Fairfax Targets Crowded Housing
Too Many Tenants Would Bring Fines
Fairfax County will seek authority from the state to impose criminal fines and jail time for landlords who allow single-family houses to have too many tenants.
The Board of Supervisors will ask the General Assembly for authority to fine landlords or homeowners $2,500 a day and impose a sentence of up to a year in jail for violating the county's limit of four unrelated people under one roof.
County officials said the move is an effort to curb crowding, mostly involving immigrant residents in single-family neighborhoods. The situation has prompted complaints from neighbors and concerns about safety code violations.
Warner Proposes Education Funds
Budget Also Adds Services for Mentally Disabled
Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) announced two major spending initiatives aimed at boosting research at the state's universities and improving services for the mentally ill and retarded.
Warner proposed earmarking $255 million in new state money for scientific research at Virginia's state colleges and universities over the next two years. The money would be combined with $300 million from the institutions themselves, raised largely by federal and other matching funds, to create a spending package of more than a half-billion dollars.
In a separate plan, Warner announced a $460 million proposal to replace several aging hospitals and training facilities for the mentally ill and retarded and to allocate more to community-based services for the mentally disabled.
Both proposals will be included in the governor's biannual budget, which he will unveil Friday. The budget must be approved by the General Assembly, which begins its legislative session Jan. 11.
Leesburg Pike Changes Proposed
Metro's Suggestion Includes Elevated Rail Line
Managers of the project that would extend Metro through Tysons Corner unveiled a proposal that would transform Leesburg Pike in the Tysons area from a strip-mall-oriented highway into an eight-lane, pedestrian-friendly urban boulevard with a Metrorail line overhead.
The changes to Route 7, which were unveiled during a public hearing, are part of measures suggested to reduce the cost of the proposed 11-mile Metrorail extension from $2.4 billion to $1.8 billion. The price still exceeds by $300 million the $1.5 billion in the project's financing plan.
Boyfriend Convicted of Murder
Fairfax Woman Was 8 Months Pregnant
Darius T. Hicks was sentenced to life in prison plus 40 years for killing his girlfriend, Shawndre N. Fulton, 21, and her fetus.
A Fairfax jury convicted Hicks, 32, of first-degree murder in the 2004 slaying of Fulton and the malicious killing of a fetus. Fulton was eight months pregnant.
Hicks was the first person prosecuted in Fairfax under a law passed by the General Assembly last year outlawing the killing of a fetus.
Across the Region
Metro Chief; An Execution; Arson Sentences
* A majority of Metro board members are dissatisfied with the performance of the agency's top executive, Richard A. White, and have begun closed-door discussions about how to remove him, according to sources familiar with the talks.
* Death row inmate Wesley E. Baker died by lethal injection, becoming the first black man executed in Maryland since a state-sponsored study found disparities, by race and geography, in how the death penalty law is used. Baker, 47, fatally shot a woman in front of her two grandchildren in a robbery in 1991 in the parking lot of Baltimore County mall.
* A year after a series of arson fires destroyed 12 new, unoccupied houses and damaged 15 others in Charles County, a federal judge sentenced Patrick S. Walsh, 21, the Fort Washington man who planned the crime, to nearly 20 years in prison. Two men who pleaded guilty to helping set the fires -- Jeremy D. Parady, 21, and Aaron L. Speed, 22 -- were sentenced to more than seven and eight years, respectively.