Hail Causes Power Outages in Md., D.C.
A small but intense storm dropped golf ball-size hail, damaged trees and knocked out power to 36,000 customers across Prince George's and southeastern Montgomery counties last night.
Forecasters issued severe storm warnings for both areas between about 5:30 and 8:15 p.m. for a slow-moving thunderstorm that brought heavy rain and lightning, said Andy Woodcock, a National Weather Service meteorologist. The storm gathered strength in Montgomery before it hit Beltsville, Hyattsville and Bladensburg, where it seemed to do the most damage. Several houses were hit by lightning in Prince George's, fire officials said.
Officials in Montgomery County received reports of people stuck in elevators and traffic lights going out in the White Oak and Hillandale areas.
Pepco said 33,000 customers lost power in Prince George's and 2,700 lost power in Montgomery. About 1,600 were without electricity in the District, said Camille Smith, a utility spokeswoman.
Barry Dismisses Campaign Manager
Former mayor Marion Barry has fired his campaign manager, less than a month after announcing his candidacy for the Ward 8 seat on the D.C. Council.
In a letter to Dion Jordan dated June 29, Barry complained that he had only 300 signatures on nominating petitions to qualify for the ballot. Barry said Jordan had promised 2,000 signatures; 250 are required. Barry also cited other logistical problems with office equipment and campaign events.
Barry, who was D.C. mayor for 16 years, said in an interview yesterday that the setback would not derail his political comeback attempt. He said he plans to leave the campaign manager job open "for a while." He also said he would "absolutely" meet the Wednesday deadline for filing his nominating petitions.
Woman Saved From House Fire in NW
Firefighters rescued a paralyzed 81-year-old woman yesterday from a burning house in Northwest Washington, fire officials said.
The fire started about 2 p.m. in the kitchen of a single-family home in the 1300 block of Farragut Street NW, officials said. As the blaze spread, firefighters Eric Barnes and Jimmy Griest rushed in and found the woman in her bedroom, fire officials said.
They carried her outside to paramedics, who took the woman to Washington Hospital Center. She suffered smoke inhalation but did not appear to have life-threatening injuries, officials said.
Man Killed, Woman Hurt in Car Accident
A Montgomery Village man died yesterday after the 1992 Honda Accord he was driving swerved out of control and hit three trees in Gaithersburg, police said.
Richard E. Monaghan, 22, of the 9900 block of Maple Leaf Drive was dead at the scene of the single-car accident at Great Seneca Highway and Quince Orchard Road, Montgomery County police said. The accident occurred about 1:35 a.m., police said.
A passenger, Valentina Antognelli, 22, was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where she was treated and released.
No Meningitis Outbreak, Fairfax Finds
Fairfax County public health specialists have identified 12 medical cases that meet clinical and laboratory criteria for viral meningitis in the past two weeks, officials said yesterday. They say the numbers are average for the area and have determined that there is no outbreak of the disease in Fairfax.
While conducting 31 investigations, the Health Department also found that about 150 viral meningitis cases occur per year in the county, based on hospital discharge data. The investigations began after Courtney "Kay" Richard, a 16-year-old student at Chantilly High School, died of the disease June 17. Health officials say fatalities from viral meningitis are extremely rare.
"There is no indication of an outbreak at this time, and ongoing active surveillance of viral meningitis is no longer warranted," said Gloria Addo-Ayensu, county health director. "The current level of viral meningitis activity for the population the size of Fairfax County is common for this time of the year."
Hanley Named to Transportation Board
Katherine K. Hanley, the former chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, was appointed yesterday to a four-year term on the Commonwealth Transportation Board by Gov. Mark R. Warner (D). The board meets once a month and determines which roads get built.
Hanley replaces J. Kenneth Klinge as a Northern Virginia representative; Klinge asked not to be reappointed after serving for six years.
"The fact that most of the money is now going to maintenance, and there's not many new projects underway to help relieve congestion, is a concern," Hanley said. "We need to be sure we have a balanced transportation system -- that means transit as well as roads."
Perry's Pay Raise Is 6.5 Percent
Alexandria School Superintendent Rebecca L. Perry will receive a 6.5 percent salary increase under a contract that began yesterday.
The School Board amended Perry's contract last month after she was arrested and pleaded guilty to charges of drunken driving. Her contract was shortened by a year, ending in June 2005.
The increase is the same as the average for all school district employees. Under her new contract, Perry will make about $178,850.
Victim of Hit-and-Run Is Identified
Police have identified a man who was struck and killed while crossing Old Keene Mill Road on Tuesday night as Javier Francisco Zamora, 44, of the 7000 block of Skyles Way in the Springfield area. Zamora was not carrying any identification when he was hit by a 1997 Mercury Mountaineer near Lee Valley Road about 11:30 p.m.
Fairfax County police distributed a photo of Zamora on Wednesday, and an officer who regularly patrols Zamora's neighborhood made the initial identification, Officer Bud Walker, a police spokesman, said yesterday.
"It's a laudable goal to want to rid the world of lead pipes. At the same time, you have to have some evaluation and cost-benefit analysis of this."
-- Tony Bullock, spokesman for D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, on a decision to replace all lead pipes in the city's water system. -- Page A1
Compiled from reports by staff writers Clarence Williams, Vanessa Williams, Del Quentin Wilber, David Snyder, David Cho, Steven Ginsberg, S. Mitra Kalita and Tom Jackman.