Montgomery Accidents Claim Two Lives

Two Montgomery County residents, one a motorist, the other a pedestrian, were killed Saturday in separate traffic accidents, county police said yesterday.

Laroi Brooks, 23, died after his Jeep Cherokee collided with a van on a rural road in Damascus. Police said the accident occurred shortly after 2 p.m. when Brooks's vehicle rounded a curve on Hipsley Mill Road, went through a stop sign and was struck by a Chevrolet van headed north on Damascus Road.

Brooks, of the 800 block of Quince Orchard Boulevard in Gaithersburg, was thrown into a telephone pole and died at the scene, police said. The van's driver, Derek Hall, 22, of Derwood, and his passenger, Nicholas Di Franco, 21, of Damascus, were taken to Montgomery General Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

In the second incident, Liliana Yaran, 52, of Silver Spring, was struck and killed by a car just before 6 p.m. as she crossed Layhill Road near Georgia Avenue in Wheaton.

Yaran, 52, of Hickory Hill Lane, was not in a crosswalk when she was hit by a 1985 Mercedes-Benz heading east, police said. Yaran was flown via helicopter to Prince George's Hospital Center, where she died. The driver, Kolavit Rabeepun, 55, of Wheaton, was not injured.

Man Shot to Death in Prince George's

A man was shot to death early yesterday in the 6000 block of Longfellow Street in the Hyattsville-Riverdale area, Prince George's County police said.

The man was found outdoors about 2:10 a.m. in an area of apartment complexes, a police spokesman said. He was taken to Prince George's Hospital Center, where he died about a half-hour later.

The victim's name and other details of the crime were being withheld yesterday until his family could be notified, police said.

Man With HIV Convicted of Assault

An HIV-infected man who bit a security guard in Frederick during a struggle has been convicted of second-degree assault and several other charges.

Prosecutors said Eric Glaspie, 21, cut his mouth while struggling with three security officers, a clerk and an off-duty police officer and then bit one of the guards on the right biceps, breaking his skin. The scuffle began when security officers tried to stop Glaspie from leaving a store after a clerk suspected he was trying to buy merchandise with a bogus check.

On Friday, jurors could not reach a verdict on a first-degree assault charge. The second-degree assault conviction is a misdemeanor that carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $2,500.

Courts Want Funds to Improve Backlog

Maryland's judiciary has sent state lawmakers a plan for reducing backlogs by boosting state spending on circuit courts by $8 million next year and larger amounts in the next three years.

By fiscal year 2004, the state would be spending $50 million more on circuit court operations than it does now, according to the plan endorsed by Chief Judge Robert M. Bell and the Conference of Circuit Judges.

They presented the plan to the Senate and House budget-writing committees last week as an alternative to a Glendening administration funding proposal that failed in the last General Assembly. The judges regarded that bill as a step toward a state takeover of the circuit courts.

The judges' plan includes gradual state assumption of costs for judicial masters, law clerks, jury fees, court office leases, 10 new family court judges and some courthouse security.


Man Struck, Killed on Anacostia Freeway

An off-duty D.C. police detective struck and killed a 38-year-old man who ran in front of his vehicle yesterday on the Anacostia Freeway, District and Metro transit police said.

The fatal accident followed an incident about 1:40 a.m. at the Minnesota Avenue Metro station at Minnesota and Grant Street NE. The man apparently climbed an eight-foot fence and walked into the station, jumped over a fare gate and ran down the subway tracks yelling, "They are chasing me!" The station manager, who was locking up, said the man then headed back onto the platform, climbed over another fence near the track bed and onto the northbound lanes of Interstate 295.

A car driven by Detective Caswell Fleming hit the man just north of Benning Road. Although the police investigation continues, commander Gene P. Marlin said yesterday there was no indication that Fleming acted improperly. The 14-year veteran, assigned to the 3rd Police District in Northwest, was driving his own vehicle.

The dead man's name was being withheld yesterday until his family could be notified.

Upgrade Planned at Helicopter Facility

The U.S. Park Police are planning to renovate their Anacostia Park helicopter facility in Southeast Washington by adding a 10,000-gallon, above-ground fuel system and by building an additional hangar to house a new twin-engine helicopter, according to a National Park Service spokeswoman.

As part of the planning process, an environmental assessment for the proposed development has been completed, and the public is invited to comment on the report, said Janet Braxton, spokeswoman for the National Capital Parks East. Copies of the assessment may be obtained by calling 202-690-5165, and comments must be received by Nov. 26, Braxton said.


Fairfax Plans School Boundary Meetings

Fairfax school officials have scheduled a series of town meetings to gather citizen input on the drawing of attendance boundaries for a new high school scheduled to open next fall in the western part of the county.

Residents from the current Centreville, Chantilly, Fairfax and Oakton high school attendance areas, their middle school feeders and surrounding communities are invited to attend the town meeting Nov. 16 at Stone Middle School in Centreville.

Participants will be asked in successive town meetings to define considerations that should guide the establishment of boundaries, identify neighborhoods that should be considered for reassignment and evaluate reassignment plans.

Subsequent meetings will be held Nov. 30 and Dec. 14.


"It is a 1940s operation that needs to get into the 1990s, in an expedited manner."

-- Peter G. LaPorte, D.C. director of emergency management, describing the prevention system for toxic chemical accidents at the District's Blue Plains Sewage Treatment Plant