Divers Search for Missing Stunt Pilot

Scuba diving teams scoured the Delaware Bay yesterday, searching for a pilot who fell from the sky after his plane and another plane collided in an amateur aerobatic stunt near the beaches of Lewes, Del., on Sunday morning.

Authorities have not released the name of the missing pilot. The body of the other pilot, identified as Jay Blum, 39, of Berwyn, Pa., was found in the water Sunday near the wreckage of his plane.

About 10 Delaware State Police divers combed the waters near Cape Henlopen State Park hoping to find the pilot, said Cpl. Jeff Oldham, a police spokesman. A small piece of plane was found. The search was called off at 8:30 last night and is to resume today. A National Transportation Safety Board unit from New Jersey is investigating the crash, spokesman Terry Williams said.


Radio Personality's Wife Dies After Crash

The wife of popular Washington area radio personality Don Geronimo was killed Sunday in a traffic accident in Ocean City.

Freda Wright-Sorce, 50, often called in to the "Don and Mike Show" on WJFK-FM (106.7), which is known for its humor and pranks. She traded barbs and shared stories with her husband, whose real name is Michael Sorce, and others on the program.

State police said her vehicle was struck head-on Sunday afternoon by a vehicle that crossed the median on Route 90 in an attempt to avoid a pileup. She died later at a Baltimore hospital.

Co-host Mike O'Meara told listeners yesterday that Wright-Sorce was the "conscience" of the nationally syndicated show.

Mikulski Hospitalized for 'Routine' Tests

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) was hospitalized yesterday in Baltimore for what an aide described as "routine diagnostic tests."

Mikulski, 68, who is in her fourth term, entered Mercy Hospital yesterday morning and "is expected to be released in a couple of days," said press secretary Melissa Schwartz.

U.S. Attorney for Md. to Be Sworn In Today

Rod Rosenstein is to be sworn in today as Maryland's U.S. attorney. He will replace Allen F. Loucks, who has been serving on an interim basis since January, when Thomas M. DiBiagio stepped down after a three-year term.

Rosenstein, 40, graduated summa cum laude from the Wharton School of business at the University of Pennsylvania, with a bachelor's degree in economics. He received his law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School. After law school, he clerked for Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Rosenstein was an assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland from 1997 to 2001 and was working as the principal deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's tax division.

From 1995 to 1997, Rosenstein was an associate independent counsel for the Whitewater investigation relating to former President Bill Clinton.

Little Falls Trail Section Set to Close

A portion of the Little Falls Trail in Bethesda will be closed for about eight weeks, Montgomery County officials said yesterday.

The stretch, between Massachusetts Avenue and Westmoreland Hills park on Elliott Road, is unsafe after flowing water from a stream undermined a concrete section of the trail, officials said. During the next two months, workers will install concrete support piers with steel beams to shore up the concrete.

Officials recommend trail users switch to the Capital Crescent Trail because it runs parallel to the section of the Little Falls Trail that will be repaired.


Police Warn of Scam Artist in SE

D.C. police warned residents in several Southeast Washington neighborhoods yesterday to be wary of a scam artist seeking donations for community groups and national organizations.

The man has operated for about three months in the Capitol Hill and Barney Circle areas of the 1st Police District, said D.C. police Sgt. Dennis Hance.

The man, who is often well dressed and has computer-generated fliers, knocks on doors and asks people to donate to churches or the American Red Cross. The man, however, has no affiliation with those groups, Hance said.

Police learned of the scam during community meetings, and detectives are investigating the cases, Hance said. Anyone with information is urged to call police at 202-727-9099 or 202-698-0068.


Demonstrators Guilty of Trespassing

An Arlington County jury yesterday found 19 people guilty of trespassing at the Bush-Cheney presidential reelection campaign headquarters during a demonstration in the fall against administration policies on AIDS.

The jury deliberated about 20 minutes in Arlington Circuit Court before finding the defendants guilty of the misdemeanor charge. Each faces up to a year in jail or up to $2,500 in fines for roles in the Oct. 18 protest, which included about 100 others who carried signs and took part in the demonstration outside the building in the 2100 block of Wilson Blvd.

In convicting the 19 protesters, the jury found that the defendants branched off from the group of demonstrators and walked into the first-floor campaign office, including its reception area and one secured room, and refused to leave, even after they were repeatedly asked to do so.

"There are plenty of opportunities for free speech when it is lawfully done," Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Andrew Parker told the jury. "But the line was drawn when they crossed onto the private property and wouldn't leave."

Some protesters chained themselves to the emergency fire exit, and others chained themselves to each other in the reception area and chanted against the administration's policies.

The sentencing phase of the trial began late yesterday.

VRE Will Add Trains to Crowded Routes

Virginia Railway Express is adding cars to some trains in hopes of getting more people into seats on the most crowded trips.

The eight-car trains are to include three on the Fredericksburg Line and two on the Manassas Line, with a goal of adding 1,100 new seats for commuters.

"It was a quiet, good neighborhood, but now we don't know what will happen."

-- Amit Gessese, whose neighborhood is in the path of a proposed six-lane tolled freeway that would run between Interstate 270 in Gaithersburg and Interstate 95 near Laurel. -- A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Philip Rucker, David Snyder, Jamie Stockwell, Martin Weil and Del Quentin Wilber and the Associated Press.