- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 16, 2008


Roads to be closed for St. Pat’s parade

D.C. transportation officials are warning motorists that several downtown streets will be closed between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. today for the St. Patrick Day’s Parade.

Furthermore, no parking will be allowed around the parade route from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Constitution Avenue Northwest between Sixth Street and 23rd Street Northwest; on Seventh Street Northwest between Independence Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest; on 14th Street Northwest between Independence Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest; on 12th Street Northwest between the Southwest/Southeast Freeway and Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest; and on 17th Street Northwest between E Street Northwest and Independence Avenue Southwest.



Workers trained on background checks

Caseworkers in Baltimore are being trained to conduct criminal background checks, Maryland Juvenile Services officials said, as a result of a case in which a teenager arrested on drug charges was sent home to his mother, who was on probation for a drug offense.

The teen was arrested last week on adult murder charges.

Juvenile Services Secretary Donald DeVore said one employee has been placed on administrative leave and any employees found responsible for failure to do their job will be terminated.

DJS spokeswoman Tammy Brown said Friday that after training is complete, Baltimore caseworkers will conduct background checks on the guardians of children in their care so that information can be presented in court.



Group reaches deal to save feral cats

A national feral-cat advocacy group based in Maryland is working to save about 200 cats that have angered some residents of a Chantilly trailer park.

The Bethesda-based Alley Cat Allies said it has reached an agreement with property owners of the Meadows of Chantilly to trap and spay or neuter the cats, gather domesticated strays for adoption and distribute electronic cat-deterrent devices.

The property owners had told residents last week that they planned to trap the animals and euthanize them.

Some residents have been caring for the cats, capturing some so they can be vaccinated and neutered. Other residents complained that the cats are destroying gardens and littering the community with feces.


Sailors to undergo land-force training

About 400 reservists with the Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group are undergoing six weeks of intensified training at a base near Williamsburg.

They are getting ready to take on the customs-inspection mission for service members returning from Iraq.

Almost 35,000 sailors and airmen with the Navy and Air Force are handling land-force roles — such as customs inspections and convoy security — in Iraq and Afghanistan to relieve the overstretched Army and Marine Corps.

The reservists come from 43 states, Puerto Rico and Guam and represent dozens of Navy job specialties from cooks, hospital corps and storekeepers to explosive-ordnance specialists and hull maintenance technicians.

Leaders said many of the sailors had never handled weapons, but more than 14,600 sailors are now serving ashore in Iraq and Afghanistan and in Persian Gulf nations.

Faced with that challenge, the Logistics Support Group set up its own ground-combat training operation in October so the sailors headed overseas know how to take defensive positions.


Robertson cuts back development plan

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson is scaling back a plan to build upscale shops, offices and homes on 500 acres along the border of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.

Consultants for Mr. Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network introduced plans in 2006 for a complex they said would rival suburban Richmond’s Short Pump Town Center, Norfolk’s MacArthur Center and Virginia Beach’s Town Center.

The plan hinged on an Interstate 64 interchange that the federal government has rejected repeatedly, so CBN is developing portions of the project on a smaller scale.

CBN is getting ready to build an office tower on the land, and the Virginia Beach Planning Commission has recommended approval of 150 homes on 46 acres of the parcel near Mr. Robertson’s Regent University.

The Virginia Beach City Council is scheduled to vote on the residential project next month.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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