Sightseers Trapped in Balloon

A tethered sightseeing balloon got stuck 20 stories in the air near Baltimore's Inner Harbor yesterday when its winch failed on an afternoon of sudden gusts, authorities said.

"You really needed to hang on," said Kevin Phelps, who was riding with his family as the balloon tilted, swung and swayed. At one point, television news footage showed it striking a building.

One passenger told an interviewer that a woman passenger "was like, 'I want to go down, now!' "

Rescuers cranked the balloon down at four feet a minute about 90 minutes after the 3:30 p.m. failure. Several of the 15 or so passengers reportedly suffered minor injuries.

Calvert Man Drowns in River

A 43-year-old Calvert County man drowned Friday in the Patuxent River in St. Mary's County, the sheriff's office said.

Officials said Mark Glenn Stinnette of Huntingtown entered the water backward from a dock in Sandgates. His body was found 20 minutes later.

D.C. Man Dies in Md. Collision

A District man was killed yesterday when his minivan hit a truck in Fort Washington, police said.

Teddy Walls, 31, was speeding when he hit a truck that switched lanes about 3 a.m. on Route 210 at Palmer Road, Prince George's police said.

Pr. George's Man Fatally Shot

A 30-year-old Temple Hills man was found shot to death yesterday, police said.

Franklin Otuya of the 4500 block of Dallas Place was found about 4 a.m., lying in the street near his home, police said.

Police said robbery might be the motive.

Teens Charged in Robbery

Two Frederick teenagers were arrested Friday night in an investigation into street robberies of mostly Hispanic victims, police said.

The teenagers were charged with robbing two men in May, police said. The victims were threatened with a sharp object, police said.

Malcombe T. Bosley, 16, was charged as an adult with armed robbery, carrying a deadly weapon and theft and Brock M. Potter, 19, was charged with robbery and marijuana possession, police said.

3 Men Sought in Holdups

Anne Arundel County police are looking for three men who've been holding up fast-food restaurants. They struck most recently Wednesday at a Taco Bell in Millersville.


Water Cut After Valve Breaks

Water service was shut off or reduced to many residents and businesses in the Dupont Circle area yesterday after an underground valve broke during construction work, authorities said.

Water gushed six or seven feet into the air after the valve broke at 17th and R streets. When other valves were closed, service was affected in much of the area east of of the circle, from P Street to Florida Avenue and from 16th to 19th streets, according to a Water and Sewer Authority spokeswoman.

Coin Program Could Add D.C.

The District could finally be added to the 50-state commemorative quarter program this year, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said, as three senators have agreed to be co-sponsors and enlist 64 of their colleagues.

The three are Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Norton said Friday.

The program, approved in 1998, omitted the District and U.S. territories. Legislation to add them passed the House in March, but the Senate has for two years cited a requirement that commemorative coins get the support of two-thirds of the Senate.

'Red Hats' Honor Ramsey

The city's "red hat" patrol, a neighborhood anti-crime group, gave D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey an award yesterday for his homeland security efforts.

"He has a lot on his plate," said Leroy J. Thorpe, a founder of the patrol. "He has to protect the community and the nation's capital."

The award was given at a block party in the Shaw neighborhood, where police gave area children 25 bicycles recovered from thefts.

"I hope there is a resolution, but I hope the person comes from Poughkeepsie, not Fort Detrick. . . . You don't want to be the one on the evening news saying, 'He seemed like such a nice guy.' "

-- Frederick Mayor Jennifer P. Dougherty, talking about the FBI's continued focus on the area in its investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks. -- Page C1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Nicole Fuller, Linda Perlstein, Spencer S. Hsu, Amit R. Paley, Martin Weil and Peter Whoriskey and the Associated Press.