Student Struck, Killed in Front of School

A 16-year-old student at Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville was struck by a car and fatally injured in front of the school last night while crossing the street after football practice, Montgomery County police said.

The student, whose name was not immediately released, was crossing in the 2100 block of Wootton Parkway about 6:44 p.m. when he was hit by a car driven by a Potomac man, police said.

He was taken to Suburban Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:45 p.m., police spokeswoman Joyce Barrow said.

Barrow said the student was not using a marked crosswalk on the two-lane street. Other students saw the accident and called 911, she said.

Police identified the driver of the vehicle as David M. Goldberg, 58, of the 9100 block of Copenhaver Drive, and said an investigation of the accident was continuing.

Teen Back Home After Rare Brain Surgery

A teenager who had half of her brain removed at Johns Hopkins Hospital to try to control seizures is back home in Nebraska.

Amber Ramirez, 15, took care of her priorities Monday: picking up her dog and ordering pizza.

Amber suffered from Rasmussen's syndrome, a rare neurological condition, for six years before doctors decided that the surgery was her best chance at a full life.

Amber's physical progress from the July operation is excellent, but she is not yet able to carry on a conversation, said Diane Pillas, of Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore.

A Baltimore pediatric center is working with Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Nebraska on Amber's long-term outpatient care.

Firefighters Get Some More Practice

A Forestville house where a fire was set last week so firefighters could extinguish it as part of a training exercise provided an unexpected lesson when it rekindled Monday.

Prince George's County firefighters torched the vacant house in the 3200 block of Flowers Road for practice on Friday and thought they had completely doused the flames that afternoon. But a neighbor called 911 about 1:30 p.m. Monday to report that the fire had flared again. It took eight firefighters about two hours to put it out the second time.

Fire officials said they were investigating and speculated that Monday's high winds may have fanned embers deep in the ashes.

Gaithersburg Man Drowns in Bermuda

A 33-year-old Gaithersburg man drowned early Sunday in a hotel swimming pool in Bermuda, according to Sylvia Hammond, the U.S. consul for Bermuda.

Kwabena Aboo drowned in the pool at the Sonesta Beach Hotel, just outside the capital city of Hamilton, where he had been staying with his wife, according to police. Aboo had just returned from attending a Saturday night Caribbean music concert, police said.

Hotel staff members pulled his body from the pool after his wife, a non-swimmer, saw him struggling and ran for help.

The couple were in Bermuda to attend a wedding, police said.

"We're all very upset. It's something I've never seen in all my years here," said Lauren Joell, the hotel's duty manager.

Hammond said Aboo was a native of Ghana, living in the United States on a green card.

Bullet Shatters Car Window, Injuring Child

A bullet shattered the window of a car driving east in the 3000 block of Randolph Road yesterday, leaving a 9-year-old child with minor injuries from the shattered glass, according to Montgomery County police.

The child's father stopped at a home on the busy street and asked for assistance.

Police officers used dogs to search a nearby wooded area and other parts of the neighborhood, across the road from Wheaton High School, but found nothing, according to Derek Baliles, a county police spokesman.


ACLU Reminds Educators About Rights

The American Civil Liberties Union has written to Virginia educators warning them to be careful about restricting students' free-speech rights this school year.

Kent Willis, the group's executive director in Virginia, told school superintendents that nervousness over school safety after the Littleton, Colo., school shootings in April should not interfere with free speech rights. Willis said his group would provide legal assistance to students whose rights have been violated.

"The crackdowns on student expression this past spring, fueled by overreaction to Littleton, were unprecedented in our state's history and should not be repeated," Willis wrote.

The letter cited a case in which a Surry County High School student was suspended for having blue hair, in violation of a school ban on "unique or unusual" hair colors. The ACLU successfully challenged the student's suspension in federal court.


Police to Extend Summer Mobile Force

The D.C. police summer mobile force, a squad of officers detailed each night to violence-plagued neighborhoods, will be extended until Oct. 31, Executive Assistant Chief Terrance W. Gainer said yesterday.

The summer force, originally scheduled to end Sept. 30, involves officers working overtime, usually on a shift lasting from 4 p.m. to midnight. Since its launch April 28, the force has made 1,145 felony arrests and 3,043 misdemeanor arrests and seized $190,000 in cash and slightly more than $1 million worth of illegal narcotics, Gainer said. More than 122,000 staff hours have been used, he said.

The department's focus on community policing still requires "a large amount of pacification" to keep communities safe, even while longer-term preventive solutions are worked on, Gainer said. "Even some police initially thought [that] once you're into community policing, you can hang up your cuffs and gun," he said. "Frankly, there are still a lot of bad people out there."


"This is what it takes. Even with this level of investment in our infrastructure, the level of congestion rises significantly. This is not even a stand-still proposal."

-- William H. Hussmann, chairman of the Montgomery County Planning Board, on the proposal by Montgomery planners to spend $2.8 billion over 20 years on roads, rails and new bus lines.