- The Washington Times - Monday, May 5, 2008


Weekend quieter with police initiative

Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier called the weekend quiet after the department’s latest All Hands on Deck initiative.

Chief Lanier was on patrol herself Saturday night. Despite a recent spike in homicides in parts of Northeast, she said other types of crime are down.

The chief had all available officers on patrol for the weekend to emphasize community policing. She said the department is getting positive feedback from the public.

A weekend earlier, a spike in violent crime left four people dead and 11 wounded over a three-day span.

There was a fatal stabbing early yesterday in a usually quiet area on Vermont Avenue Northwest, just blocks from the White House. Police said Biniam Gebretesus, 24, of Philadelphia, was killed near a bank ATM. Another person was stabbed and was in critical condition.

Investigators said there might have been some kind of argument before the attacks.



Man fatally shot in sixth homicide

A 31-year-old man was fatally shot Saturday afternoon, the city’s sixth homicide of the year.

Police found Michael Thompson behind a house on Pleasant Street. He had suffered at least one gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr. Thompson’s wife, Ga’Juanah Holland-Thompson, told the Baltimore Examiner that her husband was about to mark the one-year anniversary of his release from jail. She said he had been through hard times but was turning his life around after being charged with handgun possession and assault.

Annapolis is in danger of surpassing last year’s record total of eight homicides. Last month, Mayor Ellen O. Moyer announced new leadership for the police department in an effort to stem the violence. Michael Pristoop, a former Baltimore police officer, is serving as interim chief.


Two people killed in weekend incidents

A man and a woman were killed over the weekend, one in Langley Park and one in Edmonston, Prince George’s County police said.

At about 7:15 p.m. Friday, police found a man with stab wounds to the upper body in the 8000 block of Riggs Road in Langley Park. The unidentified victim died later at a hospital.

Officers from the town of Edmonston found a woman with gun shot wounds to the upper body at about 5:45 a.m. Saturday in the 5000 block of Buchannon Street. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene, and the investigation was handed over to the Prince George’s homicide unit. Investigators said yesterday that they have no motive or suspect.


Mayor dies of heart attack

Mayor Tom Cardinale died of a heart attack Saturday afternoon at his home, a town official said. He was 69.

Mr. Cardinale was a Baltimore native and a former teacher and construction company president. In 2004, just a few years after moving to Berlin, he was elected mayor, defeating incumbent Rex Hailey with 78 percent of the vote. He was planning to run for a second term this fall.

In the days after he was sworn in, Mr. Cardinale walked through town talking to residents and jotting down their questions and ideas on a notepad.

Berlin council Vice President Gee Williams will serve as interim mayor. Town elections will be held in October.



Catfish growing in James River

Blue catfish are becoming much bigger and more plentiful on the James River.

Whether that is a good thing is an open question.

On one hand, there is the economic impact. State fisheries biologist Bob Greenlee estimates that anglers spend more than $2 million a year in pursuit of blue cats.

But then there is the impact on other fish species. A Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) fish ecologist fears the big blues are crowding out other valuable species, including largemouth bass, white catfish, channel catfish, blue crabs and shad.

Blue catfish were stocked in the James by the state in the mid-1970s. Some of the fish now weigh in at up to 100 pounds, and VCU scientists estimate blue cats now constitute up to 75 percent, by weight, of all fish in parts of the James.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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