Metro Approves Leasing in Silver Spring

Facility Will House Transit Contracting Agency

Metro directors approved a request by transit officials to lease space in a Silver Spring building, after questioning why the agency is renting when it owns an underutilized warehouse in Landover.

Instead of using some of the warehouse space, Metro managers told the board of directors they want to spend $225,000 a year to rent 8,600 square feet of commercial space on Colesville Road in Silver Spring to accommodate a new company, which the transit agency will hire to provide MetroAccess service Jan 1.

Metro managers said it was important to locate the new MetroAccess contractor in the same building as the departing provider to ensure continuity when the service changes hands.

Educators Urged to Watch for Gangs

Learning Hand Signals, Other Signs Advised

At a conference, police experts urged local educators to hunt for evidence that street gangs have penetrated schools and face the challenge squarely when it arises.

The conference delivered practical advice for school security personnel and public officials. Educators and security officials were advised to learn the language of gangs, including hand signals and graffiti memos in the bathrooms, to help avert violence.

Accused Arsonist Said to Want Respect

Recognition for Gang Is Alleged Motivation

Assistant U.S. Attorney Donna Sanger said that a desire for recognition is the motive the government has ascribed to Patrick S. Walsh, 21, who, along with five other men, was charged with arson and conspiracy. Two men pleaded guilty, and charges against a third have been dropped.

In opening statements in one of the largest arsons in Maryland's history, Sanger said Walsh and others kicked down doors, splashed accelerants in unoccupied houses and set blazes that were intended to reduce the Hunters Brooke subdivision in Charles County to ashes and solidify his gang's reputation.

Columbia Chef Tapped for White House

Philippines Native is First Woman in Job

Cristeta Comerford of Columbia was selected to become the White House executive chef. A 10-year White House kitchen staff member, Comerford will preside over five full-time employees and as many as 25 staff members during important occasions.

Comerford, 42, is a naturalized citizen originally from the Philippines and the first woman in the White House executive chef's position. She specializes in ethnic and American cuisine.

Arundel Ends Discrimination Suit

School System to Rewrite Achievement Goals

The Anne Arundel school board approved a memorandum of understanding with civil rights leaders Wednesday that would end a year-old lawsuit alleging discrimination against black students across several academic areas.

The agreement requires the school system to rewrite its countywide achievement goals so that they apply equally to each of eight statistical subgroups based on race, sex and socioeconomic status. The goals currently apply only to the system as a whole.

Man Slashed Severely in Langley Park

Attack Is Third Knifing in Less Than a Week

A man was critically wounded last Sunday when he was slashed on the hand and face in Langley Park. Police said the victim's hand was almost severed.

It was the third knife attack in the neighborhood in less than a week. Police had not established connections in the attacks, but a Prince George's County spokeswoman said they will look into the possibility that two or more might be linked.

Frederick Woman Dies at 110

Ella Mae Stumpe Published Life Story at 98

Ella Mae Stumpe, 110, died Tuesday at the infirmary of the Record Street Home, a woman's assisted living facility in downtown Frederick.

She published a book, "100 Years, My Story," when she was 98.

For Peace During a vigil in Bethesda, Kate Flyger, 9, of Kensington and Dan Sealy of Bethesda protest the war in Iraq.