Judge to Decide on Hinckley Visits
A federal judge yesterday wrapped up a hearing on a request by presidential assailant John W. Hinckley Jr. to leave a city-run psychiatric hospital for periodic visits with his parents at their home near Williamsburg.
Judge Paul L. Friedman set no timetable for a ruling.
Hinckley, who has been held at St. Elizabeths Hospital since he was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1981 shooting of President Ronald Reagan, has in recent years been allowed to leave the Southeast Washington facility for excursions with his parents but only in the Washington area.
Hinckley's lead attorney, Barry Wm. Levine, and a Justice Department lawyer, Thomas E. Zeno, once again debated Hinckley's interest in women during closing arguments yesterday.
Levine maintained that the only question that matters is whether Hinckley is dangerous to himself or others.
Zeno countered that Hinckley's interactions with women, especially hospital staff, demonstrate that he continues to misinterpret their intentions. It was Hinckley's obsession with Jodie Foster that led him to shoot Reagan, in hopes of drawing the actress's attention.
Skimpy Rainfall May Have to Do
Not a lot of rain fell in Washington on Monday. But the 0.09 inch that was measured at Reagan National Airport was the most recorded there since Aug. 28.
It brought the total September rainfall at the airport to one-tenth of an inch. And that could be all for the month. The National Weather Service forecast indicates no more than a 20 percent chance of showers tonight and 30 percent tomorrow morning.
Metro Will Get 3 Bomb Dogs
The Transportation Security Administration plans to announce today that Metro has been selected as one of 10 transit systems nationwide that will receive explosive-sniffing dogs.
Three Metro police officers will attend a 10-week course at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio beginning next month. They will be matched with dogs and trained in search and dog handling techniques before returning to Washington.
The agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security, has deployed more than 350 canine teams to airports. The dog program -- funded by a $2 million appropriation from Congress and $700,000 from the agency -- represents the agency's first major partnership with transit systems.
City Will Be Given Rail Safety Plans
A federal judge yesterday ordered the Department of Homeland Security and a major railroad company to provide key information to the District government as it tries to defend its proposed ban on hazardous rail shipments through the city.
CSX Transportation Inc. sued in federal court in February to overturn the city ban, and in May the U.S. Court of Appeals temporarily stopped it from taking effect. The city has argued that the nation's capital is a top target for terrorist attack and that an attack on a rail car loaded with poisonous gas could kill tens of thousands.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan had ordered last week that the federal government provide him with a copy of CSX's plan for providing security on District rail lines so he could decide how to proceed in the case. After reviewing it, Sullivan told the parties yesterday, he had determined that the city is entitled to see government documents about how rail shipping companies would be expected to make rail lines safe from attack or serious accident.
Remains Not Investigated as Homicide
District police are using a "five-year time frame" to determine the cause of death in their investigation into the discovery of human skeletal remains in a Florida Avenue rowhouse, an investigator said yesterday.
An owner of the vacant house discovered the remains in a bathtub Monday as he toured the property for the first time.
"It's a routine death investigation, not a homicide investigation," city police Lt. Robert Glover said. "It's unusual, but there's no underlying story here, if that makes any sense."
Edward P. Wilson and Barry S. Gediman purchased the two-story brick house, in the 500 block of Florida Avenue, at a city tax sale in 2002 for $2,200.64, according to Maryann Young, spokeswoman for the District Office of Tax and Revenue. She said the owners did not take possession of the property until May, after they had paid a property tax debt of $18,000 incurred by the previous owner.
Gediman's wife, Corrine, referred questions to Wilson, who declined to comment. The previous owner, identified in property records as Edmund A. Wilson, could not be reached.
Schaefer Predicts Revenue Growth
The Maryland economy continues to grow at a quick pace, and State Comptroller William Donald Schaefer said yesterday that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) and the legislature might end up with $1.7 billion more than previously anticipated for the budget that the governor will present in January.
Schaefer said fiscal year 2005, which ended June 30, "was a great year for the state's economy, and in some cases we saw unprecedented growth." Revenues increased 13.2 percent during the fiscal year.
The comptroller's staff does not expect growth to continue at that pace but said revenues should increase by 5 percent in the current year, which ends next June 30, and 4.4 percent for the next fiscal year.
Dale City Teen Dies in Car Crash
A Prince William County teenager was killed Monday night after he lost control of his car and slammed into a parked truck and a utility box on the side of a road, police said yesterday.
Shortly before 7 p.m., Hicham Toloune, 18, was driving a Honda CRX on Cloverdale Road when the car slid into the truck, spun around and slammed into the utility box, said John Bogert, a police spokesman. Toloune, of the 14700 block of Darbydale Avenue in Dale City, died at the crash site. An18-year-old passenger in the car was flown to an area hospital and is expected to survive, Bogert said.
Speed was a factor in the accident, police said. Both teenagers were wearing seatbelts.
"This current hassle is very unfortunate because it will put back some of the great progress the school has made in the past 10 years. As a substantial donor to the university, I'm unhappy about that."
-- William Jacobs, former chairman of the American University Board of Trustees, on the controversy over the university's president, Benjamin Ladner. -- A1
Compiled from reports by staff writers Henri E. Cauvin, Michael Alison Chandler, Carol D. Leonnig, Paul Schwartzman, Ian Shapira and Martin Weil and the Associated Press.