Local Digest

February 23, 2011
MARYLAND
Police seek ownersof burglars' loot

Police are asking the owners of the laptop computers, cash and more than 200 pieces of jewelry recovered after arrests connected with alleged 2010 burglaries in the Gaithersburg and Germantown areas to step forward and claim their belongings.

Three men were arrested in December and charged with burglaries dating back to June, Montgomery police said Tuesday. A fourth man, allegedly a "fence" who sold the goods, was also arrested.

People who believe that they may own some of the loot should contact Montgomery police.

- Dan Morse

Md. considers renaming mountains

A Senate committee is considering a resolution to rename two Maryland mountains.

The Maryland Senate Education Health and Environmental Affairs Committee was scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday. The resolution calls for a commission to rename Negro Mountain and Polish Mountain, both in Western Maryland.

State Sen. Lisa A. Gladden (D-Baltimore) is sponsoring the proposal. She says the name Negro Mountain bothers her because Negro is a term that has carried negative connotations.

Lawmakers from the state's mountainous western panhandle say the bill reflects political correctness taken to an extreme by legislators in Baltimore and Maryland's Washington suburbs.

- Associated Press

VIRGINIA
Man, 21, dies after suspected DUI crash

A Fairfax County man who was riding in a car allegedly driven by a drunk driver died Saturday from injuries suffered in a crash in Franconia last week, Fairfax police said Monday.

Adrian Cardozo, 21, of the 3500 block of Elmwood Drive in Huntington was a passenger in a 2004 car driven by Joseph Shuttleworth, police said.

Shuttleworth, 21, of the 6200 block of Lewin Drive in Franconia was driving the car east on Franconia Road about 2:10 a.m. Feb. 15, police said.

Investigators think that Shuttleworth was driving too fast, failed to negotiate a curve and ran off the road, striking a utility pole near Guilford Drive.

Cardozo and Shuttleworth were ejected from the car and hospitalized, police said.

Cardozo died Saturday at the hospital, police said.

Shuttleworth was charged with driving under the influence, and police were continuing their investigation.

- Tom Jackman

THE DISTRICT
Man pleads guilty in 'Facebook robbery'

A Southeast Washington man pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree burglary in connection with a December break-in at a Northwest Washington home during which he posted a photo of himself on a victim's Facebook page. Police identified Rodney Knight Jr. as the suspect weeks after Washington Post editor Marc Fisher detailed the robbery at his home.

Fisher also posted a photo online from his son's Facebook account in which the burglar, later identified as Knight, posted a picture of himself wearing Fisher's stolen coat and holding up cash.

Prosecutors said Knight stole about $400 in cash, the coat and two laptop computers.

Knight, 19, also pleaded guilty to one count of carrying a pistol without a license, a charge that prosecutors said was unrelated to the burglary.

Knight was arrested Jan. 2 after police observed him in an alley in the 2800 block of Dunbar Street SE clutching his waistband and running. The pistol was loaded, according court documents.

Knight has been in D.C. jail since his arrest. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 4 by Superior Court Judge Anthony C. Epstein.

- Keith L. Alexander

Nurses at hospital set one-day strike

The union representing about 1,600 nurses at Washington Hospital Center has notified management that the nurses plan to hold a one-day strike March 4, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Hospital officials were notified Monday night that the nurses plan to strike beginning at 7 a.m.

The union voted Feb. 16 to authorize the strike to protest wage cuts, staffing and other issues.

- Lena H. Sun

Federal judge rejects health-care lawsuit

A federal judge on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit claiming that the health-care overhaul law's requirement that all Americans have health insurance violates the religious freedom of those who rely on God to protect them.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in Washington dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Center for Law and Justice, a Christian legal group founded by evangelist Pat Robertson, on behalf of five Americans who can afford health insurance but have chosen for years not to buy it.

The case is one of 25 lawsuits, filed in federal courts around the country, that challenge the constitutionality of the health-care law. Many of them take issue with the requirement that Americans buy health insurance or pay a penalty, beginning in 2014.

Kessler is the third Democratic-appointed judge to dismiss a challenge; two Republican-appointed judges have ruled that part or all of the law unconstitutional.

- Associated Press

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