Woman Killed in Head-On Collision

An Aldie woman driving a minivan along the Fairfax County Parkway on Tuesday night crossed over the grassy median into oncoming traffic and was killed, Fairfax police said yesterday.

Kristen R. Morikawa, 21, of the 40500 block of Sousa Place, was driving a Nissan Quest minivan about 8:30 p.m., headed north on the parkway near Lee Highway. Police said they do not know why the minivan crossed into the southbound lanes, where it was struck head-on by a Ford Econoline van. Morikawa was pronounced dead at the scene.


Police Commissioner Returns to Work

Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Clark will return to work today after an independent investigation into an alleged domestic dispute involving Clark and his fiancee "could not substantiate that an assault took place," Mayor Martin O'Malley said last night.

"The commissioner and . . . [Blanca] Gerena were involved in a domestic dispute, but there was no assault," O'Malley said in a statement. Clark has been on voluntary, paid leave about two weeks.

Boy, 8, Injured by Hit-and-Run Driver

Police were looking last night for a driver whose car struck an 8-year-old boy in the Hyattsville area and then drove away, Prince George's County police said.

The boy was walking across a marked intersection at 38th Street and Rhode Island Avenue shortly after 5 p.m. when he was struck by a white vehicle, said Cpl. Diane Richardson, a police spokeswoman. She said the boy was treated at Children's Hospital for lacerations to a leg and bruises to his head and released.

School Closed for Gas Leak to Reopen

Poolesville High School, closed since midmorning Tuesday because of a leaking propane tank, will reopen today on a regular schedule, officials said. A leak in the 500-gallon tank was successfully repaired, a school system spokesman said.

Teenager Killed After Car Overturns

A Waldorf teenager was killed yesterday when his car overturned and he was ejected, authorities said.

Eric J. Kackley, 17, was driving alone "at a high rate of speed" on St. Patrick's Drive in Waldorf when he lost control and hit a curb about 12:45 p.m., according to the Charles County sheriff's department. The car he was driving, a Toyota Celica, flipped, sheriff's officials said. Kackley was not wearing a seat belt. He was taken to the Civista Medical Center in La Plata, where he was pronounced dead.

Appeals for Death Row Inmate Denied

A Baltimore County Circuit judge yesterday denied all motions that attorneys for Steven Oken had hoped would stave off the state's pending execution of the death row inmate.

Without comment, Judge John G. Turnbull II refused Oken's appeals that his execution warrant be stayed or vacated and that an immediate emergency hearing be scheduled on his claims that Maryland's procedures for lethal injection violate state and federal law. Defense attorney Fred Bennett has filed similar pleadings before Maryland's highest court. State Solicitor General Gary Bair, who has labeled the defense challenge an "abusive delay," expects to submit his office's response to those today.

Oken received his death sentence for the 1987 sexual assault and slaying of Dawn Marie Garvin, 20, a college student and newlywed. The state has scheduled Oken's execution for the week of June 14.

2 Administrators' Exoneration Decried

Teachers at a Howard County high school sent an anonymous letter to the county school board yesterday to protest a board decision that exonerated two high-ranking administrators.

In February, Kimberly Statham, then the deputy superintendent, and Roger L. Plunkett, an assistant superintendent, were demoted for allegedly altering the academic records of Statham's daughter, who was a student at Centennial High School in Ellicott City.

Statham and Plunkett appealed to the school board, which last week cleared them of wrongdoing. Interim Superintendent Sydney L. Cousin has reinstated Plunkett to his former role and named Statham the system's chief academic officer.

In the letter, unnamed members of the Centennial faculty termed the board's decision "unjust" and criticized the board for not supporting teachers who had provided information during an inquiry into the accusations. Joseph Staub, a leader of the Howard County teachers union, said that the letter represents the feelings of 85 teachers and school staff members but that the union would not release their identities because they were afraid of losing their jobs.


Williams Fills Two Cabinet Posts

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams moved yesterday to fill two vacant positions in his Cabinet, naming a new deputy mayor and nominating a director for the city's Public Works Department.

Neil O. Albert, director of D.C. Parks and Recreation for three years, will become deputy mayor for children, youth, families and elders. Albert replaces Carolyn N. Graham, who held the job from 1999 until January. His salary will be $132,395.

Dave L. Montgomery, a former deputy director of the Department of Public Works in Baltimore, will replace Leslie Hotaling, who led the D.C. department from February 2001 until April. Montgomery, who is a Baltimore native, will make $140,000 a year.

Albert and Montgomery will begin their new jobs June 28, although Montgomery must be confirmed by the D.C. Council.

Special-Ed Services Office to Open

D.C. public school officials announced yesterday that they are opening an office where parents who send their children to private and religious schools can go to seek special education services.

The school system has created a room at Shaw Junior High in Northwest where parents of private school children can request special education assessments and the provision of some services. Officials said that those services had been provided in the past but that parents complained they had difficulty obtaining them.

School officials said that under federal law, they are required to provide those services to parents who have enrolled children in private and religious schools of their own accord.

"I'm just absolutely delighted that free speech is alive and well in this country and that we can finally have a debate about reforming marijuana laws instead of being force-fed the government's one-sided views on marijuana."

-- Joseph White, executive director of Change the Climate, a group that advocates reforms in laws against marijuana. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Tom Jackman, Allan Lengel, Linda Perlstein, Joshua Partlow, Susan Levine, Ylan Q. Mui, Yolanda Woodlee and Justin Blum and the Associated Press.