Appeals court plans
to reconsider gun ban

A federal appeals court announced Friday that it will rehear a case involving Maryland’s 2013 ban on semiautomatic high-capacity assault weapons.

Last month, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit cast doubt on the legality of the state’s ban, passed after the mass shootings at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

The 2-to-1 decision would have sent the gun-control law back to a lower court for review.

Instead, a majority of eligible judges voted to revisit the law this spring. Oral arguments are scheduled for May 11 at the Richmond-based appeals court.

The law, which remains in effect, bans the possession or sale of more than 45 types of assault weapons.

— Ann E. Marimow

Police ID man killed
in motorcycle crash

A man killed in a motorcycle crash in Oxon Hill on Wednesday was identified by police Friday as Raymond Newman III, of Fort Washington. He was 32.

Police said he lost control on National Harbor Boulevard and struck a lightpole.

— Dana Hedgpeth

Numerous schools receive bomb threats

At least seven schools in Northern Virginia received bomb threats Friday morning, prompting some to evacuate and others to lock down.

George Mason High, in Falls Church, was evacuated after it received what school officials said was an “automated bomb threat” by phone shortly before noon.

Fairfax County police are investigating bomb threats that were called in to three public schools and one private school between 11:22 a.m. and noon, but authorities declined to say whether those threats were from automated phone calls, known as robo-calls.

Police determined them not to be credible, and Fairfax Public Schools officials decided to continue classes at the three high schools that received threats.

Police also are investigating threats called in to a Catholic high school in Arlington and to Stone Bridge High School in Loudoun County. Both schools were evacuated.

Similar threats were called in to schools in New Jersey and Maine on Friday, part of a pattern of increasing bomb threats at public schools.

— Moriah Balingit
and T. Rees Shapiro

Former day-care worker convicted

A second day-care teacher was convicted of child cruelty and other counts Thursday for abusive behavior toward a classroom of 2-year-olds that a prosecutor described as a “baby fight club.” The behavior included stepping on toes and feeding youngsters Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

Kierra Spriggs, 26, of Woodbridge was convicted of four counts of felony child cruelty and two misdemeanor counts of assault and battery at a jury trial in Prince William County. Later Thursday, a jury recommended sentences of three to 12 months on the various counts.

— Associated Press

Teacher charged with touching student, 16

A teacher with Fairfax County Schools was arrested Friday and charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, county police said.

They said Eric D. Pittelkau, 64, of Springfield was arrested following an investigation that started after a 16-year-old female student was allegedly touched. She was physically unhurt.

— Clarence Williams

and Martin Weil