THE REGION

Menorah Lighting Today The 24th National Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. today on the Ellipse, south of the White House. The event marks the eight-day Jewish festival that began at sundown Friday.

This year's ceremony features performances by the U.S. Army Band and the Three Cantors. For free tickets, required for admission, call 202-332-5600. To view videos of menorah lightings worldwide, see www.chabad.org.

MARYLAND

Beltway Crash Kills Va. Man A Vienna man died early yesterday after his wife lost control of their 1995 Acura, hit a truck and crashed into a wall on the outer loop of Interstate 495 west of Persimmon Tree Road in Montgomery County, according to Maryland State Police.

Police said James Brackett, 43, the passenger, was pronounced dead at the scene. They said his wife, Elizabeth Brackett, 38, lost control of the car after swerving to avoid a piece of clothing in the westbound lanes about 1:05 a.m. The car hit the left side of the tractor-trailer and crashed into the median wall. The couple were wearing seat belts, police said. Elizabeth Brackett was treated and released at Inova Fairfax Hospital. The driver of the tractor-trailer was uninjured.

Officer Fires to Retrieve Car Prince George's County police are investigating a Thanksgiving night shooting involving an off-duty District police officer. The officer, whose name was not released, was not in uniform when he went looking for his stolen personal vehicle Thursday evening in Temple Hills.

He spotted it in the area of 25th Avenue and Oxon Run Drive and identified himself to the person suspected of stealing it, police said. A confrontation ensued, and police said the officer fired a shot from his police weapon into the suspect's leg. The suspect, whose name also was not released, fled in the officer's car but later drove himself to a hospital. He was treated and released into the custody of D.C. police.

Arundel Figure Faces DUI Case A special assistant to the Anne Arundel county executive was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after failing field sobriety tests early Wednesday, according to county police.

Carl O. Snowden, 49, a former Annapolis alderman, was pulled over about 1:50 a.m. after an officer saw his vehicle weaving on Route 50 near Annapolis. He was taken to the district station in Edgewater, where he refused a Breathalyzer test, said Michael Krok, a police spokesman.

Snowden was released to a friend about 6 a.m. Wednesday, Krok said. Snowden also is charged with driving while impaired, negligent driving and failure to obey a traffic control device, Krok said. Snowden did not return telephone calls yesterday.

Officer Charged With Assault An off-duty Prince George's County police officer was arrested early yesterday and charged with second-degree assault after a domestic incident in the 5300 block of Riverdale Road in Riverdale, according to county police.

Officer Matthew T. McGuire has been suspended with pay pending a hearing tomorrow. The Office of Professional Responsibility is handling the investigation.

THE DISTRICT

Shooting Victim Identified D.C. police have identified a man found shot to death in the 1800 block of Irving Street NE on Friday night.

Officers responded about 10:30 p.m. for a reported shooting and found Lydell Douglas, 23, of the 100 block of Quincy Place NE, with multiple gunshot wounds to the body and head, police said. Anyone with information is asked to call the Violent Crimes Unit at 202-727-9099.

VIRGINIA

Crash on I-66 Kills Sterling Man A 29-year-old man died yesterday in a single-car accident on Interstate 66 just inside the Capital Beltway, Virginia State Police said.

The man, whose name was not released, was a resident of Sterling and was traveling west about 6 a.m. in a 1995 Acura Legend driven by Nakia K. Thomas, 27, of Chantilly when the car crashed into a tree, police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said.

Thomas, who was listed in serious condition at Inova Fairfax Hospital, has been charged with reckless driving, Caldwell said.

"Good preaching is being vulnerable to your community. If they don't sense that you struggle with the same things they struggle with, then they're not going to give you the ears to hear."

-- the Rev. Pierce Klemmt of Alexandria, discussing what makes a good sermon. -- Page C1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Bill Broadway, Colleen Jenkins, Ylan Q. Mui and Clarence Williams and the Associated Press.