City takes small step toward composting

In slightly belated observance of Earth Day, Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) sought Wednesday to highlight progress his administration has made on his sweeping “Sustainable D.C.” strategy. Among the most intriguing initiatives: a small step toward a municipal composting program.

Since April 1, the Department of Public Works has taken in 177 tons of compostable waste at its Benning Road transfer station. But residents shouldn’t haul their leftovers there just yet: The facility is accepting only non-meat food waste from three commercial haulers who serve restaurants, hotels and grocery stores, DPW spokeswoman Linda Grant said.

In other words, the city is a long way off from offering curbside compost pickup, which now exists in Seattle, Portland, Ore., and San Francisco.

— Mike DeBonis

Abduction suspect’s
description updated

Gaithersburg police on Thursday released a composite sketch of a suspect they say tried to abduct a 14-year-old as he was jogging on a sidewalk Monday evening.

As the teenager ran along Midsummer Drive, the man tried to pull the youth inside a white van, police said. The boy fought him off and ran away, according to police, and the suspect got into the van and drove off.

Authorities updated their description of the suspect slightly on Thursday, saying he is believed to be a black or Hispanic man about 6 feet tall, weighing 200 pounds, and last seen wearing a white T-shirt, white pants and tan work boots. The van was described as a white, “square panel type” vehicle with red trim along the top and no hubcaps.

— Dan Morse

Man charged with
attempted murder

A 20-year-old man was charged with attempted murder after allegedly stabbing an acquaintance more than 12 times, Montgomery County police said Thursday. Devante Ryan McNeil also was charged with first-degree assault and reckless endangerment, according to police.

About 10 p.m. April 16, police were called to the area of Georgia Avenue and Reedie Drive in Wheaton for a report of someone hit by car. They arrived to find an 18-year-old man suffering from stab wounds.

Earlier that evening, according to police, McNeil had found his target in the lobby of an apartment building in the 11100 block of Georgia Avenue, where he punched him in the face and began stabbing him. The victim was able to grab the knife from McNeil, police said, and he fled. A passerby saw the victim and called police.

McNeil was being held Thursday in the county jail. The victim, police said, has been released from the hospital and is recovering.

— Dan Morse

Montgomery panel approves pay hikes

A Montgomery County Council committee voted unanimously Thursday to recommend approval of $31.6 million in raises for members of its police, fire and general employee unions for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The council committee endorsed a plan by County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) to give members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1994/Municipal and County Government Employees Organization a 3.25 percent cost-of-living adjustment.

Members of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35 would receive a 2.1 percent cost-of-living increase, while those in the International Association of Firefighters Local 1664 would get a 2.75 percent hike. Eligible employees would receive step increases of 3.5 percent on their anniversary dates. Leggett’s plan also calls for eligible police and fire personnel to receive retroactive step increases of 1.75 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively, in 2014.

The pay package represents the first raises for county workers in several years after the recession forced deep cuts in county spending.

The plan goes to the full council for final approval.

— Bill Turque