Anacostia Teens Shot to Death

Spate of Violence Kills 4, Wounds 3

Fresh from a church-sponsored Halloween party, teenagers Doniell Smith and Rowland Ford were walking home with other youths in Anacostia when four men wearing masks, scarves and bandannas opened fire.

Doniell, 14, a sports fan who loved to ride his bike, and Rowland, 15, an honor student, were killed in the fusillade of more than 30 shots.

"These are some pretty strait-laced kids," said police commander Rodney Monroe. "They were about schoolwork, about their families."

Police are still trying to crack the case, which was one of a spate of shootings in the District and Prince George's County that left two other teenagers dead and three wounded.

"They got killed for nothing," said Rufus Neal, a close friend of Doniell and Rowland. "I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and they are still going to be alive."

Driving Up D.C.'s License Age

18 Is Age for Unrestricted Permit

If you want to get an unrestricted driver's license in the District, you'd better practice up on your parallel parking and polish your three-point turns. And, if you're a teenager, be prepared to wait until you're 18 years old.

The D.C. Council has adopted the strictest teenage driving law in the region, putting teenagers through a three-step process that means they won't be able to drive alone, or at night, or with a full complement of passengers, until they're old enough to vote.

"All the research shows that these laws can save lives," said council member Kathy Patterson (D-Ward 3), who wrote the legislation. The American Automobile Association says 16-year-old drivers crash at nine times the rate of other drivers.

Maryland, which strengthened its teenage driving law in July, requires drivers who have just turned 16 to use a learner's permit for four months, then receive an 18-month provisional license. In Virginia, new drivers can get a permanent driver's license at 16 if they receive a driver education certificate and have had a learner's permit for six months.

Suspended for Stripping

Rugby Players Penalized for Stunt

Brandy Chastain, what have you wrought?

The soccer star scored one for free spirits around the world when she shucked her shirt after the American women's soccer team captured the world championship last summer. Although imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, it doesn't always have the intended effect. Just ask the Ohio State University's women's rugby team.

Cavorting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial while in town to play American University, about one-third of the 37 women stripped off their jerseys for a team photo. Unlike Chastain, they weren't wearing sports bras.

"We wanted to do something crazy," said co-captain Megan Cowley. "It's rugby. It's a crazy sport."

School officials weren't laughing. Calling the stunt inappropriate, they called off the team's games and practices.

The suspension was reversed after team members apologized. But the brouhaha isn't over yet. The group that governs rugby clubs has barred the team from competition for the rest of the season.

Across the Region

Crash Victims; Signs From Metro

* At least seven people from Maryland were among the 217 who perished when an EgyptAir flight crashed off Nantucket. Among the dead: three couples who planned to explore Egypt and a 23-year-old Silver Spring man on his way to see his parents in Sudan; he had switched his flight at the last minute so he wouldn't have to miss work.

* When, oh, when is that Metro train going to come? Pretty soon, you won't have to wonder any longer. The subway is installing an $11.5 million computerized sign system that will tell riders when the next train will arrive and how long a delay will last. All the signs should be up by March, officials say.

* In a shift that reflects a surge in Latin American immigrants and a growing number of home-grown Hispanic children, Alexandria has become the area's first suburban school system with more Hispanic than non-Hispanic white students. About one in four students there is Hispanic, compared with 22.6 percent who are white and not Latino. Hispanics also outnumber non-Hispanic whites in D.C. schools.

* District high school graduates soon will be able to attend colleges in Maryland and Virginia at in-state tuition rates, probably starting next fall. "No longer will our youngsters alone be denied access to the array of higher education opportunities other Americans obtain as a matter of their citizenship in their states," said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).

* Martin O'Malley, a 37-year-old former prosecutor, will be Baltimore's next mayor. O'Malley, who grew up in Montgomery County, easily defeated Republican David F. Tufaro after running on a "zero tolerance" anti-crime platform.

-- Erica Johnston

Republicans Take Richmond in Historic Rout of Democrats

Governor Says 'Liberalism Is a Washed-Up Relic' and Election Results Are GOP Mandate

Any way you look at it, Republicans won a historic victory in Virginia last week, wresting complete control of the General Assembly for the first time in more than 100 years. But how that fundamental shift will shake out is another question altogether.

"I believe that this election is a mandate by the people of Virginia for the Republican Party," Gov. James S. Gilmore III exulted after voters put Republicans in 52 of 100 seats in the House of Delegates and kept 21 Republicans in the 40-member Senate. A day earlier, he had declared, "Liberalism is a washed-up relic of the past."

But Gilmore and other Republicans stopped short of claiming the victories as a mandate for the governor's own agenda.

"I don't think [fellow Republicans are] a rubber stamp for the governor," said Del. John H. "Jack" Rust Jr. (R-Fairfax). "We'll work with the governor, but as a team, not as a silent partner."

Some lawmakers said regional loyalties could end up meaning as much as party ties in the new political calculus and predicted that Northern Virginia issues will be zealously guarded, no matter who rules the roost in Richmond.

"The Democrats and the Republicans in Northern Virginia are concerned with the same issues . . . education and transportation," said Del. Harry J. Parrish (R-Manassas).

Some Democrats even claimed a certain advantage in their underdog status, saying it would free them from partisan constraints.

"What it takes is a commitment to policy over politics, and I'm not sure that's always been the Democratic Party's commitment," said Albert Pollar Jr., 31, a Democrat who won a delegate's seat in the largely Republican Northern Neck.

"Twenty years from now, if a kid has a smaller class, is he going to know if it was a Democrat or a Republican who got it?" Pollard asked.

Silver Spring to Reel in Film Fans

AFI, Discovery Plan Festival Devoted to Documentaries

Think movies. Nah--think films. Artsy. Important. Glitzy and glamorous.

For films from around the globe, think Cannes. For independent ventures, think of Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. And for documentaries, think . . . Silver Spring.

That's the plan, anyway. The American Film Institute and Bethesda-based Discovery Communications are moving to the city's still-scruffy downtown, and they hope to launch a festival that showcases--and changes the image of--what filmmaker Ken Burns calls the broccoli of the movie world.

Nonfiction films have been seen as "good for you but not good tasting," said Burns, the man behind must-see documentaries on the Civil War and baseball.

"What we've seen recently is that they can be every bit as compelling as feature films."

Planners say that starting in the spring or summer of 2001, they hope to draw 20,000 people to the Silver Theatre for movies, lectures and parties. Montgomery County officials are hoping the fest will give a powerful push to downtown Silver Spring's $321 million urban renewal effort.