Guilty Plea to Eavesdropping

Former GOP Official to Pay Fine, Avoid Prison

Edmund A. Matricardi III, former executive director of the state Republican Party, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony charge of eavesdropping on Democrats. Under a plea agreement, Matricardi would pay a $10,000 fine and avoid prison.

As part of the plea agreement, Matricardi acknowledged that after securing the confidential telephone number and access code of a Democratic conference call in late March 2002, he listened in for more than two hours while Gov. Mark R. Warner and fellow Democrats plotted legal strategy in an important redistricting case.

Matricardi resigned from his post last April after he was indicted by a Richmond Circuit Court grand jury. Sentencing is scheduled for July 8.

Suspected SARS Case Isolated

Hospital May Have Prevented More Infections

The Virginia woman who is the region's first suspected case of a mysterious new respiratory ailment was isolated in a sealed hospital room in February after returning from China complaining of suspicious symptoms, a move that health officials said may have prevented her from infecting others.

The Loudoun County woman -- one of two suspected cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, in Virginia -- was placed in a respiratory isolation room at Loudoun Hospital Center on Feb. 17, weeks before the World Health Organization warned of the global threat of the potentially deadly infection. Hospital officials said a series of government briefings on bioterrorism and the hospital's role as the front-line response hospital for Dulles International Airport, had "sensitized" its staff.

Warner Wins on Tax, Loses on Abortion

Parental Consent, Late-Term Bills Approved

Democratic lawmakers rallied behind Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) to uphold his veto of legislation that would have repealed Virginia's estate tax. In vetoing the legislation, which had been championed by Republican lawmakers, Warner had argued that the measure would be irresponsible in light of the state's budget crisis.

In other action during a one-day reconvened session of the General Assembly, legislators rebuffed the governor and approved new abortion restrictions that will require minors to obtain parental consent and will ban a late-term procedure defined in the law as "partial-birth infanticide." Warner had sought to limit the effect of both bills.

Authority's Vision for Baseball

Renderings Displayed of Five Potential Va. Sites

The Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority made its first public presentation of its vision for baseball in the region if Northern Virginia beats the District and Portland, Ore., to land the Montreal Expos.

Officials displayed renderings of five potential sites: Rosslyn, near the River Place apartment complex; Dulles, just east of the airport next to the Center for Innovative Technology; Springfield on surplus Army land at Fort Belvoir; Pentagon City, at the Costco complex next to the shopping mall; and another Pentagon location a few blocks along Army Navy Drive.

Stadium proponents and baseball officials have said they prefer one of the two Arlington sites with views of the Mall.

Across the Region

D.C. Education Cuts; Pr. George's Schools Chief

* A projected deficit of nearly $65 million has prompted the D.C. school board to approve a plan to slash millions in spending by eliminating hundreds of jobs, freezing routine salary increases and halting spending on non-personnel items.

* Andre J. Hornsby, a former Yonkers, N.Y., superintendent known for his aggressive management style and his success in raising minority students' test scores, was named chief executive of Prince George's County schools. Hornsby, 49, received a four-year contract and will be paid $250,000 a year.

Rights rally: From left, Bryan Mason, Jeanine Hays of American University and Jocelyn Stotts of George Washington University sing at a rally for affirmative action as Supreme Court hears cases involving the University of Michigan.