MARYLAND

Md. National Guard Precautions Ordered

Maryland National Guard units have been directed to take security precautions in coming days, officials said yesterday.

The directive does not put the guard at a higher state of alert but urges commanders to take steps to ensure that their security is adequate. "It's all common-sense stuff, like making sure your exterior lighting is working," said Capt. Drew Sullins, a spokesman for the guard.

The memorandum was issued to prepare for the millennium as well as to respond to an incident last week in which peace activists were arrested for allegedly beating on a Maryland Guard jet fighter with hammers at Martin State Airport near Baltimore, Sullins said.

Man Struck, Killed by Van He Was Moving

A Lanham man died Monday night after he was accidentally run over by a van that he had been backing out of a Silver Spring driveway, Montgomery County police said.

Pradeep Lakhan Sukhu, 37, of the 5300 block of Barker Place, was backing a Chevrolet Astro van out of a driveway in the 1100 block of Tiffany Road about 9:30 p.m. when he stepped out of the moving vehicle, police said.

Sukhu apparently lost his balance and fell beneath the van, which was still in reverse and ran over him with the front left tire, police said.

Sukhu, who was moving the van so he could get another car out of the same driveway, was dead at the scene, said Montgomery police spokesman Derek Baliles.

Baliles said investigators determined that Sukhu had been drinking alcohol before the incident, but they do not know whether he was impaired at the time or whether he simply tripped and fell.

State GOP Treasurer to Run for Congress

Tim Mayberry, the state Republican Party treasurer, will challenge Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett for the GOP nomination from Maryland's 6th District in the March primary election.

His entry into the race makes Bartlett the first of the state's four Republican and four Democratic members of Congress to face a challenge within the party from an opponent with significant name recognition among voters.

Mayberry, who twice ran for state comptroller, said yesterday he decided to seek the nomination because Western Maryland has not shared in the prosperity enjoyed by most of the rest of the state and the nation and because he had been urged to run by supporters.

He said he and Bartlett hold similar conservative views, especially on social issues.

But Mayberry criticized some of Bartlett's record, saying he had voted against federal aid for his district and voted to close Fort Ritchie, "which is the largest employer in Washington County."

VIRGINIA

Park-and-Ride Lot Opens in Dumfries

The Virginia Department of Transportation officially opened a new park-and-ride commuter lot in Prince William County yesterday, part of a regional effort to reduce congestion caused by the Springfield Mixing Bowl project.

The 280-space lot, at the intersection of Route 234 and Route 1 in Dumfries, will target overflow commuters from similar lots in Stafford County and farther north in Prince William. VDOT officials said they hope nearby residents will use the lot to take OmniRide commuter buses, form car pools or participate in impromptu "slug" lines. All enable commuters to use car-pool lanes rather than clogging the general-purpose lanes of Interstate 95 during the construction project.

VDOT officials said they plan to expand two other commuter lots and provide easier access to an underused lot in Prince William by the end of 2001. Officials hope to add 1,200 park-and-ride spaces along the I-95 corridor between Springfield and Fredericksburg over the next two years, supplementing the approximately 10,000 spaces currently available to commuters.

Signs of Y2K Times in Tidewater

There's no need to worry if Y2K computer glitches cause traffic signals to fizzle out in parts of Tidewater Virginia. Cities and counties there have a backup plan: plenty of stop signs.

Although officials don't expect problems, they have been stocking up on the red octagons over the last few months, just in case. Hampton has an extra 250 stop signs, and Newport News has about 100--enough to cover about one-third of the major traffic intersections in Hampton and about one-fourth of those in Newport News, should the lights go out.

Williamsburg officials say they have 35 extra stop signs, enough to put one in place of every traffic signal in the town.

Warning Issued About PCBs in Dan River

A portion of the Dan River has become the second waterway in southern Virginia to come under a state Department of Health advisory warning people about fish contaminated with PCBs.

The department announced this week that samples of fish from the river contain the harmful chemicals once used in electrical equipment. Officials recommended limiting the consumption of flathead and channel catfish from a 42-mile stretch of the river, from Buggs Island Lake at Staunton River State Park to southwestern Halifax County. A 79-mile section of the Staunton River is already under a similar advisory warning.

THE DISTRICT

Construction Worker Killed by Truck

One construction worker was killed and another was injured yesterday when they were hit by a pickup truck that crashed through a barrier and onto a construction site at 5th and M Streets SE, D.C. police said.

The deceased victim, described only as being in his twenties, died at the scene. The other worker and the driver of the truck were taken to a local hospital, said Lt. Bridget Sickon of the major crash investigations unit.

The driver of the pickup, which was heading west on M Street when it broke through the barrier about 3:10 p.m., hitting the men and then a backhoe, was expected to be released from the hospital last night, Sickon said.

The accident is under investigation.

The second man who was struck was being held at the hospital for observation, but his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, Sickon said.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"We'll have five minutes standing on the sidewalk together saying, 'Happy New Year.' Then he'll go his way, and I'll go back."

--Arlington police officer Lynn Hoffman, describing plans to rendezvous with her husband, Tom, also an officer, at 11:55 p.m. on New Year's Eve before they return to their shifts.

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