McCarrick, Turning 75, Offers to Resign

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, who turns 75 tomorrow, has sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI offering to resign, as required by church law.

The Vatican is not required to accept such offers, and most observers consider it unlikely that McCarrick, archbishop of Washington for 41/2 years, will be asked step down at this time.

The Rev. Drew Christiansen, editor of the Catholic magazine America, noted that the late Pope John Paul II "allowed many to continue until they were 80."

McCarrick will celebrate his birthday by saying a noon Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Northwest Washington tomorrow, a spokeswoman said.

Thunderstorms Cause Power Outages

Power was knocked out for part of the day to more than 26,000 homes in the Washington region yesterday as intense thunderstorms produced wind, lightning and sudden downpours.

As storms persisted late into the night, electricity was cut off for varying periods to 13,600 homes in Northern Virginia, 6,500 homes in Anne Arundel County and 6,000 in Prince George's County, according to estimates posted on three power company Web sites.


Williams Proposes Whitman-Walker Aid

Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) has proposed allocating more than $2.1 million to the Whitman-Walker Clinic so it can continue to provide services to HIV and AIDS patients in the District while it tries to return to fiscal health. The money, in the form of grants from two administrations within the city's Health Department, includes $100,000 for an adviser who would review the clinic's finances, recommend changes to shore up the budget and monitor its bottom line for at least a year.

Whitman-Walker could not meet its payroll in mid-May because of a cash-flow emergency, and its board has since recommended sweeping service reductions. The mayor's proposed assistance, which the D.C. Council could vote on today, commits the clinic to a thorough review of its current and long-term financial stability, increased direct fundraising and other changes.

Baby Born at Harbor Patrol Offices in SW

A 38-year-old woman gave birth to a boy yesterday at the offices of the D.C. police harbor patrol in Southwest Washington, authorities said.

Police said the woman came into the office in the 500 block of Water Street SW just after 3 p.m. and told officers she was in labor. Officers sat the woman down and rushed to find firefighters, who are stationed next door on the city's fireboat, police said.

The firefighters, who are also trained as emergency medical technicians, delivered the baby about 3:15 p.m.


Ehrlich Deflects Fundraiser Criticism

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) said yesterday that he was not aware that a Baltimore golf club at which he held a fundraiser last month has an all-white membership.

"We rented the place for four hours," Ehrlich said on WBAL radio, referring to the Elkridge Club. Ehrlich characterized the controversy as "all a bunch of nothing."

"I don't know what their membership list is, and guess what -- it's none of my business, nor is it any of your business," he said.

The governor said Democrats have held events at the club, but he did not provide any examples.

Several black leaders have criticized Ehrlich's choice of venue. Although the club has no written prohibition, it has had no black members in its 127 years.

Baltimore Priest Will Not Be Retried

Prosecutors in Baltimore have decided not to retry a former Catholic priest whose convictions on charges of molesting a teenager more than a decade ago were overturned. The decision ends a case that drew wide attention when, at the height of the church's sex-abuse scandal three years ago, the alleged victim shot the priest, who he said had abused him.

Maurice J. Blackwell, 58, was convicted in February of three counts of abusing former parishioner Dontee Stokes. A judge threw out the convictions two months later, siding with the defense in finding that prosecution witnesses should not have testified about other alleged victims.

According to a spokesman for the state's attorney's office, prosecutors have determined that, under sentencing guidelines, Blackwell might have avoided prison even if convicted at a new trial. Prosecutors also believe that, under the law at the time the offenses were allegedly committed, Blackwell could not be forced to register as a sex offender.

Stokes, now 29, shot Blackwell in May 2002. He was acquitted of attempted murder but convicted on gun charges. He was sentenced to time served of 18 months.

Man Dies When Boat Hits Fish Trap

A Waldorf man died Monday night when a motorboat carrying six people slammed into a commercial fishing trap.

The accident occurred a mile south of the Route 231 bridge over the Patuxent River just before 10:45 p.m., according to Cpl. Ken Turner, spokesman for the Maryland Natural Resources Police.

He said that driver Gregory A. Bucklew, 31, crashed the 20-foot powerboat into a fishing net and was thrown from the boat along with two passengers: Jessica F. Davis and Robert D. Burns, both 26.

Davis and Burns were rescued by passenger Jesse Johnson, Turner said. They could not find Bucklew and called 911.

The Charles County dive team located Bucklew at the bottom of the river. The medical examiner ruled that his death was caused by trauma and drowning.


Another Man Drowns in Rappahannock

Michael Edward Clutter, 42, a homeless man who had been staying in the Fairfax County area, drowned Saturday in the Rappahannock River near downtown Fredericksburg, Stafford County officials said yesterday.

A Fredericksburg man drowned near the same area Monday. The 26-year-old man's identity was not released because his family in Mexico has not been notified, said Stafford Sheriff Charles Jett.

"It was horrible. If there was something really going on, people would be dead."

-- Ralph Bernstein of Columbia Heights, on the July 4 test of emergency evacuation routes from downtown Washington. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Jonathan Abel, Michelle Boorstein, Susan Levine, Carlyle Murphy, Eric Rich, John Wagner, Martin Weil and Del Quentin Wilber.