Md. Session Ends Without Slots

Governor Threatens Veto of Some Taxes

The Maryland General Assembly adjourned Monday night, closing out the 90-day 2003 legislative session that was mostly characterized by stalemate between the Democratic-controlled legislature and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., the state's first Republican chief executive in 34 years.

Lawmakers killed Ehrlich's plan to legalize slot machines, and the governor promised a veto of at least part of the tax package passed to balance the $22.4 billion state budget.

Moran Criticized for AIPAC Remarks

Lawmaker Says Pro-Israel Lobby Seeks His Ouster

U.S. Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) is under fire again, this time for suggesting at a recent party meeting that a major U.S. pro-Israel lobbying group will raise $2 million and "take over" efforts to unseat him next year.

A Jewish civil rights group and some Alexandria Democrats are criticizing Moran for saying that AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, has begun organizing against him and will "direct a campaign against me and take over the campaign of a Democratic opponent."

An AIPAC spokeswoman called Moran's comments "ridiculous."

The organization, an influential and prominent Washington-based lobby, is not a political action committee and by law cannot raise money for candidates and by policy does not endorse candidates, the spokeswoman said.

Man, Assailant Dead in Highway Clash

Attacker Is Shot by Off-Duty Police Officer

A possible road-rage incident near Capitol Heights in Prince George's County ended in a gruesome scene with two deaths after one driver beat the other to death, and an off-duty D.C. police officer passing by shot the man who was throwing the lethal punches.

Clifton E. Stokes, 53, died after being beaten by Phillip Hansberry, 41, who was fatally shot after he charged at the officer who had ordered him to stop hitting Stokes.

Va. Killer Executed by Electrocution

Bramblett Rejected Lethal Injection in Protest

Convicted killer Earl Conrad Bramblett was put to death Wednesday night in Virginia's electric chair, the third inmate in the state to choose electrocution since lethal injection became an option in 1995.

Bramblett, 61, who was sentenced to death for killing a family of four in southern Virginia in 1994, maintained his innocence and said he chose electrocution as a form of protest.

Third Va. Resident Thought to Have SARS

Hampton Roads Patient Had Traveled to Asia

A third Virginian is suspected of having had severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, state health officials said.

The individual is a Hampton Roads resident who recently traveled to Asia and had no contact with the other southeastern Virginia resident who doctors believe was infected with SARS, officials said. The patient has been released from the hospital and is not believed to be infectious. A Loudoun County woman who had traveled to China's Guangdong province is the only Washington area resident to contract a suspected case of the mysterious respiratory ailment, health officials said.

Montgomery Tax Plan Abandoned

State Levy on Homeowners Stymies Council

Montgomery County officials dropped plans to seek a 3-cent increase in the local property tax rate. County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) said the 5-cent increase in the state levy on homeowners adopted by the General Assembly made pursuing the local rate increase politically difficult the County Council.

Burying a son: Joe and Rita Rippetoe, the parents of Army Capt. Russell B. Rippetoe, who died in Iraq, arrive at the Arlington National Cemetery grave site.

Closing night: Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele meet reporters on the last evening of the 2003 Maryland General Assembly session.