Davis Calls for Investigation of Metro
Other Leaders Demand More Oversight
Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) announced that he is asking the Government Accountability Office to investigate the way Metro managed nearly $1 billion in programs to buy new rail cars, rebuild middle-aged cars and renovate its escalators. Davis also said he will have hearings in July on management of the public transit system in light of its request for $1.5 billion from Congress. Other regional leaders also urged additional oversight of Metro. The calls come in the wake of a series of articles in The Washington Post detailing how Metro mismanaged nearly $1 billion in recent rail car and escalator projects and spent millions on projects not directly related to its core transportation mission.
Reading, Math Test Scores Improve
Blacks, Hispanics Close Achievement Gaps
Elementary and middle schools across Maryland improved reading and math test scores in the Maryland School Assessments for the second straight year, with black and Hispanic students closing achievement gaps in some key measures, according to state data. But the result showed far more progress in earlier grades than in later grades, raising the urgency of efforts to overhaul middle schools after years in which educators have focused on elementary schools. Prince George's County built on the previous year's solid gains, with scores rising for nearly every group of students.
D.C. Man Admits Setting Fires in Region
No Explanation Given for Series of Arsons
Thomas A. Sweatt admitted in federal court that he is the serial arsonist who struck dozens of Washington area homes and apartments before dawn, acknowledging that he kept setting fires even after two of his blazes killed elderly women. A former fast-food restaurant worker, Sweatt, 50, of Southeast Washington, pleaded guilty to arson and murder charges less than six weeks after his arrest. He gave no explanation for why he set the fires.
Report Accuses Hornsby of Lapses
Outgoing Official's Attorneys Deny Wrongdoing
A report on the management actions and ethics of former Prince George's County schools chief Andre J. Hornsby found that he kept tabs on a private consulting business he formed before starting his job, oversaw the awarding of a contract to a company that had failed to meet a bidding deadline and led the expansion of a kindergarten reading program that might have financially benefited a saleswoman he lived with. The school board said in a prepared statement that the actions appeared to violate the public trust. Hornsby's attorneys denied any wrongdoing.
Woman Charged With Endangerment
Officer Saw Children Being Put in Car's Trunk
A Frederick County woman was charged with three counts of reckless endangerment after a Thurmont police officer saw her helping young children into the trunk of her car. Lanora Adele Lucas, according to the officer, said the children were in the trunk because "they wanted to ride back there." The children were Lucas's 9-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old friend.
Across the Region
Marshal Convicted; Suit Filed; Bay Permits
* A Montgomery County jury convicted Arthur L. Lloyd, 54, a former deputy U.S. marshal, of voluntary manslaughter for shooting a 20-year-old Navy seaman after a traffic dispute on Rockville Pike. He faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison.
* Homeowners filed a federal lawsuit accusing top officials in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency of conspiring to defraud Maryland residents with flood insurance after their homes were damaged by Hurricane Isabel nearly two years ago.
* Maryland soon will begin using permits to limit the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous -- two major Chesapeake Bay pollutants -- discharged by large sewage treatment plants.