Md. Ends Budget Year With Surplus

Shortfalls of More Than $1 Billion Still Projected

Maryland finished the budget year with a $309.7 million surplus with tax collections well above projections, state officials announced.

The influx, $260 million more than anticipated for the fiscal year that ended in June, could cushion state agencies in the next round of budget cuts in Annapolis but still leaves the state with projected shortfalls greater than $1 billion in coming years, leaders said.

Daughter Defends Bay Bridge Taping

Father Held on Material Witness Warrant

A family member of a man being held on a material witness warrant in connection with a federal case in Chicago, where three men are charged with raising millions of dollars for the Palestinian militant group Hamas, said her father did nothing wrong when he and his wife videotaped the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Dua'a Elbarasse, 20, daughter of Ismael Selim Elbarasse, said that her mother was trying to zoom in on boats on the bay and that the family had taped its entire vacation. The FBI says the Elbarasse family might have been scouting a potential terrorist target.

Three Charged in Social Worker's Death

Witnesses Saw Man Leaving Victim's House

Three people were in custody in connection with the death and the disappearance of Joyce Hadl, a private social worker from Chevy Chase.

Susan L. Sachs, 39, who lived in Hadl's home, was charged with first-degree murder. David G. Kaufman, 36, was charged with being an accessory after the fact, and Roger M. Greenberg, 62, was charged with first-degree murder.

Police allege that Sachs and Greenberg killed Hadl and that Kaufman removed the body in bed linens. Witnesses told police that Sachs was seen leaving Hadl's home early one morning with garbage bags that appeared to be full.

Two Men Killed After Windows Shatter

No Other Link Found in Pr. George's Slayings

Two men who went to investigate the sound of windows shattering at their homes in Prince George's County were killed in separate incidents 20 minutes apart.

Police said they found nothing to link the two killings in Landover Hills and Langley Park, except the smashed windows. One victim, Charlie Lee Hicks, 54, of Landover Hills was shot shortly after 3 a.m. after he went to investigate noise outside his apartment. Jacob Adnois Paiz-Garnica of Langley Park was accosted and beaten after he went to check on who or what broke glass outside his apartment.

Panel Opposes Black Bear Hunt

Ehrlich Expected to Override Decision

A joint committee of the General Assembly voted to oppose a proposal for the state's first black bear hunt in 51 years.

The vote was a political victory for opponents of the bear hunt. But the vote was not binding. Final authority rests with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), who a spokesman said will stick by his decision to allow the hunt.

The hunt has been opposed by animal-protection advocates, who argue that there is no guarantee that the 30 bears that could be killed in the hunt would be the ones that have been causing problems for rural homeowners whose crops have been damaged.

Montgomery Woman Dies on I-270

Victim Complained About Driver, Got Out of Car

A Montgomery County woman who got out of an acquaintance's car along Interstate 270 after complaining about his driving was fatally struck by a car.

The woman, Jeannette Jackson, 44, of Montgomery Village, had been on her cell phone with a state trooper after getting out of the acquaintance's car. She told the trooper she was stranded, alone and nervous. The trooper instructed her to stay put, but she started walking.

When a motorist pulled over and screamed at her to get out of the road, Jackson bolted across the southbound lanes of the highway. She made it across two lanes before a car hit her. The trooper on the phone with her heard the squeal of tires and the cell phone slam to the pavement. She died instantly.

Uniformly attired: Sandra de la Rosa of Prince George's County says goodbye to sons Mario, right, and Jose Macias, who wear new high school uniforms.