MARYLAND

Montgomery Rejects Part of Road Plan

The Montgomery County Council rejected yesterday a key portion of the plan to alleviate cross-county traffic congestion that Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D) proposed after killing plans for the intercounty connector highway.

In a vote setting county transportation priorities, the council recommended against building the western portion of a proposed parkway that would connect Interstate 370 near Gaithersburg with Georgia Avenue.

The state has the final authority over highway construction projects, however, and could proceed despite council opposition.

The council also voted to ask the Montgomery County Planning Board to study Glendening's proposal to link Route 29 and Route 1. The project comprises the eastern portion of Glendening's substitute for the ICC.

The ICC would have linked Interstates 270 and 95 north of the Capital Beltway. The council also opposed the ICC but has been critical of the governor's substitute proposal.

Pr. George's Schools Get Federal Grant

Prince George's County schools and four other Maryland school systems are the beneficiaries of a federal grant designed to help prepare low-income students for college.

State education officials announced the receipt of the $13.9 million "GEAR UP" grant for a program aimed at getting students, starting in sixth grade, to take an academic track that can lead to college. Students in participating schools also will be eligible for scholarships, mentoring programs and career counseling.

State officials said they do not know which local schools will be involved in the program.

Prince George's will share the funds with school systems in Baltimore and in Somerset, Garrett and Baltimore counties.

Train Victim Was Germantown Resident

A man struck and killed Monday by a CSX freight train in Gaithersburg was identified by Montgomery County police yesterday as Jose Esteban Salgado, 39.

Salgado was killed by the train as he walked along the edge of the track bed about 3 p.m. as an eastbound 28-car train approached. Investigators said his death was likely an accident or suicide.

Witnesses told investigators that before being hit, the man turned into the path of the train near the South Summit Avenue crossing. Police spokesman Derek Baliles said yesterday that Salgado had been living with family and friends at several addresses in Germantown.

VIRGINIA

Fairfax Schools Want to Add Classes

Almost half of Fairfax County's 206 schools and centers want to offer after-school or Saturday classes for students who have failed the Virginia Standards of Learning exams, according to information presented to the School Board last night.

The program would cost about $1.8 million--about $940,000 of which would be covered by state money and district funds already budgeted for SOL remediation. The School Board would have to approve allocating money to cover the remainder of the cost of the classes, which would be voluntary and offered at no charge to students.

Under the proposal, 56 elementary schools would offer after-school classes; 24 middle schools and centers would provide Saturday instruction for middle school students; and 15 high schools would have Saturday classes for their students. The schools were picked based on their staff's interest in providing such instruction.

The remedial classes would be in addition to the free summer school classes that Fairfax is offering to students who do poorly on the state exams.

THE DISTRICT

Officers Get Incentives to Buy Homes

D.C. police officers would be eligible to receive $2,000 income tax credits and reduced property taxes if they purchase homes in the city, under legislation the D.C. Council passed yesterday.

The program also would offer loans of up to $10,000 to most District government employees who are first-time home buyers in the city. The city had a similar program financed with local funds, but it was discontinued during the financial crisis in the mid-1990s.

Program Aims to Aid Census Participation

The United Black Fund held a kickoff meeting yesterday to promote its new partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau that will encourage District residents to fill out their forms for the national count next year.

The 1990 census missed more than 21,000 people in the District, according to a study by the Census Bureau. Nationally, minorities, poor people and immigrants have a greater-than-average likelihood of not being counted.

Census figures are used to allocate funds for many federal programs.

The United Black Fund, whose 31 member agencies operate a variety of human services programs, is concerned that the District will not get its fair share unless more residents return their questionnaires. To allay people's fears, the group intends to assure people that the information they give the census is confidential.

THE REGION

Trains Run Despite Metro Station Outage

A power outage in a Potomac Electric Power Co. trunk feeder caused a blackout in the McPherson Square Metro station for almost 40 minutes yesterday morning, Metro officials said. Escalators, elevators, fare gates and fare vending machines were frozen, but trains were not affected, Metro spokeswoman Cheryl Johnson said.

The station was without power from 11:41 a.m. until 12:19 p.m., except for an auxiliary power source that provided minimal electricity for emergency lights, Johnson said.

Metro officials allowed passengers to enter and exit the station for free, since the fare gates were not working, Johnson said. Fifty passengers entered the station and an additional 80 exited while the power was out, she said.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"It was very hard for me. I had to leave the wheelchair outside, crawl to the bathroom, then crawl back to the wheelchair...."

--Freddy Ramirez, a 9-year-old boy with cerebral palsy whose wheelchair does not fit in a bathroom at his D.C. elementary school. A judge has ordered the city school system to provide a new bathroom.

-- Page A1