Funding Cuts Worry University Leaders

Regional higher education leaders warned parents and students yesterday that the conflicting forces of state funding cuts and increasing demand have created an even tighter crunch for space.

"We ought to be very concerned about this," said Charlene Drew Jarvis, president of Southeastern University in the District.

Jarvis joined officials from George Mason University in Fairfax and the University of Maryland, College Park for a roundtable discussion in front of regional business leaders. The university leaders agreed that funding problems are squeezing the number of higher education spaces available, despite regular and sharp tuition increases.

Maryland Provost William W. Destler insisted that state budget cuts have forced Maryland to depend on tuition increases just to keep the status quo. Destler said the school can't afford to increase enrollment. He and other higher education leaders painted a picture of a systemwide dilemma: cap enrollment or lower quality.


Silver Spring Alleys Getting Arty Touch

Montgomery County is turning several industrial alleys in south Silver Spring into pedestrian thoroughfares lined with galleries, restaurants and coffee shops under a plan funded by $3.9 million in federal money.

County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D), along with Democratic Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes and other elected officials, yesterday opened the "Arts Alley @ Blair Mill," a 400-foot lane that runs behind Mayorga Coffee Roasters on Georgia Avenue.

Elizabeth Davison, director of the county Department of Housing and Community Affairs, said seven additional renovated alleyways -- in the blocks bounded by Eastern Avenue, Georgia Avenue and Newell Street -- would be completed over the next two years. Duncan said the project will create places "alive with art, alive with people."

River Drowning Ruled Accidental

Police concluded yesterday that a Tennessee man who drowned in the Severn River on Saturday night died accidentally.

Scott A. Miller, 35, and his wife Sheila Miller, 27, both of Nashville, were wading in the river near Horn Point when both went under, Maryland Natural Resources police said. A boater who saw them struggling pulled Scott Miller from the water, and another couple ran from shore and pulled out his wife. Scott Miller was pronounced dead at Anne Arundel Medical Center. Sheila Miller was treated and released. An autopsy confirmed investigators' finding that Scott Miller's death was accidental, police said.

Errant Baseball Throw Kills Child

Baltimore County police said that a 4-year-old boy died yesterday after being hit by a baseball at Orchard Hills Park in Lutherville.

Police said that the boy's father and another man were playing catch to practice for an over-30 recreational team game and that an errant throw got past the father and hit the child. The boy ran into his father's arms and collapsed. He was treated at the scene and taken to a hospital, where he died. Police said no charges will be filed.


Landmarks Register Grows Longer

The Virginia Landmarks Register, maintained by the state Department of Historic Resources and intended to increase public awareness of the state's history, added 20 attractions yesterday.

Among them were two farms in Northern Virginia: Spring Hill Farm in Loudoun County and Clermont in Clarke County.

The additions also include the "Elva C," a deck boat docked at the Reedville Fishermen's Museum; Norfolk Azalea Gardens, created by black women working under the Works Progress Administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt; and Jackson Ward Historic District, 42 city blocks in Richmond.

Some of the other new listings are the Appomattox River Bridge, the Old Virginia State Library in Richmond, Seashore State Park in Virginia Beach, Westmoreland State Park in Westmoreland County, Newport News Public Library and Odd Fellows Hall in Blacksburg.

Prince William Commercial Wins Award

Prince William County has won a local Emmy for a public service announcement that discourages teenagers from drinking and driving.

The county was the only government agency nominated in this year's local Emmys, sponsored by the National Capital/Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. There were 146 nominees in 77 categories.

The producing team of county employees Desiree Wolfe, Megan Shoup and Mike Gillette was given the award Saturday night during a ceremony at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington.

Prince William's commercial, "Death of an Innocent," appears frequently on county Channel 23.


13th St. Water Main Repairs Linger

Water main repair work at 13th Street and Florida Avenue NW is expected to disrupt traffic for the next three to four weeks, according to the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority. Two water main breaks there on May 21 cut off water to hundreds of homes, businesses and hospitals for up to a day.

The problem was repaired temporarily, but a permanent repair is now underway. Repair work will continue from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and will squeeze traffic on both streets to one lane in each direction.

Utility officials said in a statement that they do not expect the repairs to interfere with water service and that customers experiencing low water pressure should call the customer service office at 202-612-3400.

Nonprofit Group Loses Funding Case

A federal judge yesterday denied a District nonprofit organization's request for a temporary restraining order to prevent the D.C. Department of Mental Health from dropping it as a grant recipient.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle said there was not enough evidence showing that the Family Advocacy and Support Association had a right to expect consistent, yearly funding from the city agency, especially when there was no signed contract.

The association, which offers tutoring and summer programs for emotionally disturbed children and twice-monthly support meetings for parents, filed a lawsuit June 9 saying it had not received any grant money from the city this fiscal year.

The association also asked the court to award it $37,500 for work it performed from October 2004 through June. Huvelle did not rule on that issue and instructed attorneys to continue negotiations.

"When people come here, they're happy. And when they leave, they're happy, too. What more could you ask for?"

-- Woodrow "Woody" Lashley, owner of Woody's Ice Cream in Fairfax City,

open from April 1 until around Halloween. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Cameron W. Barr, Eric Rich, Nikita Stewart, D'Vera Cohn and Theola S. Labbe and the Associated Press.