THE DISTRICT

D.C. Man Tabbed for Defense Post

The White House has nominated Raymond F. DuBois, a District resident, to be deputy undersecretary of defense for logistics and materiel readiness, succeeding Diane K. Morales.

Dubois has served as director of administration and management in the office of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld since October 2002 and deputy undersecretary for installations and environment since April 2001. He has been involved in base realignment and closure planning for the department.

The nomination was submitted to the Senate on Wednesday.

MARYLAND

Security Plan Proposed for Montgomery

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) submitted legislation yesterday to reorganize county government, consolidating several functions under a new Department of Homeland Security.

County officials said the department, if approved by the County Council, would be responsible for emergency management, disaster preparedness, security at county buildings, community outreach and obtaining federal and state homeland security grants.

The department also would oversee the county's 911 center and be a clearinghouse for state and federal intelligence involving possible threats to the county, officials said.

Currently, many of those functions are handled by other county agencies or the Fire and Rescue Service.

Garrett County to Mark Crash Site

Community leaders will dedicate a statue today to seven children killed when a train struck a school bus in Garrett County in 1959.

The dedication comes on the 45th anniversary of the wreck. A metal sculpture of children climbing a rose-covered arch will stand in the center of Mountain Lake Park, the Western Maryland town of 2,200 that is less than a mile from the railroad crossing at Route 560.

Sisters Holly Hoffman and Heather Davenport initiated the project in memory of their half-brother Lee Hoffman, who died in the crash.

The children were killed when a Baltimore & Ohio passenger train slammed into the rear of a fully loaded school bus stalled on the tracks Sept. 10, 1959.

VIRGINIA

State Executes Man for 1996 Killing

James Edward Reid, a convicted killer who beat and stabbed to death an 87-year-old southwest Virginia woman in her home in 1996, was executed by injection last night in Virginia's death chamber.

Reid, 58, was pronounced dead at 9:12 p.m. at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, according to Larry Traylor, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Corrections.

In numerous appeals, Reid's attorneys unsuccessfully argued that Virginia's method of lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and therefore is unconstitutional. They contended that the first phase of the state's lethal injection, designed to render the body unconscious, would wear off -- or not even work at all -- and that Reid would "suffer an excruciatingly painful and protracted death" when the second and third chemicals were administered.

Pr. William Schools to Get New Leader

Prince William School Superintendent Edward L. Kelly will step down from his position at the end of this school year, his 18th at the helm of the state's third-largest school district.

Kelly had indicated he wanted to stay two more years as superintendent of the district, despite health problems that sidelined him for part of last school year. However, after one-on-one conversations with School Board members, Kelly said it was clear a majority of the board wanted a change in leadership. He then decided to withdraw his request for a contract extension.

"I felt that to move to the next level, it's time for new ideas and new leadership," said board member Milton C. Johns (Brentsville).

Kelly has been superintendent since July 1987. Before that, he served as superintendent in Little Rock.

The School Board will meet Sept. 29 to plan the search for his successor.

Tax Letter Sparks Concern in Alexandria

Alexandria officials said yesterday that they are warning residents about a letter from an out-of-state company claiming their property taxes are delinquent.

The solicitation letters prompted many panicked calls from city homeowners, most from older residents, many of whom do not pay real estate taxes because of a tax relief program, said Daniel A. Neckel, the city's finance director.

"They sent this letter to taxpayers who didn't owe any delinquent real estate taxes," Neckel said.

City officials said they did not authorize the solicitation letters, sent by Multi-Fund of Columbus Inc. The letters offered city homeowners a plan to help them pay delinquent taxes.

Graham Montigny, Multi-Fund president, said the mortgage company bought the list of delinquent homeowners from a public record data provider. However, company officials did not know of the city's real estate tax exemption for older residents.

"If I had known, I never would have bought the list," Montigny said. "We're sorry to have caused alarm."

Woman Killed in Reston Crash

A woman from the Hamilton, Va., area was killed in a car accident in Reston yesterday when the station wagon driven by her husband swerved into oncoming traffic, Fairfax County police said.

Earl T. Cook, 64, was driving with his wife, Flossie Cook, 69, heading west on Leesburg Pike about 1:20 p.m. Police said they do not know why Cook's 1994 Ford Taurus station wagon suddenly crossed into the eastbound lanes at Reston Avenue. The Taurus was struck by a dump truck and a Honda, police said.

Flossie Cook was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Her husband was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Three passengers in the bed of the dump truck were ejected and hospitalized. The driver and a passenger in the Honda were not hurt.

"I know this will not be a cure-all, but I hope it sends a message that if you're going to sell guns to the general public, you will keep a secure store, you will keep accurate records, you don't just sell them to anyone."

-- Vicki Buchanan Snider, whose brother was among the victims of the Washington area sniper shootings, on a $2.5 million settlement with the gun shop and manufacturer of the Bushmaster rifle used during the three-week shooting rampage. -- Page A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Spencer S. Hsu, Tim Craig, Christina A. Samuels, Elaine Rivera, Ian Shapira and Tom Jackman and the Associated Press.