Steele Exploratory Bid Raises $418,000

Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele (R) has not made his Senate candidacy official, but he raised more than $418,000 during the past three months for a potential bid, according to a report released this week.

Among Maryland candidates and potential candidates, Steele's take was second only to that of Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin (D), who reported raising almost $840,000 during the three-month period that ended Sept. 30.

Under federal rules, potential candidates with exploratory committees are limited to raising what is "reasonable" to "test the waters" for their candidacy. They may not spend money in a way that directly promotes them as a candidate. Steele reported spending about $67,000 during the period, much of it related to his fundraising, a spokesman said.

Pedestrian Struck, Killed in Gaithersburg

A 76-year-old Kansas man was fatally struck by a vehicle while jaywalking in Gaithersburg Monday night, Montgomery County police said. George E. Walrafen of Lawrence, Kan., was hit by a 2005 Chevrolet TrailBlazer while crossing Quince Orchard Road near Firstfield Road. The driver, Joseph Marron Belger Jr., 49, of Gaithersburg had not been charged yesterday, police said.

Frederick Infant Died of Heat Stroke

A 5-month-old boy who died after being left in a car in 80-plus-degree heat was a victim of hyperthermia, or heat stroke, the state medical examiner's office said this week.

Isaiah C. Brown was left by his father, Ralph C. Brown Jr., in a baby carrier in the back seat of the family car for several hours Sept. 8, Frederick County State's Attorney Scott L. Rolle has said. Rolle has said the temperature inside the car reached about 125 degrees. No charges have been filed, and authorities have said they think it was a tragic mistake.

Rolle declined to comment Monday on the medical examiner's findings. He said he plans to present evidence in the case to a Frederick County grand jury, possibly Friday.

Pr. George's Announces Leaf Vacuuming

Prince George's County's Vacuum Leaf Collection Program will run from Nov. 7 to Dec. 30, officials said yesterday.

Weather permitting, two collections are planned for designated subdivisions. Signs will be posted in each neighborhood at least a week before a scheduled pickup. The county is asking residents to rake leaves only after notices have been posted and to avoid raking debris such as tree limbs, glass bottles and trash into leaf piles.

For more information and projected weekly pickup dates, go to or call 301-499-8576. Those living in areas not included in the vacuum collection program may bag leaves and use the Department of Environmental Resources' Recycling and Yard Waste Program for disposal. For information, call 301-952-7630.

Track, Horse Owners Negotiate Cutbacks

Maryland horse owners and racetrack officials say they will have an agreement by next month on a proposal to cut racing days.

Magna Racing Corp., majority owner of Laurel and Pimlico racetracks, has said it wants to scale back racing days next year from 200 to 129, a proposal opposed by horse owners. The Maryland Racing Commission said this month that Magna would have to get owners to agree to proposed cutbacks because they have a contract to race five days a week.

Magna and the Maryland Jockey Club, which is owned mostly by Magna, argue that the industry is losing money because of slot machines at tracks in nearby states. They have warned that the industry would collapse if racing days are not scaled back.

Baltimore Accord to Help Needy Students

Baltimore has agreed to spend an extra $10.5 million over the next four years, most of it on additional services for low-income students, as settlement of an ongoing dispute with the state. The settlement resolves a tug of war between city and state school officials over $12.2 million in federal funds that auditors said the school system misspent or could not properly document.

"By targeting assistance to those students who need it most, this plan provides a real pathway to academic success," State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick said in a statement.


Hatfill's Case Against Paper Reaffirmed

A federal appeals court in Richmond yesterday affirmed a decision to reinstate a libel lawsuit filed against the New York Times by a former Army scientist who contends that one of the paper's columnists unfairly linked him to the 2001 anthrax attacks.

Steven J. Hatfill sued the newspaper for a series of columns written in 2002 by Nicholas D. Kristof that faulted the FBI for failing to thoroughly investigate Hatfill in connection with the anthrax mailings, which killed five people. The initial columns identified Hatfill only as "Mr. Z," but Hatfill was named after he stepped forward to deny having a role in the attacks. Federal authorities had labeled Hatfill "a person of interest" in their investigation.

In a 6-6 decision, with one judge not participating, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals failed to produce a majority of judges needed to grant a rehearing and affirmed an earlier decision to reinstate the case.

In July, a three-judge panel of the court overturned a federal judge's ruling to dismiss the case, saying Kristof's columns as a whole might be considered defamatory. The Times asked the court to reconsider. The case will go back to U.S. District Court in Alexandria, unless the Times takes it to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Workshop Planned on Stadium Jobs

The D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission will hold a business and economic development opportunity conference Nov. 2 related to construction jobs for the new baseball stadium project.

The workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel, 999 Ninth St. NW. It will concentrate on subcontracting and apprenticeship opportunities, with a focus on local, small and disadvantaged businesses.

To register, call 202-299-9404.

"I think they are a balm to make women feel better. In my opinion, they make women feel they are protected -- and they are not. There's nothing I can do that protects you from someone who wants to get you."

-- Prince George's Circuit Court Judge Vincent J. Femia, on what he calls the ineffectiveness of protective orders. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Ernesto Londono, David Nakamura and John Wagner and the Associated Press.