Test-Score Sanctions for Schools

At Least 15 in N.Va. Must Allow Transfers

At least 15 Northern Virginia schools must give their students the option of transferring to other schools this year under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, based on standardized test scores released Thursday.

The schools, which receive federal funds because they have high proportions of low-income students, are subject to the sanction because they failed to make "adequate yearly progress" on state Standards of Learning exams for the second consecutive year.

Statewide, 28 percent of schools failed to make adequate progress in the academic year that ended in June -- an improvement from 42 percent the previous year. Ninety-one of the state's 1,805 schools will have to offer children the chance to transfer to higher-performing schools this year.

Little League World Series Appearance

McLean Girls Make History but Lose Final

A McLean girls' Little League team made history in becoming the first Washington area team to advance to the finals of the Little League Softball World Series.

The McLean All-Stars beat teams from across the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Europe and Puerto Rico in advancing to the final -- further than any Washington area team had gone in the tournament's 30-year history. In the end, the McLean girls were defeated 18-5 by a team from Waco, Tex., that has won 11 of the last 13 World Series.

Man Executed for Killing Three Neighbors

Feud Over Shared Driveway Fueled Slayings

A Virginia man who killed three neighbors over a disputed driveway in July 2002 was executed.

James B. Hudson, 57, was pronounced dead at 9:07 p.m. Wednesday at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt.

Hudson pleaded guilty to the killings of Patsy A. Cole and Thomas W. Cole, both 64, and Thomas's brother Walter S. Cole, 56. A single driveway connected the homes of Hudson and Walter Cole in rural Halifax County, and the families had been feuding for years after Hudson's father sold a parcel of land containing the road to the Coles, prosecutors said.

Man Fatally Shot in Battle With Police

Fredericksburg Officers Tried Taser, Pepper Spray

An Essex County man died early Tuesday after being shot in a battle Monday afternoon with two Fredericksburg police officers who had pulled him over for a traffic stop.

After being sprayed repeatedly with pepper spray and zapped with a Taser, an electronic stun device that set his hair on fire, Robert C. Trouth, 29, of Hustle, Va., still managed to take away one officer's service weapon before the second officer fired one shot into his back, police said.

Across the Region

Metro Funding; Getting the Lead Out of Water

* Metro executives announced a plan to raise the $1.5 billion they say is urgently needed to maintain and repair the rail and bus system, but the proposal requires heavy investment by the counties and cities Metro serves. In addition to the local money, Metro's plan assumes the federal government will provide $290 million -- an assumption that might not come to pass. Congress has not acted on a pending transportation bill.

* A chemical that will be added to D.C. and Northern Virginia drinking water this week will produce a "noticeable reduction" in lead within a year, but it could be longer than that before some residents can stop using filters, an Environmental Protection Agency official said. The colorless and tasteless chemical, phosphoric acid, coats the inside of plumbing to prevent lead from leaching into drinking water. It has been tried since June in a section of Northwest Washington. The EPA considers the test successful because no major problems occurred with rusty water or elevated bacteria readings, two possible side effects.

Reunion: Michael McAlister strolls with sister Denise Haas, left, and mother, Rebecca McAlister, after being paroled from prison. He hopes to clear his name.