Innocent Man to Be Paid for Lost Years

$1.4 Million Approved in Wrongful Conviction

The Maryland Board of Public Works approved a $1.4 million compensation package for Michael Austin, who spent almost 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.

Austin was 26 when he was arrested in the 1974 slaying of Roy Kellam, a security guard at a food store in Baltimore. A nonprofit group took up Austin's case and found numerous problems with his trial, including prosecutorial misconduct and an ill-prepared defense attorney.

Connector Passes Significant Step

Intercounty Toll Road Added to Long-Term Plan

The Transportation Planning Board added construction of a proposed east-west highway between Montgomery and Prince George's counties to its long-range plans. The move puts what would be the region's first new highway in a generation a significant step closer to being built.

The eight-lane toll road, known as the intercounty connector, would run 18 miles between Interstate 95 in Prince George's and Interstate 270 in Montgomery.

Matchmaker Ordered to Pay Ex-Client

Abused Wife Said Md. Firm Didn't Screen Men

A federal jury in Baltimore awarded $434,000 to a Ukrainian woman who met her husband, James Fox, through an international matchmaking agency and alleged that the agency failed to help her when she reported abuse.

Nataliya Fox, 33, sued the Bethesda-based company Encounters International for failing to screen its male clients or tell her about the so-called battered spouse waiver, a provision in immigration law intended to help foreign nationals escape abusive relationships without fear of automatic deportation.

Pr. George's Places Curb on Growth

Development to Depend on Police, Fire Staffing

The Prince George's County Council, looking for ways to slow the pace of development, voted to allow residential construction only if police and fire departments meet certain standards for staffing and emergency response times.

The measure is intended to ensure that growth does not compromise public safety.

Panel Deadlocked on Immigrant Licenses

Members Agree on IDs for Some Here Illegally

Some illegal immigrants would be able to obtain a Maryland driver's license under rules proposed by a state task force, but the panel stopped short of recommending sweeping changes that would broaden access to driving privileges, members said.

2 Die in Accidents on Montgomery Road

Teens Were Latest Killed in String of Crashes

Two teenagers were killed in accidents about three miles and six hours apart on a narrow road in Montgomery County.

Solomon King, 16, of North Potomac was hit by a car as he walked with two friends along Travilah Road in Potomac about 6:45 p.m. Nov. 12, police said. The driver did not stop. About 1:15 a.m. Sunday, Sarkis George Nazarian Jr., 16, of Potomac was killed when the sport-utility vehicle he was driving ran off the road and hit a tree. He was driving home from a party.

The deaths were the latest in a string of fatal accidents in the county involving teenagers.

Across the Region

Pilot Lands on Route 4; Verdict in Slave Case

* A pilot made an emergency landing on Route 4 in Anne Arundel County after his single-engine plane ran out of fuel. Michael E. Pridgen, 43, of Odenton was headed to Fort Meade when he landed on the highway. He was not injured.

* A federal jury convicted a physician from Nigeria of conspiracy and harboring a juvenile alien for financial gain. But the jury acquitted Adaobi Stella Udeozor, 45, of Germantown of charges that she forced an illegal immigrant girl to work as an unpaid servant in her home. Udeozor is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 4.

Wowed by wood: Children from the Naval Academy Primary School admire the Wye Oak desk after its unveiling.