D.C., U.S. Agree to Anacostia Bridge Work
Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta signed an agreement yesterday to work together to replace and repair several bridge crossings along three miles of the Anacostia River.
Replacing the Frederick Douglass Bridge, also called the South Capitol Street Bridge, a 57-year-old span that carries as many as 77,000 vehicles a day, is expected to cost more than $300 million. The new bridge will serve as a gateway to downtown as part of Williams's Anacostia waterfront initiative.
"The rebirth of Southeast and Southwest Washington will provide an Anacostia waterfront that will only be rivaled by the Capitol and our monuments as a place of destination for visitors to Washington, D.C.," said Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), who attended the ceremony with Sen. James M. Jeffords (I-Vt.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).
The House has approved $20 million for preliminary design, engineering and environmental studies and the Senate $62 million in a six-year highway funding plan pending in Congress. The agreement pledges federal support for repairing four other bridges and a possible new Massachusetts Avenue tunnel near Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.
High Schools Change Graduation Times
Because of crowds expected in downtown Washington for former president Ronald Reagan's funeral procession today and the funeral service Friday, four Montgomery County high school graduations at DAR Constitution Hall have been rescheduled.
Today, Quince Orchard's ceremony will be at 2 p.m., instead of 2:30, and Thomas S. Wootton's will be at 8 p.m., instead of 7, according to the school system.
Friday, Watkins Mill's ceremony will be at 9:30 a.m., instead of 10, and Northwest's will be at 3 p.m., instead of 2:30.
Leader of Cocaine Ring Gets 30 Years
A federal judge yesterday sentenced a Salisbury man to 30 years in prison for leading a crack cocaine ring on the Eastern Shore and in Prince George's County.
Ronald Seldon, 29, pleaded guilty in March to money laundering and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine. Seldon must also forfeit his interest in homes, businesses, cars, cash, bank accounts and insurance policies.
According to court records, he bought drugs in New York, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, used several people to distribute those drugs and hired couriers to carry drugs and money between New York and Maryland. He would also cook the drugs into crack cocaine.
In all, Seldon laundered more than $1 million -- some of it through his mother, his girlfriend and his girlfriend's mother.
Child Welfare Standards to Be Addressed
State human resources officials yesterday announced the formation of six work groups to find ways to meet new federal standards for child welfare.
In November, the federal Health and Human Services Department reviewed child welfare cases from Baltimore city, as well as Anne Arundel and Allegany counties. Officials found that the state has one of the worst computer systems in the nation for tracking abused and neglected children.
The state's information system has been questioned since the deaths of twin infant girls in Baltimore. When information was requested, nothing came up about previous abuse reports involving the mother.
Man Charged in Brother's Slaying
A Huntington area man was charged with murder yesterday in the shooting death of his brother after they apparently had an argument over money, Fairfax County police said.
Scott LeClaire, 50, and his brother Randall LeClaire, 52, lived together in a house in the 2500 block of Massey Court, just north of Richmond Highway. Fairfax Officer Jeffrey Hairston said that the two began arguing about 10:30 p.m. Monday but that specifics of the argument were unclear. Randall LeClaire was shot in the upper body, police said, and then Scott LeClaire apparently fled.
Hairston said that Scott LeClaire soon contacted a family member and that a neighbor was sent to check on Randall LeClaire. Scott LeClaire was arrested without incident about 11:30 p.m. at a restaurant in the 6300 block of Richmond Highway, Hairston said. He was charged with murder and use of a firearm during a felony and was being held without bail yesterday in the Fairfax jail.
Fairfax County Attorney to Lead Bar
David P. Bobzien, county attorney for Fairfax, will become the president of the Virginia State Bar this month. He is the first local government attorney to head the agency, which regulates the legal profession in Virginia.
A 1968 graduate of Holy Cross College, Bobzien received his law degree in 1971 from the University of Virginia's law school. He received a master of laws degree in taxation from George Washington University while serving in the U.S. Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps.
He was hired as county attorney by the Fairfax Board of Supervisors in 1993. Bobzien is scheduled to be installed as president of the bar June 18.
W. Nile Confirmed in First Bird This Year
Virginia's Department of Health reports that a crow from Norfolk is the first bird to test positive for the mosquito-borne West Nile virus this year.
Officials said the discovery is a reminder that West Nile is active in Virginia and that people need to take precautions to eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can breed before more of the insects become infected.
Catholic Bishop of Richmond Hospitalized
The new bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond was admitted to a Portsmouth hospital yesterday.
The diocese said Bishop Francis DiLorenzo, 62, was feeling sick earlier in the day and was admitted to Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center by a physician who ordered a series of tests.
DiLorenzo was installed May 24 as the diocese's leader. His secretary, Anne Edwards, said the examination found nothing wrong. Edwards did not know when the bishop would be released.
DiLorenzo, who served in Hawaii before his appointment to Richmond, had a minor heart attack about three years ago.
"Even though I am sad that Reagan passed . . . it's another day in traffic for me."
-- Tisha Tutein, a commuter whose drive will take her past the route that former president Ronald Reagan's body will follow today. -- Page A9
Staff writers Spencer S. Hsu, Linda Perlstein and Tom Jackman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.