MARYLAND

Wheaton Teen Dies in 3-Car Collision

A Wheaton teenager was killed early yesterday and several people were injured in a three-car collision that started when the car the teenager was driving hit another car head-on, Montgomery County police said.

David Cruces, 17, was eastbound on River Road about 2:20 a.m. when his car struck a westbound car driven by Christopher Hardy of Potomac, police said. A third car also was struck. None of the others involved in the collision suffered serious injuries, although they were taken to a hospital, according to police.

Cruces was declared dead at the scene.

Speed Cited in Fatal Traffic Accident

A Rockville man died Saturday night after his speeding car crashed into the rear of a slower-moving vehicle in the Gaithersburg area, injuring its eight occupants, Montgomery County police said.

Slawomir Kikolski, 30, was declared dead at the scene after his car struck a passenger van driven by Enrique A. Ramirez of New York City. Ramirez and his seven passengers -- six of whom were children -- were taken to hospitals with injuries that were described as not life-threatening.

Police said that about 10:20 a.m., Kikolski was speeding southbound on Midcounty Highway and approaching Washington Grove Lane when he slammed into Ramirez's van.

Aquarium Breeding Under Review

The chief scientist at the National Aquarium in Baltimore has begun a review of the dolphin breeding program after the death of a 4-month-old dolphin.

"It is going to be restructured. There's no doubt about that," said Joseph R. Geraci, the aquarium's senior director of biological programs and an international authority on marine mammals. Geraci said he plans to segregate nursing pairs from males and use artificial insemination.

A female dolphin, Bridgit, died last month after being roughed up by two older males. Initial necropsy results also showed signs of infection but it's still unclear what caused Bridgit's death. A final report from the Johns Hopkins University's comparative anatomy lab is expected this week.

In April, a 10-day-old male dolphin died of bacterial meningitis.

VIRGINIA

Church Center Struck by Suspicious Fire

A suspicious fire at a Prince William County church caused $50,000 damage to a building used as a youth activity center, but vandals failed to do much damage to two church vans they attempted to set afire, officials said.

Prince William firefighters were called to Emmanuel Baptist Church on Centreville Road about 5:30 a.m. Saturday. The fire started in the lounge area of a youth center down the street from the main church, said Tim Taylor, a spokesman for the fire department. There was no sign of forced entry, and a rear door was found unlocked, he said.

Saturday evening, fire investigators returned after church members notified them that they had discovered two vans vandalized in a parking lot across the street. Each van had a singed rag of cloth stuffed where the gasoline cap would normally be. The cloth had been set afire but the fire went out.

32 Exposed to Sick Man Get Medication

Arlington public health officials said they have accounted for everyone believed to have been in close contact with an 18-year-old who fell ill last week with a bacterial infection that can cause meningitis.

The man was hospitalized Aug. 5 and is recovering. Public health officials found 51 people known or suspected to have been closely exposed to the patient between July 28 and July 30 at a "Hoop It Up" basketball tournament at High View Park in Arlington. None of them reported being ill.

Officials gave precautionary medication to 32, and the others were determined not to be at risk or chose not to receive treatment.

Sisters Drown in Richmond Pool

Two young sisters drowned in Richmond late Saturday night in an outdoor pool at an educational and cultural center for Orthodox Jews.

Emergency workers found the sisters unresponsive in the pool at the Lubavitch Center. They were pronounced dead at Henrico Doctors' Hospital, police said.

Police identified the girls as Shterna Shmueli, 12, and Chaya Shmueli, 14, of New York.

Henrico Police Lt. D.G. Perry said the center was open for its usual Saturday night events and the girls were there with their parents. "There was no lifeguard that I was aware of," Perry said.

Death Penalty Database Puts Va. at Top

Over the past 400 years, Virginia has put to death more men, women and children than any other state, the Death Penalty Information Center reported. The total stands at 1,369.

The first was Capt. George Kendall, a Jamestown councilor killed by firing squad in 1608. The last was on July 22. The youngest known was 12, the oldest 83.

The Death Penalty Information Center, based in Washington, maintains a database of all executions in the United States since 1976, when the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for capital punishment after a four-year hiatus. The center's Web site also includes the "Espy File," a historical capital-punishment catalog compiled by M. Watt Espy of Headland, Ala., who documented 14,634 civil executions that occurred in the United States to 1991.

THE REGION

Ocracoke Reopens After 2-Day Cleanup

Ocracoke Island in North Carolina, a popular destination for Washington area residents, reopened Saturday, two days after about 3,500 visitors were ordered off the barrier island to allow for cleanup after Hurricane Alex.

The evacuation was a first for Ocracoke, accessible only by ferry, and the decision annoyed some vacationers and business owners. But authorities said they needed a few days without vacationers for the cleanup, in part because several cars had exploded because of engine damage. The island got the worst damage from the storm, with hundreds of cars damaged by flooding. Power was out until late Wednesday.

"There comes a time when a great fighter thinks that he or she is winning the fight, but the trainer can see what the fighter can't. You're that fighter and I'm your trainer, and I am throwing in the towel for you, because your pride will not let you."

-- Dion Jordan to Marion Barry after a brief stint

as the former mayor's campaign manager. -- Page A1

Compiled from reports by staff writer Carol Morello and the Associated Press.