MARYLAND

Third Legionnaires' Disease Patient Dies

A third person who contracted Legionnaires' disease has died at Harford Memorial Hospital, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to five.

The person was a patient in the hospital from June 18 to June 28 before health officials discovered the bacteria, hospital spokesman Robert Netherland said yesterday. The person returned to the hospital Friday and died that evening. Test results came back Saturday confirming that the patient had the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease.

"This person was very ill with other medical conditions," Netherland said. "We believe that the Legionella helped contribute to the death but was not the sole cause."

Two other patients who contracted the respiratory disease have died. One remains at the hospital.

Officials believe a hot water tank at the hospital was the probable source of the bacteria for at least three patients. The tank has been taken off line.

Drivers in St. Mary's Collision Identified

The two drivers killed in a head-on collision Saturday have been identified by the St. Mary's County sheriff's office as Kevin Wayne Ashwell, 23, of La Plata, and Samuel Culbreath, 57, of Greenwood, S.C.

Officials said Ashwell, who was driving east on Route 234 a mile west of Mechanicsville Road, crossed the center line and struck Culbreath's vehicle at 6:20 a.m. Both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene.

A passenger in Culbreath's car who was injured in the crash, Ida Fanned Wright, 37, of Statesboro, Ga., has been discharged from Prince George's Hospital Center, a hospital official said yesterday.

THE DISTRICT

Crime Declines in First Half of 1999

The number of reported crimes in the District dropped in every major category in the first half of the year, continuing a pattern that began three years ago, Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said yesterday.

According to preliminary figures, there were 116 homicides in the first six months of the year, down from 122 in the same period last year. Overall, the number of crimes against people, which include sexual assault and robbery, fell 9 percent. Crimes against property dropped 15 percent.

In a statement, Ramsey cited several reasons for the declines, including the strong economy and better police work. Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) said that the statistics were "welcomed news" but, referring to recent high-profile shootings, he added that the city has "a great deal of work to do to make our neighborhoods safe."

Rally Supports Students in Iran

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered yesterday afternoon in Lafayette Square in a show of solidarity for the thousands who have been protesting in Iran since Friday, when police there cracked down on activist students. U.S. Park Police reported no arrests.

Activists marched, gave speeches and chanted for nearly two hours, waving signs that condemned the raid on students at Tehran University. At least 20 people have been injured in the attack, and one person was killed.

Thousands of people across Iran have been arrested in resulting protests against political and religious leaders in the largest public display of unrest since the 1979 Islamic revolution, according to news reports.

Protesters who gathered across from the White House called the police raid on students "Bloody Friday" and asked for an international investigation. "Policymakers in the West, they don't understand the realities in Iran," said Soona Samsami, a member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

VIRGINIA

Woodbridge Man Drowns at Lake Anna

A 19-year-old Woodbridge man drowned during a Saturday afternoon outing with friends at a Spotsylvania County lake, authorities said.

William S. Ventura was swimming with two friends in about 20 feet of water near a marina on Lake Anna when he began complaining of cramps about 3 p.m., according to Doug Albrecht, spokesman for Spotsylvania County Fire and Rescue Services. Ventura's companions were unable to reach their friend, and he slipped under the murky water.

A sheriff's boat on routine patrol arrived six minutes after a rescue call was placed, but a deputy who dived into the lake several times was unable to locate Ventura, Albrecht said. Several dive teams responded, and Ventura's body was discovered about 5:25 p.m.

Toddler in Fair Condition After Fall

A 14-month-old Loudoun County girl was in fair condition yesterday after she fell from a second-floor window of her Ashburn home.

The girl and her dog tumbled out of the window of their home in the 20000 block of Charter Oak Drive shortly before 7 a.m., Loudoun authorities said. The child was taken by helicopter to Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Loudoun fire and rescue officials yesterday said they did not have details on why the child fell.

Airline Passenger Being Tested for TB

A 61-year-old man who flew into Reagan National Airport on Saturday night is being tested for tuberculosis, airport authorities said.

The man, who was on a Trans World Express flight from New York, was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital. Doctors should know within three to five days whether the man has TB, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Tuberculosis is a contagious bacterial infection. William Mishk, a spokesman for Trans World Express, said yesterday that the airline is contacting the crew and all passengers about their potential risk of infection. "We'd rather err on the side of caution," Mishk said.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"School violence heretofore was associated with disadvantaged youth. And now, all of a sudden, we're seeing ghastly behavior in what had been the promised land, among the people who fled urban violence, in upper-middle-class families. The best and the brightest. That is new and very frightening."

-- Paul L. Vance, Montgomery County school superintendent.