Day-Laborer Site Approved

Herndon Will Give $175,000 in Public Funds

The Herndon Town Council voted 5 to 2 to approve the creation of a formal, taxpayer-funded gathering spot for day laborers, saying the chaos in a 7-Eleven parking lot where the workers now gather would only worsen if it did nothing.

The vote came after the fifth hearing on the issue since last month. Project Hope and Harmony, a social services agency, had sought a permit to build and operate a worker center near the Loudoun County line. The approval means the town will help fund the center with $175,000 in public money.

MS-13 Member Convicted

N.Va. Man Gets 23 Years for Machete Attack

A Fairfax County jury convicted a 19-year-old member of the Salvadoran gang Mara Salvatrucha in a January machete attack on a rival gang member that severed three fingers on the rival's left hand.

The jury sentenced Wilber A. Rivera of Falls Church to 23 years in prison for aggravated malicious wounding and five years for participating in a gang. On Dec. 9, Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Jonathan C. Thacher will decide whether the two terms should run consecutively or concurrently. Under state law, Thacher has the option of reducing the jury's sentence, but he cannot increase it.

17 Hurt at Chaotic Computer Sale

$50 Laptops Draw 5,000 to Richmond Event

More than 5,000 people lined up hours early at the Richmond International Raceway on Tuesday for a chance to purchase used laptop computers for $50 each, and a melee ensued.

Authorities said that when the gates opened at 7 a.m., people pushed, shoved and beat each other to get to the Apple iBooks. Elderly men and women were trampled, and a girl's stroller was crushed. The pandemonium lasted about five minutes, and about 70 police officers eventually were called in to control the crowd. About 17 people were injured, including four who were taken to a hospital and treated for scrapes, bruises, heat-related problems and possible broken bones, authorities said.

Four years ago, Henrico County purchased 18,000 of the computers for about $1,100 each for its public school students and teachers. The county decided to use Tuesday's event to sell 1,000 surplus iBooks to residents.

No Favorite for Abortion Rights Group

Chapter Won't Endorse Gubernatorial Candidate

The Virginia chapter of NARAL Pro-Choice America said it will not endorse any candidate in this fall's governor's race, citing a lack of support for abortion rights among the two leading candidates.

The group endorsed Democrats for lieutenant governor, attorney general and most delegate races but said Democratic Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine failed to earn its backing for governor because of his support for some abortion restrictions. The group condemned Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry W. Kilgore as an "extremely anti-choice" candidate.

'No Child Left Behind' Penalties in N.Va.

Up to 15 Schools Must Provide Tutors, Transfers

As many as 15 schools in Northern Virginia must allow their students to transfer to other schools or pay tutors to help teach their pupils because of lagging test scores, state officials said.

The penalties are imposed as part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. School ratings are based on how well students do on Virginia's Standards of Learning tests.

Overall, performance across the state improved, as 80 percent of the 1,821 public schools met the benchmark -- an increase over last year's 74 percent pass rate. For the first time since No Child Left Behind was enacted, Virginia as a state met federal standards.

Fight for a Space Pedro Lopez is a day laborer in Herndon, where the Town Council recently voted to approve the creation of a publicly funded site for the laborers.