Democratic Group to Meet in Baltimore

Baltimore will host the annual meeting of the Democratic Leadership Council, which was founded in 1985 as an effort to move the Democratic Party away from its liberal roots toward more centrist politics.

The event, to be held July 14 and 15, will mark the first time the conference has been held outside Washington. It will be co-chaired by Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Thomas Siebert, U.S. ambassador to Sweden.

The two-day event will be called "The National Conversation" and will focus on building leadership for the next century. Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and DLC President Al Fromm will join Townsend and Siebert for a news conference today in Baltimore to announce details of the agenda.

Worker Hospitalized After Fall

A 38-year-old Manassas man was hospitalized yesterday after he fell 30 feet from a building under construction in Rockville and landed on a pile of broken cinder blocks, authorities said.

The worker, whose name was not released, suffered broken ribs and serious chest injuries, said Capt. Jim Resnick, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Department of Fire and Rescue Services. The man apparently stepped through a hole in the roof of the building, which is still mostly a shell and under construction in the 500 block of Southlawn Lane, Resnick said.

The man was flown to Suburban Hospital and was in serious condition yesterday afternoon.

Pilot, Passengers Injured in Crash

The pilot of a small plane and his three passengers were injured when the plane crashed Sunday night into the Susquehanna River near the Conowingo Dam north of Baltimore.

Pilot Craig Kerr, of Columbia, may have broken his legs, and his passengers suffered minor injuries and hypothermia, Maryland State Police said. They were being treated at Harford Hospital.

The single-engine Cessna 182 departed from Linden Airport near Newark and was headed to Clarksville in western Howard County when its engine failed, police said. It crashed and overturned in the water as Kerr was trying to make an emergency landing. The passengers were identified as Willimina Bosch-Zomer and Arie Bosch, both of the Netherlands, and Elisabeth Kerr, of Columbia. The National Transportation Safety Board was investigating, along with the state police.

Inner Harbor Cleanup Completed

After a cleanup effort that consumed 10 years and about $90 million, AlliedSignal Inc. has permission to develop its old chemical plant site, 27 prime acres jutting into Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

Company representatives joined state and federal officials yesterday at the site to talk about the cleanup and what it means to the waterfront.

The chromium that pollutes the land there has been sealed in underground walls of clay and layers of plastic, making it safe for development, in the view of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Jane Nishida, state secretary of the environment, said the AlliedSignal effort, carried out without state or federal aid, "is a success in preventing continued degradation of the environment while restoring a contaminated site to a useable property in a desirable location on the waterfront."

Singer to Give $1 Million to Johns Hopkins

A retired opera singer who began her career as a student at the Peabody Conservatory has pledged $1 million to Johns Hopkins University.

Loretta Lee Ver Valen's gift will go toward the university's student arts center, a 53,000-square-foot facility now under construction. The $17 million center will be named in Ver Valen's honor and will include a dance studio, a 150-seat theater, and a film and digital media center. It is expected to be completed in fall 2000.

Ver Valen, 95, graduated from the Peabody Conservatory in the 1920s and married fellow student Alfred Ver Valen, who became a successful developer. She toured the East Coast as a member of the DeFeo and Columbia opera companies. She is a founding member of the Opera Guild International, which honored her in 1998 with its award for outstanding service in the field of opera.


Volunteers Sought for Police Board

The District government is looking for volunteers to serve on a new board that will consider complaints of police misconduct.

Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) needs to make four appointments to the Citizen Complaint Review Board, which in addition to reviewing citizen complaints will make recommendations to the police on how to reduce misconduct through better training, supervision and management.

For more information, call 202-727-1372.


Old Dominion Head Puts Off Retirement

Old Dominion University President James V. Koch will retire from that position July 1, 2001, the school announced yesterday.

Koch initially had said he would retire on July 1 of next year but decided to remain on the job into 2001 after members of the Norfolk university's governing board asked him to stay longer.

Koch said staying until July 2001 will give him time to continue work on the school's capital campaign and its University Village, a planned, 67-acre development of plazas, parks, apartments, stores and a convocation center. Koch plans to take a one-year sabbatical when he retires, then return to teach economics.

Civil War Reenactment Draws 24,000

A three-day reenactment of Civil War battles in Culpeper County drew up to 24,000, organizers said.

History magazine publisher Primedia Inc. spent about $250,000 to put on the Friday-through-Sunday reenactments, "Grant vs. Lee--1864." The Leesburg-based company said it expects to break even on the event.

Saturday's battles drew large crowds to the 700-acre farm near Brandy Station, but a steady rain diminished the numbers on Sunday as the fields turned muddy.


"This comes up all the time: How do you know where these guys are? You don't. How can you control them? You can't. Are we all sorry? Yeah. Should we have put Keith Boone in jail? Yeah, in hindsight."

--Jerry Romer, co-owner of Home Tracking, an Upper Marlboro home detention firm that was assigned to monitor Keith Arnez Boone, who is charged with murder in the shooting of a Capitol Heights woman.