John's Feed
Dec 17, 2014

Johns Hopkins apologizes for emailing welcomes to rejected students

By John Clarke

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Reuters) – Johns Hopkins University issued an apology on Wednesday after mistakenly sending hundreds of rejected applicants email messages welcoming them to the school.

Due to human error, a congratulatory follow-up email message intended for accepted students was unintentionally sent to 294 students who had not been accepted, Dennis O’Shea, a spokesman for the Baltimore, Maryland-based university said.

Dec 17, 2014

Deal for Major League Soccer stadium approved by Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The District of Columbia Council on Wednesday formally approved a deal worth more than $300 million to build a stadium for D.C. United, the city’s Major League Soccer franchise.

The agreement to build the 20,000-seat venue was approved unanimously.

The District of Columbia is contributing about $150 million to acquire land for the stadium on Buzzard Point in southwest Washington and is providing about $43 million in tax breaks. The team will spend about $150 million to build the stadium, which is scheduled to open in time for the 2017 season. 

Dec 9, 2014

Mother killed in Maryland crash had huddled with children: police

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Maryland mother of three killed when a small jet crashed into her house in a Washington suburb on Monday, died huddled in a bathroom trying to shield her two youngest children from the smoke and fire caused by the crash, officials said on Tuesday.

A police spokeswoman in Montgomery County identified the victims in the house as Marie Gemmell, 36, and her two young sons, 3-year-old Cole and Devin, just six weeks old.

Nov 20, 2014

Virginia woman waives hearing on Islamic State charges

By John Clarke

(Reuters) – A Virginia woman on Wednesday waived a preliminary hearing on terrorism charges over allegedly lying to U.S. investigators about using social media to promote and recruit for the militant Islamic State group.

Heather Coffman, 29, of Henrico, Virginia, was arrested on Monday after trying to recruit an undercover FBI agent for Islamic State, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court in Richmond.

Nov 18, 2014

Washington, D.C., approves landmark civil asset forfeiture law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – District of Columbia lawmakers approved legislation on Tuesday that makes it harder for police to seize assets from people who are not ultimately charged with crimes, a bill that backers say is a model for the rest of the country.

The measure approved unanimously by Washington City Council prevents assets taken by police from going to the department, and instead earmarks them for the U.S. capital’s general fund.

Nov 17, 2014

‘House of Cards’ tax breaks cost Marylanders, should end -report

WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Tax credits for filming
Netflix’s “House of Cards” and HBO’s “Veep” are costing Maryland
taxpayers money and should be ended in 2016, state lawmakers
concluded in a new report.

Maryland has given $62.5 million in tax credits to film and
television productions since 2012, with $60.2 million of that
going to “House of Cards,” the Washington political thriller
starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, and “Veep,” the comedy
starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a U.S. vice president.

Nov 15, 2014

First Muslim prayers at National Cathedral interrupted by protester

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The first Muslim prayer service ever hosted at the National Cathedral, a landmark Christian church in the U.S. capital, was briefly interrupted on Friday by a lone anti-Islamic protester but the religious gathering continued with a theme of tolerance.

The outburst came as dozens of Muslims knelt on prayer rugs below walls of stained glass and stone archways. The protester, a woman from Michigan who declined to give her name, managed to sneak into the tightly secured, invite-only service and interrupt the introduction.

Nov 14, 2014

Suspect in Virginia kidnapping pleads not guilty to 2005 rape

By John Clarke

FAIRFAX Va. (Reuters) – The man charged with abducting a University of Virginia student who later turned up dead pleaded not guilty on Friday in a separate rape case.

Jesse Matthew, 32, of Charlottesville, Virginia, faces three felony charges in a 2005 case in which police say he sexually assaulted a 26-year-old woman walking home from a grocery store in the Washington suburb of Fairfax, Virginia.

Nov 13, 2014

U.S. Capitol workers, others strike for higher pay, union

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hundreds of striking federal contract workers, including for the first time some from the U.S. Capitol, rallied on Thursday to urge President Barack Obama to boost pay and spur unionization.

About 800 striking workers and supporters, including members of Congress, gathered at the Capitol after a march through Washington streets led by a brass band.

Nov 6, 2014

Philadelphia abduction suspect accused of violent rape in Virginia

By John Clarke

(Reuters) – A 37-year-old man accused of abducting a woman from a Philadelphia sidewalk this week in a dramatic act caught on surveillance video faces attempted murder and rape charges for a separate incident in Virginia, police said on Thursday.

Delvin Barnes, who police initially identified as Devlen Barnes, was arrested in a parking lot on Wednesday in Jessup, Maryland, over 100 miles (160 km) from where he is suspected of kidnapping 22-year old Carlesha Freeland-Gaither three days earlier, the Philadelphia Police Department said in a statement.