Woman, Girl Struck and Killed by Car
A 30-year-old woman and an 8-year-old girl were fatally injured yesterday when they were struck by a car on a sidewalk near a bus stop in Hyattsville, Prince George's County authorities said.
The pedestrians were standing beside Queens Chapel Road near Nicholson Street about 2:30 p.m. when a Mercury Marquis jumped the curb and hit them, said Lt. Steve Walker, of the Hyattsville Police Department.
Both were pronounced dead within about an hour at hospitals, said Capt. Mark Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George's County fire department. Their identities were withheld pending notification of relatives.
Police said it was unclear why the car ran off the road. After hitting the woman and the girl, it spun across the road and sideswiped a utility pole, Walker said. The driver, a 78-year-old man whose name was not released, was taken to Washington Adventist Hospital for observation, as was his 76-year-old wife, who was a passenger, officials said. The accident was under investigation.
Michele Dorr Memorial Funds Announced
Details of two memorial funds in the name of 6-year-old Michele Dorr to aid the families of missing children were announced yesterday by the parents of the slain child.
Michele's mother, Dee Dee Appleby, completed plans for the Michele Lee Dorr Fund for Missing Children, said her attorney, James Shalleck. He said checks for the fund may be mailed to 9158 Rothbury Dr., Box 195, Montgomery Village, Md. 20886. The money will go to a nonprofit organization being set up through Chevy Chase Bank, he said.
The child's father, Carl Dorr, said he has set up a similar fund through the Montgomery County Victims Assistance and Sexual Assault Program. Donations may be mailed to 1301 Piccard Dr., 4th floor, Rockville, Md. 20850. Checks must be made out to the VASAP Trustee Account in the Name of Michele Dorr, Dorr said.
Michele, who vanished from her father's Silver Spring back yard in 1986, was found last week buried in woods along Route 29 in Montgomery County. Hadden Clark, 47, is serving a 30-year sentence in her slaying.
Carbon Monoxide Leak Injures Family
A Fairfax County family was hospitalized for several hours yesterday after carbon monoxide gas from their furnace seeped into the halls of their house.
Chadwick Gore, 50, said his 12-year-old son got up to use the bathroom about 3:45 a.m. in their home in the 3000 block of Castle Road in the Seven Corners area. The son felt ill and alerted his mother, and both of them later collapsed. Gore then checked on his 9-year-old son, whom he found unconscious in bed. All four family members were treated at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital.
Fairfax County Fire Lt. Mark Stone said investigators believe the family's furnace, located in a small utility room, lacked sufficient ventilation, allowing the colorless, odorless and deadly gas to build up. Stone provided the Gores with a carbon monoxide detector to go along with their smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
Gore later described the incident as "a rude awakening. We had about a half-hour to go before we were dead."
Alexandria Plans Gypsy-Moth Spraying
Responding to a resurgence of the gypsy moth, the Alexandria City Council voted last night to spray for the first time in five years in an effort to reduce the moth population.
The spraying initiative will be reviewed at a public hearing Jan. 22, but the two neighborhoods that would be sprayed--Seminary Hill and North Ridge in the western part of the city--have been receptive thus far. The spraying of Bacillus thuringiensis over 115 acres is scheduled for early May.
The tree parasites plagued the region a decade ago, and spraying was widespread. Over the last few years, the moth population declined significantly, but it is up slightly now because the dry spring hurt the moths' natural predators, according to the city staff.
School Workers to Take Strike Vote
The union that represents D.C. school custodians, cafeteria workers, building engineers and transportation employees will vote Sunday on whether to strike in an effort to win pay raises and bonuses equal to those given to other city employees since 1996.
Phillip A. Feaster, president of Teamsters Local 639, said Superintendent Arlene Ackerman told him Monday that she has no money in her budget for such expenses. But Feaster said his workers are entitled to parity with their counterparts in other D.C. agencies, who received a $1,700 bonus last month in addition to raises.
The union has threatened to strike several times in recent years but has retreated each time after winning concessions from the school administration.
Air Traffic Control Failure Explained
The failure of the Washington region's main air traffic control system last week occurred because a computer program got stuck when technicians conducted a standard restart of the software just as it happened to be sending a command to its printer, a Federal Aviation Administration investigation has concluded.
The FAA's review of computer tapes attributed the problem in the flight-plan storage program to "freak timing," said Peter Challan, deputy associate director for air traffic services.
He said the program was restarted within "milliseconds" of giving an automatic command to print out a plan for a commercial flight from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, he said. Because the printer never responded to that command, the plan got stuck, backing up the system as other flight plans were entered.
Challan said the FAA intends to update the flight-plan program to prevent a repeat of Thursday morning's failure, which grounded hundreds of flights along the Eastern Seaboard. Until then, technicians will monitor the program, he said.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Even living like animals is better than being in the street."
--Valerie Thomas, who had lived with her six children in squalid conditions in an apartment building in Southwest Washington since August. City officials who found the family there yesterday condemned the building and moved the family to a motel.