Local Digest

Tuesday, November 16, 2010; B04

Nonprofit that aids troops gets a grant

The Yellow Ribbon Fund, a Bethesda-based nonprofit group that assists wounded service members and their families, has received a $425,000 donation from Goldman Sachs Gives, the fund announced.

The donation, which was disclosed at the fund's annual gala Saturday, is the largest the organization has received since it was founded in 2005. The Yellow Ribbon Fund provides free hotel rooms, apartments and rental cars for families of soldiers, sailors and Marines recovering from war wounds at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.

Goldman Sachs Gives is the donor-advised fund of the partners of the Wall Street investment firm.

- Michael E. Ruane

Tips for travelers on Thanksgiving

In air travel, a lot has changed since last Thanksgiving. An underground train system opened at Dulles International Airport, thousands of parking spaces were installed at Dulles and Reagan National, and enhanced "pat-down" searches are in use at all airports.

"Our best advice is to plan ahead and arrive early during peak times," said Lynn Hampton of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

Peak travel times are typically from 5:30 to 8 a.m. and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Travelers are advised to arrive at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.

Other changes:

- At Reagan National, Northwest Airlines, after its merger with Delta, moved to Terminal B. Frontier and Air Canada moved to Terminal A.

- At Dulles, arriving international passengers who are not connecting to other flights will clear customs in the International Arrivals Building, which is being expanded. New baggage claim devices opened in the building this month.

- Full-body X-ray machines were installed at Dulles.

- Derek Kravitz

Man fatally struck by train in Ellicott City

A 28-year-old Ellicott City man died Sunday night after he was hit by a CSX freight train, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Howard County firefighters found Andrew W. Pena of the 8500 block of Timber Valley Court about 8 p.m. near Frederick Road and Maryland Avenue in Ellicott City, police said. Pena was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he died.

Police said there was no evidence of foul play.

A volunteer firefighter suffered minor back and neck pain after falling 10 feet during efforts to treat Pena. He was treated at Shock Trauma and released.

- Baltimore Sun

Governor picks date for special elections

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) has called two special elections for Jan. 11 so that voters can elect replacements for state Sen. Robert Hurt and Del. H. Morgan Griffith, who were elected to Congress this month.

The state Board of Elections is expected to certify Hurt's and Griffith's wins Monday. Griffith (R-Salem), who defeated Rep. Rick Boucher, and Hurt (R-Pittsylvania), who defeated Rep. Tom Perriello in the 5th District, will resign soon afterward.

Their replacements will be sworn in immediately in advance of the General Assembly's 46-day session, which begins Jan. 12.

- Anita Kumar

Boyfriend on trial in woman's slaying

A man suspected of fatally shooting his girlfriend in the head in his Reston apartment last year went on trial Monday on murder charges in Fairfax County Circuit Court.

Karen Deck, 42, was found dead Oct. 24, 2009, in the apartment of Ronald L. Robertson Jr., 46, who lived on Winterthur Lane in the Hunters Woods section of Reston. Fairfax Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Kelly Pearson said Monday that Robertson did not call police the day he shot Deck and that only after he called his parents seeking help the next day did they notify authorities.

Robertson and Deck, who lived on Inlet Court in the Lake Anne area, were a longtime couple who hung out together every day in Robertson's apartment, Deputy Fairfax Public Defender Dawn M. Butorac said. Robertson was an alcoholic who had not left the apartment for several years, Butorac said, and relied on Deck to bring him food and liquor.

Butorac said that on Oct. 23, 2009, Robertson had removed the magazine from a 9mm pistol and was trying to slide the barrel out of the ready position when the gun, with a round in the chamber, accidentally went off.

The trial, before Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Robert J. Smith, is expected to last about three days.

- Tom Jackman

2 men charged in Sterling assault

Two men were charged Sunday in an assault and stabbing that occurred Friday in Sterling, the Loudoun County sheriff's office said.

Manuel O. Rivera, 26, of Herndon and Christopher A. Bryant, 21, of Sterling were charged in an assault on a 17-year-old boy from Sterling and a 20-year-old man from Ashburn, police said.

The two victims were approached by several men about 11:40 p.m. as they left a convenience store and returned to their car in Community Plaza, said Kraig Troxell, a Loudoun sheriff's spokesman. The group assaulted the victims, and the 17-year-old was stabbed, police said.

The older victim took the teenager to the emergency room at Reston Hospital, Troxell said, where police were contacted.

The teen's stab wounds required surgery but were not life-threatening, Troxell said. The 20-year-old was not seriously hurt.

"We believe at this point that there was likely a dispute between one of the victims and one of the suspects involved," Troxell said. He said that gang affiliation had not been ruled out.

Rivera and Bryant were being held without bond Monday at the Loudoun jail. They face misdemeanor and felony assault charges.

- Caitlin Gibson

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