State Digest


August 01, 2008

D.C.-area mayor's house is raided

A SWAT team raided the home of a Washington-area mayor, killing his two black Labrador retrievers and seizing an unopened package of marijuana delivered there, police said.

Prince George's County police said Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo brought a 32-pound package of marijuana into his home that had been delivered by officers posing as delivery men. The Tuesday evening raid was conducted by county police narcotics officers and a sheriff's office SWAT team.

The package was addressed to Calvo's wife, Trinity Tomsic. Calvo's mother-in-law had asked the supposed delivery men to leave the package outside. Calvo has not been charged, though police said he, his wife and his mother-in-law are "persons of interest" in an investigation.

"We never opened the box. We have nothing to do with this box," Calvo said.

Sheriff's office spokesman Sgt. Mario Ellis said deputies "apparently felt threatened" when they shot the dogs.

Calvo said officers entered about 7:30 p.m., first shooting 7-year-old Payton. They then pursued 4-year-old Chase, who ran away and was shot by police from behind, he said.

Calvo said he has no idea how the package ended up at his house. He called the raid "the most traumatic experience" of his life.

Calvo, who called his town "Mayberry inside the Capital Beltway," gets a small stipend as mayor and works at the SEED Foundation, a nonprofit group that runs public boarding schools for at-risk students. His wife works as a state finance officer.

Associated Press

Montgomery Co.


Unfinished home of Marriott burns

Authorities say a fire destroyed an unfinished home owned by John Marriott, causing millions of dollars in damage.

Pete Piringer of the Montgomery County Department of Fire and Rescue Services said the fire broke out about 10 p.m. Wednesday on Pleasant Hill Drive in the Potomac Falls neighborhood. Firefighters put out hot spots into the early morning.

Piringer says officials believe spontaneous combustion may have caused the fire, with organic-based products catching fire in an attached garage. No one was injured.

Piringer says damage is estimated from $3.5 million to $4 million. He says the 26,000-square-foot home was 30 percent complete.

Roger Conner, a spokesman for Marriott International Inc. in Bethesda, said the home under construction belonged to John Marriott, son of Bill Marriott, chairman and chief executive officer of the hotel company.

Associated Press


Man, 78, is injured in mall carjack try

Montgomery County police say a 78-year-old College Park man was hurt during an attempted carjacking in the parking lot of White Flint Mall.

Officers say the incident occurred about 11:45 a.m. Tuesday when a man approached the victim, demanding the keys to his car. The victim refused, and the assailant struck him, knocking him to the ground.

The man took the victim's keys and got into the car, but was unable to start it. The assailant fled on foot.

The victim suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

Associated Press


Capitol Hill

Tubman parks gain support in Senate

There is more support for two national parks for Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman.

Four senators from Maryland and New York have sponsored bills setting aside more than $18 million for national parks in Tubman's birth state of Maryland and in Auburn, N.Y., where Tubman spent most of her life.

The National Park Service has resumed work creating the national parks for the abolitionist and Civil War spy. The Park Service is working on an initial report to submit to Congress on its Tubman plans.

The Maryland tract would include a former Eastern Shore plantation from which Tubman escaped slavery in 1849. In New York, the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park would include Tubman's home, church and grave.

The sponsoring senators are Democrats Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin of Maryland and Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton of New York.

Associated Press

Prince George's


Six Flags fire called accidental

Officials say fire that destroyed the haunted house attraction at Six Flags amusement park was electrical and was accidental.

Prince George's Fire Department spokesman Mark Brady says the blaze, reported shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday, caused an estimated $2 million in damage.

No other attractions were damaged, and there were no injuries reported.

Brady says it took 60 firefighters about 45 minutes to extinguish the blaze.

Associated Press

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