An Unusual Holiday Coat

Overnight Storm Dusts Area Washingtonians awoke Wednesday to a Christmas morning snowfall -- only the second white Christmas in 30 years. A nighttime mix of sleet and rain became heavy flakes by morning. The layer of white icing was the result of a major storm that dropped nearly a foot of snow in some parts of the Northeast, snarling air and road traffic and cutting electricity for thousands.

In the Washington area, snow reached a depth of only 3.5 inches west and north of Washington, less closer to the city.

Baltimore-Washington International was most significantly affected among the region's airports. BWI officials closed both runways for about two hours to allow crews to clear the tarmac of slush. About 12 flights were delayed, and seven were canceled.

Dachshund Put to Death

Dog's Death Follows Attack on Infant A black-and-brown dachshund that police said mauled and critically wounded a St. Mary's County infant was killed by lethal injection Thursday. County officials said the mother of 6-week-old Andrew Tyler Myers wanted the family pet put to death after it chewed through the mesh of the infant's playpen, dragged the boy onto the floor and mauled his legs and feet and severely injured his head. Dachshund Rescue of North America had tried to persuade officials to let the animal go.

Trying to Move Into Tysons

Proposal Would Add Apartments Tysons Corner could get four new apartment towers, including about 1,300 condominium units, under a proposal to be considered Saturday by the Fairfax Board of County Supervisors. Proponents of the plan say the units' full-time residents will help give the Tysons area some of the verve and life it needs if it is to be a true urban center for Fairfax County.

But the proposal is opposed by many nearby residents, who worry that so many apartments will inject too many people and too much traffic into the area. If the project is approved, its developer, the West Group, would provide about $1 million to a county homeless shelter and $700,000 to county schools.

A Daughter's Heroism

Girl Rescues Mother From Fire Community members in Frederick are organizing efforts to help 7-year-old Ashley Dalal and her deaf mother, Kamini Dalal, both of whom were badly burned in a fire in their apartment Dec. 19.

By all accounts, Ashley saved her mother's life. After smelling smoke and seeing flames coming from her mother's bedroom, the girl rushed in to wake her. "She is probably the bravest kid I've ever seen," said Frederick police officer Jerry Morales, who responded to the emergency along with firefighters.

Kamini Dalal is in fair condition at Washington Hospital Center. With burns to 40 percent of her body, Ashley is in critical but stable condition at Boston Shriners Hospital, which specializes in treating young burn victims.

Frederick police collected Christmas toys for Ashley. Kamini Dalal's co-workers have set up a fund for the family to help with medical bills. And the PTA at Ashley's elementary school plan to collect donations at a coming dance.

Warner Tries New Tack on Budget

Governor Opts for Cash Infusions Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) is resorting to one-time infusions of cash -- a budgetary ploy that he has criticized in the past -- to help close a $2 billion hole in Virginia's two-year budget. The alternative, he said, is to cut some of the state's most basic services, a step Warner is unwilling to take.

He has proposed taking money from the lottery fund for education, selling the state's housing loan portfolio, instituting a tax amnesty program and once again taking money from the "rainy day" fund. But Warner cautioned lawmakers that absent a stronger economy, the one-time fixes mean that the state will again face difficult budget decisions next year.

Snuggling and Sliding: John Mollard of Silver Spring had every intention of building a snowman for daughter Anna, but a covered slide was too inviting to pass up.