THE REGION

Average Gas Price 20 Cents Higher If you think you're spending more at the gas pump than you were a year ago, you're right. According to the Mid-Atlantic office of the American Automobile Association, the average price of a gallon of gas is 20 cents higher than at this time in 2001.

While the national average for self-service regular unleaded fuel is now $1.47, prices in the District are about $1.53 a gallon. Virginia fuel prices are averaging $1.39 and Maryland $1.46.

AAA says prices are higher because distributors have low gasoline inventories.

MARYLAND

Owens Claims Victory in Anne Arundel After two days of waiting, Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens has claimed victory in her reelection race, with a count of absentee ballots showing her ahead by almost 6,200 votes.

Owens (D) was reluctant to assert that she had won Tuesday's surprisingly close election, in which former state delegate Phil Bissett (R) benefited greatly from Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s successful GOP campaign for governor. But after the Anne Arundel elections board completed its 12-hour count of absentee ballots late Thursday, a "thrilled" Owens claimed victory.

The final tally had Owens with 89,290 votes and Bissett with 83,115. He has refused to concede and has said he will decide by Nov. 18 whether to seek a recount.

Official Resigns After Death of Recruit A Frederick County official who supervised the training program in which a 23-year-old firefighter recruit died has resigned, officials said.

Stanley Poole will leave his post as head of the county's emergency management planning division Nov. 29. He had been director of emergency services until he was demoted Oct. 24 and his salary cut 15 percent.

The recruit, Andrew Waybright, collapsed in early July near the end of an hour-long workout that included calisthenics and a three-mile run. State health officials said the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Waybright died of heat stroke. His body temperature was 107.4 degrees. Poole cited personal reasons when he announced his resignation Thursday.

Patient With Heart Pump Goes Home A Burtonsville man with an experimental cork-sized pump in his heart became the first person in the United States to return home with the small, lightweight Jarvik 2000 pump.

"I'm feeling terrific," Woodrow Snelson, 63, said before walking out of the University of Maryland Medical Center yesterday with his wife. "I just have a lot more energy, a lot more stamina."

Snelson, who had a severe heart attack in 1989 and triple bypass surgery, received the pump Sept. 6 as part of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration feasibility study.

Almost 30 U.S. patients have received the pump, which fits inside the heart's left ventricle, the main pumping chamber. When the heart can no longer pump properly, the tiny turbine takes over the ventricle's work and pushes oxygenated blood throughout the body.

Patients with similar ventricular-assist devices have been allowed to go home, but Snelson is the first in the United States to do so with the Jarvik 2000. For about two years, patients in Europe who have received the pump have been discharged after surgery.

VIRGINIA

D-Day Foundation Files for Bankruptcy The National D-Day Memorial Foundation in Bedford has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to protect the $25 million monument from creditors while it struggles with a massive debt, foundation officials said yesterday.

The memorial, located northeast of Roanoke, has trimmed a $7 million debt to about $4 million since acknowledging its financial troubles last year. It sought bankruptcy protection when its creditors continued to push for a regular payment agreement, said Peter Viemeister, chairman of the foundation's board of directors.

Officials said the memorial, which honors the Allied soldiers who fought in the June 6, 1944, Normandy invasion, will stay open. More than 400,000 people have visited since President Bush presided over its dedication ceremony on June 6, 2001.

The project was in trouble before that, however. Hoping to complete the granite arch and sprawling campus before many aging veterans died, foundation members agreed to build on borrowed money. Their hopes of community generosity and patriotism keeping the memorial afloat ended this summer when two of its top creditors filed lawsuits in an attempt to force the foundation to pay up more than $2.4 million.

Worn-Out American Flags Being Collected The Centreville American Legion Auxiliary is collecting worn-out American flags from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today outside the Wal-Mart at Fair Lakes shopping center. The event is in honor of Veterans Day on Monday.

Unserviceable flags are "retired" each year on Flag Day, June 14, during special services at many American Legion posts. The auxiliary, founded in 1919, is open to female relatives of U.S. military veterans.

Fair Lakes center is located on Fair Lakes Parkway, just off the Fairfax County Parkway.

Jamestown's 400th Anniversary Planned State, federal and private groups with sites at Jamestown have agreed to work together on events in 2007 to mark the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in North America. The commemoration of its founding on May 13, 1607, is expected to cost $18 million, to be financed largely by private and corporate donations.

The agreement was announced this week after several years of discussion. Plans include an anniversary weekend extravaganza, a gathering of international leaders to discuss democracy's future, a flotilla of large ships, cultural heritage programs, performing arts festivals and educational events.

Signing the agreement were the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, the lead state agency for the commemoration planning; the National Park Service; the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities; and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Inc.

"The actors gave it sort of a glamour, and my family gave it legitimacy and warmth. So now there's nothing there but the furniture."

-- Earl Hamner Jr., creator of "The Waltons" TV series, commenting on his family's decision to break ties with the Walton's Mountain Museum in Schuyler, Va., and the failure of a recent reunion at the museum to attract any actors from the series. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Nelson Hernandez and Marylou Tousignant and the Associated Press.