Zoo's Female Hippopotamus Dies at 52
An aging Nile hippopotamus died yesterday at the National Zoo. A zoo spokeswoman said the hippo, a 52-year-old female named Arusha, died in her indoor pool at the Elephant House about 9 a.m.
The hippo, part of the zoo's collection since 1955, had been showing marked signs of lethargy and decreased appetite. Last week, she stumbled and fell while walking down a few steps into the pool. The spokeswoman said the zoo had been monitoring Arusha and was planning to euthanize her because she was not responding to treatment.
The animal had 19 offspring, including a male that is now the zoo's lone Nile hippopotamus. The Elephant House was closed yesterday so that the body could be transported to the pathology lab to determine the cause of death.
Teacher Shortfall in 7 Subjects Expected
Maryland school officials released a report yesterday that projects the state will face a shortage of teachers in seven subject areas for the next two years.
More teachers need to be hired in the fields of career and technology education, computer science, English for speakers of other languages, foreign languages, math, science and special education, according to the report. College students who are training for jobs in those areas are eligible for tuition assistance from the state.
Maryland hired 5,929 teachers last school year, a drop of nearly 30 percent from the previous year. The report predicts that those numbers will continue to decline through 2006. Reasons for the decline include tight local and state budgets, stabilizing student enrollments and greater teacher retention, the report said.
Ehrlich Chooses Special Prosecutor
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) has named Rockville lawyer Robert A. Rohrbaugh to become the state's special prosecutor, responsible for investigating election and ethics law violations as well as other instances of public misconduct.
Rohrbaugh worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland in the 1970s and was one of three finalists for the state's top federal prosecutor post in 2001.
As a federal prosecutor, Rohrbaugh tried at least 30 felony cases, including the first major computer fraud prosecution in the country, according to his résumé.
He would replace Stephen Montanarelli, who died in May at age 75. As state prosecutor since 1984, Montanarelli investigated Linda Tripp's 1997 wiretapping of Monica Lewinsky. He dropped the case in 2000 when key evidence was ruled inadmissible.
Rohrbaugh's appointment is subject to state Senate confirmation.
Hearing on Touch-Screen Voting Security
Opponents of touch-screen electronic voting machines launched a broad attack yesterday on Maryland's system, arguing that it is riddled with flaws that must be fixed to ensure an accurate vote count in November.