Officer Injured in Silver Spring Collision

A Montgomery County police officer was injured Saturday night in a two-vehicle crash in Silver Spring.

Officer E. Hamilton was responding to an emergency call in his marked police car about 10:30 p.m. when he was struck on the passenger side by a blue Honda Odyssey at Tech Road and Route 29.

Hamilton was airlifted to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was released early yesterday. The female driver of the Honda was treated at Laurel Regional Hospital for injuries that weren't considered life-threatening. Police did not identify her yesterday but said she was charged in the collision.

Man Shot to Death in Pr. George's

Prince George's County police are looking for suspects in a shooting that left a 22-year-old man dead in Langley Park yesterday.

The man, whose name was not released, was shot more than once about 5:30 p.m., police said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

State Joins Disaster and Security Group

Maryland is joining a seven-state group to help deal with disasters and security issues.

The All Hazards Consortium is a nonprofit organization that will bring together state and local government agencies, private-sector companies, universities and civic and charitable organizations.

The consortium is being financed with $75,000 in seed money from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

Fired Muslim Worker Receives Settlement

The owner of the chain of education supply stores called Learning How has agreed to pay $16,000 to a Muslim former employee who complained that she was fired shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks because of her religious beliefs.

Shabana Ahmed, 27, worked at the company's Columbia store for several weeks in October 2001. She wore traditional Muslim attire and prayed several times a day in the back of the store. According to an investigation by the Maryland Commission on Human Relations, company President John Faw Jr. told the store manager, "Are you crazy? . . . I can't have her working here." Ahmed was fired the next day, said Lee Hoshall, the commission's assistant general counsel.

A Learning How official denied wrongdoing. "Basically, we looked at it as a great deal of miscommunication. . . . To avoid any further aggravation, we settled out of the court," said Michael Wayland, Learning How's chief financial officer. "We would vehemently deny any act of discrimination on our part."

As part of the settlement, the company apologized to Ahmed and agreed to send managers to cultural and religious awareness training.

D.C. Man Dies in Boat Fire at Marina

A 60-year-old Washington man died Friday in a boat fire at the Mears Point Marina near Grasonville, Md. John Ashby was in a 37-foot Cris-Craft vessel when a fire began in the boat's gallery about 3:30 p.m.

An autopsy revealed that the man died of smoke inhalation and burns. Firefighters controlled the blaze before it spread to boats docked nearby, said Jason Anthony, assistant chief at the Grasonville Volunteer Fire Department.


Teen Critically Wounded in SE Stabbing

A youth was critically wounded yesterday when he was stabbed multiple times in Southeast Washington, authorities said.

A motorist picked up the teenager shortly after 5 p.m. and drove him several blocks to a fire station in the 100 block of Atlantic Street SE, where he received treatment before being taken to Children's Hospital, where he underwent surgery, police and fire department authorities said.

D.C. fire Lt. W.J. Wilson of Engine Company 33 on Atlantic Street SE said the youth, who was at least 15, told the motorist he was stabbed during a confrontation with three people about his age.


Opening Day for Salvadoran Consulate

A new Salvadoran consulate is scheduled to open today in Prince William County in response to an increasing demand for its services.

The number of Salvadorans in the county has more than doubled from 2000 to 2004, to 10,948. About 40,000 immigrants from Central America's smallest country had settled in Northern Virginia by 2000, U.S. Census figures show. As a result, demand for services has far outstripped capacity at the Salvadoran Consulate in Washington.

Miriam Vargas, consul at the Woodbridge location, anticipates that Salvadoran citizens will flood the building, seeking passport transactions and translations and authentications of documents.

Norfolk State Fighting Obesity in Blacks

Norfolk State University has kicked off an effort to combat obesity among blacks by targeting young adults.

The Healthy Spartan Fitness Initiative will include special seminars, learning stations where students can measure vital statistics and a body-mass reduction contest in dorms. Health officials estimate that nearly two-thirds of Americans are obese or overweight and that many are Hispanic or black.

Black colleges in Alabama, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas also are launching health initiatives.

"If anything, it appears to be growing worse. There are more cars, more traffic. There's more multitasking. There's more concern over time."

-- Peter Kissinger, president of AAA's Foundation for Traffic Safety, describing road rage incidents. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Allan Lengel and Ernesto Londono and the Associated Press.