2 Men Die in Separate Attacks
Two men were slain in separate incidents in the District late Friday and early yesterday.
An unidentified man died Friday night at Washington Hospital Center after being found by police with gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen in the 400 block of Ingraham Street NW. Police and emergency medical technicians had responded to a report of a shooting shortly after 9:30 p.m. The victim was pronounced dead at 9:47 p.m.
In the other incident, Michael Moore, 44, died early yesterday after being stabbed in his apartment in the 3300 block of 10th Place SE, police said. He was pronounced dead at 4:17 a.m. at Prince George's Hospital Center, where police and medical technicians took him after being called to his apartment shortly after 3 a.m.
Police said George M. Brooks, 36, of no fixed address, has been charged in the case, the first slaying in the city this year. Police gave no motive for the stabbing.
Woman Dies in Mobile Home Fire
A woman was fatally injured and four other people suffered smoke inhalation in a mobile home fire in the Mount Vernon area early yesterday, a Fairfax County fire official said.
He said Jessica Sprage, 27, of Burke, died shortly after 1 p.m. at the burn unit of the Washington Hospital Center. She was extricated about 3:30 a.m. from the blaze in the 7900 block of Woodpecker Way, said Dan Schmidt, the spokesman.
Also pulled from the mobile home by firefighters was an infant who was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital for smoke inhalation.
Three other adults who had escaped the dwelling also were treated for smoke inhalation at Fairfax Hospital. Fire officials blamed the fire on an unattended candle, but details were not available. They estimated the damage at $40,000.
Arlington Man Charged With DWI
An Arlington man was charged with driving while intoxicated after he took control of a van that his wife was driving and ran it off the road.
Fairfax County police say the incident happened about 3 a.m. yesterday as Miguel Zalayandia's wife was driving the van north on Sully Road. Zalayandia was in the front passenger seat and the couple's two children, ages 5 and 10, were in the back.
Police said Zalayandia grabbed the steering wheel while his wife struggled with him. They said Zalayandia climbed on his wife's lap and stepped on the accelerator. The van crossed five lanes of traffic, where it jumped a curb and went down a hillside into the Newgate Shopping Center parking lot, police said.
Zalayandia was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital with head injuries. The other three family members suffered minor injuries.
Reston Woman's Car Taken at Gunpoint
A 53-year-old Reston woman was the victim of a carjacking at her home late Friday evening. Fairfax County police say the woman had just arrived home in her 1995 Ford Contour when a man approached from behind and pulled out a handgun.
Police say that the woman complied with the man's demand for her keys and that he drove off in the car. Police are looking for a suspect in his twenties, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 150 pounds and wearing a gray-and-black jacket, tan pants and dark baseball cap.
The Contour is dark green with Virginia tags ZND-1523.
Arlington Changes High School Schedule
The Arlington School Board has adjusted the spring school calendar, requiring high school students to attend for a half day on April 7, which was previously scheduled to be a student holiday.
April 7 will remain a middle school student holiday to allow teachers a whole day for planning, while high school teachers will use that afternoon for planning.
A board statement said the high school change was necessary to meet state standards. The last day of school for elementary and middle school students will still be June 20, but the last day for high school students will be June 16, unless snow days force an extension of the school year.
Reception at Renovated Mansion
Virginians got a first-hand look yesterday at the newly renovated Executive Mansion in Richmond.
Gov. James S. Gilmore III and his family opened the mansion for a New Year's Day reception. The Gilmores moved back into the 186-year-old mansion last month after completion of a $7 million renovation, which was chronicled on the "Bob Vila's Home Again" syndicated television show.
The Gilmores lived in a $9,900-a-month rental house for six months while the work was under way.
'Blair Witch' House Survives
The ramshackle house that was the scene of the chilling climax in the movie "The Blair Witch Project" will not be torn down after all, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources said.
The Griggs House in Granite, Md., a two-story, gabled dwelling in which the film's characters meet their end, had been slated for demolition by state officials, who concluded several years ago that the dilapidated building was a hazard. But officials changed their minds late last month, DNR spokesman John Surrick said.
"The state was approached by a party that has an interest in the structure that has a benefit for the state," Surrick said. He referred further questions to the Maryland Film Office, which promotes movie production in the state.
An office spokeswoman would not say whether the house, tucked in Patapsco State Park in western Baltimore County, will be used in coming features.
William Whitacre, the lawyer for Haxan Films, the Orlando, Fla.-based producers of "The Blair Witch Project," said Haxan did not pay the state to spare the property, but said he believes the film's distributor, Artisan Entertainment, did. Artisan offices in Santa Monica, Calif., were closed last week. The amount of money involved was not disclosed.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I am an 'Ally McBeal' and an 'X-Files' addict, and I can't imagine life without those two programs. I think there will be hell to pay."
-- Fairfax County Supervisor Sharon S. Bulova (D-Braddock), on the dispute that has removed Fox TV programs from Cox Cable in the county