Local digest: News briefs from around the D.C. area

March 18
THE DISTRICT
White powder found in Georgetown dorm

A white powder, initially thought to be ricin, was found in a dormitory at Georgetown University, according to campus and D.C. authorities.

Officer Araz Alali, a D.C. police spokesman, said that preliminary tests for ricin were negative but that more tests were being run. The powder was found in McCarthy Hall, in the 3700 block of O Street NW. The matter remained under investigation Tuesday night.

— Peter Hermann

MARYLAND
Lanham man killed in Tuesday crash

A Lanham man died after a collision as he was turning onto Annapolis Road from Fontana Drive on Tuesday, police said.

Romulo Hernandez, 22, of the 9200 block of Greenwood Lane, died after the crash, Prince George’s County police said.

They said his vehicle collided about 1:20 a.m. with one traveling east on Annapolis Road. Police said preliminary indications were that Hernandez had not yielded the right of way.

— Lynh Bui

More time given for health-care sign-ups

With less than two weeks left to sign up for private health insurance through Maryland’s online marketplace, state officials said Tuesday that residents who start to enroll by the March 31 deadline — or express interest by calling a hotline — can finalize their enrollment later.

This buys more time to enroll as many people as possible in health insurance plans through the exchange. About 40,700 Marylanders have signed up, far fewer than hoped for when the troubled online site debuted last fall. Exchange officials hope enrollment will surge in the coming days.

— Jenna Johnson

VIRGINIA
Tax supervisor pleads guilty in bribe scheme

A former supervisor in the Arlington County government pleaded guilty Tuesday to receiving bribes to enable a vehicle exporter to avoid paying Virginia about $25,000 in fees, federal prosecutors said.

The U.S. attorney’s office for Virginia’s eastern district said Francisco Samayoa Hernandez, 33, of Silver Spring, a tax assessor supervisor, admitted getting about $11,000. Prosecutors said the money was for providing titles and falsifying paperwork that let the exporter avoid payments for registering and titling a Lamborghini and other expensive cars.

Prosecutors said Arlington’s revenue commissioner provides services at the local Department of Motor Vehicles office under contract. The plea was entered in federal court in Alexandria, prosecutors said.

— Martin Weil

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