An Oct. 9 Metro in Brief item did not make it clear that the Department of Agriculture has credited the National Zoo with correcting problems found in a USDA inspection earlier this year. The item said a news release issued by the zoo said that changes were made at the kangaroo yard and Elephant House. The USDA made that finding. (Published 10/13/04)


Toddler Dies When TV Falls on Her

A toddler was fatally injured yesterday at a residence in Southeast Washington after a television set apparently fell on her, authorities said.

Rescue personnel were called about 5:30 p.m. to the home of the 21-month-old girl in the 400 block of Brandywine Street SE, a fire department spokesman said.

Alan Etter said that the girl received CPR and that she was in "very, very critical" condition when she was flown by helicopter to Children's Hospital. She was pronounced dead there, he said.

Further information about the incident was not available immediately.

Man Fell Off Boat, May Have Drowned

A college student apparently drowned early yesterday in the Anacostia River after he fell off a cabin cruiser that was docking in James Creek Marina in Southwest Washington, D.C. police said.

The 20-year-old man, whose name was withheld pending notification of relatives, fell off the boat about 4:30 a.m. as he was gathering his things to go ashore, police said.

A woman on the boat jumped into the water but was unable to find him, authorities said. Police divers searched unsuccessfully for his body. Police said nine people were on the boat, which had cruised the Washington Channel.

Brookland Walk-Through Planned

Brookland residents are invited to walk through areas in the neighborhood with District transportation officials today to offer suggestions for streetscape improvements.

The areas under study includes 12th Street NE between Monroe Street and Rhode Island Avenue and adjacent areas along Monroe Street and Rhode Island Avenue. The two hour walk is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. after a brief meeting in Koubek Auditorium at Catholic University's School of Architecture and Planning.

The event is part of the Brookland Area Transportation and Streetscape Study.

1 Man Killed, 1 Wounded in Shooting

A 22-year-old Virginia man was killed and a District teenager was critically wounded in a shooting in Northeast Washington late Thursday, D.C. police said.

The two were found about 11:50 p.m. in an apartment complex lobby in the 2500 block of 10th Street NE, police said. The men apparently had been shot on the street. Curtis Murphy of Dale City died Howard University Hospital.

The wounded man, who is 19, was hospitalized in critical condition, police said.

N.Y. Officer Gets Probation in Assault

A former New York City police officer was sentenced yesterday to probation after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a Virginia police cadet in May 2003.

John F. Contento, 31, attacked the woman in a hotel room in Washington during National Police Week, prosecutors said.

D.C. Superior Court Judge John H. Bayly Jr. gave him a 12-month sentence but suspended the time on the condition that Contento successfully complete 24 months of probation. He also fined the ex-officer $2,000.


Problems Found in Zoo Inspections

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has made two additional surprise inspections of the National Zoo and its research facility in Front Royal, flagging problems with sanitation and expired pharmaceuticals that the zoo immediately corrected.

An inspection of the zoo's Conservation and Research Center in Virginia in May found three drugs whose expiration dates had passed three to seven months previously. Veterinarians will now check for expired drugs on a monthly basis.

An inspection last month of the zoo's main facility in the District found spilled sunflower seeds and hulls in a birdseed storage area. Spilled food is supposed to be cleaned daily to help control pests. The zoo said in a news release that it also had corrected problems cited by the USDA in February, including controlling rodent access to the kangaroo yard and repairing bars in the Elephant House.

Man Injured in Fall From Vehicle

A man was critically injured last night when he fell from a vehicle that was crossing the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, D.C. police said.

The vehicle, with four occupants, was in the right-hand lane headed toward Virginia about 7:45 p.m. when the man fell out, said Officer Quintin Peterson of the D.C. police. The man, who was not immediately identified, was taken to Washington Hospital Center.

Police said the incident was under investigation. Maryland State Police said the incident backed up traffic to St. Barnabas Road.


Captive Deer Seized for Testing

State natural resources police have seized a herd of captive deer owned by an Anne Arundel County man and will test the animals for chronic wasting disease.

The disease, similar to mad cow disease, attacks the brain and spinal cord of infected animals and is fatal to deer and elk. There is no vaccine and no cure, said Paul A. Peditto, of the Natural Resources Department. He said the 14 deer owned by Allen E. Anderson of Pasadena were killed for the tests, which cannot be performed on live animals.

Death Sentence Upheld in 1991 Killing

Maryland's highest court yesterday unanimously upheld the death sentence of Wesley E. Baker, who was convicted in 1992 of fatally shooting a woman in front of her grandchildren in 1991 in a robbery that netted $10.

The Court of Appeals rejected Baker's arguments that the state's death penalty statute is unconstitutional.

In deciding whether to impose the death sentence, judges and juries use a "preponderance of the evidence" standard to weigh mitigating and aggravating factors instead of the stricter "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard used to determine guilt. The appeals court said the question of the proper balancing of the factors raised in Baker's appeal "is not a proper issue in this case."

"We're going to help 100,000 people this year. They are going to see that people being oppressed by disease and hunger can be helped."

-- Kermit Washington, a 1973 graduate of American University, on the university's agreement to allow students studying in Kenya for a year to help him with his aid program there. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Nicole Fuller, Del Quentin Wilber, Monte Reel, Karlyn Barker, Martin Weil and Joshua Partlow, staff researcher Bobbye Pratt and the Associated Press.