Public Input Sought on St. Elizabeths

The D.C. Office of Planning will hold its first community workshop Saturday to explore options for redeveloping the historic campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital, in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Southeast Washington.

The workshop, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the St. Elizabeths chapel, 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, will include presentations on the challenges and opportunities presented by the 300-acre campus, a small portion of which is used for mental health services. The campus features crumbling but architecturally significant buildings, landscaped grounds and dramatic views of downtown Washington and the Anacostia and Potomac rivers.

City planning and economic development officials want to attract private investors, who, along with the government, might build a combination of residences and businesses that also could include a research or educational institution on the site.

A full listing of upcoming planning meetings can be found at For more information, visit that Web site or call the planning office at 202-442-8965.


Out-of-State Student Share Drops

The share of out-of-state students attending Virginia's public four-year colleges and universities has fallen slightly in the past 15 years, though the schools have no state-imposed cap on enrolling students from other states, a government report says.

The percentage of undergraduates from outside Virginia dropped from 20.8 percent in 1987-88 to 20.1 percent this year, according to the State Council of Higher Education.

The proportion of out-of-state students varies from 3 percent at Christopher Newport University to 50 percent at Virginia Military Institute. At eight of 15 state-supported colleges, more than a quarter of undergraduates are non-Virginians, the report says.

James Madison University and Mary Washington College have recorded the biggest out-of-state gains, rising to 29 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Officials at both schools attribute the increase to their growing national reputations. At the College of William and Mary, 35.5 percent of the undergraduates are from outside Virginia.

Some legislators and parents support a 25 percent cap on out-of-state enrollment, an idea rejected by the General Assembly two years ago.

More Than Half in State Overweight

State health officials say that more than half of Virginians are overweight or obese -- a 17 percentage point increase from the early 1990s.

The Virginia Department of Health says 57 percent of Virginians were considered overweight in 2001, up from 40 percent a decade earlier. A sampling of fourth-graders in 15 Virginia schools in 2000 showed that 17 percent were overweight.

State Health Commissioner Robert B. Stroube said overeating and inactivity are the main reasons. Health officials said they will use three federal grants to fund state projects aimed at encouraging adults and children to be more physically active.

Charges Against Aviation Workers Revived

A federal appeals court in Richmond has revived charges against two aviation workers accused of lying about misdemeanor gun convictions on their applications for airport security badges at Norfolk International Airport.

Two federal judges in Norfolk had dismissed indictments against Rick J. Baer and William Chan. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit reversed the rulings yesterday, then sent the cases back to the federal court.

The cases centered on whether the Federal Aviation Administration could add misdemeanor gun offenses to the list of federal crimes that would deny security badges to airport workers. The badges give workers access to high-security areas.

The appeals court says the FAA has unlimited authority to add disqualifying offenses. Baer was convicted of brandishing a firearm in 1992. Chan fired a gun within city limits in 1997.


St. Mary's Resident Dies of Meningitis

A St. Mary's County resident died Sunday of bacterial meningitis, according to a county health department spokeswoman, who declined to give the person's name, age or sex.

Mary Novotny, the spokeswoman, said the person attended a party Saturday night and was ill at the time. Sunday, the individual went to St. Mary's Hospital in Leonardtown and died.

Novotny said officials were trying yesterday to contact people who attended the party and others who might have had contact with the deceased. The death is the first from meningitis in the county since 2000, when a Towson State student died.

The bacterial form of meningitis is spread through saliva -- which can involve sharing food or a cigarette, kissing or using the same glass or utensils. It is not as contagious as the viral form, whose germs are airborne. If caught early enough, the bacterial form is treatable with antibiotics.

Symptoms include high fever, nausea, vomiting, stiffness, neck, shoulder and back pain and a small, bright red rash. Symptoms usually occur suddenly within three or four days of exposure.

Calvert Man Shoots Father, Kills Self

A Calvert County man shot his father and killed himself Monday night in the family living room, the sheriff's office said yesterday.

Authorities said Randy L. Dixon, 45, was hit by gunshots as he tried to calm his son Brandon R. Dixon, 23, during a confrontation in the home on Cove Point Road in Lusby.

Sgt. Ricky Thomas said Brandon Dixon had been suffering from a mental illness. The killing was the first homicide in the county since November 2001.

Aspen Hill Woman's Death Probed

A 23-year-old Aspen Hill woman died outside her house late Monday, and the death was under investigation yesterday, Montgomery County police said.

Police said Rebecca Linciome went outside her house in the 13500 block of Turkey Branch Parkway to smoke a cigarette. Her clothes caught fire, and she collapsed suffering from burns. Her charred body was found about 11:50 p.m. The exact cause of death was to be determined by the state medical examiner's office, police said. Police said she suffered from asthma and used a portable oxygen pump.

"I hope other party activists learn that no political point is ever worth being scored at the cost of breaking the law."

-- Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner (D), on the guilty plea of a state Republican Party staffer charged with eavesdropping on telephone conversations of Democrats. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Eugene L. Meyer, Michael Amon, Martin Weil, Vikki Ortiz and Debbi Wilgoren and the Associated Press.