 2000. Officials say the numbers have been boosted by graduates who have more money at younger ages.

Hampton University is directly targeting the young alumni base. Last fall, the school launched a Facebook-like online community where alumni can find peers, and later, click to donate to the private school.


Hospital to remove bed lifts from rooms

Eastern State Hospital is removing motorized bed lifts from the rooms of some of its geriatric mental patients, after a 67-year-old woman hanged herself using the apparatus and a computer cord.

State police said she committed suicide last week by making a ligature with the cord, attaching it to the bed lift and raising herself up.

A spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services said that the lifts have been removed from the rooms of 23 patients in its geriatric center, which has 150 private rooms for patients 65 and older who suffer from mental illness.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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