Woman Killed in Annandale Crash

An Annandale woman who was standing near Columbia Pike in Annandale on Tuesday afternoon was killed when a car veered off the road and struck her, Fairfax County police said yesterday.

The victim, Sung Paik Chu, 76, of the 6900 block of Columbia Pike, was standing near the corner of Columbia Pike and Rose Lane about 4 p.m. when a 2004 Subaru station wagon traveling west on Columbia Pike ran off the road and struck a pole, a sign and then Chu, police said.

Chu was pronounced dead at the scene, Officer Beth Funston said. The car was driven by a 78-year-old Falls Church woman. Charges against the driver are possible, so her name was not released. Investigators do not believe speed or alcohol was involved.

Drought Conditions Could Feed Wildfire

Officials with the Virginia Department of Forestry warn that the state's parched conditions pose a wildfire risk of "historic proportions."

Ed Stoots of the Abingdon forestry office said a department drought index indicates the state's current conditions are twice as bad as they were in 2001 -- one of the highest rates on record. Fire crews snuffed minor forest fires in September.

Forecasts suggest dry conditions through the end of the year. Burn bans are in effect in some Southside Virginia counties. Stoots said a regional ban could be imposed if there is no rain in the next week or so.

Auction to Benefit Pentagon Memorial

A fundraising initiative with a sports and entertainment theme is underway for the Pentagon Memorial.

A live auction on eBay began yesterday and will last for 10 days, according to a statement released by the Pentagon Memorial Fund.

Among the items being auctioned are two suite tickets, pit passes and a chance to meet race car drivers at next year's Indianapolis 500 as well as two club level seats for the Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship football game.

Two tickets to the International Spy Museum and lunch at Zola with former CIA and FBI director William H. Webster also are on the auction block. In addition, two tickets to U2's Vertigo 2005 tour will be up for bids.

About $8.2 million has been raised for the memorial, which is to be built using private funds and will have 184 cantilevered benches, one in memory of each of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon. Construction is expected to cost about $18 million, and family members want to establish a $10 million maintenance fund.


Autopsy for Baby Found in Storm Drain

The Maryland medical examiner's office said yesterday it needed to run further tests before completing an autopsy on a newborn girl who was found in a Prince George's County storm drain this week, according to Baltimore County police.

The baby's mother, a 20-year-old student at Villa Julie College near Baltimore, led police to the baby, who was found in the drain 10 feet underground Tuesday morning. It is unclear how the baby died, police said. They are waiting for the autopsy results before deciding whether to charge the woman.

Police were alerted by the woman's roommate, who called officers Tuesday morning when she saw blood on the bathroom floor and discovered the student missing.

Baltimore Cardinal Celebrates 50 Years

Cardinal William H. Keeler celebrated 50 years of priesthood yesterday at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore with a Mass of thanksgiving.

Keeler, the 14th archbishop of the cathedral, spoke at a news conference before the Mass began. He said the past 50 years had been a blessing and a learning experience.

The cathedral, which holds more than 2,000 people, was near capacity. Those attending the Mass described Keeler as a community leader who is deeply committed to his religion.

Keeler said he looks forward to the future, including a possible visit from the pope in November 2006 for the rededication of the Basilica of the Assumption. An invitation has been sent to Pope Benedict XVI.

Delegate Under Scrutiny for Finances

Del. Clarence Davis (D-Baltimore) has been contacted by the Maryland state prosecutor's office regarding a string of delinquent campaign finance reports dating to 1999, Davis said yesterday.

Davis filed 10 late reports July 21, according to the State Board of Elections Web site, but he said yesterday that he "still has some work to do" to catch up. Davis was fined $250 for each late report. He attributed part of the delay to a flood and a fire that displaced him last year from his home, where he maintains his district office.

Davis said he did not know what the state prosecutor is examining but said "this is nothing heavy as far as I'm concerned." State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh declined to comment.


Package Closes White House Entrances

A suspicious package forced the closure of entrances to the White House along Pennsylvania Avenue yesterday morning, authorities said.

Workers were also ordered to stay inside the building until the technicians could evaluate and destroy the package.

Jonathan Cherry, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, declined to say where the package was discovered or reveal more details about the incident, which ended about 9 a.m. Cherry said there "was nothing to it."

Waterfront Developer Departs for N.Y.

Andrew Altman, chief executive of the Anacostia Waterfront Corp., which has been trying to spur development around a proposed baseball stadium, will leave his post within three weeks to take a position with a private development company in New York City.

Altman, a former D.C. planning official, assumed the top job with the corporation in January, shortly after its creation. One of Altman's first major efforts has been creating an entertainment district around the proposed stadium, for which the corporation solicited bids from private developers that are due this month.

Altman said he was leaving because the New York company, which he would not name, made a "once-in-a-lifetime offer."

"Frederick to Hagerstown is pretty much bumper-to-bumper. It's our equivalent of beach traffic on Route 50."

-- Jim Gugel, chief of comprehensive planning for Frederick County. -- A1

Compiled from reports by Del Quentin Wilber, Tom Jackman, David Nakamura, John Wagner, Allison Klein and Tim Dwyer and the Associated Press.