Posts Tagged ‘Hyattsville’

Fund Created to Help Hyattsville Family Displaced by Fire Reaches $55,000

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

A fund created to help a Hyattsville family devastated by a fire in January has climbed to $55,000, said creator Stuart Eisenberg.

In the pre-dawn hours of Jan. 19, the Hyattsville house where the Zelaya Hernandez family lived caught fire. Of the seven members of their extended family in the house that night, only five escaped. Nine-year-old Kimberly Hernandez and her sister, 13-year-old Kelly Hernandez, died as a result of the blaze.

The fire destroyed the house where the family had been living for the past four years, creating an estimated $350,000 in damage to the home’s structure and content, according to fire officials.

Eisenberg, 47, a close neighbor of the Hernandezes and a former president of the Hyattsville City Council, set up the relief fund for the family shortly after the fire.

He said the money raised by the fund helped replace the family’s car, which was damaged by the blaze. The money was also used to help the Hernandezes with their rent, to pay for funeral expenses and to buy household items, clothing and new mattresses.

The family “had to put together a full household again,” said Eisenberg, adding there was nothing to recover from the house after the fire.

Eisenberg, the executive director of the nonprofit Hyattsville Community Development Corp., said monetary donations for the family are still being accepted, but not goods.

He said funds are being used to address the family’s needs as they come up.

The Rev. Vidal Rivas, 46, head of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Hyattsville, said the family is recovering and now lives in Langley Park. He has been giving the spiritual support, he said, and sees them often in church.

“They are doing very well,” he said.

By Maryland Newsline’s Maite Fernandez

Previous story: Hyattsville Community Comes Together to Help Family Ripped Apart by Fire

Police Officer Shot in Takoma Pk. Bank Robbery

Friday, January 28th, 2011

PALMER PARK, Md. – A Prince George’s County police officer was shot this morning after an armed man took hostages at a Takoma Park bank.

The suspect, whose name has not yet been released, was shot and killed by police as he left the Capital One bank at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and University Boulevard with a female hostage. The hostage, whose name was not released, was “shaken,” but otherwise unhurt, Prince George’s County police said.

The officer who was shot has not been identified by police. He suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital, said Prince George’s County Police Lt. Col. Gary Cunningham.

Cunningham declined to offer details about the officer’s condition.

Details of the shooting were unclear, but Prince George’s police spokeswoman Michelle Reedy said it’s a possibility the officer was accidentally shot by another officer when responding to the bank robbery. She did not have any other specific details shortly after noon Friday.

The attempted bank robbery occurred the same morning Prince George’s police planned to announce the closure of their fifth case related to the county’s spate of murders this month.

Prince George’s police arrested a suspect in the Jan. 8 killing of Alejandro Marcos Diaz Vasquez, 30, of the 7900 block of 15th Avenue in Langley Park, Md.

Police said a Hyattsville 16-year-old confessed Jan. 24 to stabbing
Vasquez in the 1400 block of University Boulevard. The teen suspect is being charged as a
juvenile with first- and second-degree murder.

Cunningham said the killing does not appear to be gang related, and that
there is no apparent relationship between the suspect and victim. He
said a motive has not been established because the suspect has provided
“conflicting stories.”

“He did admit to stabbing him,” Cunningham said.

Police said they did not know if the teen suspect had legal representation.

Prince George’s County was plagued by 12 criminal homicides in 13 days
at the start of 2011. Two murders have occurred since, with the last coming
Monday afternoon when police found Mckinney Antonio White Jr., 34, dead
in the 5700 block of Silver Hill Road in District Heights.

The pace of homicides has slowed in recent days.

“Obviously we’ve done some things to reduce the rate,” Cunningham said. “The
first 12 days we had 12 homicides. The last two weeks that number is
significantly reduced. So … we hope the trend continues.”

–By Maryland Newsline’s Alexander Pyles

Baby, It’s Snowy Outside…

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

University of Maryland doctoral student Yiqun Chen, 24, clears her windshield at the Graduate Hills apartments in Hyattsville Thursday morning. "I came here from Pittsburgh, so I'm used to this," she said. "It's just cold out here." (Capital News Service photo by Jessica Harper)

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – After a few misses, snow finally hit the D.C.-metro area in a big way, falling at a rate of up to 2 inches an hour from late Wednesday afternoon to the early hours of Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Parts of Baltimore County and Montgomery, Harford and Howard counties saw some of the highest totals in Maryland, with about 12 inches accumulating, according to unofficial reports published by the National Weather Service.

Baltimore-Washington International Airport saw 7.6 inches, Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va., reported 7.3 inches, and Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va., recorded 5, said NWS meteorologist Kevin Witt.

The accumulation actually came in two storms, Witt said, with the first arriving Tuesday night through Wednesday morning.

Moderate to heavy snows combined with wind gusts caused fallen tree limbs and power outages across the region.

Residents at the Graduate Hills apartments in Hyattsville, Md., were fortunate to have power, and some used the day off to spend time with their families.

“Well, I’m from Michigan, so this is good springtime weather,” said William House, a doctoral student at the University of Maryland.

House’s 2-year-old son, Robbie, played in the snow as he chatted with passersby. House said this is only the second time Robbie has seen the snow.

“We could probably go out in a little while, but I don’t think we will,” said House. “On a day like this, I just choose to stay home with my son.”

Economics doctoral student Yiqun Chen, 24, was a little less enthusiastic.

“I came here from Pittsburgh, so I’m used to this,” she said, as she scraped mounds of snow from her windshield. “It’s just cold out here.”

For more, see the National Weather Service snow map.

–By Capital News Service’s Jessica Harper, with Maryland Newsline’s Maite Fernandez