Local Digest

Thursday, January 13, 2011; B04

Baker traveling north to reassure Wall St.

Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) plans to head to Wall Street on Friday to offer assurances that despite economic challenges, his administration is in a good financial place.

Baker, who inherited a $77 million budget gap from his predecessor, Jack B. Johnson (D), has said he can plug it by trimming county spending and without tapping reserves of more than $100 million. The size of the county's reserves helps it maintain financial credibility with rating houses.

The county's budget is about $2.7 billion.

Baker told the County Council on Monday that he plans to "reassure" the big rating houses that the county's finances are in order. Prince George's has a Triple A bond rating, a highly coveted assessment that enables it to borrow money at lower rates. "We want to make sure we maintain that Triple A rating," he said.

- Miranda S. Spivack

Man found shot in head in Greenbelt

A man was found shot in the head in the hallway of a Greenbelt apartment building Wednesday evening, Greenbelt police said.

City police said that officers responding about 7:20 p.m. to a report of a disturbance in the 5900 block of Cherrywood Lane found the man, who was taken to a hospital. His condition was not known.

Police knew of no suspects or motive.

- Hamil R. Harris

Silver Spring project near Metro advances

The Donohoe Cos. and the Montgomery Housing Partnership will build a mixed-use development adjacent to the anticipated Purple Line in Silver Spring, Montgomery County officials announced Wednesday.

The nearly one-acre site at Fenton and Bonifant streets is near the new Silver Spring library, which is set to open in 2014.

Mary Anderson, a county spokeswoman, said the project will consist of mixed-income residential units and commercial space.

- Ovetta Wiggins

City activist Dixon joins council race

Wayne Dixon, a longtime community activist from Logan Circle, is entering the race for the at-large seat on the D.C. Council being held by interim member Sekou Biddle.

Dixon (D) is a real estate broker who led the effort to bring Whole Fields to P Street in Logan Circle in 2001, revitalizing the neighborhood. Dixon, 72, is also a close associate of council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), serving as his campaign chairman in 2004.

Dixon, so far the only white candidate to join the race, said he will run on a platform that includes holding the line on taxes, embracing development and "creating a dialogue" about poverty and teenage pregnancy.

Other candidates include Biddle and Joshua Lopez, a former political adviser to former mayor Adrian M. Fenty.

- Tim Craig

Arlington pulls error-filled textbook

Arlington County school officials decided Wednesday to pull a textbook in which historians have found dozens of errors.

"Based upon the recent information about the number and scope of errors identified in the Grade 4 Social Studies textbook, Our Virginia: Past and Present, Arlington Public Schools officials announced today their decision to remove all print copies of the textbooks from circulation and use in Grade 4 classrooms," officials wrote in an e-mail to parents.

The Washington Post reported in October that the textbook included a controversial assertion that thousands of African American soldiers fought for the South during the Civil War. The assertion is rejected by most historians.

- Kevin Sieff

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