A 'Brush-Up' in Courtesy for Metro

Training Set After Worker Allegedly Shoved Patron

Metro officials said special training in customer service will be given to station managers, train operators and others who deal with the public in the face of rising complaints about uncivil transit employees. As the 28-year-old subway system wears out and service deteriorates, unhappy passengers are venting their frustrations at the most visible Metro employees. Those workers need "brush-up skills" in how to deal with the complaints, one Metro official said. Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said one station manager faces "very serious disciplinary action" after a pregnant woman and her husband complained that he screamed at them, brandished a broom and pushed the husband after they inquired about a broken elevator.

Council Composition Will Go to Voters

Prince George's Could Get Two At-Large Seats

The Prince George's County Board of Elections verified 11,203 signatures on petitions calling for a ballot question that would amend the county charter. In November, voters will decide whether to create two at-large seats on the County Council and allow voters -- rather than council members -- to elect the council's chairman. The ballot question was prompted by the work of the Prince George's County Board of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. The group argues that the current council is overly parochial and that additional representation would give residents a greater voice over countywide issues. Opponents of creating at-large seats said they worry about who is behind the effort, particularly after they learned the petition drive was being funded by developers with influence in Prince George's politics.

Infant Boy Abandoned at Strip Mall

Note With Baby Said, 'I Can't Take Care of It'

A newborn boy wrapped in thin bed linens was abandoned outside a strip mall in New Carrollton on Monday. The infant, who was found in a shopping cart by a county resident shortly after 6 a.m. in a desolate parking lot, was placed in the custody of the Prince George's County Department of Social Services. Law enforcement authorities said the seven-pound baby was found with a note reading: "Take my baby. I'm a crack addict. I can't take care of it."

Statue Returned to Calvert School

Sea Horse Likeness Was Stolen 2 Months Ago

A beloved statue of a sea horse belonging to Calvert Middle School was recovered after a school custodian spotted it dumped in some hedges outside the school. The six-foot statue, called Starfish, had been stolen two months earlier from Calvert County in Southern Maryland. County officials said the thief or thieves would not face punishment if they returned the statue in good condition by the end of September, in time for an auction benefiting Calvert school arts programs. The plea worked. Starfish was found only slightly scratched.

Howard Chief Academic Officer Resigns

Administrator Was Cleared of Grade Tampering

Howard County school administrator Kimberly Statham, 45, who had been at the center of a grade-tampering investigation, resigned effective this Friday. Statham, the county's chief academic officer, said she is leaving to pursue other education opportunities. Statham had been demoted after allegations that she had taken advantage of her position to help alter a failing grade for her daughter but was reinstated after a review found no basis for the accusation.

St. Mary's Mourns Young Soldier

Hundreds Attend Funeral for Man Killed in Iraq

Hundreds turned out for a funeral in Leonardtown to mourn the death of Army Spec. Raymond J. Faulstich Jr., who died Aug. 5 in Iraq after his convoy was attacked. He was 24. Faulstich was the first soldier from his unit, the 7th Transportation Group at Fort Eustis, Va., and the first soldier from St. Mary's County to die in Iraq. He married Crystal Wathen last August at the county courthouse and had planned to have a big wedding when he came home.

Raymond Faulstich Sr. and Linda Faulstich show their son's medals.