<b>Fatal Pharmacy Crash Driver Pleads Guilty</b>

<bt>Ray Leonard Bynum, 17, plead guilty last Thursday to three counts of involuntary manslaughter, charges filed after the February car crash that killed three students from Washington-Lee High School.

Ashley Burlison, 15, Teddy Ejigu, 18, and Tony Santander, 15, all of Arlington, died in the Feb. 3 crash, when a car driven by Bynum ran into the rear wall of an Eckerd drugstore, at 3130 Lee Highway.

Bynum, who was tried as an adult, plead guilty to three charges of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of Burlison, Ejigu and Santander, and also plead guilty to counts of felony eluding, hit and run, operating a vehicle without a license and operating a drunken driving as a minor. A sentencing hearing is set for June 5.

<b>Murder Suspect Convicted</b>

<bt>On Wednesday, a jury found Mark Andrew Morton guilty of the Sept. 28 murder of Antonio Leftwich. Morton was convicted of first-degree murder and use of a firearm, and sentenced to 56 years in prison.

While investigating a report of shots fired, police found Leftwich, known as "Twin," suffering from a bullet wound in the 1900 block of North Cameron Street. He was taken to the George Washington Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Several witnesses identified Morton as the shooter, but police found that the Alexandria man had already fled the state.

He was found Oct. 13, held in the Prince George’s County Correction Center under an alias, facing charges of assault and battery on a police officer.

Morton was tried in Maryland, then extradited to Arlington. He still faces trial on a charge of possessing a firearm while a convicted felon, which carries a mandatory five-year sentence if he is found guilty.

<b>County Board Campaign</b>

<bt>Mike Clancy formally announced his candidacy for County Board on March 19, with a celebration in South Arlington. Clancy ran as an independent candidate in the 2001 election, challenging then-Board Chair Jay Fisette.

This year, Clancy is seeking the Republican nomination, and if tapped by the party would face this year’s Board Chair, Democrat Chris Zimmerman, in the Nov. 5 election.

Clancy said he would focus on the issue of property tax relief for Arlingtonians, effecting both homeowners and renters.

Both Zimmerman and Clancy have been endorsed by the Arlington Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association for their respective party nominations.

No other candidates have announced that they are seeking the Republican nomination. For the Democratic nomination, Zimmerman will face first-time candidate Christian Dorsey.

<b>Drought Watch</b>

<bt>County Manager Ron Carlee told County Board members Saturday that Arlington and the rest of Northern Virginia is still under a drought watch.

Recent rainfall has done little to mitigate the dry conditions from the fall and winter. Since Sept. 1, the region has received only 12.15 inches of rain as measured at Dulles Airport – 55 percent below normal. In the month of March, rainfall at National Airport was only 1.82 inches as of March 17.

The Drought Watch condition will not be lifted until the area has normal precipitation for a 15-day period. The watch could be upgraded to a drought warning if area reservoirs dip too low, but Carlee said he did not anticipate that kind of crisis.

<b>Bike Plan Wins Award</b>

<bt>Arlington County will receive the first BikeWalk Virginia Community Champion Award on April 8, at the Virginia BikeWalk Conference in Blacksburg.

The award recognizes Arlington’s bicycle plan, adopted in the mid-1970s, the county’s pedestrian plan, adopted in the mid-1990s, and investments of more than $15 million since 1967 to create a 90-mile bikeway system.

Following up that investment at their March 23 meeting, the County Board approved $90,000 to mark another 10.3 miles of bicycle lanes on Arlington streets.

Money for the bicycle lanes represents one-time funds coming from the 2001 budget.


<bt>The sidebar "Pleasing All the People," for the story "Parking Decals Lead to Sticky Situation" should have said that the Arlington House was the home to Robert E. Lee and the Custis family, relatives of Martha Washington. The error was not the fault of Arlington Treasurer Frank O’Leary.