March 27
MARYLAND
Court won’t hear Belward Farm appeal

The Maryland Court of Appeals has refused to hear a case that pits a donor’s family against Johns Hopkins University and its plans to develop a “science city” campus on the 108-acre Belward Farm in Montgomery County.

The court’s decision, announced Monday, leaves the family of Elizabeth Banks with no legal options to continue to fight the project.

At issue is a 1989 land agreement in which the university bought the property from Banks for $5 million, substantially lower than its estimated $54 million market value.

Banks wanted the property to be used only for academic purposes, research or medical care. Her family says Hopkins is planning denser development than what she had envisioned.

— The Gazette

VIRGINIA
Pentagon memorial circuit map unveiled

Organizers of an effort to create a 1,000-mile bike trail connecting three sites of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have unveiled the Pentagon Memorial Trail Circuit Map, which features a walking and cycling guide from the Pentagon’s memorial to nearby federal monuments and attractions.

The September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance is constructing a trail that will link the Pentagon in Arlington, the site of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan and a field in Shanksville, Pa. — the three points of impact for jets hijacked by the terrorists. The trail, which uses existing and new bike trails and roads, is still being developed.

— Patricia Sullivan

Fairfax man charged in girl’s abduction

A man has been charged in the abduction and sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl who was waiting for a school bus in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County on Thursday morning, police said.

The girl reported that she was waiting for the bus inside an apartment building in the 7900 block of Janna Lee Avenue when a man grabbed her and pulled her into his apartment between 8 and 8:30 a.m., police said.

The girl managed to break free and ran to her bus, Fairfax County police said. School officials and police were notified and began an investigation.

Police arrested Walter Yomar Gomez-Lemus, 22, who was charged with abduction with intent to defile and aggravated sexual battery.

— Justin Jouvenal

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