THE REGION

Arlington Ceremony for Troops Who Died

In a solemn, sun-splashed ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery yesterday, the nation honored U.S. troops killed and missing in war and dedicated a new inscription on the empty Vietnam War crypt at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

The inscription--"Honoring and keeping faith with America's missing servicemen"--was carved on the white marble tomb cover after the Pentagon in 1998 removed the remains of a U.S. pilot killed in Vietnam and identified him by using DNA testing.

The crypt will remain empty because advances in forensic science make it extremely unlikely that any further remains of U.S. troops found in Southeast Asia would be unidentifiable.

But Defense Secretary William S. Cohen and others, speaking on the annual national POW/MIA (prisoners of war/missing in action) Day, renewed the Pentagon's pledge that it will never stop searching for U.S. troops missing from Vietnam and other wars.

Remembering Traffic Crash Victims

A ceremony to pay tribute to victims of traffic accidents will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today at Lafayette Square, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.

Representatives from a coalition of traffic safety groups will speak at the event, as well as Ricardo Martinez, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1313 New York Ave. NW.

MARYLAND

Subsidies Proposed for Commuter Planes

Commuter airplanes are basically flying buses and deserve the same public subsidy, Maryland House Speaker Casper R. Taylor says.

The Allegany County Democrat wants state taxpayers to help fund the establishment of regularly scheduled flights between Baltimore-Washington International Airport and his home town of Cumberland, as well as Hagerstown and southern St. Mary's County.

"If you get on a bus in Maryland, we pay 50 percent of the fare box. If you get on a subway in Maryland, we pay 50 percent of the fare box. We should be paying 50 percent of the fare of a commuter airline from any one of these regional satellite airports to BWI," Taylor told Glendening administration officials at a meeting Thursday.

Mayor Seeks Details on Nominee's Plan

Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke (D) has asked the man who may succeed him in office to lay out the specifics of his zero-tolerance policing plan.

Schmoke, who is stepping down after 12 years in office, said he generally supports Democratic nominee Martin O'Malley, but said the zero-tolerance plan troubles him.

"My concern would be a dramatic increase in cases of police abuse," Schmoke said at a City Hall news conference Thursday. "I certainly hope the Democratic nominee would define that better."

O'Malley, a City Council member who won the nomination Tuesday with 53 percent of the vote, said he wants to rid Baltimore of drug dealing and to make streets safer.

Police Accused of Racial Profiling

The president of the Frederick branch of the NAACP has accused the city's police force of using racial profiling to stop black drivers after she and her husband were pulled over "for having tinted windows."

Charlene Edmonds was riding in her son's 1984 Chevrolet Caprice on Thursday morning when a police officer followed the car for miles before stopping it.

The officer gave her a warning and declined to ticket Edmonds's husband for not having his driver's license with him.

Officer Jason Grob "told us he was stopping us for having tinted windows. But if that was the case, why didn't he stop us miles before?" Edmonds asked.

Lt. Bryan Brown, city police patrol commander, says the police department does not use racial or any other type of profiling.

VIRGINIA

No Charges in VMI Superintendent Case

No criminal charges will be filed in the alleged misuse of discretionary funds by Virginia Military Institute Superintendent Josiah S. Bunting III, authorities said yesterday.

But an investigation continues into claims that he asked VMI employees to help type and edit books he wrote.

There was no misuse of Bunting's discretionary account because VMI's Board of Visitors had not adopted a written policy governing its use, Rockbridge County Commonwealth's Attorney Gordon Saunders said. Given that, there is no standard to use in proving a "knowing misuse or misappropriation" of funds by Bunting, Saunders said.

THE DISTRICT

Photo Traffic Tickets Deemed Success

The city's venture into "photo-enforcement" has been "extremely successful," a police spokeswoman said yesterday, and 35 cameras designed to catch traffic violators will be added by the end of the year to the five in place.

By yesterday, police had issued 3,216 citations based on violations captured by photo-enforcement, said Rai Howell, the police spokeswoman.

Vehicle owners are sent a photograph of a red-light violation plus a citation carrying a $75 fine and two points on a driver's license. Lockheed Martin IMS has installed the cameras under a contract with the District and receives a portion of the fines collected.

In the next 30 days, cameras will be installed at these 15 locations: 12th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, 16th Street and Colorado Avenue NW, 16th and Irving streets NW, 16th and Oak streets NW, 25th and K streets NW, 27th and K streets NW, M Street and Wisconsin Avenue NW, Connecticut and Nebraska avenues NW, Georgia and Missouri avenues NW, Mount Olivet Road and West Virginia Avenue NE, New York and Florida avenues NE, North Capitol and Gallatin streets NE, North Capitol Street and Harewood Road NE, North Capitol Street and Missouri Avenue NW, and South Dakota Avenue and Bladensburg Road NE.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"Have you ever heard 25,000 chickens scream? Chickens are not used to getting their feet wet, so of course they were terrified."

-- Elizabeth Butler, on damage from Hurricane Floyd. At least 12,000 of the chickens being raised at the Eastern Shore poultry operation that she owns with her husband died when barns flooded.