Church Loses Bid on Manassas Site
Redemption Christian Church of Manassas lost its bid yesterday to block the sale of the red-brick church it has rented for seven years in Old Town Manassas.
Redemption Christian, a mostly black Pentecostal congregation, had accused its landlord, Grace United Methodist Church, of racism for selling the building to the mostly white Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Church. The Methodists said they sold to the Unitarian church after two purchase attempts by Redemption Christian fell through.
Redemption Christian's request for an injunction against the sale was rejected yesterday by a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge. The congregation, which will hold its final service in the building Sunday, is set to move out by Monday. Future services will be held in Buckhall Fire Station until a permanent home can be found, church leaders said.
Crews Cause Backup on Dulles Toll Road
Road crews paving the westbound Dulles Toll Road caused a major traffic backup during yesterday's morning rush hour after the contractor ignored instructions from the Virginia Department of Transportation that all but one of the highway's four westbound lanes be reopened by 6 a.m., state officials said.
Although VDOT has instructed crews to reopen all lanes before the start of rush hour, state officials decided this week to accelerate the work on the Toll Road by allowing the prime contractor, Associated and United Marjan, to keep one lane shut during peak periods, according to VDOT spokeswoman Joan Morris.
But crews, working in the Hunter Mill Road area, did not clear their equipment from the second lane until state officials ordered them to do so at 8:15 a.m., she said. It took an hour before traffic returned to normal.
New Herndon Police Chief Is Sworn In
Toussaint E. Summers Jr. was sworn in yesterday as the new police chief in Herndon, replacing George Kranda, who is retiring after more than 10 years with the department. Summers, 43, will begin his new duties July 19.
A 23-year veteran of the Prince William County Police Department, Summers had risen to the rank of captain and served as commander of the county's Western District Patrol Service Bureau.
Summers received degrees from American University and Virginia Commonwealth University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy. Herndon officials, in announcing his selection, praised Summers for his wide-ranging experience and innovative approach to policing.
Wildlife Agency Attacks Dumping Plan
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service weighed in yesterday against a state plan to dump up to 18 million cubic yards of muck dredged from the Port of Baltimore channels into open water north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
The federal agency said the plan would hurt fish and aquatic plants by putting excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus at Site 104, a deep trough in the bay off Kent Island.
The wildlife agency challenged assumptions by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that dumping the dredged material would cause only short-term problems. And the agency complained of what it called a bias in favor of Site 104 by the Engineers, whose draft environmental impact statement rated it acceptable.
Local officials and environmentalists have opposed the plan. But Site 104 has the support of the Port Administration, other state agencies and Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D).
Maternity Nurses Protest Arundel Plan
Nurses who visit pregnant women and new mothers at home to give babies a healthy start say a quota system proposed in Anne Arundel County would not give them enough time during their visits to do their job well.
They went public with their complaints yesterday, fearing that quotas will spread across the state if Anne Arundel goes ahead with the plan.
Carolyn Cornett, president of the Maryland Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, said the proposal by the Anne Arundel Health Department that each nurse make 80 home visits a month is unrealistic.
Anita Adee, personnel director for the health department, said the requirement for 80 visits a month was established as part of the state personnel system requirement that performance standards be set for employees. She said the department checked private home health care agencies and found that their employees averaged five to eight visits a day.
Howard Schools Chief to Teach at Towson
Michael E. Hickey, superintendent of Howard County schools, will teach at Towson University outside Baltimore when he steps down next year, the university announced.
As the Naomi Price Hentz distinguished professor of education practice, Hickey will teach classes and set up a center for education leadership, which will offer graduate degrees and training partnerships with school districts.
Hickey, whose 15 years at the helm in Howard make him the state's longest-serving current superintendent, will leave the job in June 2000. The Board of Education intends to announce his replacement in February.
Public Hearing on Charter Schools
The D.C. Board of Education will convene a hearing on public charter schools Tuesday to update the public on the schools it oversees and solicit input from residents about the city's burgeoning charter movement.
The board, one of two bodies with the power to grant charters in the District, is required to inform the public about its chartering activities on a regular basis.
The hearing will take place at Hine Junior High School, Eighth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE, from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, or to sign up to speak, call Dorothy Robinson at 202-442-5192.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"Those wives in the back seat really came alive when I talked about women soldiers. It meant that they, too, had a history."
-- Eileen Conklin, recalling her experience as a tour guide at the Gettysburg battlefield. She has written two books about women involved in the Civil War and this weekend will help lead a conference on the same subject.