Manhole Fire in NW Leads to Outages

An underground fire yesterday afternoon blew two manhole covers from the street and prompted the shutdown of a power network that covered parts of Northwest Washington, utility officials said.

The fire erupted at 1 p.m. in the 2800 block of Cathedral Avenue NW and seared underground cables. Officials shut off part of the power network for repairs, cutting power to about 4,700 customers, a Pepco spokesman said. kin. Power was restored to almost all in two hours. No cause was immediately known.

Baseball Trust Gives $85,000 to Groups

Several schools, church organizations and sports teams have received a total of $85,000 in grants from the Washington Baseball Community Trust.

Frank Smith Jr., a former D.C. Council member, and Jonathan Ledecky, a local businessman who is bidding to buy the Washington Nationals, established the trust during the summer.

Recipients were: Batter Up Foundation RBI, Marlow Sports, Anacostia Senior High School, Shaw Community Ministry, Friends of Barry Farms, Washington Nationals Foundation, Cardozo Senior High School, Anacostia Community Outreach Center, Israel Baptist Church Baseball Sports Ministry, Guide Right Baseball Kappa Alpha Psi, Cardozo Baseball Team, Shaw Community Ministry New Baseball Team and the Woodland Tigers baseball team.

Man Killed in Late-Night Shooting in SE

A man was fatally shot late last night in the Shipley Terrace area of Southeast Washington, authorities said.

The victim was hit at least once in the head in the 2300 block of Savannah Street SE about 11:15 p.m.


Sites Chosen for Viewing of Terrorism Trial

Six sites have been selected for survivors and relatives of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to watch the death penalty trial of Zacarias Moussaoui in Alexandria's federal courthouse.

Moussaoui is the only person charged in the United States in the 2001 assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The proceedings will be broadcast to courthouses in Manhattan and Long Island, N.Y.; Newark; Philadelphia; Boston and inside the Alexandria courthouse, U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema said in an order yesterday.

Brinkema also ordered prosecutors to give Moussaoui's defense team the classified version of a report by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine, who investigated the FBI's handling of intelligence about al Qaeda and terrorism before the attacks.

The selection of the sites is the latest development in the case against Moussaoui, 37. He pleaded guilty in April to being part of a broad, radical Islamist conspiracy to fly planes into U.S. buildings.


Campaign to Prevent Human Trafficking

Several community groups announced yesterday a campaign to create awareness about human trafficking in Montgomery County.

The groups, which are working with local and federal law enforcement officials, are urging Montgomery residents to learn about the nuances of human trafficking in order to identify victims and bring traffickers to the attention of law enforcement.

The campaign is being led by Migrant and Refugee Cultural Support Inc., a Silver Spring nonprofit group that will teach people from immigrant communities to identify and reach out to victims.

Trafficking victims are people who are coerced into prostitution or other forms of unreasonable labor. Most are immigrants brought to the United States under false pretenses, experts said.

Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger and U.S. Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Wade F. Horn expressed their commitment to combating human trafficking during a news conference held yesterday to kick off the campaign.

3-Year-Old Left on School Bus for Hours

A 3-year-old special education student from Gaithersburg was left on a Montgomery County public school bus for several hours Monday -- an incident school officials said they were "appalled" by.

Brian Edwards, a spokesman for the school system, said the student had been picked up at his home about 7:50 a.m. for the ride to the Silver Spring campus where he attends classes.

Edwards said neither an aide riding the bus nor the driver noticed that the child was still on the bus when they returned to the depot about 9:30 a.m. He said the incident was even more puzzling because the bus the child was riding on was equipped with a buzzer that turns on when the bus is turned off and that requires the driver to go to the back of the bus in order to make it stop.

The child was discovered about 1:15 p.m. when the driver returned for the afternoon run, and the child's parents were notified. The aide, a temporary employee with the school system, was fired, and the driver has been suspended, Edwards said. The incident is under investigation. "We're obviously appalled," Edwards said. He said steps would be taken to avoid a repetition.

O'Malley Backs Pollutant Bill

Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) yesterday announced his support for statewide legislation requiring the reduction of four pollutants from Maryland's coal-fired power plants.

O'Malley has been criticized in recent months by his Democratic gubernatorial rival, Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, for not taking a position on the bill, which targets nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and mercury emissions.

O'Malley said he came to his position after consulting environmentalists and industry leaders. "While I have come to the conclusion that a regional or national effort is ultimately required, I also know that will not occur" under President Bush or Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), O'Malley said. A Duncan campaign spokeswoman said he welcomed the support and would keep fighting for the measure "because it is the right thing."

Fire Station Opens in Clarksburg

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) announced yesterday the opening of a temporary fire station in Clarksburg.

The 3,000-square-foot station, which has been in service since Sunday, has one fire engine that is staffed at all times by three firefighters and a paramedic. It is in the 22600 block of Gateway Center Drive in the Gateway Center Business Park.

"This is our second home. If we can't be with our families, then we can celebrate here."

-- Larisa Golding, a patient care director at Inova Alexandria Hospital who is organizing a Thanksgiving Day potluck for the 52-bed intermediate care unit and the eight-bed neurovascular unit. -- A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Lori Aratani, Tim Craig, Petula Dvorak, Ernesto Londono, Martin Weil, Clarence Williams, David Nakamura and John Wagner and the Associated Press.