MARYLAND

Curry Picks New Family Services Chief

Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry (D) has named Keith Hampden, the executive director of a community center in Texas, as the county's new director of family services.

Hampden has been executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Dallas for the past eight years. The community center offers programs for senior citizens, health clinic services, mental health services, a day-care center, recreation programs and a library.

Hampden replaces Donna Crocker, who became Curry's deputy chief administrative officer for human services this year.

"Administering the daily affairs of the Department of Family Services requires a highly qualified and experienced individual," Curry said in a statement announcing the appointment. "Dr. Hampden has demonstrated outstanding leadership and professionalism in his previous administrative positions."

The appointment requires the approval of the County Council, which returns from its summer recess tomorrow.

Suspect Sought in Carjacking, Assault

Maryland State Police in St. Mary's County are searching for a man who allegedly carjacked two women in a Wal-Mart parking lot in the town of California on Friday night and sexually assaulted one of them in the back seat.

Police said the man approached the women, both 21, about 11:30 p.m. as they walked to their car after shopping. He allegedly showed them a handgun, told them where to drive and forced the passenger to get in the back seat and perform a sex act.

The suspect fled when the car was stopped for a traffic light, police said.

Car Strikes Bicyclist, Samaritan

A 20-year-old bicyclist was in fair condition yesterday after being hit by a car on Connecticut Avenue in Kensington early yesterday, Montgomery County police reported.

The man, who police said had been drinking, was riding north in a southbound lane near Dresden Street when he was hit about 1:30 a.m.

A bystander came to the man's aid, and the two were struck by another car, police said. The bicyclist, who suffered head injuries, was taken to Suburban Hospital. The bystander received minor injuries.

VIRGINIA

Gilmore Seeks Aid After Tornado

Gov. James S. Gilmore III said yesterday that he has asked President Clinton to provide federal disaster assistance to people displaced by a tornado that damaged an assisted-living center and five apartment complexes in Hampton.

The governor went to the city to see the damage from the twister, which struck shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday, slightly injuring more than a dozen people. Wearing a white construction hard hat, he toured the grounds of three apartment complexes and visited a dining room that was heavily damaged at the Devonshire assisted-living center.

Gilmore said he was amazed that no one was seriously injured. "We are blessed that we did not have people die in this," he said.

The tornado was spawned by Tropical Storm Dennis, which was demoted to tropical depression status yesterday as it moved through North Carolina. The twister damaged about 800 vehicles, including a tractor-trailer that flipped over. Huge trees were uprooted, utility poles were snapped and roofs were ripped off some private residences in the three-mile swath the twister cut through the city.

Gilmore chatted with some residents as firefighters escorted them to damaged apartments to retrieve medication, clothes and other essentials. An estimated 1,000 people were displaced. "I'm very impressed with the courage and the toughness of the people . . . and their reaction to this," he said.

Some residents returned yesterday to survey the damage wrought by the tornado, which the National Weather Service estimated said had winds of about 120 mph.

"We thought we heard a plane come by, and the walls just started shaking," said apartment resident Linda Stalls, 30. "We hit the floor, and some planks of wood flew past the window."

Hampton police spokesman Jeff Walden said the preliminary damage estimate was $7.2 million. Michael Cline, director of emergency services for Virginia, said he expected federal aid to start flowing into Hampton today.

Motorcycle Gang Chapter Fades

The last Hampton Roads chapter of the Pagan motorcycle gang has been shut down by a federal investigation into methamphetamine distribution, federal authorities said.

The Portsmouth-based gang had a history of violence; its heyday was in the 1970s and '80s. At one point, there were several chapters in the Tidewater region. The Portsmouth chapter disbanded after its president, Richard E. Delise, fled federal drug investigators in 1997.

In January, authorities caught up with Delise in Florida, charging him with distributing methamphetamine in Portsmouth. Last month, Delise, 51, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, and his estranged wife, Frankie Barbara Delise, was sentenced to 25 years.

Delise's son, Christopher M. Delise, 26, was sentenced Thursday to 19 1/2 years in prison. He bought methamphetamine for a drug ring in San Diego, according to papers filed in U.S. District Court in Norfolk.

Two other members of the ring also have received sentences: Leslie D. Prince, 34, of Portsmouth, 22 months; and William C. Weeber, 33, of Portsmouth, three years.

Richard Delise was the only member of the Pagans to be charged in the drug operation, federal prosecutor Kevin Comstock said.

Nearly all Pagans left the area during the investigation, said Kevin Gavin, a Portsmouth police detective who was part of a Drug Enforcement Administration task force that investigated the ring.

The Pagans have about 250 members on the East Coast, federal authorities said.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"Imports of crab meat are threatening our very livelihood. I'll be buying less crabs if I don't have the sales for meat this fall. We'll be taking less for our finished product, paying less to the watermen for the raw product. Everybody's working for less."

-- Jack Brooks, co-owner of a 109-year-old family-owned crab processing plant that has lost 25 percent of its business this year. - Page B1