- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 11, 2009


Woman killed in Northeast

Metropolitan police are investigating a fatal shooting in Northeast Friday morning.

Officers responding to the report at 8:40 a.m. in the 1400 block of Maryland Avenue found Crystal Washington, 44, of Northeast, with multiple gunshot wounds. She was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Police are offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

Powell to attend Lincoln event

Gen. Colin Powell will join singers and new U.S. citizens for a recreation of Marian Anderson’s historic concert at the Lincoln Memorial.

The Easter Sunday event marks the 70th anniversary of Anderson’s landmark concert in 1939. The opera singer had been turned away from performing at Constitution Hall near the White House because she was black.

Sunday’s concert, featuring mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, also marks the ongoing celebration of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. Ms. Graves will be joined by the women’s a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock, the Chicago Children’s Choir and the U.S. Marine Band.

Gen. Powell will read portions of Lincoln’s second inaugural address and congratulate 200 immigrants who will become new U.S. citizens at the event.

Newseum displays rare Lincoln artifacts

Some rare artifacts will go on display this weekend at the Newseum in an exhibit about President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and the search for his killer.

The pieces include a fragment of a dress worn by the lead actress at Ford’s Theatre the night Lincoln was shot. The dress was stained with the president’s blood. Beginning Saturday, the Newseum also will display a lock of Lincoln’s hair with flowers from his coffin.

The exhibit, “Manhunt: Chasing Lincoln’s Killer,” is based on James L. Swanson’s best-selling book on the 12-day chase for Lincoln’s killer, featuring 40 objects from Mr. Swanson’s personal collection. Many are being displayed publicly for the first time.

The museum about journalism also is showing original newspapers chronicling Lincoln’s assassination to mark the 144th anniversary on Tuesday.



Senators criticize Preakness bill

Maryland state senators from both political parties expressed misgivings Friday about a bill that would strengthen the state’s ability to acquire the Preakness Stakes horse race and the track on which it is run.

The measure would allow Maryland to utilize eminent domain law, if necessary, to acquire the second leg of the Triple Crown, as well as Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park racetrack and the Bowie Race Course Training Center.

Bankruptcy proceedings by current owner Magna Entertainment Corp. have thrown the future of the race and the track into question.

Several senators worried the state could get a “white elephant” at a time when funds are tight and interest in horse racing is dying. The bill was introduced Wednesday, and is set for a final vote Saturday in the Senate.


Transportation chief tapped for post

President Obama’s administration has announced its intent to nominate Maryland Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari as deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Mr. Porcari, who also served as Maryland’s transportation secretary during the administration of former Gov. Parris Glendening, a Democrat, has presided over initial development stages of the $2.4 billion InterCounty Connector, an 18-mile highway through the Washington suburbs.

Mr. Porcari also was involved in building the $2.4 billion Woodrow Wilson Bridge connecting Maryland and Virginia.


Fort Detrick plans biodefense exercise

The Army says it is planning a daylong, outdoor biological weapons defense exercise next week at Fort Detrick in Frederick.

The mock emergency on Wednesday will include people in hazardous material suits and ambulances with sirens, spokeswoman Caree Vander Linden said Friday.

The exercise will test the capabilities of law enforcement, “hazmat” teams and medical workers in responding to a biological attack, she said.

Fort Detrick is home to the Army’s flagship biological weapons defense research laboratory.


Men plead guilty to rockfish trafficking

Two commercial fishermen from Virginia have pleaded guilty to illegally catching and selling rockfish from the Chesapeake Bay.

Jerry Decatur Sr. of Stafford, Va., pleaded guilty Friday to illegally taking and overharvesting striped bass, federal prosecutors said. Kenneth Dent of Dumfries, Va., pleaded guilty to trafficking illegally-taken striped bass.

The two men, along with fish wholesalers Robert Moore Sr. and his son, Robert Moore Jr., illegally harvested and sold hundreds of thousands of pounds of highly protected striped bass, authorities said.

The men violated the Lacey Act, a federal law that bars the creation of false records for fish and wildlife or transporting illegally harvested wildlife.

Several other fishermen are also charged in the scheme.



Communities get grants for wounded

Community programs throughout Virginia are getting grants to help National Guard and Reserve veterans and soldiers not on active duty suffering from combat-related head injuries and stress disorders.

Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, on Friday announced the $1.7 million in grants.

The funding for these programs is provided by the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program, created by the 2008 General Assembly to provide services to veterans and their families.

The community boards provide aid like outpatient counseling and crisis intervention, day programs and other support for veterans with traumatic brain injuries.


City ends busing for desegregation

The Roanoke School Board is ending a 38-year-old crosstown busing system developed to desegregate the city’s elementary schools.

Board members on Friday adopted a new school attendance zone map for elementary schools. Students will primarily attend schools located in their immediate neighborhoods.

Sending students to schools closer to home would encourage parental participation, reduce transportation costs and help students and school employees focus on instruction rather than on transportation, board members say.

Opponents say the change would make schools less racially diverse.

The existing plan was established in 1971 after a judge ruled that the city should desegregate its elementary schools.


Officers near targets in sniper training

An instructor who positioned Virginia law enforcement officers within 5 feet of a target while other officers fired live rounds from 50 yards away defended the practice.

Danville Police Chief Philip Broadfoot alerted Roanoke County officials of the sniper training last fall at the county-owned firing range after one of his officers took part in the training.

Paul Castle of Sabre Tactical Training Resource and Research in Nashville, Tenn., told the Roanoke Times the exercise is a standard practice. In a real-life situation, he said, marksmen can’t be “second-guessing themselves.”

Mr. Castle said the officers shot at the target with another officer standing near it after they had successfully hit a dime from 50 yards away.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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