MARYLAND

Monitors for Sex Offenders Proposed

Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) proposed yesterday that Maryland require child sex offenders who are released from prison to wear ankle bracelets for the rest of their lives so that authorities could track their whereabouts using Global Positioning System technology.

O'Malley, who is expected to run for governor, said the devices would make it possible to know whether sex offenders were visiting schools, playgrounds or other areas frequented by children. He said Florida plans to start using the technology, which has drawn fire from civil libertarians, next month.

O'Malley's proposal, which came during a broader speech on sex offenders, follows the arrest of a convicted rapist accused of killing his 13-year-old stepdaughter in Baltimore County last month. On Saturday, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) plans to unveil his own initiative related to child sex offenders at a conference of county officials.

Frederick Motorcyclist Dies After Crash

A Frederick man died yesterday morning after his motorcycle crashed into a truck, Maryland State Police said.

Matthew George Purdum, 21, was passing several vehicles while southbound on Route 85, near Frederick, when a vehicle in front, a Chevrolet truck driven by Carroll Kline of Keymar, Md., signaled a left turn, police said.

Purdum's Yamaha YZR hit the truck, throwing Purdum onto the side of the road and causing Kline's truck to skid onto the shoulder of the road.

Kline was uninjured. A state police helicopter flew Purdum to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Voting Machine Reliability to Be Studied

Armed with a grant from the National Science Foundation, Johns Hopkins University is establishing a center to study the reliability of electronic voting machines.

The center's goal is to design the most foolproof, transparent voting system possible, officials said Monday.

Jury Picked in Charles Arson Trial

A jury has been seated for the trial of a man accused of orchestrating the fires set in December in houses being built at a Charles County subdivision.

Opening arguments in the trial of Patrick S. Walsh are scheduled to begin today in federal court in Baltimore.

Twelve jurors and four alternates were chosen yesterday. The jury pool includes six women and 10 men. One man is Asian, another man is black and the rest of the jurors are white.

Walsh is charged with multiple counts of arson and conspiracy for allegedly helping set fire to more than two dozen houses in the Hunters Brooke development near Indian Head. Four others were charged with similar crimes, and two have pleaded guilty.

Jury in Child Slayings Deliberates

The jury hearing the case of three children who were killed in Baltimore last year deliberated for its first full day yesterday without reaching a verdict.

Adan Espinoza Canela, 18, and Policarpio Espinoza Perez, 23, are charged with first-degree murder and other offenses in the slayings of three of their young relatives, each of whom was nearly beheaded.

If convicted, the men could face life in prison. Deliberations are scheduled to resume this morning.

THE DISTRICT

Williams Launches Blog on City Web Site

Add D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) to the list of bloggers. The mayor started his own blog -- short for Web log -- with a first message Monday evening. It is on the city's Web site, www.dc.gov, and can be reached directly at blog.mayor.dc.gov.

In his first posting, Williams wrote that he hasn't decided the focus. "I'm not really sure.

"We'll figure this out as we go. But rest assured, the comments that follow really are the views of Tony Williams, Mayor of Washington, D.C."

Questions are screened by the mayor's press office. In its first 24 hours, the blog attracted four postings. One wanted the mayor to review the city's building height limit, one asked him his favorite wine, another queried him about bird-watching and the fourth tried to get a prediction of where real estate prices in the city were headed.

VIRGINIA

Truck Driver Dies in Collision With Bus

A 42-year-old man was killed yesterday when his truck crashed into a Fairfax Connector bus on Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Fairfax County police said.

The collision occurred about 3:10 p.m. on the highway near Cunningham Drive. Investigators said the truck might have been heading north in the southbound lanes of the highway when it struck the bus. The bus driver and passengers were not seriously hurt.

The driver of the truck was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. His name and home town were not released yesterday, pending notification of his family.

Crashes in Springfield Clog I-95 Traffic

Two afternoon crashes yesterday on Interstate 95 in the Springfield area of Fairfax County injured four people and crippled traffic for almost three hours, authorities said.

Virginia State Police Sgt. Ronald Campbell said the four injuries were not life-threatening. The people were conscious and walking around before they were taken by ambulance to hospitals for checkups, he said.

Campbell said investigations into the crashes, the causes of which have not been determined, are ongoing. It was unknown yesterday whether speed or wet road conditions were factors in the accidents, which occurred about 12:45 p.m. on southbound I-95, just south of the Newington Road exit.

In the first wreck, which occurred moments before the second, two tractor-trailers and a trash truck collided, Campbell said. Then two sport-utility vehicles crashed, he said, possibly because one of the drivers slowed to avoid the first accident.

"It had a whole lot of potential to be far worse," he said of the wreckage and injuries.

The interstate was closed for nearly three hours as investigators combed through the debris and the wreckage was cleared.

"There's an us-against-them feeling that is full-blown in Herndon right now,"

-- Jose Vanegas, a Colombian immigrant, referring to the dispute over a proposed day laborer hiring center. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Nelson Hernandez, Tom Jackman, Eric Rich, Jamie Stockwell, John Wagner and Eric M. Weiss and the Associated Press.