Bid to Block Treatment Initiative Rejected A D.C. Superior Court judge yesterday refused to prevent the city's Board of Elections and Ethics from certifying results of a drug treatment initiative passed by voters last week. Judge Jeannette J. Clark set a Jan. 10 hearing to consider other legal questions.
Clark turned down a bid by the D.C. government to block the elections board from acting on the initiative. But she did not rule on the rest of the city's lawsuit to keep the ballot measure from taking effect.
Initiative 62 would enable certain nonviolent drug offenders to enter drug treatment programs and have their criminal cases dismissed. D.C. officials contend that it illegally requires the spending of city money. They said it would generate huge costs and jeopardize the future of an existing drug court.
Supporters have said they plan to collect private donations and lobby Congress to fund treatment programs.
Pr. George's Schools Seek $4.2 Million
The Prince George's County school board plans to ask the County Council for an additional $4.2 million to close a budget deficit for the school year that ended in June.
At a meeting Thursday night, schools chief Iris T. Metts recommended to board members that they seek help from the County Council. Earlier this month, Metts notified the board that the school system had overspent last fiscal year's $1 billion budget by $13.6 million.
Metts has said she would offset the deficit by reducing the number of temporary teachers and reducing the administrative office budget by 20 percent. But that still will leave a $4.2 million funding gap.
County Council Chairman Peter A. Shapiro (D-Brentwood) said the request likely would go through County Executive-elect Jack B. Johnson before the council votes on it. Johnson, who takes office next month, would have to decide whether to use part of a $125 million surplus that the county maintains to keep a high bond rating on Wall Street, he said.
"I think everyone's committed to keeping the school system functioning and functioning well, but I think there will be some tough questions," Shapiro said.
Event to Urge Organ, Tissue Donation
Medical professionals will join ministers at a Southeast Washington church tomorrow to encourage more African Americans to take part in organ and tissue transplantation.
In honor of National Donor Sabbath, celebrated across the country each November, physician Clive Calendar and other officials with the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program are to attend services at the Faith Tabernacle of Prayer for All People.
About 80,000 people are awaiting organ transplants and more than half of them are minorities, according to data collected by the minority transplant program, which is based at the Howard University Hospital. About 35 percent of those on the waiting list are black.
With All Votes Counted, Taylor Still Losing
Western Maryland election boards counted the last of the ballots from the Nov. 5 election yesterday, and there was no change in the close race between House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. and Republican challenger LeRoy Myers.
Taylor picked up two votes in Washington County and Myers picked up two in Allegany County, leaving Myers with a 72-vote lead.
The Democratic House speaker has asked for a recount of all ballots in the district, but acknowledges his chances of overturning the verdict are slim.
Police Seek Missing Woman, Infant
Alexandria police said yesterday that they are asking the public for help in finding a missing 25-year-old woman, Lisa Renee Hill, and her 11-month-old daughter, Lyana.
Hill and her daughter were last seen on Oct. 24, and her family is concerned about their safety, police said. Hill is described as 5-foot-2, 120 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information is asked to call 703-838-4711.
Special Election Planned in Fairfax
Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) yesterday announced a Dec. 17 special election in Fairfax County to fill the House of Delegates seat vacated by James K. "Jay" O'Brien Jr. (R), who won election to the Virginia Senate on Nov. 5.
The 40th House District stretches from Clifton to Centreville in western Fairfax. One candidate, Republican Tim Hugo of Centreville, has announced his candidacy. Hugo, 39, is executive director of a Washington-based technology consulting firm, CapNet.
The filing deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The election will come only three weeks before the 2003 General Assembly session. O'Brien was elected Nov. 5 to fill the 39th Senate District seat, a new one in Northern Virginia. During legislative redistricting, it was moved north as the Senate lineup was adjusted to account for the region's population growth, and the incumbent resigned.
State Needs Water Research, Panel Says
Virginia needs a comprehensive policy on how to supply the state's growing water needs but lacks enough information to do so intelligently, an advisory group said.
The State Water Commission advisory panel -- made up of farmers, industries, environmentalists, local governments, well drillers, riverside landowners, regional planning agencies and technical experts -- was spurred to act on the water-supply problem by more than three years of drought.
But neither the state nor the federal government understands in any detail where and how water is stored under Virginia's surface, said Ward Staubitz of the U.S. Geological Survey.
"There's no way in the world the region is going to build any more major road projects in light of these results."
-- Loudoun County Supervisor James Burton (I-Mercer), on new air pollution measurements in the Washington area. -- Page B1
Compiled from reports by staff writers Hamil R. Harris, Nancy Trejos, Patricia Davis and Lisa Rein and the Associated Press.