A Nov. 28 Metro item incorrectly referred to a "proposed" racetrack outside Shenandoah, Va. The Shenandoah Speedway opened in July. (Published 12/2/2005)


Deer Hunter Dies After Falling From Tree

A Frederick man died after he fell from a tree stand and became entangled in his safety harness on the opening day of firearms deer hunting season, the Maryland Natural Resources Police said yesterday.

Rescuers found Andre Strickland, 53, about midnight Saturday in Seneca Creek State Park off River Road in Montgomery County. Strickland was descending from the tree when he got caught in the harness, police said. The state medical examiner's office classified the death as an accidental hanging.

A friend who had last seen Strickland entering the woods at 4:30 a.m. Saturday became worried after he was unable to reach Strickland on his cell phone for several hours. Montgomery police aided in the search, which involved several dozen law enforcement officers and search and rescue dogs.

Statistics kept by Natural Resources Police show that falls from tree stands are the leading cause of hunting injuries but that they are rarely fatal.

Two other men suffered minor injuries in tree-stand accidents Saturday. Neither was wearing a safety harness.

Much as those charged with highway safety urge automobile passengers to wear their seat belts, Natural Resources officials urge hunters to wear safety harnesses. The fact that a harness was involved in Strickland's death should not dissuade people from heeding that advice, Sgt. Ken Turner said.

"This was a fluke," he said. "It was a very tragic accident because this gentleman did everything he was supposed to do."

Boy, Mother Abducted at Wheaton Metro

A 5-year-old boy and his mother were abducted last night in Wheaton, and an Amber Alert was issued to find them, Montgomery County police said.

Police said Isaac Hernandez and his mother, Sara Abagail Hernandez-Torres, 22, were forced into a vehicle at the Wheaton Metro station by a former boyfriend of the mother's.

Police identified the suspect as Carlos R. Delcid, 41, and described the vehicle as a red Dodge pickup with a red cap on the rear. Police said it had a specialized Maryland license plate with the numbers 49914. The words "Red Scorpion" were across the windshield, police said. Anyone with information is urged to call 301-279-8000.

Mother Dies, 2 Children Hurt in House Fire

A 29-year-old woman was killed and her two children were injured in a fire at a ranch-style home in Pocomoke City, authorities said.

Neighbors rescued the woman and her two boys, ages 6 and 6 months, from the burning home Saturday, Worcester County Chief Deputy Fire Marshal Matthew Owens said. The victims were taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, where the woman died, Owens said.

The infant was transferred to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, and the older boy was treated and released, Owens said.

Authorities did not immediately identify the victims because relatives had not been notified.

Firefighters from Worcester and Somerset counties were sent to the one-story home, at Fifth and Laurel streets, about 11:40 a.m. By the time they arrived, the home was engulfed in flames, Owens said.

He said that the fire started from an electrical outlet in a bedroom and that the house lacked working smoke detectors.


Shenandoah Seeks to Expand Boundaries

Although a businessman's racetrack is proposed for a site just outside of Shenandoah, the Town Council is moving to embrace the business within its borders.

Shenandoah officials are completing a three-year boundary line adjustment that will nearly double the town's size, expanding corporate boundaries to a 10-mile border and encompassing Jeff Vaughan's proposed track, which would be three-eighths of a mile.

Survey work is expected to take several months before the town can petition the Page County Circuit Court to expand the boundaries.

"I'm in favor of it because it will allow me to have sewer service from the Town of Shenandoah," Vaughan said. "And it will help promote the economy on that end of the county."

Vaughan has one other reason to support the expansion: The town's noise ordinance for motor sports parks has a limit of 90 decibels, while the county's limit is 80 decibels.

State Funds Sought for Marine Terminal

The Virginia Port Authority hopes the General Assembly will approve $593 million in funding over several years to help build a marine terminal at Portsmouth's Craney Island.

The project calls for expanding the island and building an international cargo center on it. Authority officials said they expect to fund more than 60 percent of the $2.4 billion cost.

The authority would raise about $1.5 billion through bonds, fees charged to shipping lines and the port's share of a state transportation trust fund. Authority officials hope the federal government will pitch in $342 million. The remainder would come from the General Assembly request.

Mike Crist of the Norfolk engineering firm of Moffatt & Nichol has found that the new terminal would create 55,000 direct and spinoff jobs, generating $487 million a year in state and local taxes.

The terminal is expected to be operational in 2017.

Jamestown Effort Targets College Athletes

Virginia college athletic teams could soon be sporting patches commemorating the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.

Organizers for Jamestown 2007 said nearly all of the state's major colleges have expressed interest in the patches and that some college teams could be wearing them by January.

"Sports are an important part of people's lives, and this is one other opportunity for us to remind people that there's something important happening in Virginia in 2006 and 2007," said Ross Richardson, a spokesman for Jamestown 2007.

The proposed Jamestown patch is a multicolored 21/2-inch-wide square with the "America's 400th Anniversary" logo.

"We've got a lot of people going through, but everything is moving. We haven't seen traffic backed up at the access lanes, and there are plenty of parking spaces available. The security checkpoints were moving all day. I think people are spacing things out and planning a little better."

-- Courtney Prebich, spokeswoman for the Metropolitan

Washington Airports Authority, commenting on travel

at the end of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Jo Becker and Martin Weil and the Associated Press.