Jets to Rehearse for Reagan Funeral

Air Force fighter jets will fly over the District this evening as a rehearsal for the flyover that will take place tomorrow for Ronald Reagan's funeral procession, authorities said.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said the F-15 jets will fly south to north across the city between 6 and 6:30 p.m. from the Hains Point area to near the Capitol.

That will be a preparation for the flyover of 21 fighters scheduled for tomorrow night as the funeral procession is under way from 16th Street and Constitution Avenue NW to the Capitol, he said.

The spokesman, Greg Martin, said the jets probably will fly over the city at between 3,000 and 5,000 feet. A brief hold will be placed on commercial airline departures from Reagan National Airport during the flyover, the spokesman said.


Police Cancel Days Off for Reagan Events

The D.C. police department has canceled all days off and leave for its entire force during funeral events for former president Ronald Reagan.

D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said he wants to provide adequate security and make certain that neighborhood police beats are covered.

Crowd and traffic control are chief concerns for the arrival of Reagan's body tomorrow and the funeral on Friday. Ramsey said foreign dignitaries attending the events also will require extra security. Ramsey said that there have been no known terror threats and that he is communicating with U.S. Park Police, Secret Service and the military.

Douglass Bridge Rebuilding Pledged

Federal and local leaders will meet at a pump house along the Anacostia River today to sign an agreement to pledge to rebuild the Frederick Douglass Bridge and to redevelop the South Capitol Street corridor as a grand gateway into the District from Prince George's County.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) will sign a memorandum of understanding pledging to complete the multimillion dollar project, officials said.

The ceremony starts at 10 a.m. at First and Potomac streets SE.


Court to Hear From Death Row Inmate

Maryland's highest court will hear arguments this afternoon on death row inmate Steven Oken's contentions that his execution next week should be stayed and state officials should be ordered to explain the constitutionality of their method for lethal injection.

The Court of Appeals decided late yesterday to grant the defense motion for the hearing, which a Baltimore County Circuit Court judge had denied last week without comment. Oken claims that the state's procedures for execution by injection would be cruel and unusual punishment in violation of state and federal law.

His death warrant set a window of June 14 to 18 for his execution. The inmate received his capital sentence for the 1987 sexual assault and slaying of Dawn Marie Garvin, 20, a college student and newlywed.

Permission Sought to Use DNA Database

Maryland's attorney general appealed to Maryland's highest court yesterday to allow the state to continue using a DNA database that enabled police to connect suspects to 131 previously unsolved crimes.

A lower court judge ruled that the state law requiring people convicted of serious crimes to give a DNA sample violates Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. told the seven judges of the Court of Appeals that about 40 challenges have been filed to similar laws in other states and that the laws have been upheld in each case.

"This is really a very important case," Curran said before entering the courtroom for one of his rare appearances before the Court of Appeals. "The search is reasonable. It serves a very valid government purpose, which is what the [constitutional] test is."

Mount St. Mary's Becomes University

Mount St. Mary's College and Seminary officially changed its name yesterday to Mount St. Mary's University, a designation that school officials said will help market the school and better reflect the scope of its postgraduate programs.

The change, effective immediately, followed a unanimous vote of its 33-member Board of Trustees, Thomas H. Powell, the school's president, said in a written statement.

Mount St. Mary's, which was founded in 1808, has four campuses. Its main 1,400-acre campus in Emmitsburg is home to more than 1,400 undergraduate students, as well as Mount St. Mary's Seminary. Graduate students make up about 27 percent of the student body.

Pr. George's Classes Get Air Conditioners

Prince George's County officials announced yesterday that classrooms in 14 schools have been outfitted with air conditioning since last year, part of a $10 million pledge by County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) to provide window units to 51 schools in need.

The remaining 37 schools will receive units by September 2005. Schools chief Andre J. Hornsby said installation has to be phased in because some buildings need major electrical renovations to accommodate the units, and the work must be done when the schools are closed.


Man Slain in Alexandria Dispute

A man was slain last night inside a home in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County in what police said might have been a domestic dispute.

Fairfax County police said they received a call about 10:20 p.m. about violence in the 2500 block of Massey Court. A man was dead at the scene. It was not clear whether he had been shot or stabbed, and no one had been charged as of early this morning, police said.

Police did not immediately release the name of the victim.

"I wear Army pants all the time. I have an American flag in my room. I watch the news. I want to fight for America."

-- Thatcher Furgerson, 7, after Greenbriar East Elementary School in Fairfax held its annual Patriotic Salute to teach a rapidly diversifying student population what it means to be American. -- Page B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Allan Lengel, Susan Levine, Petula Dvorak, Fredrick Kunkle, Martin Weil, Ovetta Wiggins and Debbi Wilgoren and the Associated Press.