Warm weather prompts early cherry blos­soms

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro -

The peak bloom time for the Dis­trict’s cherry blos­soms will come a week ear­lier than ex­pected be­cause of warm nights in the fore­cast, Na­tional Park Ser­vice of­fi­cials said Wed­nes­day.

The peak bloom pe­riod is now ex­pected to be­gin March 18, Park Ser­vice chief hor­ti­cul­tur­ist Robert De­feo said. The peak bloom date — when the blush-col­ored blos­soms are at their fullest — will fall be­tween March 20 and March 23.

“In­stead of slow­ing down at night, [the blooms] are still mov­ing,” Mr. De­feo said. “And there is no cold com­ing to slow them down.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Park Ser­vice, ex­treme weather has caused bloom dates as early as March 15 and as late as April 18. The av­er­age peak bloom date is April 4.

Mr. De­feo ear­lier this month pre­dicted a bloom pe­riod be­tween March 24 and March 31 be­cause of the mild win­ter.

— Sec­re­tary Richard D. Brown said. But the fig­ure was the best since last May, when the state posted 17.9 per­cent rev­enue growth.

— pay­roll com­puter sys­tem to pay $24,514 to three em­ploy­ees over a 10month pe­riod for time they did not work. Prose­cu­tors said Atanga didn’t pocket any cash him­self.

His at­tor­ney, John Riely, said ap­peal ef­forts are likely be­cause of the way prose­cu­tors in­ter­jected sex­ual and ro­man­tic over­tones into the trial.

The theft oc­curred over a 10month pe­riod be­gin­ning in Oc­to­ber 2010 and lasted un­til Metro Tran­sit Po­lice ar­rested the em­ploy­ees in Au­gust. The stolen money has since been re­paid, said Nancy C. Line­man, a spokes­woman for the Prince Ge­orge’s County state’s at­tor­ney.

— pack­age and send its pro­posal to the House.

Sen­a­tors de­bated the plan Wed­nes­day, which would call for in­come-tax hikes on house­holds mak­ing more than $3,000 a year in an ef­fort to trim the state’s $1.1 bil­lion struc­tural deficit.

The $35.9 bil­lion bud­get pack­age would also shift $68 mil­lion in pen­sion costs onto coun­ties as part of a four-year phase-in that would even­tu­ally re­quire coun­ties to pay more than $250 mil­lion a year.

Se­nate law­mak­ers adopted changes to the plan made last week by the Se­nate Bud­get and Tax­a­tion Com­mit­tee but were not ex­pected to make any more sub­stan­tive changes Wed­nes­day night, as ma­jor­ity Democrats re­jected nu­mer­ous Re­pub­li­can amend­ments to cut spend­ing and ease tax in­creases.

ROD LAMKEY JR./THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Cross­ing guard Carolyn Smith gets a wave Wed­nes­day as she looks out for chil­dren and par­ents head­ing to school near Columbia Road and 17th Street North­west in the Adams Mor­gan neigh­bor­hood. Mrs. Smith has been a cross­ing guard in the Dis­trict for the past 18 years. In ad­di­tion to her part-time guard job, she says she works for Fedex.

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