An article yesterday and an item in Thursday's Maryland Weekly incorrectly said that Ralph G. Neas was the only Democrat who had decided to run against Rep. Constance A. Morella (R-Md.). Deborah A. Vollmer, of Chevy Chase, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination to run against Morella last year, has declared she will again seek the nomination in 2000. This week, Neas abandoned plans to run. (Published 09/25/1999)
Neas Won't Challenge Morella in 2000
Maryland Democrat Ralph G. Neas abandoned plans yesterday for a 2000 rematch against Rep. Constance A. Morella (R-Md.) of Montgomery County, saying the birth of his first child this week made family responsibilities his "foremost priority."
"After much soul-searching and heart-to-heart talks with Katy, I have decided not to run in 2000 for the 8th Congressional District seat," Neas said, referring to his wife, who delivered the couple's daughter, Maria Beh Neas on Tuesday. He cited grueling campaign hours and "the obscene amount of money" needed to unseat an incumbent.
Neas lost to Morella in 1998 by 60 percent to 40 percent. The 53-year-old Bethesda lawyer proved a formidable fund-raiser, however, and was credited with boosting Democrats' statewide ticket.
Neas raised $107,000 the first half of this year and said he will return all money to donors. No Democrat has emerged to challenge Morella, who is seeking an eighth term.
Man, 82, Killed Crossing Georgia Ave.
An 82-year-old Wheaton man was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer yesterday as he tried to walk cross Georgia Avenue near his home, Montgomery County police said.
Sumner Jay Maletz, of the 11900 block of Georgia Avenue, was struck in the northbound lane of Georgia at Henderson Avenue about 10 a.m. He died at Suburban Hospital. The truck's driver has not been charged, police said.
Maletz was the second Montgomery County pedestrian to die in two days. Yesterday, police identified the woman struck and killed by a tractor-trailer Wednesday as Rosemary Vivian Martufi, 66, of the 4400 block of Chase Avenue, Bethesda. She was struck while walking her dog at Wisconsin and Rosedale avenues.
Investigators identified Martufi by tracing a code found on the dog's collar to a veterinarian who cared for the pet and could name its owner, police spokeswoman Joyce Barrow said. An investigation of that accident is continuing.
High School Students Protest Photo IDs
More than 5,000 students at Montgomery County high schools have signed petitions protesting the requirement that they wear photo ID badges next semester, condemning what they call "cosmetic quick fixes" and "police-state tactics."
"The photo IDs symbolize a philosophy of fear," said Gabe Shalom, a senior at Walter Johnson High School, who organized the petition drive group, Students Against Fear in Education, or SAFE. "They're part of a larger mentality of control, suspect, infringe and alienate. It's not the way to go about making us peaceful people."
The petition drive, still underway at 22 of the county's 23 high schools, calls on Superintendent Jerry D. Weast to drop the mandate or require students only to carry, not wear, the badges. The students asking for more guidance counselors at schools rather than police and more peace studies.
Pr. William School Official Steps Down
Prince William School Board member John Harper Jr., who represents the Neabsco district, has stepped down from the board with two months left in his term.
Harper, 62, who announced in May that he did not plan to seek reelection because of health problems related to two serious car accidents and arthritis, told board members Wednesday night that he will have to leave sooner, on the recommendation of his doctors.
"Sometimes I'm kind of stubborn, but my body cannot do what my mind wants it to do," said Harper, who received a standing ovation after his resignation speech.
Harper is the first African American to hold elected office in Prince William County. His seat on the School Board will remain open until the November election.
Fairfax School Says Snub Was Wrong
Administrators at Fairfax County's Oakton Elementary School were wrong when they told a School Board candidate this week to leave school property, school officials said yesterday.
Jamie Ruppman, who is running in the Providence District, was greeting parents outside Oakton at a back-to-school night on Tuesday when an assistant principal asked her to leave. Ruppman's opponent, incumbent Ernestine Heastie, was allowed to enter the building, where she spoke with parents.
Paul Regnier, a schools spokesman, said that although the district does not allow campaigning inside school buildings, it does permit candidates to stand outside and distribute campaign literature. Ruppman was invited to return to Oakton for a second back-to-school night last night.
3-Alarm Fire at Alexandria Apartments
A three-alarm fire sent smoke billowing through upper floors of a 16-story apartment building in Alexandria yesterday but caused no injuries, fire officials said.
The fire, which started about 11:40 a.m. inside an elevator on the seventh floor of the Ashlawn building at 4921 Seminary Road, was quickly extinguished. "There was very heavy smoke in the hallways," said Jane Davidson Malik, a fire department spokeswoman, and "there were people calling from their apartments who said they couldn't get out because it was so smoky."
Residents were urged to stay in their apartments until the smoke cleared, although many departed via stairs after hearing an alarm.
Malik said the cause of the fire remains under investigation, and there was no damage estimate.
Girl's Foot Gets Caught in Escalator
A 3-year-old girl's left foot became caught in the down escalator at the entrance to the Potomac Avenue Metro station yesterday, Metro spokeswoman Cheryl Johnson said. A safety mechanism automatically stopped the escalator and the girl was freed after six minutes by rescue workers
The girl's mother, who was with her on the escalator, refused medical treatment for the child and "just picked her up and headed for the train," Johnson said. Metro workers at the station said the girl's foot appeared swollen.
The foot was caught between the step and a brush that projects slightly from the sidewall as a warning when feet are too close to the sidewall, said Paul Gillum, Metro's director of plant maintenance. "She had to turn her foot in an extremely awkward way to get it stuck there," Gillum said. The escalator will remain out of service until it is completely inspected, he said.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"This is an indication that the city is growing out of its prolonged adolescence and into maturity."
-- Dorn McGrath Jr., a professor of urban and regional planning at George Washington University, on the decision to keep the Metro subway system open later on weekends.