THE REGION

Street Closures Set for War Protest D.C. police said yesterday that motorists can expect temporary street closings and parking restrictions tomorrow to accommodate antiwar marchers.

The activist coalition International ANSWER is planning an 11 a.m. rally and march from the Mall to the Washington Navy Yard to oppose a U.S. war against Iraq.

D.C. police said the following streets will be temporarily closed to traffic tomorrow afternoon and reopen after marchers pass: northbound South Capitol Street north of I Street; and portions of northbound Washington Avenue SW. M Street, between First and 11th streets SE, will be closed from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Parking will not be allowed for much of the day on streets on or near the march route, including portions of Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Eighth Street SE and M Street SE.

Maintenance Problem Slows Metro Lines Thousands of Metro riders who use the Blue and Yellow lines were delayed during the morning rush yesterday after maintenance equipment derailed between Reagan National Airport and Crystal City.

The equipment, used to flush drainage sewers on the track bed, derailed just before 1 a.m., blocking one of the subway's two tracks, said Lem Proctor, Metro's chief operating officer for rail.

When the subway opened for service at 5:30 a.m., Metro single-tracked trains on the Blue and Yellow lines, which caused delays of up to 20 minutes in both directions. Normal service was restored shortly before 10 a.m.

Metro Board Chief Presses for Funding

Chris Zimmerman, the outgoing chairman of the Metro board of directors, said yesterday that the region's political leaders must come up with money to maintain and expand Metro.

"Even in this time of economic slump, our region is not lacking the necessary resources. The only real question is whether we have the will to do what is necessary," Zimmerman (D) said moments before handing the gavel to the board's new chairman, D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1).

Metro officials say they need $274.5 million on top of the $1.27 billion that has been budgeted through 2009 just to keep the existing transit system in working order. In addition, Metro says it needs $796 million to buy enough new rail cars and buses to handle future growth but so far has no source of funding.

Metro Seeks Audit of Expenses

Metro directors yesterday ordered an independent financial review of the transit agency's expenses, saying they wanted to be certain of financial need before they begin public hearings next month on whether to raise bus and subway fares and parking fees.

Metro's first fare increase in eight years could raise the base cost of a subway ride from $1.10 to $1.40 and a bus ride from $1.10 to $1.30. Parking could increase by as much as $1. Any fare or fee increase would take effect July 1.

MARYLAND

Crash Leaves Four Children Injured Four children were injured, two of them critically, when their mother's minivan was struck by another vehicle in Elkridge yesterday, Howard County police said.

The Plymouth minivan was hit by a Ford Escort as the minivan turned left out of a parking lot onto southbound Route 1 near Meadowridge Road just after 6 p.m., police said. A 2-year-old boy and a 5-year-old boy were ejected from the vehicle. They were listed in critical condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, police said.

Two girls, ages 9 and 1, were taken to Howard County General Hospital with less serious injuries, authorities said.

Police believe that the 2-year-old boy was in an improperly installed child seat and that the 5-year-old boy was unrestrained. Police said the crash investigation was continuing.

Crash Victims' Families Sue Pr. George's The families of two of three women killed in June when their car was struck by a driver fleeing Prince George's County police filed a lawsuit against the county Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court.

Michelle R. Brown, 27; Lashawn D. Willis, 30; and Tabitha White, 19, were killed June 30 when their Nissan Maxima was broadsided by a 1994 Chevrolet Caprice at 58th Street and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue NE. The driver of the fleeing car was being pursued by Prince George's police because he was a suspect in a felony shooting, police said. He escaped after the crash.

The families of Brown and Willis are seeking $50 million in damages from the county, Police Chief Gerald M. Wilson and the car's owner. Attorneys Gregory L. Lattimer and Ted J. Williams said Prince George's County police should have notified D.C. police that the suspect was heading into the District and that they should have called off the 80-mph chase because it was in a residential neighborhood.

BWI Fire Closes Road to Terminal

Fire broke out yesterday in a construction area at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, temporarily closing the road leading to the terminal.

No one was injured in the fire on Pier A, which was reported at 1:22 p.m., and no flights were delayed, said airport spokeswoman Cheryl Carley.

The fire is under investigation, Carley said.

VIRGINIA

Ex-Loudoun Official to Join School Board The Loudoun County School Board appointed Robert F. Dupree Jr., 44, to serve as the board's Dulles district representative last night.

The board chose Dupree, a lobbyist for the American Textile Manufacturers Institute and a former member of Loudoun's Planning Commission, unanimously from among eight candidates vying for the position. Dupree fills a vacancy on the board created when Patrick F. Chorpenning Jr. resigned in December because he was moving out of Virginia.

Dupree, a resident of Ashburn, has three children who attend Loudoun County schools. He will serve through 2003.

"The massive misappropriation of union funds and the betrayal of the members . . . are reprehensible and sickening. The individuals responsible must be held accountable."

-- Sandra Feldman, president of the American Federation of Teachers, whose group alleges that more than $5 million was looted from the Washington Teachers' Union over seven years by former union officials and others. -- Page A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Manny Fernandez, Arthur Santana, Lyndsey Layton, Clarence Williams and Rosalind S. Helderman and the Associated Press.