MARYLAND

Fiery Suitland Parkway Collision Kills 2

Two people were killed late last night in a fiery head-on collision on Suitland Parkway, the Prince George's County fire and rescue department said.

The collision occurred about 11:45 p.m. near Suitland Road. Two people, one in each car, died at the scene, the fire department said. A third person was flown to a hospital by helicopter.

Homeowner Shoots Suspected Intruder

An 82-year-old man from the Brooklyn Park section of Anne Arundel County shot a man yesterday who he believed was breaking into his home, county police said.

Police later found a man in the area with a gunshot wound, and Joseph Kelly, 41, of no fixed address, was charged with burglary in the break-in, said Officer Charles Ravenell, a county police spokesman.

He said Kelly was being treated last night at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center for a wound that was not believed to be life-threatening.

According to police, the homeowner, whose name was withheld, was in his house on Belle Grove Road about 2:30 p.m. when he found the apparent break-in underway, and fired a single shot. Ravenell said there had been a break-in at the same house last week.

Unknown Male Killed in Capitol Heights

Police are investigating a homicide discovered early yesterday in Prince George's County.

Officers responding to the 500 block of Ritchie Road in Capitol Heights about 3 a.m. for the report of a shooting found the victim with numerous gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to Prince George's Hospital Center, where he was later pronounced dead. The chief medical examiner's office in Baltimore will conduct an autopsy.

The victim has not yet been identified.

Montgomery's Spending Criticized

Montgomery County got a mixed economic development report card in a new University of Maryland study, including an F in transportation capital expenditures.

The fifth annual critique was prepared by a subcommittee of the Montgomery County Economic Advisory Council, headed by Mahlon R. Straszheim, the university's Economics Department chairman. The group rates the county's economic performance in several categories, including employment conditions, economic base, business environment and construction activity. The county made mostly B's, attributable, the committee said, to the recession that began in late 2000.

The committee said transportation remains the most serious long-term issue facing the county, and that without new funds it would not be able to underwrite such projects as the intercounty connector, which would connect Interstates 270 and 95.

Tourism Down Again at Inner Harbor

Many attractions at Baltimore's Inner Harbor, such as the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center, are experiencing a decline in visitors.

Local museum and tourism officials blame the lingering effects of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks for downturns in the travel industry. They also blame a faltering economy, a drop in conventions, hot weather and the sniper shootings in the Washington area in October.

Whatever the reason, said USS Constellation Museum spokeswoman Laura Givens, the crowds just weren't there over the summer. The Constellation will end the year with about 96,000 visitors -- about the same as last year, but far below the 122,000 the historic ship drew in 2000, during Operation Sail.

VIRGINIA

Small Plane Enters Restricted Airspace Two flights were delayed at Dulles International Airport yesterday after a small plane violated airspace at Reagan National Airport and was chased by Air Force fighter jets, officials said.

Fighter planes were scrambled at 12:28 p.m. after reports that a Beach 35 aircraft strayed into restricted airspace, said Les Dorr, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. The pilot landed a short time later at an airfield in Front Royal, Va., and was met by authorities who will investigate further. However, officials do not believe the pilot intended anything malicious, said Dorr, who described the event as "garden variety."

Because of the presence of the fighter jets, two flights at Dulles were delayed for 15 to 20 minutes.

Reston Hostage Incident Ends Peacefully

A Reston man was charged yesterday with abduction after holding seven people hostage at gunpoint in his house for up to eight hours.

Fairfax County police say Mark Matolak, 38, got into an argument with a relative and refused to let anyone leave the home.

Officers arrived at the house in the 2000 block of Golf Course Drive before 1 a.m. after a panic alarm in the home was set off.

After several hours of negotiations, five of the hostages fled at the direction of officers while Matolak was in a different part of the house, police said. Matolak released another hostage and later let the final one go when he surrendered peacefully about 8:45 a.m.

One of hostages was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries, police said.

Documents Detail Added Costs for Carrier

Problems with a state-of-the-art warfare system slated for the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush began more than two years ago, according to contract documents obtained by the Newport News Daily Press.

Navy officials canceled plans in the spring to adapt the new warfare system for the carrier, saying it would cost too much and take too long to develop and install. But the extra costs came as surprises to the Navy, according to the contract documents obtained by the newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act.

The unplanned additional expenses caused the Navy to shift money and other resources meant for the ship's construction to work on the ship's new combat center as early as the summer of 2000, the newspaper reported yesterday.

Since then, the Navy has continued to sink more resources into the warfare system than it had planned to, according to documents and Navy officials. Navy officials have refused to say how much the carrier's warfare system has cost. The carrier is due to be delivered in 2008.

"I think you're seeing the last of the career players. He's the last player to be faithful to the team regardless of money."

-- Redskins fan Jose Ramos, talking about cornerback Darrell Green, who played his last game yesterday after a 20-year career. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Colleen Jenkins, David Nakamura and Martin Weil and the Associated Press.