Centreville Man Dies in Colorado Accident

A Centreville man died Saturday after the vehicle in which he was riding drove off a dirt road and plunged almost 350 feet down a ravine in Colorado Springs.

According to police, Darrell Marsh, 45, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the 1998 Geo Tracker, Deborah Hughes, 45, of Colorado Springs, told police that she swerved to avoid a deer and went off the narrow road sometime after midnight.

She said she was too badly injured to seek help.

A hiker discovered the car about 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The Colorado Springs Fire Department pulled Hughes from the car and hoisted her up the canyon. She was treated for multiple injuries that were not life-threatening.

Pay Improved, State Police Fill Roster

For the first time in more than 30 years, Virginia State Police have no vacancies among the department's sworn officers, Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) said.

It is a dramatic turnaround for the force, which had an "unprecedented turnover rate" three years ago because of pay issues, Warner said Friday.

"Over the last four years, working with legislators, we have taken steps to make sure our state troopers got the pay they deserve for putting their lives on the line," he said, speaking at the dedication of the department's $15 million headquarters in Chesterfield County.

Two new academy classes will help fill out the department's authorized strength of 1,890.

About 60 troopers will come from a class that graduated this month; 78 will complete training in March.

Oversight of Sludge Fertilizer Criticized

The Virginia Department of Health needs more inspectors to oversee the spreading of treated sewage sludge on farm fields, according to a report by the state legislature's investigative arm.

"The department's routine oversight and enforcement functions are weak," stated the report, prepared by the staff of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission.

Sludge, largely human waste from sewage plants, is treated to reduce disease-causing germs. The byproduct, which looks like dark soil, is spread on farm fields as fertilizer.

Supporters say the process puts waste to good use. But opponents say sludge, also called biosolids, poses a health threat to people near those fields.

The state health department has issued permits allowing the spreading of sludge in 54 counties, including most of central and Southside Virginia.

Va. Rivers' Oyster Harvests Increasing

The price of oysters has risen because of the busy hurricane season, and Virginia's watermen are working hard to meet the demand, searching the state's tidal rivers for the shellfish.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita crippled the Gulf of Mexico's oyster industry, and Louisiana has closed its oyster season while health officials investigate whether the storms polluted the shellfish.

As a result, oysters from the James River were being sold for $35 a bushel last week -- up from $25 last year.

Virginia increased its daily harvest limit from eight to 12 bushels per person until more of the shellfish become available when oyster season on the Texas coast opens Nov. 1.


Germantown Man Killed in Crash

Montgomery County police are investigating a fatal crash Saturday night in Germantown. Police said a 2001 Nissan Xterra collided with a 1991 Nissan Sentra about 10:20 at Route 118 and Dawson Farm Road.

The driver of the Sentra, Roshan Singh, 39, of Germantown, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An initial investigation found that Singh's car was turning left when the Xterra struck it broadside, police said.

Motorcyclist Killed Near Gaithersburg

A 26-year-old motorcyclist died yesterday after he tried to pass a vehicle using a right-turn-only lane and ran into a curb where the lane ends, Montgomery County police said yesterday.

Gary Anthony Davis of Germantown was thrown from his motorcycle after the vehicle lost control and crashed about 11:30 a.m. in the 9600 block of Wightman Road in the Gaithersburg area, police said. His passenger, Brandy Lynnwood, 22, of Germantown, suffered injuries not believed to be life-threatening.

Hopkins Forms Disease Analysis Institute

A new Johns Hopkins University institute will focus on the use of computers and information technology to identify diseases at early stages and improve treatment.

"Our mission is to develop a new field that we call computational medicine," said Raimond L. Winslow, director of the Institute for Computational Medicine.

Researchers will use advanced computational methods to analyze and model disease mechanisms "to understand, quantitatively, how diseases progress," Winslow said. "We want to be able to predict who is at risk of developing a disease and how to treat it more effectively."

Among the research focuses at the new institute will be biological systems modeling, computational anatomy and bioinformatics.

Biological systems modeling involves the use of computer models to unravel the molecular basis of human disease.


NW Man Killed in Shooting Outside Party

A Northwest Washington man was killed early Saturday after a fight in his apartment building, police said yesterday.

Maurice Temoney, 22, who lived in a second-floor apartment in the 1700 block of Seventh Street, was found in the fourth-floor hallway of the building about 4:20 a.m. with apparent gunshot wounds to his body and head, a police spokesman said.

Temoney was later pronounced dead.

Based on a preliminary investigation, police said Temoney was at a party and became involved in an argument that moved into the hall.

The homicide was the fourth in a series of apparently unrelated shootings in about 41/2 hours in the District, police said.

"I really started looking . . . and it was just glaring to me. I had some girls that were bigger than women I knew. When you watch kids in PE and they're in third grade and they're panting, you know they're not making good choices."

-- Tish Howard, principal of Washington Mill Elementary School

in the Alexandria section of Fairfax, after teachers alerted her

to their inactive students gaining weight. -- A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Rosalind S. Helderman and Lena Sun and the Associated Press.