Still a Top City for African Americans

Washington again has been selected as one of the top cities for African Americans, coming in behind Atlanta in a survey conducted by Black Enterprise magazine.

The survey, which appears in the July issue, had 4,000 participants. They were asked to evaluate 21 "quality-of-life" factors, among them earning potential, cost of living, housing prices and business opportunities.

In addition to Atlanta and Washington, the top 10 are, in order, Dallas, Nashville, Houston, Charlotte, Birmingham, Memphis, Columbus (Ohio) and Baltimore.

"We are excited about the ranking," Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) said in a statement yesterday. "The District of Columbia has always been a place where African Americans have prospered."


Garbage Truck Backs Over Pedestrian

A garbage truck ran over a pedestrian in Gaithersburg yesterday, partially severing one of his arms, Montgomery County police said.

About 7 a.m., officers were dispatched to Lindstrom Court, where a 1996 Mack garbage truck had hit the man while backing up, police said.

The victim, Jose Antonio Ordones, 33, who lived on Lindstrom Court, was crossing the street, police said. The beeping alarm, which generally sounds when the truck is in reverse, was not working at the time, police said.

The truck belongs to Campbell's Curbside Disposal Co. of Germantown and was driven by Juan Borjas, 26, of Gaithersburg, police said.

Authorities took Ordones to Inova Fairfax Hospital, which has a trauma center. Hospital officials would not disclose his condition because of privacy laws. Police said that the investigation was continuing last night and that no charges had been filed.

Frederick County Official Criticized

The Frederick County Ethics Commission has received a complaint against a county commissioner and his assistant stemming from the recent world weightlifting championships.

Political activist David Kip Koontz said County Commissioner Michael L. Cady (R) and the assistant misused Cady's office when they helped organize the recent World Weightlifting Games at Mount St. Mary's University.

Koontz questioned the propriety of listing their county phone numbers and e-mail addresses as contacts for the event. He also said Cady's solicitations of contributions from people in the building industry could be a conflict of interest because Cady is the liaison to the county planning board.

Cady called the complaint politically motivated.


Materials Stolen From Habitat Site

Prince William County police are expressing little hope of finding lumber and other building supplies stolen from a construction site.

The materials, valued at $1,800, were being used by Habitat for Humanity volunteers to build a home on Longview Drive in Woodbridge.

About one week ago, a shipment of wood that would have been used to trim the house was taken from the site. Police say that thefts from construction sites occur fairly often and that materials taken in such crimes are rarely recovered.

Habitat volunteers will replace the materials and hope to complete the house so that the family buying the property can move in before school starts in September.

Grant Expected for Migrant Education

Education officials said they will announce Monday that Virginia has been awarded a federal grant to support education of migrant children.

The commonwealth will participate in an eight-state consortium that will provide math and reading education for students and professional development for teachers. Virginia had to apply for the two-year grant in a competitive process.

Altogether the eight states will receive $1.3 million for the programs. Migrant children are especially hard to educate because their instruction is often interrupted when their families move to find new jobs, educators say.

Deputy Secretary of Education Eugene Hickok is scheduled to be in Richmond to make the announcement with state officials.

Kaine Picks Campaign Manager

Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) has named Mike Henry, who has run campaigns for Democrats in Virginia and other southern states, to be his campaign manager in his bid for governor next year.

Henry worked on Mark R. Warner's successful campaign for governor three years ago. He has worked for Kaine and former delegate Donald McEachin (Richmond), who lost when he ran for state attorney general in 2001.

Henry has managed five congressional campaigns, including Bill Nelson's successful Senate bid in Florida and Mark Shriver's failed House campaign in Maryland.

Henry, 35, is a New Jersey native who graduated from Old Dominion University and lives in Mount Vernon.

911 Service Disrupted in 757 Area

A network upgrade knocked out 911 emergency telephone service across the 757 area code in eastern Virginia yesterday, and it took Verizon crews about 13 hours before 911 service was completely restored, authorities said.

Many callers trying to dial 911 early yesterday were unable to get through after lines serving emergency call centers went down about 3 a.m. during the upgrade.

Verizon provided alternate numbers for callers to use in an emergency. It said regular phone service was not affected by the mistake.

The company said it planned to conduct a thorough investigation of the service interruption to determine what caused it and what steps are needed to keep it from happening again.

Virginia Man Missing From Cruise Ship

The Coast Guard said yesterday that a search was underway for a Virginia Beach man reported missing from a cruise ship off South Florida.

The 37-year-old man, whose identity was not released, was aboard the cruise ship Fascination. He was last seen at 3:30 a.m. yesterday and was reported missing at 7 a.m.

Rescuers searched a 28-mile stretch of ocean east of Cape Florida, the southern tip of Key Biscayne, off Miami, using a Coast Guard cutter, a rescue boat, a jet and two helicopters.

The Fascination is owned by Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines.

"The mad ones are the best ones."

-- Nathaniel Gross, 7, of Greenbelt, studying a disgruntled cockroach at the University of Maryland's Insect Summer Camp. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Darragh Johnson and Rosalind S. Helderman and the Associated Press.