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State to begin testing speed technology

The State Highway Administration will begin testing next week on a system designed to help motorists move to reduced lanes more safely. A five-week study is planned for the Variable Speed Advisory technology, a traffic management tool that aims to permit lane merges without sudden stops or backups. Using roadside sensors, speed trailers and vehicle recognition software, SHA officials will gather information to determine if giving advisory speeds and travel time information helps reduce congestion. The test will be conducted on two miles of westbound Route 100 between Route 713 and Coca-Cola Drive. The $70,000 project is being done with the University of Maryland's Traffic Safety and Operations lab.

- Associated Press

Soldier accused of deserting Army unit is en route to U.S.

Pfc. Christopher Pfeiffer, 20, a Westminster soldier accused of deserting his Army unit, is slowly making his way home after paperwork problems threatened to strand him in Kuwait a second time. Pfeiffer's superiors notified him last week that he might be discharged from the Army. They said he failed to return to his unit after coming home over the summer on authorized leave to take care of his sick wife and newborn daughter. Pfeiffer's family said he did everything he could to contact his chain of command and either further extend his leave or make travel arrangements back to Afghanistan. Early this week, Army officials arranged to send Pfeiffer back to Fort Richardson, Alaska, where his fate will be decided. Pfeiffer left Bagram, Afghanistan, to fly to Kuwait, then Germany, and then on to Alaska, said his mother-in-law, Theresa Mwimbwa. But when he tried to board a plane Tuesday morning to Germany, he was told he couldn't go any farther. He was cleared Wednesday to leave Kuwait. Mwimbwa said she was unsure when he would arrive in Alaska. Pfeiffer was stuck at the Kuwait airport from Sept. 14 until Nov. 3, attempting to board a plane to Afghanistan.

- McClatchy-Tribune News Service

NAACP seeks volunteers to hand out fliers on rapes

The Baltimore branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is asking for volunteers, and particularly men, to help distribute reward fliers on Saturday following a recent string of rapes in the city. "This could be our mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, niece, aunt - you get the message," branch President Marvin L. Cheatham wrote in an e-mail. He promoted a $2,000 reward for information leading to an indictment in the rapes. Organizers plan to gather at noon on Saturday at Knox Presbyterian Church at 1300 N. Eden St.


Matthew Hay Brown

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