THE REGION

Judge Seeks Specifics on Hinckley Visits

A federal judge yesterday ordered St. Elizabeths Hospital to provide additional information about its proposal to allow presidential assailant John W. Hinckley Jr. to visit his parents at their home near Williamsburg.

Hinckley has been held at St. Elizabeths since 1982, when he was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1981 shooting of President Ronald Reagan, his press secretary, James S. Brady, and two law enforcement officers.

Hinckley, who in recent years has been allowed to leave the psychiatric hospital for visits around Washington, wants to make longer trips and travel outside the area to his parents' community.

U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman concluded several days of hearings on the matter this week, and yesterday, he indicated that he needed more information. The judge wants to know the "specific therapeutic goals intended" for each of Hinckley's proposed outings and how the visits will accomplish those goals. He set an Oct. 14 deadline for the information.

Zoo's Research Center Open for Weekend

The National Zoo's Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Va., will hold its annual Autumn Conservation Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday, the only time of the year the center is open to the public.

The 3,200-acre center is home to rare and endangered species, including red pandas, clouded leopards, maned wolves and a variety of birds. Visitors can view the animals and tour the center's veterinary hospital, research laboratories and breeding facilities. Hay rides also will be available.

A $25 car pass, covering up to six people, is required for admission. The pass can be purchased at www.fonz.org/crctour.htm, the Front Royal-Warren County Visitor Center, 414 E. Main St. in Front Royal, or the Winchester-Frederick County Visitor Center, 1360 S. Pleasant Valley Ave. in Winchester.

The center is at 1500 Remount Rd., off Route 522. For more information, visit the Web site or call 540-635-6596.

THE DISTRICT

Search Continues for Cause of Odor

Authorities continued efforts yesterday to identify the source of an odor that generated scores of complaints Wednesday in parts of the District, but they remained unsure of the cause.

D.C. fire officials said they received no complaints about the smell yesterday. The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, meanwhile, continued repairing a section of sewer pipe in Capitol Heights near the D.C. border that authorities said could have caused the smell.

Details of Hospital Proposal Delayed

Critical financing, governance and cost specifics of the proposed $400 million National Capital Medical Center will not be ready until late next month, officials said. Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) promised months ago to release all details to the D.C. Council and public by Saturday.

The medical complex, a joint venture of the District and Howard University, would be built on the grounds of the former D.C. General Hospital, at Massachusetts Avenue and 19th Street SE. Council Health Committee Chairman David A. Catania (D-At Large) plans a hearing on the proposed project Oct. 28.

"We basically weighed the deadline and rushing to try to meet the deadline against trying to make sure we have everything right," Gina Lagomarsino, senior policy adviser to City Administrator Robert C. Bobb, said yesterday. "We think it's best to take that extra couple weeks and get things right."

MARYLAND

Parents Urged to Help Keep Youths Safe

A coalition of Montgomery County law enforcement officials, parents and educators are encouraging greater parent involvement in after-school activities in an effort to keep youths safe.

"We are asking parents to help us do our job by being a parent who knows where your child is, who they are with and what they are doing at all times," Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said yesterday.

The effort follows the stabbing death last weekend of a 15-year-old girl after a high school football game in Silver Spring. Another 15-year-old girl is charged with second-degree murder in the case.

Officials urged parents and students to report crime and suspicious activity by calling the following numbers: the Safe Schools 24-hour hotline, 301-517-5995; the gang tip line, 240-773-GANG; the drug tip line, 240-773-DRUG; and Crime Solvers, 866-411-TIPS.

VIRGINIA

Manassas Schools Chief Asked to Resign

The Manassas School Board voted Tuesday night not to renew the contract of Superintendent Sidney "Chip" Zullinger and to require him to resign immediately, even though he would be paid through the end of the school year, as his contract requires.

Vice Chairman Mary E. Andersen said the School Board, which voted 4 to 2, wanted a leader with more innovative ideas to deal with demanding federal guidelines and the city's diversity. Zullinger, she said, had been resistant to initiatives -- such as those aimed at helping limited English speakers -- that the board favored.

Zullinger, 54, who has led the 6,700-student system since 2001, has a contract through June, but board members were required to let him know by October whether they intended to keep him past that date.

The board's decision allows him to receive the remainder of his $159,124 salary for the school year. The board has appointed Assistant Superintendent John Boronkay as acting superintendent.

Board member Edward W. Pratt said that "it was more of a leadership issue" and that the board will be seeking a superintendent who has "better communication" skills than Zullinger.

A call to a home number listed for Zullinger was not returned.

"As mayor, I've led this city to, I believe, the threshold of real greatness. I believe that I've gotten us to a point where we've opened the door and prepared this city to walk through that door. But I have come to tell you today that I will not be the one to lead you through that door."

-- D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D),

announcing that he will not run for a third term. -- A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Karlyn Barker, Henri E. Cauvin, Nia-Malika Henderson, Susan Kinzie, Susan Levine, Ernesto Londono and Ian Shapira and the Associated Press.