Officials Call Fires at Howard Suspicious

Two fires on the Howard University campus yesterday appeared suspicious, D.C. fire officials said.

Flames broke out about 5:30 p.m. in two storage rooms in a building in the 2100 block of Georgia Avenue.

Alan Etter, spokesman for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, said it was the second time in a month that fire crews have been called to the building. He said that there have been problems with transients in the building but that he didn't know whether they were responsible for yesterday's fires.

No damage estimate was available. Etter said the building is used primarily for storage.


Pedestrian Killed by Truck in Frederick

A 29-year-old pedestrian died late Saturday after he was struck by a truck on a busy thoroughfare in Frederick, police said yesterday.

The victim, whose name was withheld pending notification of relatives, was walking across Route 40 near McCain Drive about 9:30 p.m. when he was hit by a Chevrolet truck heading west, police said. The man died at Frederick Memorial Hospital, police said.

No charges have been filed in the accident. Police are seeking the occupants of another car, possibly a white Chevrolet Cavalier, spotted in the area of the incident. The occupants of the car might be witnesses, police said.

Mother's Sentence Shortened in Killing

A judge reduced to 30 years the prison term of a Garrett County woman who was sentenced in 1986 to life behind bars for the murder of her 4-year-old daughter.

Retired Washington County Circuit Judge Daniel Moylan said that Donna Lynn White should have stopped the beating but that it was her then-boyfriend, Bruce Allen Sarver, who dealt the deadly blows. Sarver is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in Brandy White's death.

Washington County Circuit Judge Donald Beachley ordered the resentencing May 28 after finding that White's trial attorney was unprepared at her original sentencing hearing. White testified that she still feels responsible for Brandy's death.

The victim's father, Richard White, objected to the sentence reduction.

Contamination Might Be From Fuel Tanks

Fuel tanks at an Aberdeen, Md., convenience store have been identified as a potential source of a gasoline additive leak. The leak has contaminated the city's drinking water supply.

State officials have ordered the store to perform additional groundwater and soil sampling. The additive is known as MTBE.

The Maryland Department of the Environment ordered a 7-Eleven to conduct more sampling at its store after high concentrations of the additive were found beneath the store's underground fuel tanks.


Three Men Wounded in Fairfax Shooting

Three men were shot in an incident in southern Fairfax County last night, police said. None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, according to authorities.

The victims, who appeared to be in their twenties, were shot shortly after 8:30 p.m. in the 8000 block of Richmond Highway, county police said. They were treated at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital; one with serious injuries was later flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital, said police spokeswoman Mary Mulrenan.

No arrests had been made late last night, and the investigation was continuing, Mulrenan said.

Two Stabbed in Herndon Area Melee

Fairfax County police are investigating a double stabbing last night outside a Taco Bell in the Herndon area.

Authorities said as many as 10 people may have been involved in the melee along Centreville Road that left one person with stab wounds to his back and another with wounds in his arm. Neither injury was considered life-threatening.

Witnesses said two groups of people appeared to be arguing just before the stabbing. Police were investigating whether the assaults were gang-related.

Memorial Held for Student Killed in Fire

A memorial service was held yesterday in Martinsville, Va., for a 19-year-old University of Mississippi student who died in a fraternity house fire.

Howard Stone was one of three victims of the Friday morning fire. His parents are Circuit Judge Charles Stone and Nancy Stone.

Howard Stone graduated in 2003 from Martinsville High School, where he was a three-year starting defender on three regional champion soccer teams.

Autopsies determined that the three victims of the fire died of smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire at the Alpha Tau Omega house has not been determined.

Shock Injures Worker at Fairfax School

A private contractor working at a Fairfax County intermediate school in the Alexandria section of the county suffered a severe electric shock yesterday morning, authorities said.

The 35-year-old worker, who was not identified, was shocked and fell off a ladder about 9 a.m. at Hayfield Secondary School in the 7600 block of Telegraph Road, police said.

The man was flown by helicopter to Washington Hospital Center, police said. His condition could not be determined, but police said his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Man Dies, Brother Missing in River

Portsmouth and Norfolk police and rescue crews were searching yesterday for a Newport News man who disappeared in the Elizabeth River while fishing with his brothers.

The body of another of the brothers was recovered yesterday morning, Portsmouth police said. The victims were identified as Robert Coleman, 52, and Lawrence Coleman, 50, both of Newport News, Sgt. Amber Whitaker said. She said that Lawrence Coleman was still missing yesterday afternoon and that the U.S. Coast Guard was helping Portsmouth police search for him.

Whitaker said that three brothers were fishing early yesterday from a moored boat and that one fell in. She said that his brothers jumped in to save him but that only one made it out of the water.

"The people we match together tend to stay together. The ones who bring a friend from high school or who meet up at orientation, those are the ones that don't work."

-- Melissa Leecy, director of residence life and housing at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va. -- Page A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Lila Arzua and Del Quentin Wilber and the Associated Press.