Man's Death Interrupts MARC Service

Rail service on the Camden Line, used by MARC trains between Union Station in Washington and Camden Yards in Baltimore, was partially shut down yesterday afternoon after a man was struck by a freight train in Laurel, authorities said.

Prince George's County authorities said the incident, which occurred about 2:30 p.m. near the Muirkirk Rail Station near Route 1, was being investigated as a possible suicide. No other information about the man, including his name, was released yesterday.

Commuters who rely on MARC trains to travel between Washington and Baltimore were most affected by the train delays, said Richard Scher, spokesman for the Maryland Transit Administration. Scher said trains traveled from the District only to Greenbelt during yesterday's afternoon rush, and from there, shuttle buses carried passengers to all MARC stations north of Laurel.

Metro Buries Subscribers in E-Mail

A malfunction in Metro's computers is being blamed for the barrage of e-mail sent since Friday to the 22,000 subscribers to its e-mail alert system.

Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said subscribers received 80 to 200 repetitive e-mails each. "We know how frustrating it is to keep hitting delete, delete, delete," she said. "We do apologize. We turned it off, and we're trying to figure out what's wrong."

8 Seniors Named Presidential Scholars

U.S. Secretary of Education Roderick R. Paige has named eight Washington area high school students as presidential scholars. Nationally, 141 high school seniors won the honor for excellence in academics, the arts, leadership and civic values, and each named his or her most influential teacher.

Jonathan T. Magruder of St. Albans School in the District named Edward P. Eagles; Katherine R. Forscey of Georgetown Day School in the District named Dana Krein; Jennifer P. Jordan of Sidwell Friends School in the District named Marilu Wood; Frank L. Washburn of Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda named Kelly W. Garton; Max E. Chavez of Einstein High School in Kensington named Michael Piechocinski; Margaret M. Fitchet of Holton Arms School in Bethesda named Anne S. Lippold; and Jennie Park and Jonathan J. Schwank of the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County named Alfred Lampazzi.

Victims of I-95 Crash Identified

Police yesterday identified a Manassas couple -- Kyle A. Smith, 65, and his wife, Claire Gertrude Smith, 62 -- and Jamison M. Miller, 24, of Belcamp, Md., as the victims of a crash Tuesday that closed parts of Interstate 95 north of Baltimore for nearly 12 hours.

The crash north of Fort McHenry Tunnel involved two tractor-trailers, two cars and a minivan, officials said. The drivers of the trucks were unhurt.


Congressman Prods WASA on Lead

Rep. Paul E. Gillmor (R-Ohio), who chairs the House subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials, demanded yesterday that the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority respond to his questions about elevated levels of lead in the tap water at some District homes. Gillmor requested the information in March.

"To date, however, I have not received your response, nor have I had any further communication from your office," Gillmor wrote in a letter to WASA Chairman Glenn G. Gerstell.

Gillmor instructed the utility to answer his questions by May 19.

"As I am sure you agree, the matter of lead levels in drinking water supplied by WASA continues to be a concern to the residents of the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia," Gillmor wrote.


Police Identify Man Who Shot Officer

A man who apparently shot himself to death Tuesday after slightly wounding a Montgomery County police officer during a traffic stop was identified yesterday as Dale F. Connolly, 51, who had an arrest record for criminal possession of a gun.

Connolly, who lived in New Market, pleaded guilty in 1995 to unlawfully carrying a handgun on a public road and was put on probation for two years, according to court records.

Montgomery police said Connolly again was carrying a handgun on a public road about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. When Officer Michael Clinton stopped him in Gaithersburg, Connolly opened fire with a revolver, said Capt. John Fitzgerald, a police spokesman.

Connolly continued to fire as other officers arrived, authorities said, and one round hit Officer David Tallant's torso. Tallant, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, suffered a bruise.


Prince William Rejects Route 1 Authority

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors has rejected a proposal to form an independent redevelopment authority to spruce up the blighted Route 1 corridor.

Over the last few years, county leaders have drawn up ambitious plans for the Route 1 area, which they say is strategically situated for an economic rebirth that would replace used-car dealerships, tired strip malls and aging apartments with upscale and transit-oriented development, as well as affordable housing.

Board Chairman Sean T. Connaughton (R) was the strongest proponent of an authority, saying it would be the most efficient way to change the area and isolate decisions from political bickering.

By a 6 to 2 vote, board members decided against a separate authority but said they would continue investigating other options, such as separate taxing districts, public-private partnerships and bond referendums.

Toner Throws Dogs Off the Scent

The smell of printer cartridges fooled bomb-sniffing dogs at James Monroe High School in Fredericksburg yesterday, prompting early dismissal from school and evacuation of an office building.

The dogs and explosives experts from Quantico Marine Corps Base were summoned about noon after a woman calling from an out-of-state phone number told the Spotsylvania County sheriff's department that there was a bomb at the school and that "it was going to explode," Superintendent Dale Sander said.

The dogs zeroed in on a file cabinet in the guidance department, when experts discovered that the dogs had been interested in the acetone -- a basic explosive -- in the cartridges.

"All this nonsense about skin color. And we are all human earthlings."

-- Oliver White Hill, 97, a civil rights attorney who helped litigate the Virginia lawsuit that became part of Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark case that led to the desegregation of the nation's schools. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Jamie Stockwell, Lindsey Layton, Jay Mathews, Carol D. Leonnig, Nancy Trejos, David Snyder, Eric M. Weiss and Michelle Boorstein and the Associated Press.