Incinerator Fined, Told to Cut Pollution

A Baltimore medical waste incinerating company has agreed to reduce air pollution by installing equipment to cut mercury emissions and to pay a $75,000 penalty for pollution violations, the Maryland Department of the Environment announced yesterday.

Environment Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick said Curtis Bay Engineering also has agreed to install continuous mercury emission monitoring equipment, a first for Maryland. It also will perform $125,000 in supplemental projects, including research and development on ways to control and monitor emissions.

Man Arrested in Md. Returning to N.Y.

A Pakistani man indicted last week on charges of immigration document fraud agreed to be returned to New York after an initial federal hearing yesterday in Baltimore.

Muhammad Asif Haider, 27, was arrested late Sunday in Towson when the car in which he was riding was pulled over in a traffic stop, FBI spokeswoman Tia Ford said. Baltimore County police initially said Haider's name appeared on a national terror watch list. But FBI spokesman Barry Maddox would confirm only that Haider's name appeared in the database of the FBI's National Crime Information Center. At the hearing in U.S. District Court, there was no discussion of terrorism or terror activity.

Haider faces two criminal counts in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for immigration document fraud and conspiracy to commit such fraud. If convicted of both charges, Haider faces up to 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.


Williams Urges Inclusion of Gays at Rally

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams said yesterday that organizers of the Millions More Movement should permit gay men and lesbians to participate in planning for the October rally and promised to "share my feelings" with the Rev. Willie F. Wilson and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Gay rights activists said Williams (D) is the second black leader to heed their call to intervene with Wilson and Farrakhan, who are planning the event. NAACP Chairman Julian Bond also has urged the leaders to meet with gay activists and include a gay speaker at the black unity rally, which marks the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March.

"I want to insist, as Julian Bond has, that at every level this be an inclusive event," Williams said after meeting with about a dozen gay activists in the John A. Wilson Building.

Wilson and Farrakhan have said that gay men and lesbians are welcome at the rally, but they have ignored requests from gay leaders to be included on the planning council. The matter gained wide attention last month after Wilson, pastor at Union Temple Baptist Church in Southeast Washington, delivered a sermon in which he claimed that rampant lesbianism threatens the black community.


Marine Corps Museum Director on the Job

A former executive officer of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is heading the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the $140 million facility outside Quantico that is set to open its first exhibits in November 2006.

Lin Ezell, who is credited with helping to draw tourists to the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, which opened in Chantilly in 2003, was named director of the Marine Corps museum in July, said 2nd Lt. Brian Donnelly, a museum spokesman. She began working about two weeks ago, he said.

The Marine Corps museum is under construction and features a 20-story mast that rises at an angle to resemble the flag-raising at Iwo Jima. The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit group that promotes the corps and its history, estimates that the museum will draw 300,000 to 500,000 visitors annually.

Driving Student Crashes Into Store

A 63-year-old driving school student lost control of the vehicle she was driving yesterday and crashed into a medical supplies store in Falls Church, police said. No one was seriously injured, and the building sustained no structural damage, they said.

The woman, who was in the car with an instructor, crashed into the Jefferson Home Medical Supply store shortly before 1 p.m., police said. No other vehicles were involved in the crash, in the 100 block of North Washington Street.

The woman, whose name was not released, was treated at the scene for a minor hand injury.


Woman Charged After Child Left in Car

A woman was arrested yesterday on charges of leaving her 3-year-old daughter alone in a car for at least two hours near a busy intersection.

Brenda Johanna Oliva, 21, of New Carrollton was being held in lieu of $50,000 bond after being charged with reckless endangerment and other crimes, said Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey. Oliva could be released from jail if she agrees to supervision by pretrial services officers, Ivey said.

The girl, whose name was not released, was found Sunday morning by a neighbor near 42nd Avenue and East West Highway, Hyattsville police said. The neighbor saw the girl in the car when he left his home Sunday and called police after he saw her again when he returned about two hours later. The child was unharmed and was in the custody of Prince George's child welfare officials.

Oliva apparently went to get help after one of her tires went flat, left the child behind and never returned, said Hyattsville police Sgt. Greg Phillips. She called police to try to locate the child a few hours later but left incomplete callback information and had several inconsistencies in her story, Phillips said.

St. Mary's Basements, Roads Flooded

Basements and roads flooded in parts of St. Mary's County about midday yesterday after torrents of rain fell there, authorities said.

Radar estimates showed five or six inches in a small area just east of Leonardtown, the National Weather Service said. "It just kept coming down," said county emergency services manager Patrick Walsh.

About two feet of water flooded a basement on the Leonardtown campus of the College of Southern Maryland, a school spokeswoman said. Homes also flooded, and a "minor washout" eroded part of Route 5 in Leonardtown, Walsh said.

"My mother always said that nice Jewish girls don't go into law enforcement."

-- Bonni Gail Tischler, highest-ranking female law enforcement officer during a 30-year U.S. Customs Service career, who died of cancer yesterday. -- B6

Compiled from reports by staff writers Nikita Stewart, Martin Weil, Jamie Stockwell and Lori Montgomery and the Associated Press.