The Region
Cherry blossom peak pushed back a week

The District’s beloved cherry blossoms are expected to reach peak bloom between March 27 and 31, about a week later than initially predicted, the National Park Service announced Monday.

Cooler temperatures have kept the cherry blossoms from progressing out of the green-bud phase, the first of six phases leading to peak bloom, said Mike Litterst, a spokesman for NPS. The original forecast was announced March 1 and anticipated the peak bloom date to fall between March 17 and March 20.

Models still show peak bloom occurring March 18, but Litterst said it doesn’t match what the Park Service is seeing on trees.

Peak bloom is the day on which 70 percent of the blossoms along the Tidal Basin are open. In 2016 and 2017, peak bloom was March 25, according to NPS records.

Last year, peak bloom was also pushed back because of unexpected cold temperatures. A cold snap killed more than half of the blossoms as they were beginning to appear, Litterst said. However, he added that this year, because they are still in the bud stage, they should be protected from freezing temperatures.

Allyson Chiu

THE DISTRICT
70-year-old man's death is a homicide

A 70-year-old man who was found dead in January was the victim of a homicide, the D.C. police said last week.

They said an autopsy determined on Friday that Willie Sawyer died of a blunt-force injury.

He was found unconscious about 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 25, inside premises in the 5000 block of Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue NE.

Martin Weil

Man, 28, is fatally
shot in Southeast

A man was shot and killed Saturday night in Southeast Washington, D.C. police said.

They said Davon Barnes, 28, of Southeast was found about 10 p.m. in the 2000 block of Savannah Terrace. He had been shot at least twice, the police said.

Martin Weil

MARYLAND
Boy headed to school was left on bus

A small boy was left for hours Monday on a Prince George’s County school system bus that was to take him to an early childhood center.

The student did not get off the bus at H. Winship Wheatley Early Childhood Center in Capitol Heights when the school opened at 9:30 a.m., a school system spokesman said. About 2 ½ hours later, the child was found sleeping on the bus.

The child was checked by the school nurse, given lunch and reunited with his parents, the spokesman said.

It was not clear why the child did not get off the bus, and the school system said it was investigating.

Martin Weil

Fatal fire in house with no smoke alarms

A 70-year-old man died in a house fire in Prince George’s County.

Fire officials said the home where he was found had no smoke alarms, and they used the incident as a chance to remind area residents to change the batteries in their alarms.

The fire broke out just after 10 p.m. Sunday at a two-story, split-level home in the 4200 block of Monroe Street in Bladensburg.

Fire officials later identified the man who died as William Mobley.

Mark E. Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County Fire Department, said in a statement that the neighbors “did everything they possibly could, including banging on the front door of the house, calling 911.”

“There was nothing more they could do.”

Dana Hedgpeth

Greenbelt resident,
31, is shot and killed

A man was shot and killed Saturday night in Greenbelt, a small city in Prince George’s County, authorities said.

The man was found about 8:30 p.m. in the 6100 block of Breezewood Court, according to the Greenbelt police.

He was identified by the police as Gabriel Hernandez Dreke, 31, a Greenbelt resident. Police said they are continuing to investigate.

Martin Weil