THE REGION

Holiday Prompts Red Cross Plea for Blood

American Red Cross officials are making an urgent plea for Washington area residents to donate blood because appointments have declined with the arrival of the Memorial Day holiday.

Officials with the Red Cross's Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Region said appointments and participation in blood drives and at donor centers have been minimal. Blood supplies are typically low during holidays.

"Our region has to collect 1,300 units of blood every day to meet the demand," said Shaun Adamec, a Red Cross spokesman for the region.

Whole-blood donors are asked to call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE to schedule an appointment. Platelet donors are asked to call 1-800-272-2123. Information on the location and hours of donor centers and community blood drives is available at www.my-redcross.org or by calling 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.

THE DISTRICT

Norton Calls for WWI Monument Repairs

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) yesterday asked the National Park Service to reverse decades of neglect and address the many problems afflicting the World War I memorial on the Mall.

On the eve of the dedication of the National World War II Memorial, which is east of the World War I tribute on Independence Avenue, Norton cited "widespread decay" and structural damage caused by plants growing out of the memorial.

In a letter to Fran P. Mainella, director of the Park Service, Norton acknowledged that work had been done lately. But she said that without immediate attention, the memorial could become a "national disgrace to the Mall and an insult to our veterans."

Groundbreaking Set for Recreation Center

Mayor Anthony A. Williams, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick and other dignitaries will break ground Tuesday on a recreation center at St. Thomas More Church, in the 4200 block of Fourth Street SE. The $3.5 million project is jointly funded by the city and Victory Youth Centers Inc., a nonprofit group affiliated with the Archdiocese of Washington.

The Mary Virginia Merrick Recreation Center at St. Thomas More will host sports and activities for youngsters in Ward 8. The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Workshop to Discuss Traffic on SE Bridges

The D.C. Department of Transportation will hold a community workshop Tuesday to talk about ways to improve traffic flow on, around and between the Sousa, 11th Street and 13th Street bridges in Southeast Washington.

The meeting, at 6:30 p.m. at Watkins Elementary School, 420 12th St. SE, will focus on development planned for the D.C. General Hospital site and elsewhere along the Anacostia River.

Planners will discuss the proposed light rail service on the east side of the river, and possibilities for reengineering Barney Circle on the west side of the Sousa Bridge.

MARYLAND

Police Identify Man in Gaithersburg Crash

Montgomery County police have identified a Gaithersburg man who was killed in a crash Thursday night.

William C. McKibben, 26, of the 7900 block of Badenloch Way, was driving a tow truck south on Woodfield Road at Emory Grove Road in Gaithersburg when a car in the left-turn lane moved into the main lanes, causing McKibben to swerve to the right. The tow truck went over the curb and struck a light pole and a fence before coming to rest against a tree.

McKibben was pronounced dead at the scene. The Montgomery police Collision Reconstruction Section is investigating the crash.

Natural Resources Police Leader Picked

A 20-year veteran of the Maryland State Police has been appointed to head the state's Natural Resources Police, officials announced yesterday. Mark S. Chaney, who most recently led the state police operations bureau, will take command of the Natural Resources Police on Tuesday.

The 285-member Natural Resources Police agency enforces state conservation and hunting laws, patrols Maryland waterways and handles search-and-rescue duties.

The department's previous superintendent, Scott Sewell, resigned in December. Lt. Col. Tammy Broll, who had been acting superintendent, will return to her post as head of field operations, officials said.

Md. Wants Voting Machine Suit Dismissed

The courts do not have jurisdiction to settle a dispute over whether the state's electronic voting machines should produce paper receipts, according to a motion filed by Maryland in a lawsuit that seeks to decertify the machines.

In a motion to dismiss the suit, filed in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, the Maryland attorney general's office argues that it is the state legislature's job to weigh different balloting systems, not the courts'. It notes that legislation to require that electronic voting machines print a receipt of each vote died this year in the General Assembly. The motion warns that implementing a receipt system for the November election could have damaging consequences.

A group of residents, known as TrueVoteMd.org, filed suit in April, contending that state law requires touch-screen machines to print a paper receipt of every vote cast. They say it is a critical backup if there is a recount or if the equipment is tampered with. In its response to the state motion, TrueVoteMd.org wrote that because the case involves state elections, the courts do have jurisdiction.

VIRGINIA

Culpeper Horse Tests Positive for W. Nile

A 6-year-old thoroughbred mare in Culpeper County is the first horse in Virginia to test positive this year for West Nile virus, the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said yesterday.

The horse lives on a farm that had a West Nile case in 2003, the department said, declining to be more specific about the location.

This is the earliest reported case of West Nile in Virginia, said Joe Garvin, head of the department's Office of Laboratory Services. The date of the first positive case last year was July 25; in 2002, it was Aug. 21; and in 2001, it was Sept. 7.

The horse had been vaccinated two weeks before symptoms of the disease appeared May 1, but it had to be euthanized because of the severity of the illness.

"Heck, it's crowded today."

Army veteran Barney O'Hare, 77, taking note of the crowds drawn to the Mall yesterday in anticipation of today's National World War II Memorial dedication. -- Page A1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Manny Fernandez and David A. Fahrenthold and the Associated Press.