Motorcycle Officer Injured in Hit-and-Run

A D.C. police officer was injured last night when a hit-and-run driver struck his motorcycle in Northeast Washington, police said.

The officer was injured in the back, neck and left leg, but his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, said Lt. Barbara Hawkins. He was taken to a hospital.

The officer, who was on routine patrol in the Trinidad area, was struck just after 10 p.m. by a Lincoln Continental as the officer tried to turn left from Florida Avenue onto Orren Street NE, Hawkins said. A U.S. Park Police officer had been following the Lincoln along Florida Avenue after seeing the driver speed and run red lights, Hawkins said.

Police stopped the driver of a Lincoln several blocks away, at 13th Street and Maryland Avenue NE, Hawkins said. The driver was being questioned last night.

Chemical Added to Water in Section of NW

The Army Corps of Engineers began adding a chemical to the water supply for a section of Northwest Washington yesterday in hopes that it will reduce widespread lead contamination.

The widely used chemical, orthophosphate, works by forming a protective coating inside pipes to prevent lead from leaching into drinking water. City and federal officials say it is safe, though water may temporarily appear red as the chemical dissolves rust from pipes.

Orthophosphate is being added to water pumped from the Fort Reno Reservoir. If no problems develop, water treatment officials intend to begin adding the chemical to the water supply that goes to the rest of the city and to parts of Northern Virginia served by the two Corps of Engineers plants.

Mayor, Council Meet on School Oversight

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) and members of the D.C. Council met yesterday to discuss how the schools should be overseen, but participants in the meeting said they came to no consensus.

The closed-door meeting was held as a result of Williams's veto Friday of legislation that would keep the current school board -- which consists of four mayoral appointees and five elected members -- in charge of the system through 2006 and then convert the board to an all-elected body. The mayor wants to take control of the school system and have the power to hire and fire the superintendent.

Opponents of the mayor's plan said they hope to override the veto, but no vote has been scheduled.

Also yesterday, a coalition of school activist groups, led by Parents United for the D.C. Public Schools, sent the mayor and council a letter asking for the current school oversight structure to remain in place.


Boy, 9, Riding Bicycle Is Hit by SUV

A 9-year-old boy was critically injured yesterday after he rode his bicycle past a stop sign and was struck by a sport-utility vehicle near his Clinton home, authorities in Prince George's County said.

Police officers arriving in the area around Adios Street and Chris Mar Avenue about 6 p.m. found the child without a pulse and suffering from massive trauma to the upper body, said Cpl. Diane Richardson, a county police spokeswoman.

Authorities administered CPR, and the child was flown to Children's Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition last night, Richardson said.

The boy had been riding his bike with friends when he went through the intersection and was hit by the vehicle, which had the right of way, Richardson said. The SUV driver stopped and called police. Police did not release the child's name last night.

Duncan Vetoes Amusement Tax Increase

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) has vetoed a proposed increase in the county "admissions and amusement" tax that the County Council approved in a 7 to 2 vote May 20. Duncan would need two council members to switch their votes on the tax to make his veto stick.

In a May 28 letter to County Council President Steven A. Silverman (D-At Large), Duncan said the increase -- which would produce an extra $1.3 million in revenue annually by making it more expensive to see a movie or play a round of golf -- was unnecessary. Also, he wrote, "we need to be careful not to over-commit ourselves or limit our flexibility to deal with future budget shortfalls."

Silverman said he was disappointed by Duncan's action. "This modest increase in the tax, from 7 percent to 10 percent, will provide a dedicated source of funds for arts and humanities," he said.

Condemned Man's Attorneys Seek Hearing

Attorneys for Steven Oken, the inmate whom the state of Maryland is preparing to execute, asked the Court of Appeals yesterday to stay his execution and schedule an immediate emergency hearing.

In his petition to the state's highest court, attorney Fred Bennett noted that motions pending in Baltimore County raise "serious concerns" about Maryland's execution methods that should be addressed at an evidentiary hearing, with full disclosure of the "new" protocols corrections officials intend to use.

Oken is scheduled to die the week of June 14.

Soccer Player Had Heart Problems

Maryland's medical examiner has ruled that the death of a Germantown boy on a Montgomery County soccer field last month was caused by arrhythmia in his heart and an abnormal coronary artery, Montgomery County police said.

The medical examiner's report, described in a statement released by police yesterday, deemed the death of Luis Alfredo Ruiz, 11, as natural. The report said Ruiz had cardiac arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat, and an "anomalous coronary artery," police said.

Propane Leak Closes Poolesville High

Poolesville High School will remain closed today as workers repair a leak in a 500-gallon propane tank that prompted evacuation of the school, officials said.

Graduation exercises this afternoon at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg will proceed as scheduled.


Woman Dies in Accident on Parkway

A woman was killed last night on the Fairfax County Parkway after her minivan crossed the median and struck another vehicle head-on, Fairfax County police said.

The collision occurred about 8:20 p.m. in the southbound lanes of the parkway in the Fair Oaks area. The woman's name was not released pending notification of relatives. The driver of the other car was taken to a hospital by helicopter.

"He's a flesh-and-blood, human politician. Not a blow-dried, focus-grouped candidate."

-- Dan Lucas, campaign manager for Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), defending him from criticism leveled by a Democratic primary opponent. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Clarence Williams, D'Vera Cohn, Justin Blum, Cameron W. Barr, Susan Levine, David Snyder and Martin Weil.