County news in the daily Washington Post Oct. 21-27.


Wallaby Detained

A wallaby that had been one of Anne Arundel County's most wanted fugitives for days was finally captured in Severn. All it took was bait -- corn, apples and kangaroo chow -- and patience, as the marsupial, nicknamed Hoppy, was caught after she entered a dog cage for the food.


Officer Accused of Fraud

Officer Andrew Barnett of the Anne Arundel County police allegedly told his superiors last year that his Army Reserve unit had been activated and that he was headed to Iraq.

Police say Barnett was granted a leave from his job while continuing to collect his salary. It turned out, though, that Barnett, 51, had received no such call to duty, authorities alleged. County police Lt. Edward Bergin said a routine check revealed that, wherever Barnett was from early December 2003 to early February, "he definitely was not deployed by the U.S. military."

Friday 22

Task Force Reports on Bridge

The head of a committee investigating what went wrong with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge resurfacing work said his task force hasn't drawn any conclusions yet. But Thomas Deen said he is confident that the project's engineers and consultants are answering questions frankly and openly.

Deen, who spoke to reporters at a news conference at the Maryland Department of Transportation headquarters in Hanover, called the two days of fact-finding meetings an "intense examination." A preliminary report on the cracked concrete decking on the bridge's westbound span found that it will cost more than $7 million to repair the road surface. Damaged portions of the old bridge decking were not adequately removed before paving began, the report said.


Bridge Reduced to One Lane

An additional westbound lane on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was closed beginning Monday while construction crews rush to fix a botched paving project, Maryland officials announced. The center lane closure reduces the three-lane westbound span to a single lane from 10 a.m. to 5 a.m. daily while crews repave the left lane. Two westbound lanes will remain open during the morning rush from 5 to 10 a.m., and on Election Day.

State officials said they took the drastic step because they are racing against cold weather to repave parts of the westbound span of Route 50. Officials had hoped to complete the work at night, but they said rain has interrupted workers. If the paving is not completed before winter temperatures set in, one bridge lane will be closed until spring. State officials avoided paving during summer months, when many construction projects are scheduled, because of the many drivers who head to and from the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia shores.

An additional westbound lane on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, seen earlier this month, is closed as construction crews fix a botched paving job.