- The Washington Times - Monday, September 29, 2008


Storms puts rainfall near annual levels

Recent storms have brought rainfall amounts in the region close to those normally reached in an entire year.

From the beginning of the year to Saturday night, 38.87 inches was recorded at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The amount is a half inch less than the region usually gets in a year.

The National Weather Service said the amount is 80 percent more than the nearly 22 inches that the region had at this time last year.

Some of the heaviest rains fell Saturday in the Baltimore area, where about 3 1/2 inches of rain fell.

Businesses in the Mount Washington neighborhood were evacuated because of flash flooding.

The city and Baltimore County were under a flash-flood warning until Saturday night.

In the Baltimore County neighborhood of Cockeysville, firefighters responded to help a woman in who was trapped in a building by floodwaters. A fire dispatcher described the operation as routine.



Ehrlich opposes O’Malley’s slots plan

Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., Republican, said Saturday that he is against a referendum in November, an initiative of Gov. Martin O’Malley, Democrat, to legalize slot-machine gambling in the state.

Mr. Ehrlich dedicated his entire weekly program, on Baltimore radio station WBAL-AM, to the upcoming referendum.

Mr. Ehrlich, who had supported slots while in office, said the referendum is not close to what he had supported, adding that using a constitutional amendment to legalize slots does not make sense.

The former governor also said slots should not be brought to the state after lawmakers passed one of the largest tax increases in Maryland history.

Marylanders will vote on amending the constitution to allow up to 15,000 slot machines at five locations. Supporters say revenue could top $600 million a year. Opponents say that they will cost the state more because of crime, corruption and gambling problems and that revenues won’t start for years after approval.


Police look for links in home invasions

The Montgomery County Police Department is looking into whether an attempted burglary last week is connected to other home invasions targeting the elderly.

The incident occurred Wednesday evening when an alarm sounded inside a Bethesda home occupied by a 70-year-old woman. The woman reset the alarm and went to sleep. She later found that her basement locks damaged and called police. Nothing was taken from the home.

Police say the woman lives alone. Her profile connects her to four previous victims - all women living alone, ages 63 to 92.

The other incidents - and two others in which victims were elderly couples - occurred in the past year in affluent places, including Potomac to Chevy Chase and the Foxhall neighborhood in Northwest. All victims were bound, and one woman - Mary Havenstein, of Bethesda - was killed.

Authorities think the same person committed at least three of the crimes, including Mrs. Havenstein’s Sept. 4 death.



Public pursues clues in lake mystery

Giles County investigators are getting lots of help in tracking down whose bones were discovered in the dried-up lake bed at Mountain Lake resort.

Numerous amateur sleuths have arrived to figure out to whom such items as an old class ring, shoes and an engraved belt buckle belonged.

County sheriff Sgt. Tommy Gautier said about 15 people have contacted the department since the bones and items were found last weekend by a man and his son searching for old soda bottles.

Investigators think the person might have died as long ago as 1920. Coins found near the remains dated from 1907 to 1920, and the class ring was marked ‘04.


Rescued sea turtle to be released

A young sea turtle named Wa Wa by his rescuers is being released back into the wild.

The Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team will release Wa Wa on Wednesday morning from Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

The 7-pound juvenile sea turtle was hooked Sept. 2 by a fisherman off of Little Island Fishing Pier. The fisherman caught the turtle in a net and got it to the response team, which removed the fishing line from the animal’s esophagus. After a couple weeks of antibiotics, fluids and plenty of food, Wa Wa was deemed healthy enough to return to the wild.

The team members who responded to the hot line call named the turtle after the Wawa restaurant that they’d been eating at when they got the call.


Man gets 51 years for trying to kill cop

A Fairfax County man was sentenced to 51 years in prison for trying to kill a police officer.

Rocky L. King, 27, was convicted in June of attempted capital murder on a Fairfax County Police Department officer, possession of cocaine and two gun charges. He was sentenced Friday in Fairfax Circuit Court.

Prosecutors said in September 2007, King pointed a gun at Officer Eugene B. Bork’s head as the officer tried to get King to come out of his car, which he had crashed into a road median in Herndon. Other officers then shot and wounded King.

Authorities say a search of King’s car turned up 100 rounds of ammunition, marijuana and the clip for his gun. Cocaine was found in his pocket. King’s blood-alcohol level was 0.23, nearly three times the legal limit.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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