Local digest: A roundup of D.C. area news briefs

THE DISTRICT
25 years for man who shot at White House

An Idaho man was sentenced to 25 years in prison Monday for shooting at the White House in November 2011.

In September, Oscar R. Ortega-Hernandez, 23, pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington to using a semiautomatic assault rifle to fire at least eight rounds at the second and third floors of the White House.

No one was injured, but federal investigators recovered bullets from the window frame of the Truman Balcony. Another bullet struck the roof near where Secret Service officers were on duty.

Before the shooting, court documents say, Ortega-Hernandez told acquaintances that he “needed to kill” the president, and he recorded videos of himself in which he called for a revolution. He then drove more than 2,000 miles from his home in Idaho Falls to Washington.

— Ann Marimow

MARYLAND
Gansler faults Brown on health exchange

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler told reporters Monday that Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, a rival for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, does not deserve a promotion in light of the glitches that have plagued Maryland’s new health insurance marketplace and hindered enrollment efforts.

On Tuesday, the board that oversees Maryland’s online exchange is expected to vote to replace it with technology from Connecticut, which has had one of the countries most successful exchanges, and hire the contractor that built Connecticut’s system, Deloitte.

Gansler has repeatedly cited the insurance site’s problems as a major failure of Brown’s. Brown, in turn, accused Gansler on Monday of playing politics instead of helping state residents sign up for health care.

— John Wagner

THE REGION
Blossom festival parking alert

Tourists aren’t the only thing plentiful during Cherry blossom season in Washington.

According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, the city issued 155,636 parking tickets during last year’s 26-day National Cherry Blossom Festival. Those numbers are based on data the auto club obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. That’s about 6,000 parking tickets a day. If that rate holds up, it could mean 144,000-plus parking citations this year, when the festival is running for 24 days.

“Urgent motorist alert: If you drive a vehicle to this city, know that an army of ticket writers is lying in wait for you, and make sure you pay strict attention to the parking rules,” said Lon Anderson, spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “A moment of vigilance could help you keep a lot more of your hard-earned cash in your wallets and pocketbooks.”

— Lori Aratani

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