- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 29, 2009


Train hits car on tracks

A CSX train hit a car parked on railroad tracks in Southeast Washington, sending the vehicle into the Anacostia River, authorities said.

Fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said crews responded to the crash early Saturday in the 2000 block of M Street. Mr. Piringer said an outbound CSX freight train struck the car, which was parked on tracks at the west end of a railroad bridge.

He said the car landed on its side into the river in about 1 to 2 feet of water. The one person inside the car got out before emergency responders arrived.

Mr. Piringer said one adult was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.



Income-tax payments drop

A report from the Maryland comptroller’s office shows state income-tax payments to local governments fell sharply this month.

The report shows a $339 million drop in revenues, or a 28.3 percent decrease from the same period a year ago. Counties note the amount because it marks the state’s first distribution for the fiscal year that began in July.

The sharpest drop on a proportional basis was in Talbot County, with nearly a 66 percent decrease. Baltimore and Montgomery counties and some jurisdictions on the Eastern Shore also had drastic drops.

State officials said the decline is a result of several factors, including the state using the November payment to settle accounts for previous distributions that may have been too high or low.


Man robs restaurant, forces 3 into freezer

A masked gunman forced three restaurant employees into a freezer during a robbery, Baltimore County police said.

Police said the man entered a Friendly’s restaurant in Dundalk early Friday, demanding money.

Officials said the freezer was not locked and the employees were able to get out and call authorities. No one was injured.

Police said the man fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.


Hunters take aim after record season

Maryland deer hunters are heading back to the woods after killing a record-high number of whitetails and sikas last year.

The Department of Natural Resources said more than 68,000 people will participate in the two-week firearms season that opened Saturday.

Modern firearms accounted for about 45,000 of the more than 100,000 deer killed in Maryland last year.

Some enthusiasts said hunting opportunities on private land are declining owing to landowner liability issues.

Last year, hunters accidentally fired into at least two occupied dwellings, even though the shooters were outside the 150-yard safety zone specified by state law.



Several dozen cats dead in house fire

Several dozen cats were killed in a house fire Saturday in Northern Virginia, authorities said.

Fairfax County fire department spokesman Dan Schmidt said a pet sitter went to check on a home in Clifton on Saturday afternoon and found it full of heavy smoke. He said she called authorities, who arrived a few minutes later.

Mr. Schmidt said the smoldering fire extinguished itself, and firefighters found cats and a couple of cages with birds inside. He said eight cats were rescued, but several dozen died.

He said the homeowners, who rescue cats and birds, were not home at the time of the fire, which was under investigation.

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