King Memorial to Receive $1 Million Boost

Supporters of a permanent memorial on the Mall to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. have raised more than a third of the $100 million cost of the project. And fundraisers got a boost yesterday from Sheila Johnson, co-owner of the Washington Mystics, who announced plans to donate $1 million toward the memorial.

Groundbreaking is set for November 2006 on a site not far from the Lincoln Memorial, where King made his "I Have a Dream" speech 42 years ago.


City Awarded for South Capitol Street Plan

The D.C. Department of Transportation has received a national award for its plan to transform South Capitol Street into a grand entrance to the U.S. Capitol, as originally envisioned in Pierre L'Enfant's design for the city.

The award, from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, recognizes city transportation planners with a Best Practices in Smart Growth and Transportation award in the category of Revitalizing Communities and Corridors.

"DDOT is proud to accept this prestigious award from AASHTO, the premier organization of state transportation agencies," Transportation Director Dan Tangherlini said yesterday in a statement. "The signature South Capitol/Frederick Douglass Bridge will be sensitively designed to connect travelers and neighborhoods to the river and to each other."

Under the plan, known as the South Capitol Street Gateway Project, the busy but neglected thoroughfare would gain a green median strip and wide sidewalks, as well as other amenities to help tie it to the surrounding neighborhood, a planned baseball stadium and the Anacostia waterfront.


Truck Collision, Fires Close Highway

A pickup truck crossed over the median and struck a tractor-trailer last night on Interstate 270 in northern Montgomery County, authorities said. Both vehicles caught fire, resulting in a two-mile traffic backup that lasted hours.

The pickup was headed north in the Hyattstown area, near the Frederick County line, when the driver apparently lost control about 8 p.m., police said. The vehicle crossed into the southbound lanes and collided with the tractor-trailer, which was carrying Styrofoam, police said.

A three-mile stretch of the highway was closed, and traffic was rerouted while firefighters from Frederick and Montgomery extinguished the fire and worked to clear the scene, police said.

The driver of the pickup suffered multiple injuries and was transported to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. The tractor-trailer driver did not require medical treatment at a hospital, officials said. He had been headed from Cleveland to Richmond, authorities said.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

University System Plan to Look Long-Term

Chancellor William E. Kirwan this week will propose a framework for a four-year business plan for the University System of Maryland that could change the political debate over public higher education spending in the state.

The plan, to be introduced Thursday at a finance committee meeting, will be shaped by recommendations from presidents at each of the system's 13 schools. It could serve as a road map to such goals as accommodating an expected surge in enrollment without compromising quality, keeping tuition increases moderate and educating people who are needed to fill critical jobs in the state.

Kirwan hopes that by planning more and publicly discussing goals, educators can ensure continuity for the system. The schools currently present budget proposals each year.

Woman, 77, Dies in Fire at Her Home

An elderly woman was killed early yesterday after she was unable to escape a fire in her Carroll County home, fire officials said.

The fire in the home in Union Bridge occurred shortly after 5 a.m., said W. Faron Taylor, deputy state fire marshal.

Geneva Mae Yingling, 77, rented the one-story frame home with her daughter. She had a medical problem and used a motorized wheelchair, which could have hindered her escape, Taylor said.

Baltimore Library Fees Lifted for Young

Baltimore libraries will no longer charge late fees to children 6 and younger as part of a national campaign to encourage reading at an early age.

The Enoch Pratt Free Library announced yesterday that young cardholders will be exempt from the 10-cents-a-day overdue book fine under a program called First Card.


Man Killed in Fairfax Motorcycle Crash

A Reston man was killed Sunday evening after his motorcycle crashed into a car that pulled out in front of him on Lawyers Road, Fairfax County police said yesterday.

Andrew Olimpiew, 21, of the 11200 block of Leatherwood Drive was the driver of a Yamaha M4 motorcycle, police said. He was heading west on Lawyers Road about 6:30 p.m. when a 1996 Saturn sedan pulled out from Pinoak Lane, trying to turn east on Lawyers.

Investigators believe that Olimpiew was traveling at high speed and that the turning Saturn blocked his westbound lane for an undetermined amount of time, Officer Richard Henry said. Olimpiew's bike skidded, then overturned and slammed into the Saturn, which was being driven by a 16-year-old Reston girl. Olimpiew died later at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Police are considering whether to seek charges against the teenager, whose name was not released.

Drilling at Crater Is a Global Project

More than a dozen countries are taking part in a drilling project at the site of a 35 million-year-old impact crater on the Eastern Shore.

A drilling rig is expected to arrive Sept. 9 and set up on a farm near Cape Charles. Crews will drill more than 7,000 feet to collect samples of rock and sediment.

Scientists hope to learn a number of things from the samples, including the effects of an asteroid or comet collision in the area and why groundwater in the Hampton Roads area is salty.

The crater is about 56 miles wide and at least a mile deep.

"It's kind of like a vacation. But not really."

Parker Batterson, 9, on his Capitol Hill family's summer adventures

in backyard camping. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Lori Montgomery, Allan Lengel, Susan Kinzie and Tom Jackman and the Associated Press.