Wheaton Abduction a Hoax, Police Say

A 22-year-old woman could face charges after admitting to police yesterday that she falsely claimed that she and her 5-year-old son were abducted from the Wheaton Metro station.

Sara A. Hernandez-Torres and her son, Isaac Hernandez, were found unharmed yesterday morning at a Rockville home with Carlos R. Delcid, 41, police said.

Police issued an Amber Alert on Sunday after Hernandez-Torres called her family from her cell phone to report that she had been abducted by Delcid. Her family called police.

Delcid was taken into custody after a Rockville city worker who heard a description of Delcid's trucks on the alert spotted them outside a home on Twinbrook Parkway about 10:30 a.m.

After questioning, Hernandez-Torres admitted that she had made up the kidnapping story. Montgomery County police spokeswoman Lucille Baur said Hernandez-Torres did not want her family to know that she was with Delcid.

Police expected to charge Hernandez-Torres with making a false report, Baur said. Delcid did not face charges, she said.

Man Struck by Car in Pr. George's, Dies

An 81-year-old man was struck by a car and killed last night in the Largo area of Prince George's County, Maryland State Police said.

Police said Rexford G. Barry was apparently hit about 7 p.m. on eastbound Central Avenue near Enterprise Road.

General Assembly Pay Frozen Until 2011

Legislators elected to the General Assembly in November 2006 will not get pay raises during their four-year term.

The General Assembly Compensation Commission voted yesterday to freeze salaries at $43,500 for senators and delegates except the House speaker and Senate president for the term beginning in 2007 and ending in 2010. The speaker and president, who are paid $13,000 more, also will not get salary increases.

Glenarden Woods Is Blue Ribbon School

A Prince George's County public school has joined six other Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence for 2005.

Glenarden Woods Elementary School, which has 475 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, was honored for its high scores in reading and mathematics on the Maryland School Assessment, state education officials announced last week.

The other schools, named to the list Nov. 2, include three in the Washington suburbs: Thomas W. Pyle Middle in Montgomery County, Severna Park Middle in Anne Arundel County and Clarksville Middle in Howard County.

The seven will represent the state in a national Blue Ribbon Schools competition.

Catholic Leaders Make Plea for Inmate

Cardinal William H. Keeler of Baltimore made a rare prison visit yesterday to tell a convicted killer awaiting execution in Maryland that the leaders of three Roman Catholic archdioceses are asking the governor to spare his life.

Keeler, the archbishop of Baltimore, prayed at the prison with Wesley E. Baker and advised him of the clemency request, said Sean Caine, a spokesman for the Baltimore archdiocese.

Keeler, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington and Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli of Wilmington, Del., sent a letter yesterday to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) to commute the sentence to life without parole, Caine said.

Greg Massoni, Ehrlich's press secretary, said the governor's office had not received the request and would wait to hear what Keeler had to say before responding.

Baker is scheduled to be executed early next month for the 1991 murder of a Baltimore County woman as her grandchildren watched.


Richmond Bus Crashes Into State Offices

A Richmond city bus careered off a busy downtown street yesterday, ricocheted off the interim state Capitol and crashed into another state building, cutting a large hole in its brick facade.

The bus driver suffered serious injuries, and a passenger on the bus was also injured, according to Virginia Capitol Police.

No one outside the bus was injured. The damaged building houses the offices of Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) and will be home to the General Assembly in January. The legislature is not in session, and Warner was in New York at the time.

The bus and a sport-utility vehicle collided about 10 a.m. near the Patrick Henry Building, which is serving as the seat of government until the 200-year-old Capitol is renovated.

Witnesses said the bus veered to its right, jumped a curb, then demolished a light pole and a wooden ramp for the handicapped at one of the Patrick Henry Building's entrances before it crashed into the other building.

Enforcement on Fairfax Roads Increases

Until Dec. 9, Fairfax County police are stepping up enforcement of speeding and reckless and aggressive driving laws on the Fairfax County Parkway. Police said that from January to October, there were 782 crashes, nearly 100 more than the same period last year.

Police will also be targeting the Franconia-Springfield Parkway. Both roads have a posted speed limit of 50 mph.


Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Reiterated

The D.C. fire department reminded residents yesterday to properly maintain their home heating systems after two recent incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning. In both cases, furnaces were found to be burning inefficiently.

The latest incident involved a 60-year-old man who was hospitalized yesterday after being found unconscious in a basement apartment in the unit block of Girard Street NE. On Saturday, four people, including a 3-year-old boy, were hospitalized after their oil-burning furnace filled their home with carbon monoxide.

Fire officials said residents should have heating systems inspected at least once a year, change filters in the system once a month and install a carbon monoxide detector.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include headache, irritability, vomiting, chest pain, confusion and loss of coordination, should move to a ventilated area and call 911.

"I've got a piece of the Berlin Wall at home. This is another piece for the collection."

-- Lawrence Lippmann, a tourist from Napa, Calif., who pocketed a shard of marble from the Supreme Court after a chunk fell from its facade. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Nick Anderson and Martin Weil and the Associated Press.