MARYLAND

Inmate Found Dead in Jessup Prison

An inmate was apparently choked to death early yesterday inside his cell at the Maryland House of Correction Annex in Jessup, officials said.

During a routine head count, correctional officers found Alan Newman unconscious and unresponsive about 3 a.m., said Dave Towers, a spokesman for the state corrections department.

Officers administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation but were unsuccessful, Towers said. The inmate was pronounced dead at 3:18 a.m., he said.

Newman, who was serving a life sentence for a murder and weapons convictions, appeared to have been strangled, Towers said. An autopsy will be conducted.

Newman's cellmate was placed in solitary confinement and corrections officials are investigating, Towers said.

Missing Woman Found in Pennsylvania

A woman who had been missing from her Silver Spring home since Wednesday has been found unharmed in Hershey, Pa., Montgomery County police said yesterday.

The officers say a Pennsylvania trooper found 77-year-old Lillian Edwards at a diner Friday. Montgomery police Capt. Bill O'Toole said Edwards, who suffers from memory loss, appeared disoriented to the trooper who found her, but she was in good physical condition.

It appeared that Edwards drove to Hershey from her Silver Spring home Wednesday, and there is no evidence of foul play, O'Toole said. Members of Edwards's family drove to Hershey to reunite with her Friday night, O'Toole said.

VIRGINIA

Arlington Approves Shirlington Project

The Arlington County Board unanimously approved a major development plan yesterday for the neighborhood of Shirlington, despite angry protests by dozens of nearby residents.

Rockville-based developer Federal Realty Investment Trust gained preliminary approval for extending Shirlington, a small commercial area near Interstate 395 south of the Pentagon, with $120 million in construction projects, including two blocks of commercial, retail, residential and hotel space.

Proponents of the plan say it will make the area more commercially viable. Many nearby residents fear the new development will produce too much congestion and will spoil Shirlington's small-town character.

Driver Killed, Three Hurt in One-Car Crash

A 20-year-old Centreville man was killed and three people were injured late Friday in a one-car crash in Chantilly blamed on a speeding driver, Fairfax County police said yesterday.

The driver, Roy Khattar, of the 13900 block of Winding Ridge Lane, was pronounced dead at Inova Fairfax Hospital after the 10:30 p.m. crash, police said.

Khattar was driving a 1996 Dodge Neon north on Pleasant Valley Road, south of Braddock Road, with three passengers. Police said Khattar's car was speeding when he lost control and it sideswiped a tree, crossed back over the road and slammed into another tree.

The passengers were injured, one critically. None was wearing a seat belt, police said. It was not immediately known whether alcohol contributed to the crash.

Body Recovered From Lake Barcroft

The body of a Culmore man who had drowned in a canoeing accident on Lake Barcroft on Monday was recovered yesterday morning, authorities said.

Gilmar Cornelio Gonzales, 20, of the 3400 block of Glen Carlyn Drive, and three men allegedly stole a canoe and paddled it onto the lake before it capsized about 12:30 a.m. Monday, Fairfax County police said.

The other men made it to shore, where they joined two others in an attempt to rescue Gonzales. His body was discovered by a marine patrol officer searching the lake yesterday near the 6200 block of Lakeview Drive. Gonzales' body, which was identified by a relative, was taken to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

U-Va. Raises $1.5 Billion

University of Virginia President John Casteen says gifts to the university have surpassed all expectations.

Casteen told members of the school's Board of Visitors finance committee yesterday that $1.5 billion was raised, 50 percent more than the university's $1 billion goal.

Casteen also said the school collected more than $195 million in grants, up 47 percent from the previous year.

These include $20 million from the estate of Paul Mellon to research prostate cancer and a $10 million grant to further the university's astronomy program.

Four Educators Win $25,000 Awards

Four Virginia educators received $25,000 awards last week from the Milken Family Foundation.

The prestigious Milken Family Foundation National Educator Awards are designed to reward and provide public recognition for elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and others who promote excellence and innovation in public education. Educators may use their awards in any way they wish.

The Virginia winners are Charla Faulkner Crews, a second-grade teacher at Meadville Elementary in Halifax County; Deborah A. Lassiter, a teaching assistant principal at John Tyler Elementary in Portsmouth; Stephen T. Jackson, principal of Spotswood Elementary in Harrisonburg; and E. Wade Whitehead Jr., a third-grade social studies and science teacher at Crystal Spring Elementary in Roanoke.

THE DISTRICT

Reeves Drops Out of School Board Race

District school board member Don Reeves, the Ward 3 representative elected four years ago, has decided not to seek reelection to the reconfigured board, saying he wants to spend more time with his family.

"I just think that you need to have the support of your family to do something like this," said Reeves, who had filed to represent the new District 2 on the school board, which includes Wards 3 and 4. "It just seemed appropriate for me to pull out at this time and allow the voters to have an uncluttered ballot."

Reeves said he also found it distasteful to solicit votes in the Nov. 7 election from PTA presidents he did not know in Ward 4. "I lack the enthusiasm to pursue votes in this manner," he said. His decision leaves a field of six candidates, including Dwight E. Singleton, the incumbent in Ward 4.

Charges Dismissed Against Protester

A D.C. Superior Court judge dismissed charges last month against a key organizer of the International Monetary Fund protests in April, ruling that the charges filed against Brian Becker were too weak to consider prosecution.

Becker, 47, acting as co-director of the New York-based International Action Center, helped coordinate an April 15 downtown protest against the nation's boom in building prisons. The protest came the day before thousands of demonstrators planned to protest an IMF/World Bank conference.

Corporation counsel attorneys presented their case Friday in a trial before Judge Hiram Puig-Logo, but he dismissed the charges immediately. Becker's attorney, Mark Goldstone, was not asked to stage a defense.

Becker is part of a group that has filed a class-action lawsuit against the police department in U.S. District Court, claiming wrongful arrest.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"We are moving toward a surveillance society. Soon, government and private industry, often working in concert, will have the capability to monitor our every movement. . . . While the technology is growing at light speed, the law that governs how the data can be used is developing at the speed of tortoises."

-- Barry Steinhardt, associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union, on the growing amount of personal location and travel information being collected by remote sensors on U.S. highways and inside transit systems. -- Page A1