- The Washington Times - Friday, November 21, 2008


Metro anticipates inaugural crowds

The D.C. area’s transit system says passengers should expect packed railcars and buses and extraordinarily long lines on Inauguration Day.

Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. on Thursday outlined the agency’s plans for the Jan. 20 swearing in of President-elect Barack Obama. He said Metro could surpass previous ridership records.

Mr. Catoe said there will be long waits of perhaps an hour or more to get into downtown stations after the swearing-in ceremony.

To handle the crowds, Metro will operate on a rush-hour schedule from 4 a.m. until 7 p.m. For security reasons, the Archives-Navy Memorial station will be closed, as will the National Mall entrance of the Smithsonian station.

Fenty eases rental rules

The District is making it easier for people who want to rent out their homes during the inauguration.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, a Democrat, issued an executive order Thursday that temporarily suspends enforcement of the District’s licensing requirements for short-term rentals of residential property.

People will be allowed to rent out their homes without a license from Jan. 13 through Jan. 27. Inauguration Day is Jan. 20.

Mr. Fenty said it is important to help people find ways to witness the swearing-in of President-elect Barack Obama.

Hotel rooms in the District — and as far away as West Virginia — are booked solid around Inauguration Day, leading residents to start renting out space in their homes or apartments.

Wal-Mart boosts memorial effort

The Wal-Mart Foundation has announced a $12.5 million letter of credit for the planned Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial to help expedite construction of the project in the District.

The memorial may hit a snag, though, because of a disagreement over how to secure the national Mall site. That may delay progress until 2009.

The National Park Service is insisting that the memorial’s design include security measures. In public meetings, the agency has identified a security threat by extremist groups “spouting racist ideologies.”

But the National Capital Planning Commission rejected the addition of security bollards as an embarrassment to King’s legacy of inclusiveness.

The group working to build the memorial has raised $100 million of the $120 million needed for the project.



Officer fatally shoots suspect

Montgomery County police said a bank robbery suspect was killed in a shootout with officers after a chase through at least three counties.

Police said they are interviewing a second suspect, and a third was still being sought, but they did not think he was still in the area.

Howard County police said the men robbed the Bank of America on Ten Oaks Road in Clarksville about 9:15 a.m. Thursday. A bank employee was shot in the hand during the robbery.

The men fled in a pickup truck, and police said they chased them through Anne Arundel County to the Burtonsville area of Montgomery County, where the men bailed out of the vehicle.

Montgomery County Police said one suspect was shot during an exchange of gunfire with state troopers and police officers from Howard and Prince George’s counties. But it was not clear which agency’s round struck the man.


Third suspect named in shooting

Baltimore County Police have identified a third man wanted in a shooting that killed a man on Security Boulevard this month.

Officers said Quinzell Covington, 22, of Baltimore, is wanted in Cletus Gittens‘ death on Nov. 3. Xavier Hall, 21, and Timothy Bean, 25, already had been arrested and charged in Mr. Gittens’ death.

Mr. Gittens died at Northwest Hospital after being shot in the 7100 block of Security Boulevard. Police received reports of gunshots in that area and found Mr. Gittens with several gunshot wounds.

Mr. Bean also was found nearby with a leg wound from a gunshot.

Police said Mr. Covington was with Mr. Hall and Mr. Bean, but investigators still did not know of a motive.


Four arrested in five slayings

Four Prince George’s County men charged in five homicides in two weeks have been arrested.

Prince George’s County Police said Jacob Brooks, 19; Damien Wheeler, 23; Darrell McCarty, 19; and Brandon Reeves, 20, all are charged with first-degree murder.

Mr. Brooks was arrested for the Nov. 3 death of Daryl Clark, 36, of Landover. He was already in custody when police charged him.

Mr. Wheeler, arrested Nov. 13, is charged with killing Deangle Alston, 19, of Oxon Hill Nov. 9.

Mr. McCarty is accused of shooting Mario Shepard of Cheltenham and Kelvin Franklin of Upper Marlboro Nov. 7 in a cemetery. He was arrested Nov. 15.

Mr. Reeves was charged Nov. 18 with killing Charles Ware of Temple Hills Nov. 7.



Moran picks up party endorsements

Delegate Brian J. Moran announced that a majority of Democrats who sit on the state party’s steering committee support his run for Virginia governor.

The announcement follows the endorsement last week of Mr. Moran’s candidacy by a majority of elected Democrats in Loudoun County. The Alexandria Democrat and House Democratic Caucus chairman is battling state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds of Bath County for the party nomination, and former national party chairman Terry McAuliffe also is considering a run.

Members of the steering committee are part of the party’s governing and policy-making body, the Moran campaign said. Seventeen committee members endorsed Mr. Moran.


Police probe triple homicide

Fairfax County police have identified three men killed in an altercation at a home in the Annandale area.

The incident occurred about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday. Police said Terence Strope, 38; Ryan Strope, 26; and Andres Yelicie, 26, all of Springfield, were stabbed multiple times in the upper body before they died.

One of the men was found outside the home in the 5400 block of Moultrie Road while the other two were found in a home across the street. The men died at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Crime scene technicians were still processing the scene as homicide detectives continued to investigate.


Professor pursuing lottery suit

An attorney for a university professor suing the Virginia Lottery is weighing his next step after a ruling this week that eliminates other ticket purchasers.

Roanoke attorney John Fishwick said Thursday that his client, Washington & Lee University professor Scott Hoover, still plans to move forward with the case.

A Richmond Circuit Court judge this week denied the Virginia Lottery’s motion to dismiss the case.

But the judge ruled that Mr. Hoover could not make a claim on behalf of all other similarly situated ticket purchasers.

Mr. Hoover had asked for reimbursement for purchasers of an estimated 26.5 million tickets during the past five years that he contends had no chance of winning the top prize promised on them.

Lottery Executive Director Paula Otto said the lottery stands by the fairness of its games, and she looks forward to a final ruling in the case.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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