Teachers Union Owes $2.5 Million The Washington Teachers' Union has liabilities totaling $2.5 million, according to documents filed yesterday by its parent organization, the American Federation of Teachers. The documents disclose how much money the troubled local owes.

Former local union leaders and others are accused of stealing more than $5 million in union money, according to a federal search warrant and an audit.

The local union's liabilities include nearly $500,000 in overdue payments to the AFT. The local also owes money to the Internal Revenue Service, money for pensions and other expenses.

The AFT is overseeing the union's day-to-day operations. Authorities are continuing to investigate the alleged thefts. So far, one person, the union's former $100,000-a-year driver, has been charged in the case. He pleaded guilty this month to money laundering.

Clubs Reminded of Safety Requirements Fire Marshal Kenneth Ellerbe discussed safety measures with District nightclub owners yesterday after recent incidents that killed many people at clubs in Chicago and Rhode Island.

Ellerbe plans to hold another meeting Thursday to review owners' legal obligations for ensuring the safety of patrons, officials said.

The D.C. police will participate in Thursday's meeting to discuss security issues, including the use of pepper spray.

Meanwhile, Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) directed the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, D.C. police and the Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Department to determine whether the city should take additional measures to ensure safety at nightclubs.

D.C. laws require that clubs be maintained as they were when certificates of occupancy and licenses were issued. Club owners and operators are required to provide adequate exits for evacuation, fully functioning fire-protection systems and clearly posted occupancy limits.

Fire and other officials will expand nightclub inspections during non-business and business hours, officials said.

"I want to be sure that a horrible tragedy of this kind does not happen in our city," Williams said yesterday, reflecting on the Rhode Island and Chicago incidents. "If an individual believes that a nightclub is dangerously overcrowded or sees locked fire exit doors, he or she should immediately notify the building management and call 911 to report the situation."

Man, 39, Found Fatally Shot in NE A Northeast Washington man was found fatally shot yesterday on the block where he lived, D.C. police said.

Police said Calvin Cooper, 39, was found about 12:25 a.m. in the 1200 block of 17th Street NE, near Bladensburg Road and the National Arboretum.


Senate Puts 2 on Ethics Advisory Panel The state Senate yesterday confirmed the appointment of a former state senator and a former state attorney general to the Senate Ethics Advisory Panel.

Robert L. Calhoun, a Republican state senator from Alexandria from 1989 to 1995, was reappointed to a four-year term on the panel beginning July 1.

Randolph A. Beales, a Republican who served as attorney general for about six months in 2001, was appointed to succeed former Republican governor A. Linwood Holton Jr. Beales also will serve a four-year term beginning in July.

The Senate Ethics Advisory Panel has five members -- three former senators and two members with no Senate experience. The members are nominated by the Committee on Privileges and Elections.

Nonprofit Gets Battlefield Funding A Virginia nonprofit organization will receive $2.5 million in federal funds from the recently passed appropriations bill to continue its work preserving Civil War battlefields in the northern Shenandoah Valley, according to a spokesman.

The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, a partner in the new Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park near Middletown, will use $2 million for battlefield purchases, the spokesman said. The group will use $500,000 to implement a management plan that includes sections of eight counties and four cities in the valley, he said.


$15 Million Provided for Nurse Training A critical nursing shortage in Maryland and elsewhere will be eased with the help of $15 million in federal funding, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) said yesterday.

The money will fund the Nurse Reinvestment Act, which offers financial assistance for students to cover the costs of nursing education.

"It's crucial to the health of the nation," said Janet Selway, clinical instructor and nurse practitioner at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. "We have the worst nursing shortage we've ever had. . . . When you think the country may be going to war, it's even more frightening."

Maryland has vacancies for about 2,000 nurses. Nationwide, about 2.8 million registered nurses will be needed by 2020, but only about 2 million are expected to be available, officials said.

"This is my third nursing shortage since I've been in Congress, and I want to make it my last," Mikulski said. "I knew the shortage would only get worse if young nurses don't start and stay in nursing. That's why I worked to get a bipartisan agreement of $15 million to get the Nurse Reinvestment Act started."

Man Fatally Shot in Clinton Area An unidentified man was shot and killed yesterday in the 8700 block of Bolero Court in the Clinton area of Prince George's County, police said.

County police said officers were called to the scene about 3 p.m. and found that someone had taken the man to Southern Maryland Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead an hour later. Police said they knew of no motive in the shooting.

"If this bill were to pass, I shall instruct all priests in the Archdiocese of Washington who serve in Maryland to ignore it. . . . On this issue, I will gladly plead civil disobedience and willingly -- if not gladly -- go to jail."

-- Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, writing in the Catholic Standard about a Maryland bill that would require priests to report information about child abuse obtained in the confessional unless the penitent was the abuser. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Justin Blum, David A. Fahrenthold, Martin Weil, David Nakamura and Linda Wheeler and the Associated Press.